Storytelling Tuesday: RED LIGHTNING NIGHT

Good morning!

Finally a morning post! Here’s a very short story I wrote so that I could get into the Long Ridge Writer’s Group course. It’s been a very good course so far, lots of reading, enough assignments and good instruction. They’re here if you want to check them out:

And now onto the story of the week! If you’re reading this and YOU have short stories or excerpts of stories you’d like to spotlight on my blog, please let me know! I’ll linky back to you and promote!


I was so tired that night. I kept my foot steady on the pedal as we continued through the rolling hills of desert that surrounded us. We were somewhere in Arizona, or Colorado, or was it New Mexico? I had no idea; all I knew was that I skipped the gas station a few miles back because it was in the middle of Tuba City, a town full of run down trailer houses and abandoned shacks. I swear I saw a toilet on its side on the ground.
There was a storm brewing in the distance, the sun was setting. I jumped in my seat as another flash of red lightning zigzagged across the sky. My hand grabbed my husband’s arm, my fingernails digging into the skin.
“What? What?” He sat up straight and jerked his arm away from me; rubbing the place I dug in.
“I saw it again.”
“You’re imagining things.”
Another flash of red lightning skated across the sky. “Did you see it?” I screeched.
He only shook his head and closed his eyes, trying to doze off again.
I tried to find a radio station. Static. More static. Then country. I groaned inwardly. I hated country.
“If you’re going through hell, keep on going . . .” the song rang out through the car. I smiled a bit to myself. This was hell, and I was going through it. I gritted my teeth and clenched my hands around the steering wheel. Drive I told myself forcefully. I clicked the cruise control settings and let my foot off the pedal.
Another flash of red lightning. A boom of thunder. We were getting closer, my heart began thumping like a rabbit. I stared into the stretch of road in front of me. Please I begged silently. Where is the next town? Minutes passed, another jagged line of red lightning across the sky.
Then we hit it. Rain crashed down on our van so hard I almost spun out of control, sheets and sheets of it pelted the van like paintball pellets. I flipped on my wipers at full blast and squinted to see through the windshield in front of me.
A few days ago we had been in North Dakota when I accidentally followed our GPS up a pedestrian path on the side of a mountain. The number of times we had come close to death on this trip was steadily increasing.
I softly pushed my foot onto the brake pedal. The van slowed down as I pulled onto the shoulder and edged towards the opening of a dirt crossroad. My head hit the head rest as I let out a sigh of relief. We would wait it out tonight.