This was a fun little competition on Shortbreadstories. We were given the first sentence and then left to run with it. This was my offering but as always it is fascinating to see how different writers will interpret a few words.
Lightning in Switzerland
A flash of phosphorus white flew low across the clear night sky followed by a dull thud, she felt the vibration come up through the ground and her legs quivered, the dogs began to bark louder than she could recall… then suddenly they were silent.
So, this was it. She allowed herself a moment to think back, reminiscence. It had been so exciting, so hopeful at the start. There was such a buzz, in those early days.
Now though, the unthinkable had become reality.
She wouldn’t think about what was happening in the cities. There, she imagined, there would be panic, sadness, terror. Some, especially the ones with children were hiding in bunkers, others collected in churches, mosques, whatever place of worship gave them comfort. Many people would have gathered together with their families, to hold each other, to cry, hoping against hope for a last-minute miracle. Then there were others, like herself who had taken themselves away from it all to wait, resigned. She was a scientist and didn’t believe in miracles, if only she could, maybe it would be a comfort tonight.
At the start it had been so thrilling and she there at the centre with Bob and the rest of them. She looked down at the little plastic badge in her hand, the tears, flowing freely now, blurred her vision but she knew what it looked like after all those months of pinning it to her lab coat. The unique logo and the once proud letters CERN.
Bob should have been with her now but he was still back there, with the emergency team, struggling to stop the thing and, from the evidence of the screaming white flashes now streaking across the sky, failing. They were quite beautiful, not lightning, greater than that, powerful, terrible. She wondered if Bob had seen them or was the lab, and all those who had been in it, already gone. She hoped he had seen the wonder that they had made the, greater than nature, force that lit the heavens and scorched the earth.
She turned from the window, walked out to the pen where the dogs were. As she slid through the metal gate she was surprised that they didn’t come to her, had expected excitement and fuss but it seemed that the tranquilizers that she had hidden in the meal had already worked and they were curled together in the corner, sleeping, at peace. She walked across and sat beside them, she pulled Molly onto her lap, living warmth, a comfort at the end, and she slipped the little capsule into her mouth. Would there be anything afterwards, she was a scientist and so her training had told her no, then again they had been wrong hadn’t they, all of them so very wrong, maybe in this they were mistaken also. As her eyes closed she hoped so.