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Lightning Strikes

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"The rain always really fascinated me, I loved it. I used to sit out and watch it when I was a young boy. Whenever there was a thunderstorm I would go out into the woods behind my house and get the full experience. Out of all the rain to watch, though, thunderstorms were definitely my favorite. Some think they are violent, but I think that they are actually incredibly beautiful. The loud noises and bright lights make a natural symphony and light show right before your very eyes. I loved to hear the heavy drops of water splatter in all directions across the muddy ground. I loved to watch the lightning streak across the sky and light up all the contours of the heavy and thick clouds. Even feel the thunder rumble through the ground at your feet.

Speaking of thunderstorms, one of these natural wonders saved my life one time. I remember it vividly, as if it was yesterday. Was it yesterday? Or maybe two days ago? I don’t remember, it doesn’t matter. It was a hot and sticky summer day, the air hung thick with humidity. Just moving your arms felt like you were slicing through a thick layer of dense air. I could feel the thunderstorm approach, almost like feeling the electricity far off in the distance. My hair stood out on end, and I knew it was getting close.

I had skipped the hell that my parents called school, and ran out back into the woods behind my house. I laid down on the soft forest floor; it was covered in leaves and grass. I gazed up high at the darkening sky above me. I looked to the trees around me as they began to sway farther and farther to the left and right. The forest was always a fascination of mine, especially right before a big storm hit. The sound of animals scurrying and flying about rang out, and even the trees moved about and made long groaning roars.

“It was at this point that the wind really began to pick up. The limbs of the trees bent all the way around their trunks to the point of moaning strain. I felt the thick humidity lift up off of the ground. A small grin slowly grew across my face as I felt the storm approaching. The peace of the forest filled the air around me when a booming noise shattered the silence. You may think it was thunder, but it was far worse than that. I jumped to feet my feet and my head swung like it was on a swivel back and forth. I caught sight of the source of the disturbing noise. It turned out that it was the front door of my house slamming shut and echoing out into the woods. My father stumbled out of the house, drunk as usual, and walked towards the forest and me. He was one of the main reasons that I took such a great interest in storms and nature. They were my solace, my escape, the only thing that I looked forward to in life. He made my entire life a living hell, and even worse was that my whole family sided with him. With this horrible house life, the only peace I found was outside. I found the most peace during these huge thunderstorms because it was the easiest to block everything out.“

“Ed, now come on you’re getting off track. What was your father doing?” uttered the man in the white coat sitting across from the man telling the story. In between them was a small shiny table.

“Oh right! I am very sorry,” said Ed as he scratched his forehead. “I’ll get back to the story like you asked now. My dad was rushing out of the house, running at me in a full sprint.

"He looked over to me, 'What the fuck did you do now, Ed!?' he screamed as he made his way towards me. I quickly made my way to the house to see what he actually wanted.

“I looked to him as he quickly bounded up to me, ‘What’s wrong?’ I muttered under my breath.

"He looked at me in disgust, "You didn’t go to school today, huh!? I need to teach you a fucking lesson once and for all!" screamed my father as his right hand came out from behind his back. A glint of metal shone out to me and I immediately knew what it was that he brandished. It was the pistol that he kept in his room all the time, and now he had it pointed at me. It was then that my mom and my brother came bounding out of the house as well.

"My mother looked to my father and shouted, "What do you think you are doing!?" her voice echoed loudly.

"Immediately my father answered, "Teaching this ungrateful fuck a lesson, Arlene!" it was then that he raised the gun up. He pointed it at me before me or my mother could do anything, but something odd happened.

“I call it now an intervention, a miracle, and act of God even. Three blinding flashed of light exploded throughout the whole sky. Immediately following that was three echoing blasts, I even felt my chest vibrate and I lost my breath. My family crumpled to the ground, all of them were dead. Three individual bolts of lightning struck them down. I couldn’t believe it; I was saved by a storm. This was the story that you wanted me to tell, right? I have never told it to anyone before,” said Ed slowly as his hands fell into this lap. They were hidden from view by a small metal table. The orange jumpsuit almost glowed in the bare room, making him the center of attention.

“Okay Ed! Great!” said the man in the white coat softly to Ed. He sat directly across from Ed. He turned to a small tape recorder in his hand, almost hidden by his long sleeve.

“This is Dr. Memor, there is still no improvement on patient 6166. His mental health is still as it was nearly fifteen years ago. We still wait patiently for this young man’s mind to recover. Hopefully the repressed memory will surface soon, if not there is no hope," He slowly flicked off the tape recorder and stood up, scraping the metal chair across the ground loudly.

“Alright Ed, I’ll see you next week. Same place, same time,” he said with a fake smile plastered across his grim face. Ed didn’t notice in the state that he was in. He slowly left the room as another man walked forward through the door that he was exiting through. He walked up beside Ed and slowly grabbed Ed’s wrists, slipping them into a glistening pair of handcuffs.

“Oooo those are pretty bracelets,” said Ed obliviously with a smile. The man slowly stood Ed up, not acknowledging the comment. He reached up and readjusted the hat the sat low on his head, the patch on the front slowly coming into Ed’s view.

“Asy-lum for the Cri-Cri-Criminally Insane?” asked Ed not sure through squinting eyes.

“What is the ‘Asylum for the Criminally Insane’?” asked Ed confusedly.

“It’s where we help people,” said the man lightly as he led Ed to the door and out of the room.

“Are you helping me then?” Ed whispered as they left the room and made their way down the long sterile hallway to the door marked “6166”.

“We are trying,” said the man with a frown as he led Ed into the middle of the room.

“Have I ever told you the story about the time a storm saved my life?” asked Ed to no one in particular. He looked around blankly at pretend faces all around him as the guard left the room. He shook his head slowly in disappointment as he heard Ed ramble on to himself, “I was always fascinated b-"

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