Archive | September 17, 2016

Lightning Strike

So, Lightning Strike is available on Amazon and KU-Kindle Unlimited. But, I thought I’d share. Check here each Saturday to see more!

Levi’s life changes in an instant when lightning strikes, tumbling Daphnaie into his arms as he becomes her savior and she becomes his every dream.

3d rendering of a young woman who dances in the dark, mystical forest as illustration

Lightning Strike

The edge of the storm passed, clouds skimming across the sky, racing away as if chased. Intermittent flashes of lightning changing them from grey to silver as they left. Levi leaned over his camera to take one final picture as the storm moved away and was rewarded with a spectacular burst of lightning, a totally unexpected, once in a lifetime shot. Levi hit the shutter release as he was looking through the lens of his camera when the lightning bolt suddenly struck the tree in front of him, a final vindictive parting shot at the resilience of the trees that had bent but not broken in the face of the storm. Blue fire shot out from the bottom of the tree and spread in a circle around the trunk. The trunk glowed red, the leaves remained untouched, pristine, though a few fell, joining the damp, decayed ones around the base of the trunk. In the blink of an eye the lightning retreated.

Levi blinked, blinded. Stunned, he quickly looked away from his camera. It had been set up far enough away to not get damaged. He blinked away the flash of the lightning still in his sight like a black and white echo. He could smell the burnt grass and ozone in the air. He knew he was lucky he hadn’t been hit by the strike.

Levi had set up his camera for some shots in the glen his grandpa always talked about, wanting to capture just a little more than a quick click of the camera. The backdrop of the storm against the trees as the wind whipped their branches into a frenzy showed the strength and resilience of Mother Nature, enchanting him. He’d put his camera up on a tripod and had set up a time exposure shot, sure the storm would provide some of the photos he was well known for.

His grandpa was always saying this was a sacred glen, much to his grandmother’s fury. Levi wanted to see if he could prove it. He was hoping to immortalize the reason his family had protected this land for so long. Grandmother was insisting on selling, calling his grandpa a silly old fool and the fighting was tearing his grandparents and the rest of his family apart. He had come up with their blessing, both sure that the result would be in their favor.

Levi had set up his campsite, making sure not to damage anything in the glen just like his grandpa has told him. No tent, just a sleeping bag that was still attached to his discarded knapsack to keep him warm, a propane cook stove and cooler. Grandpa had been insistent that Levi burn no wood. When the storm came Levi was regretting the fact he had no tent, but the edge of the storm had missed the glen and his campsite, instead playing in the trees and the mountains beyond.

Levi’s photos always had a way of showing truths the naked eye couldn’t see. That was one of the reasons both of his grandparents had agreed to him coming here. He had started photography when he was a medic in the Army, taking photos of the aftermath of Iraqi Freedom. Unable to stomach more death and destruction, and desperately needing a peace he couldn’t find, he finished his enlistment. He published the photography that exposed so much of the war, earning almost instant fame. But it didn’t bring him peace. He turned to photographing nature around the world, his treks into the wilds of the world bringing him a measure of what he sought.

He couldn’t wait to see the photo. Wanting to capture the aftermath of the strike, he looked through the lens in preparation for another shot. He thought he saw movement. He straightened up, no longer looking through the lens. Levi saw a figure fall, he swore from the damaged bark of the tree itself. He hadn’t seen anyone in the tree, but then again he hadn’t been paying attention to anything but the deadly beauty of nature.

Moving swiftly to the base of the tree, he found a crumpled heap in the shape of a person. Reaching for the slight arm sticking out from the pile of decaying and burnt leaves, Levi knelt, feeling for a pulse. A faint heartbeat reassured him that the person was alive. Levi brushed away the fallen leaves that surrounded the figure. To his surprise it was a young woman and she was naked. Stunned, Levi stared at her for a moment. His heartbeat quickened. He had seen no evidence of anyone else around. In any case, this was private property as far as the eye could see. From the mountains to the prairie, his family called this land theirs even if none of them lived there any longer.

Shaking sense back into his head, Levi took out his cellphone to make an emergency call, wishing he had brought his satellite phone. The connection was bad this far into the mountains. Getting a recording, he tried giving his location, hoping his message got through and help was on its way. Hanging up, he looked at her, wondering what she was doing there.

Levi thought the lightning had burned her clothes away, though there was really no evidence of clothing to begin with. She couldn’t have just been out in the woods with nothing on. Climbing trees no less! Her skin looked as if it had been in contact with fire, yet she herself was not burned, just slightly pink, most of the damage to her hair, which looked as if it had burned around the edges.

The lightning strike had been different, but then so had the storm. Both had seemed almost alive, deliberate. Maybe his grandpa had been right after all.

Leaving her for a moment, Levi took his sleeping bag from his knapsack and laid it out beyond the fire damaged grass, making sure to unzip it to be able to put her in it. Checking her limbs, he didn’t feel any breaks. He tried not to notice how shapely those limbs were.

Ignoring his libido, Levi checked her over as he had been trained. It didn’t matter how long he had been away from the battlefield, Levi’s instincts kicked in, checking the vitals of the wounded woman in front of him. It was usually a man though, his thoughts drifting to the images he’d rather forget. Forcibly bringing his mind back to the present, Levi continued his assessment. She needed him now. An undressed female was bound to present him unexpected problems. An attractive female, as this little bundle was, presented a whole different problem that was knocking insistently at the buttons of his 501’s.