(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 72/100)
I was struck by lightning a few days before my seventeenth birthday. It killed me quite badly. Scorch marks, a complete shutdown of my respiratory and cardiovascular systems and my favourite shirt was ruined.
It was the hottest day of the year and our dads decided to have a picnic at the local park with me, my younger brother and sister, and our surrogate mum. On the scale of weirdness, the subsequent storm comes second to the picnic. We were a family under an unspoken social stigma, lacking most social skills in a social environment, so you can imagine the awkwardness. I guess it was Dad 1’s way of dealing with that. “No wi-fi here,” he said as he set out the sandwiches. The rest of us exchanged a look of horror – Dad 2 included, and we promptly turned on our mobile data. It was a far more expensive day out than any of us could have anticipated.
About an hour in, the fluffy white clouds bled to dark grey. They hesitated for a moment as if to say, “watch this”, then unleashed heavy raindrops that stung our skin. Dad 1 scooped everything up in the picnic blanket and we raced back to the car for shelter. I was two–maybe three–steps away when the first bolt of lightning struck me down. In that moment, I smelt overcooked chicken, wet dog and piss.