Writing In Public celebrates the art and intelligence of essays, online and in print.

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Here we go again

Here we go again

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Stephen Wright on being struck by lightning, Christmas, and the spiritually wretched @ Overland.
The other night I was struck by lightning. The summer storms sweep up toward my house from the valley behind the menhir shadows of Nimbin Rocks, like a Groke on a rampage, all grey flying sheets and vast threats.

I was standing in the kitchen idly wondering what I would do if I were hanging from a cliff-face threatened by ravenous tigers above and ravenous tigers below, when the lightning hit.

Lightning at very close range really does go CRACK, a massive machete-edged CRACK, like the sound effects in a Marvel comic. The difference is that to replicate the actual aural impact of a lightning strike, especially one in your kitchen, you’d have to magnify the sound effect by about 800 000, and then compress it into a slice of ruptured air about a nanosecond thick. Then when it’s packed good and tight, ignite it.

In that instant of blistering light and noise, the lights in the house went out, all the pots hanging on the kitchen wall simultaneously rang and were then instantly damped, the modem and the printer in the corner were both fried into extinction, and my body went ZAP – and sparked with something like static electricity that seemed to want to find its way out into the world through my teeth. The house was plunged into darkness while everything outside instantly went brilliantly white and transparent.
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Bedbugs have posed an existential dilemma

Bedbugs have posed an existential dilemma

This stuff will ruin you

This stuff will ruin you