Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Thunderstorm

Jack and Anna are laughing as they race their bicycles around the front lawn. The distant sky is dark. Lightening periodically flashes in the sky. It looks like our neighbours  are getting rain. I inhale deeply. Aah, the fresh smell of approaching rain.
 Big, wet splats of rain begin to fall, and with a speed that shocks us the storm is upon us. An angry wind begins to thrash around us. There's an almighty, ground shaking clap of thunder that scares the living-daylights out of me. "Quickly. Get inside," shouts Jack. I hear the urgency in his voice. Anna doesn't. She's a good girl and wants to put her bike away, so it doesn't  get wet. "Quickly," Jack shouts again, grabbing her roughly and hauling  her through the front door. Anna is crying. She's worried about the dogs outside. Jack opens the door, just a crack and without further invitation, three wet, quivering dogs shove through, falling over each other to get in.
With that, there is another earth- quaking boom, and a bolt of lightning that strikes the floor in the entrance hall.  The lights go out. Jack slams the front door closed. All this has taken place in a matter of seconds. More thunder and lightning  follows, and a sheet of water such as I've never seen before, torrents down, lashing against the windows. Man, it's scary. Anna's eyes are large in her pale face, and her clammy little hand grips mine. For once in her life she is shocked into silence.
The three dogs are all trying to squeeze under the coffee table. I'm hunting for matches to light a candle. It's only four in the afternoon, but it's as dark as night.
As quickly as it came, the storm subsides. The stove, television, satellite  dish and telephone are not working; struck by lightning.  We are all feeling a trifle shattered, and gingerly we venture out to inspect our drenched surroundings. We've had 46ml of rain in twenty minutes. Its caused a flash flood and a river is gushing through our garden.
Our spirits instantly lift. Rain in the Karoo is always something to celebrate. The three of us climb onto the motorbike and drive through the river that our road has become. There's a magical light in the evening sky that glows golden, pink and rosy. Just like the warm, fuzzy  glow in my heart.
Madam Brattex

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