I sat, bolt upright in my bed, primal instinct taking over, wide awake, looking out my window, sensing danger.
A brilliant flash of lightening right outside my window, right in front of me!
Immediate, deafening. I cannot describe the sound. It's as if the harpies in hell let out a scream.
I leap from my bed and run out into the hallway, thinking that that was far too close. Flash again, and the thunderous sound shatters through the still summer air shaking the building. Zeus himself, king of the gods of Olympus, is on the roof of my penthouse,throwing his bolts of lightening down around us. My flatmate, Jerry, comes out his room and we make our way to the livingroom to see the coming storm. Another flash, right out on the beach, another deafening thunderbolt screams through my ears. There's no need to count between the flash and the sound, the storm is right over us, we are the storm. There is no time increment small enough between the speed of light and sound at this moment. They are one and the same.
But there's no rain. No clouds. No darkened skies. Another flash, and another, and another and three window shaking thunderous roars blast around us. I admit to feeling fear. This was scary. Intense. Like I said, primal. The instinct of our human ancestors, deep in pre-history, who ran and hid, shaking at the wondrous and deadly forces of nature around them are right at the surface. I am shaking at the wondrous and deadly force of nature, all around me. It's scaring the piss out of me. Then the rain comes. Drips, drabs, slowly dotting the pavement below. Then the wind, first breezy and then gusting, and then, a locomotive, increasing with the rain's intensity. The heavens open up over us and the rain is coming down, in all the cliches: buckets, sheets, cats and dogs. It's a torrent of water falling from the sky, nearly blotting out the shapes of the buildings around us. Then, the gods begin to send more from their lofty throne of clouds. Hail begins to ping, crash, slam, ping, dent, ping all around us. It's as if it's a cosmic game of marbles, gone terribly wrong. The beach bums are running, everywhere, anywhere, to find shelter from this new and painful stinging bounty from the sky. I watch through the bathroom window as the hail stones tear a beach umbrella apart.
Zeus will not be denied his power and reminds me of his terrible might as another lightening bolt slams the ground not fifteen feet away from where I stand and thecacophony of sound once again shakes my soul. The smell of electricity and ozone permeates the air and I back away from the windowsill. It's metal. I am taking no chances.
Then more flashes, more thunder but now, there is a delay between them. The storm is losing it's power. Zeus has taken flight and is moving eastward, throwing his powerful bolts at other helpless mortals, the winds die down. The streets are now swirling rivers, swollen with the deluge of water that fell from the sky in a matter of minutes, the hailstones are melting. Apollo once again commands his chariot of the sun breaking through the clouds. Intense and bright.
And then it was over.
I retreat back to my bed. Shaking at the wondrous and deadly forces of nature, knowing how small and insignificant we are when Mother Earth unleashes her gods upon us.
I am a life long resident of this little island on the east coast of New Jersey and I am the walking representation of Atlantic City. Which doesn't say much for the city. I'm a professional party guest.