by Fran Piper
Jake stared up through the windshield of the electric company truck. Clouds roiled against the darkness, and over towards the horizon, lightning slashed down into the fields. He thought he should head for home; he'd probably be up all night fixing lines after the storm blew through. Then he thought about the empty apartment and the divorce. To hell with it. He stopped the truck, got out, grabbed his climber from the back.
The wind tried to tear him from the pole. When he looked up, the clouds seemed to be coming down to meet him. He monkeyed all the way to the top and clung there, screaming his rage at the boiling sky.
"Come and get me, you bastard, come and get me!"
It came and got him. The hair all over his body stood up suddenly, and his skin tingled. Abruptly there was light; the pole was gone, and he was dancing through the wires, in homes and on streets and stretched along endless lonely roads. His electron fingertips touched street lights, table lamps, giant turbines. He was power, and he was everywhere. Then the transformer exploded, and he felt himself scatter, a billion pieces separating, disconnecting, falling.
The sun rose. Linemen, silent in the early light, prepared to bring him down; while here and there in the power grid, consciousness flickered momentarily, but knew only puzzlement and loss.
[Fran Piper is that unlikely combination, a grandmother and a Silicon
Valley software developer. She writes in the spare time this leaves her.]