Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Entry #39

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.]


Jim said...

Oh, I like!

k l gilbert said...

I loved the way you made the lineman turn into pure energy...very ironic. Well written.

sue said...

The last two paragraphs had an almost lyrical quality to them and could be transformed into a poem, if the author wished to do so.

Loved the consciousness is energy connection.

Bhaswati said...

Oh this is wonderful! I agree with the others--the image of the man turing into raw energy is electrifying. Nice touch!

JLB said...

This is a wonderfully-written piece. For some reason it got me lost on a memory of when the power cut out to my home in the woods years ago... when I called the power company, there was an automated message stating that there was "an animal caught in the powerlines." Oh how the mind does wander...

Roy said...

This was excellent. You did a lot with 250 words, (or whatever you finally used.) Great ending.

Climbers is plural. I used to be a lineman for the phone co.

Fran Piper said...

Thanks, everyone!

Roy, thanks for the correction. I'd never even heard of climbers before I wrote this, and wasn't sure if you needed more than one. Will remember this for future use!

Sue, I don't do poetry. I know my limitations (or at least that one).

Having read all the other stories for the Reader's Choice, I only wish I could do this writing thing as well as some other people on this site. But I'm grateful for the encouragement - especially from such a great group of writers and appreciative readers.

Elisha Bridges said...

Great imagery! I love the line "It came and got him" and I also love, as others have said, the idea of his transformation into bits of energy.

Great writing.

jason evans said...

Fran, the last two paragraphs really blew me away. Great description. Unique and strong. A great story idea.

High marks for entertainment and pacing.