Dancing in the Storm

Here is the beginning of a short story I have been working on that is totally influenced by the Ninth World.


It began as so many other things do, with a dumb kid, doing something exceptionally dumb, on the worst possible day to crawl out of a bed.

I grew up in an orphanage--nothing special there. Lots of people can't handle life as they find it and throwing a little bundle of crying need into the mix is not a component for making life easier.

So lots of kids filled the orphanage where I grew up.

There was a storm coming - common enough occurrence that would generally be ignored by anyone other that farmers and travelers.

But out here, the storms are never common.

The clouds were silvery bottomed, spitting black forks of lightning that sucked in the light around them and disappeared with only a purple after image seared into your sight and a thunderous boom that shook the whole place.

A bet...or dare. Other kids say that dancing in the lightning can make you a god, or a monster...or a lot of times just dead. The idea of death seemed more of an after thought, and honestly, of the three, what was the real difference?

I'd heard all the talk, and a few times even watched a small figure make the fateful break from the cover of the orphanage buildings and into the open plains to take their chances. We never saw any of them again--well aside from a few empty, blackened shoes we would find. If we got out there soon enough after the storm passed sometimes they'd still be smoking. But usually there was nothing.

The sisters running the orphanage don't like hearing that someone had run off into the storms. But they don't shush the talk and aside from their half-hearted admonishment, they don't seem too determined to stop the next kid that got the idea into their head to take the chance. Its not that they don't care--they do--and there'd always be an extra prayer or even a few tears when they find out someone ran the storm. Things were hard though, and the sisters had enough on their plates tending to the basic needs of so many that it must'a been hard to muster much more in the face of such constant pressure.

A god. A monster. Or dead.

All three sounded a fair trade to dance among the lightning.

Besides... I had a plan.

My name is Devlin. I'm a clever jack...and that was the first day I every rode the lightning...
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