Lightning and You
We are sitting in the hanging chaise swinging back and forth. The grasshoppers haven’t started chirping yet. The wall crawling lizards with their flicking tails and bodies that like to peek out of the shadows to soak up the sunlight have all hid. Flies buzz over our lemonade, leftover potato salad and day-old meatloaf. I look at my paint splattered shoulder and then at your sun kissed neck. Your hand is sticky in mine, so you let go. Your lips and teeth are viridian from the popsicle you had earlier. It is like looking at a negative image of you.
The sky is amethyst, and I am taken back to the time I was ten, the first time I experienced lightning. I thought the world was ending, but my father gave me a bowl of vanilla ice cream, a cold shock, creamy on my tongue as he told me not to be afraid. The rain fell like my brother’s tiny toy soldiers, hitting the panes. I felt like I was falling underwater slowly.
You remind me of the time I ran outside in the rain, goosebumps chilling my skin. I should be scared of now—the way the static and the heat clings, crackling the grass, stiff as straw, but all I can think about is what it would be like to paint you.
About the Author: Candace Hartsuyker is a first-year fiction student in McNeese State University’s MFA Program. She has been published in Foliate Oak, Foxglove Journal, The Ginger Collect, Former Cactus, Anti-Heroin Chic and Bending Genres Journal.