Writing Prompt: Struck By Lightning

I remember going to LDS girls camp as a teenager one summer in the mountains in central Utah where we took the first years on a sniper hunt. Basically we tried to convince newbies we were catching these imaginary ferret-like animals we called “snipers.” At the end, we revealed the hunt was all a hoax. It was pitch black with no stars because of the cloud cover. We’d sent several of the older girls on ahead to make animal noises and shine pale red beams that were supposed to be “sniper eyes.” As we snaked through the trees on the rocky hillside with the first years, sleeping bags in hand and toothpaste on our faces while pretending to look for our quarry (we told the first-years that snipes liked the smell of toothpaste), lightning struck. The sudden blaze of white light was so brilliant it lit up the whole forest for a second or two and, for those of us paying attention, it gave away the location of our “sniper” hoaxes hiding amongst the bushes. The sight gave me chills, and the sense that no one could truly hide from God (or, at least, not His lightning). Then the thunder followed with so much power it rattled in my chest. The experience was freaky and beautiful at the same time. I stood there in awe as the lightning struck several more times to the same effect. It was an incredible moment for me, witnessing the sheer power of nature and realizing just how easily it could destroy me.

Writing Prompt: Struck By Lightning (ND)

Have you ever had a close encounter with the forces of nature? Perhaps you’ve lived through an earthquake, or you swam in the ocean when the waves were choppy and there was no land in sight. Perhaps you’ve watched a tornado touch down in the distance or stood on a wooded mountain top during a lightning storm. What made that moment exciting, beautiful, or inspiring to you? What made that moment frightening? Now write a story in which one of your characters comes face-to-face with the forces of nature and learns something important about themselves as they contemplate both the fear they never knew before and the courage they never knew they were capable of as they fight to survive.

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
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