The Thunder God (Flash Fiction)

“BOOM BOOM BOOM!” shouted Bob. “I am The Thunder God!” He slapped his open palm onto the metal trashcan lid and marched through the living room. His mother, who was trying to find any excuse to be upstairs, finally found the end of her Thunder God rope. She flung open her bedroom door and poured a voice of anger down the stairs.

“Bob! Outside now!

The banging on the lid stopped, and Bob craned his blonde head around to look toward the stairs. A heavy silence fell into the room, and Bob grew nervous. His mother was a sweet woman, but when she lost her patience she lost it all. It occurred to him now how loud he had been, and for how long. But the silence sustained, and Bob took that as his one and only chance to escape the house with his hide. He slipped through the kitchen and out the back door. He took extra care to not let the screen door bang against the frame.

Outside, he looked up and saw a sea of gray. Thick clouds were rushing in from the west and swirling like a mosh pit. Small dots stained the sidewalk and wind pulled at the trees. Bob frowned. His first day as The Thunder God was already meeting heavy resistance from the stubborn portions of reality. He stood himself up, took and deep breath, and began to pound on the lid once more. He rounded the side of the house and soon his chorus of triumph rang out across the emptying streets. An older woman, slow up to move up her front steps on swollen knees, stopped to look back. Her toothless mouth fell open with confusion. Bob pounded even louder, happy to see his godly presence evoke such response.

The sky flashed like a camera and Bob froze mid-step. More drops fell from the sky, and more of the sidewalk was turning to a darker shade of gray. Bob waited for the thunder, and the thunder certainly came. It rolled in slowly, lulling him into a false sense of comfort that the sound would be short and low. But the rolling sound folded in on itself, like a wave crashing on the shore, and a mighty clap boxed his ears. Bob dropped his trashcan lid in surprised fear and sprinted for the front door.

As if waiting for that moment, the sky began to fall. Rain fell to the ground in torrents while Bob struggled with the door. There was another flash, brighter than before, and Bob felt his hand clamp down on the metal knob. The strength of childish fear bound him to the door. Even when the thunder came and shook his small frame, his grip remained unbroken. Without realizing, Bob had begun to cry. He screamed for his mother in the pouring rain. While he cried and the storm raged, his mother struggled with the door on the other side. Another flashed surprised his grip and the door swung open.

His mother saw him there, wide-eyed and already dripping wet, as another shock of thunder went by. When she scooped him up into her arms, he vowed to never again be The God of Thunder.

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