“Lightning strikes the earth about eight million times a day, so it isn’t surprising that we get a few strikes around here.”
“I’ve lived here since before colour television, and I can hardly ever remember any lightning strikes. Now you can’t move for the bloody things,” I said, and I was aware of how strange it all sounded.
“What’s your point, old-timer?”
It took a great deal of self-control not to punch the smug bastard in the balls.
“My point, sonny (I never call anyone ‘sonny’) is that several people have been killed by lightning strikes over the past three months and no one seems to be doing anything about it. I lost my best friend and two of my neighbours.”
He narrowed his eyes after the ‘sonny’ crack, and I could see that I was not getting anywhere.
Exactly when did I slip into the old codger age group?
Was a time when I spoke, people listened. I had authority. Maybe they weren’t quite sure why, but I sounded like I should be in charge.
Now, I’m lucky if people don’t laugh when I speak.
I really didn’t mean to say it, but I was so frustrated it just slipped out.
“The fucking aliens, you numbskull. They’re killing people with lightning bolts.
They hit Henry’s house three times before they got him.”
“I heard about that one. Strangest thing,” said the desk sergeant.
“Henry thought so too, the first two times. I don’t know what he thinks now. Not much, I’m guessing. Completely fried!”
The police officer’s natural curiosity had distracted him momentarily, but now he was back.
“Aliens, you say?”
I knew that tone, and I could almost hear someone preparing a cell for me to sleep in tonight.
I was in it now so might as well get it over with.
“Do you remember the 1950’s film, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers?”
Despite himself, the sergeant nodded.
“Well, do you remember that no-one believed it was happening until it was too late?”
The sergeant could see the trap he was walking into.
“Okay, so no-one is snatching bodies, but they are doing away with anyone who would be strong enough to stand against them — when they decide to come,” I said.
Next morning, they fed me breakfast before letting me out of my cell.
The desk sergeant had gone home, but he had briefed his replacement.
“Good luck with those aliens, old-timer,” he said as he handed me my wallet and shoelaces.
I sat in the waiting area and laced up my shoes.
I knew it was only a matter of time before the lightning caught up with me. They know where I live and they have tried once — hit the shed and fucked up all my gardening stuff.
I loved that ride-on mower.
I’ve spoken to everyone I can think of who might be open-minded enough to understand, but all I get is blank stares or the bum’s rush.
Fuck ‘em if they won’t listen.
“Did you hear about the police station being hit by lightning? Killed everyone of them. Newspapers said it was unprecedented,” said my neighbour.
“That’s a big word for our local newspaper. They must have employed someone who can spell, for a change,” I said, and my neighbour looked at me like I was from another planet.
“Come to think of it, there has been a lot of lightening just lately,” said my well-informed neighbour.