Hungry for Lightning

 
Storms
Breakfast in the kitchen with Tzina.
She delights in watching me as I eat food I’ve never tasted before.
So I let her choose my food for me.

I look out the large windows at the sky, wondering if another great storm will come today.
It’s lightning season.

At night, everyone fears the Krale attacking, even with the Watchtower to protect us.
The great danger in the day is lightstorms.
Each storm with thousands of lightning strikes, and torrential rains.
No one wants to be caught outside in the storms.

Here, on top of the mountain, on an island in the sea, we’re a magnet for lightning.
Lightning strikes the mountain around us, and will attack anyone standing on the open deck.

There’s no reason to fear the storm, while sitting within the Watchtower.
Lightning never strikes the Watchtower, itself, but fear doesn’t need reason.
Most of the Jiku who find themselves in the house during a storm are terrified by the storm.

I’m different.
I love being surrounded by a chaotic, violent web of pure energy.

I’m hoping for another storm.
Yagrin always loved storms, and I was the same way on Earth.
Strange I never noticed that when I lived on Earth.

Tzina tells me about her latest sculpture over breakfast,
how she searched for hours until she found the mindstone,
and how she decided what movements to capture in the sculpture.

She pulls the sculpture out of her bag, puts it on the table, and activates it.
The movements are beautiful and unique, and there’s a symphony of feelings that follow.

“The mindstone copied the good feelings I fed it,” says Tzina.
“It replays them to anyone who watches the sculpture move.”

We watch and feel for a few minutes.
Then she shuts it off, and puts the sculpture back in her bag.

She continues to speak about her art for another few minutes.
I listen to everything she says.
Her words of passion for her art are like a beautiful song.
Still, half my attention is in the clouds.

She takes a bite of food, and then stops in mid-bite.
She notices I’m looking out at the clouds.
Her face lights up as though she has just thought of the greatest idea.

“You have to meet him!” she says.

“Who?” I ask, turning toward her.

Berek. He’s another artist, about 10 years old.”
“His work is absolutely brilliant!”

“He first came to the Watchtower about a week ago.”
“Now he comes every day to work in the art room.”
“You should see his face when the lightning flashes all around the Watchtower.”
“He hungers for lightning, the same as you do.”
“He’s even related to us.”

She has my full attention.

“Are his parents Bintar and Zias?”

“Yes.”
“Oodah said I shouldn’t speak about him with you, but I don’t know why.”
“She wouldn’t tell me.”
“I won’t tell you more, but you can see for yourself.”

“Tzina, I’d love to meet him, but, I’m not sure when I’ll have the time.”
“Maybe, after I finish my training, and take the tests.”

She shakes her head.
“Ina,” she says, almost bouncing out of her seat, “it can’t wait.”
“I feel it.”
“The two of you need to meet each other, and soon.”

I sigh, and my face is dark ,thinking of how much I need to do in the next few weeks.
I also remember Shazira’s request to stay away from Berek until after the tests.

“In a few days, then, Tzina.”

She grabs my right hand and holds it to her cheek, and then kisses it.
“Are you mad at me for asking, ina?”

“No,” I tell her, a smile returning to my face.
“I trust your feelings. It’s me I doubt.”

 
Thunder and Lightning
Tzina takes my hand and pulls me up out of my seat.
Then she virtually drags me through the kitchen, and out the doors onto the deck.

The wind is rising.
It’s overcast, and the air is filled with mist.

I see multiple lightning strikes over the ocean in the distance.
A lightstorm is coming.

“Let’s go inside, Tzina. The lightning will be here soon.”

She shakes her head.

I love the lightning, but it’s not safe to be outside in the storm.
True, the lightning never strikes the Watchtower or the deck, but the lightning is drawn here.
There are endless strikes on the mountain that the Watchtower rests on.
The Watchtower glows in a random series of colors for a moment after each strike.

The lightning bolts often pass through the air, a few feet above the deck.
No one has survived being caught on the deck during a storm.

“Now, Tzina,” I tell her angrily, “we’re going inside!”

She flows into the shape of a Bizra, and moves out of my reach.
Then she flows back into her own shape, and challenges me.
“Ina, sometimes when I was little, you’d bring me out here in a storm, and bind the energy web above us to make a shield.”
“We would watch the storm together, the lightning bursting all around us.”
“You would hold me in your arms, and keep me safe in the middle of the storm.”

“I don’t know how!” I yell.

“You do,” she answers.
“I’m sure of it.”

“I can’t remember,” I tell her quietly.
“Maybe I’m not really your ina after all.”

“You are,” she says defiantly, and walks next to me.
“I know you are,” she says and hugs me, her eyes full of tears.

The storm is upon us.
Without a thought, I feel a vibration in the area around my navel.
That vibration is answered with a vibration in my hands that reminds me of thunder.

I see the energy web above us, and I feel a vibration begin in that web, in the shape of a dome.
The energy in my hands resonates with the pulse above, and a dome of energy protects us from the lightning.

We stand there together without speaking for fifteen or twenty minutes, enjoying the raw energy of the storm.
Then she takes my hand and leads me inside.
“You are my ina,” she says with determination, once we are inside.
“Don’t ever doubt it!”

“I am your ina,” I answer, finally believing it.

 
Quiet
We sit together silently by one of the windows, and hold hands, as I watch the storm with energy eyes.
I see and feel movements of energy that are extraordinarily powerful, like an ocean whipped up by a storm.

We pretend that the universe is only calm.
Then we relax and open ourselves be open to its quiet energy.

There is another kind of opening.
We let go of every weight that holds us down, every fear that makes us small, and open to the powerful, moving flows of energy all around us.
This energy is not confused or QUIET.
The energy is not stuck, hard or WEAK.
It’s powerful like a storm.

Sometimes, it may seem violent, until I step up and accept its power.
Then I am changed.
I become the mountain, the sea, and the storm.
Then, I can bind that power in service to the world.

 
      Read Part 2:Apprentice »
 
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Traveling Home -- 1: WatchtowerPrevious Story
  1. Prologue
  2. Island and Tower
  3. Healing Room
  4. Watchtower Floorplan
  5. Tzina’s Laugh
  6. Dream Room
  7. Storm and Stone
  8. Sweet Music
  9. Memories and Breakfast
  10. History and Change
  11. Dreaming and Weaving
  12. Hungry for Lightning

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