DESECRATION – Excerpt, Fear of Lightning
Finally, a half hour later, and well on my way to a state of zombieness, I practically fell onto my bed. I tucked my teddy bear, Cuddles, into the crook of my arm and rolled onto my side. I didn’t even blink an eye when Cheeva hopped onto the bed and lay down beside me, with his head on the other pillow. I held up my teddy bear to the arctic wolf. “Cheeva, this is Cuddles and he’s not a chew toy. Cuddles, this is Cheeva and I guess he’ll be sleeping with us every night.” I didn’t even comment on the perplexed tilt of Cheeva’s head. I just closed my eyes and fell to sleep, feeling safe for the first time that day because Cheeva was with me.
I sprang up to a sitting position on my bed, my heart racing frantically inside my chest. Cheeva leapt out of the bed, growling as he searched for the threat in my room.
Through my window, I watched as lightning branched out, illuminating the sky.
I counted silently: one-thousand, two-thousand, three-thousand—
I flinched. Perspiration beaded on my upper lip.
Cheeva stepped over and peered at me, his head tilting to the side.
Embarrassed, I sighed. “I’m afraid of thunderstorms,” I admitted to my familiar. Electricity exploded wildly across the sky once more. “One-thousand, two-thousand—”
I started breathing in and out too fast. I began to see stars hovering in front of my eyes. I was hyperventilating. I tried to breathe slowly in and slowly out, covering my head with a pillow. Although I tried to ignore the storm and think of something else, my mind went to the memory of where my fear of storms began. I’d been five years old, and in my bedroom, this very room, huddled in bed, staring out the same window during a thunderstorm. The lightning had come too close to the keep and finally, a flash of lightning was so bright that it blinded me, and the boom of thunder shook my room like an earthquake. A groaning crack split through the night
and glass shattered as a huge tree branch crashed through my window and
landed on top of me, pressing me down. Rain blew in through the window
and soaked me. I tried to cry out for help, but I couldn’t breathe. The weight
of the branch was suffocating me and the pain—I remembered the painlaced
Even at five years of age, I knew the keep was a massive structure
and I was terrified that no one would get to me in time to save me. I
struggled to suck in air, but my world began to fade to black. In the haziest
part of the memory, I saw my father burst through the door and use his
magic to pull the branch off of my body.
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