Cast Iron by D. Avery
For about a week afterwards, until they got the new stove, neighbors paraded through their kitchen, all wanting to see for themselves the cast iron pan welded to the cook range by a bolt of lightning.
Their visitors would tug at the pan, offer theories and solutions, shake their heads and exclaim about the strike of lightning; such a close call, a stroke of luck that there was no other damage done.
For each visitor they recounted how the lightning snaked right through the keyhole then expanded and snapped like a whip between the two of them stopped short there in the kitchen, staring at each other over the crackling divide. They both agreed on the details, retold it always the same, describing the bolt as crackling light, a crackling that was observed with all the senses, not just the crumpled aluminum foil sound in the ear, but also felt as hair prickling on cold arms; smelled as a drying rush of chlorine heat in the nose; a crackling so bright to the eye that, though they were but two steps away, for a long blinding moment they lost sight of one another.
They didn’t mention, ever, the fact that just prior to the flash of lightning, her angered breath had been a hot and gusty wind; that the pan had been raised in the air, a thunderhead grasped in her two desperate hands, pealing as she crashed the pan down on the stove top, her fury startling them both, causing each of them to freeze in place as the lightning strike lashed between them.
Forever after the incident, they moved carefully, stepped widely around one another as if the divide remained between them, dangerous and charged, still crackling in the dark aftermath.