Safety Lesson – a story for Patreon

Originally posted on Patreon in August 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

It wouldn’t be a “Thunderstorms” month without a story about Leofric Lightning-Blade, my absolutely most favorite god (sometimes) of lightning.This is set in the Cloverleaf Era – i.e., more than 50 years after the 2011 apocalypse. 

Azule watched from the shelter of a nearby tree, although that was less and less seeming like shelter and more like lightning rod.

The man she had been sent to scout was doing her a favor, although she was certain that he didn’t know it.  He was standing in a ragged circle of children and a few adults, all of them watching in rapt attention as he explained to them what lightning could do if you weren’t careful.

No, not lightning.  He was showing them electricity.

“Like this.”  He murmured a Working and turned towards the forest.  For a moment, Azule thought she’d been found.  But he headed off at an angle from her, all of the children following.  “Give me some distance,” he warned them.  “This might get messy.”

A few moments later, as Azule shifted from tree branch to tree branch, the little group came upon a very, very large boar.  The thing was rooting up trees that were taller than the ones Azule was sitting in, and from the looks of things, it had been doing similar damage for a while.

“Not the sort of thing you want around?” The man seemed to be asking the children, but Azule could see several of the adults nodding their agreement. “All right, kids.  Now, the thing to remember is that these creatures, they are a lot bigger than you.  And they’re going to be able to take a lot more damage than you can.  Like-”  He moved out of the way of the children as the boar noticed him.  Azule could barely catch the Working he did that made the bystanders invisible to the boar, but the creature charged straight at him, ignoring the humans.

“This!”  In a move that was far showier than it needed to be, he sent lightning down into the creature, electrocuting it – and yet it still stumbled to its feet again.

“Now, it’s the size of all of you put together.  So maybe one bolt won’t do it.  But when -”  he zapped the creature with a much smaller-looking bolt  and took a step back, like a docent leading a tour.  “-you touch a wire, your muscles lock up, and all of that lightning is going to hit you all at once.  Got it?  And since none of you are nearly as tough as this boar…”

He finished off the boar with a last zzzap of lightning and a grin.  Azule took the moment to slip away.  She had the information she needed.


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