Like a Bolt of Lightning
“Barry, we can’t!”
Her soft voice carried elegantly through the raging storm. A melody that made him shiver. He hoped his voice could carry even half as well as hers. “Electra, I’m coming for you!”
And Barry started climbing. It was a long way up. The Ground was vast, and the Cloud was so far away. Still, even from such an unfathomable distance, he could feel Electra’s pull, like gravity while he defied it.
Their connection had been instant. It was impossible for him to describe; words seemed inadequate. His whole self simply knew that he had to have her. And so he rose.
“No, Barry, it’s not meant to be!” Others like him lived on the Ground, and many had begun climbing, too, albeit in the wrong direction. Between their shouts and cries, Barry heard her and wondered. She had been so eager, so ready, to join. Something had changed, and Barry couldn’t understand. But the pull was still there, and he needed to follow it.
Up and up he climbed, the Ground and his life receding in the wake of his ascension. The Ground held a lot of memories, good times with great friends. But he knew he was being called. And he had to listen, to follow and feel it. That subsumed everything else. His life, reduced to one purpose, and she floated high in the sky, waiting for him.
At least, she should have been up there still. She had stayed quiet as he rose to a scary height. He decided to check on his true love. “Electra, I must be with you!”
It may have been the distance, but she sounded softer when she replied, though Barry was still relieved. “Barry, I do want to be with you, too. But I’ve discovered a terrible secret….” No, not distance. Timidity softened her. “I-if we touch, we die!”
About then, Barry watched Electra emerge from the base of the Cloud. The shock passed quickly, and oh, was she stunning! Hundreds of her friends were streaming past and away from her, much like his friends were doing. But amid the chaos, Barry could easily find his Electra. The pull strengthened, and he sped up, an instinct kicking in.
Part of him registered her wavering words and her mounting fears. And for a moment, he shared in her trepidation. But it passed fleetingly as his attraction deepened. He shouted up to her as air particles rushed by. “Wouldn’t it be worth it?”
He then wondered if that was the best way to approach what was apparently a sensitive topic. Her screech confirmed it was not. “What?!”
With both of them moving, the distance between them was closing much faster. And with the angry gray backdrop of the Cloud, he could see Electra leaving faint traces of her trail as she fell, delicate strands that stayed sturdy in the roughening wind. His body buzzed as he neared her. “If that’s how it’s meant to be…then let’s do it. Together!”
He cringed at the cheesiness of that line. Electra was classy and refined; she’d never go for such a weak move. He felt his own trail weakening, and the sable shadow of doubt chased him on his way up. Perhaps she was right. Maybe he and she weren’t meant—
And he climbed faster. His core was an ecstatic choir. Every piece of him knew it was right, it was what needed to happen. All of the others who were climbing and falling disappeared from view, blocked out by the song of his purpose.
But fear clambered up the trail he left. He had never touched Electra before. What if he did it incorrectly? Were they both to die, he supposed it would be pointless to fret. Still, he wanted to share his elation appropriately in whatever time remained.
Fear and joy duked it out as Electra’s trail widened and began to glow. They were close, so very close. Barry sensed his body welling with energy. A storm more ferocious than the one outside raged within him.
And then she was there. Time blew away in the whipping winds, and her beauty radiated through the still and stony gray. An eternity slipped into a moment, their togetherness the only feeling that mattered in the universe. He watched with terror and joy as her trail — and then her body — glowed and heated to a striking white.
Her look suggested the same was happening to him, and he beamed as their lights joined in the darkened sky. The energy surged, white hot, as he touched Electra. A torrent of happiness traveled up, up into the Cloud. He savored the ecstasy and waited for the death Electra had promised.
Instead, another surge passed through him, bigger and stronger. She laughed with joy as she realized her error and shuddered as the bolt flew through her, then him, before a powerful blast rent apart the sky and blew a hole in the Ground, sparking the dried land ablaze.
Free from the looming specter of death, Barry gasped as their glows receded. But she still beamed as she fell onto him. They descended slowly through the air thickening with smoke from the Ground far below. Licks of flame tickled them, and winds swirled and howled in a rising conflagration.
But, connected, they fell.
Even physics particles need their soap operas.
Thanks to sister Alyssa for editing. And thanks to the Dev Team, including EEsDoNotItNow, Asdamk, DrummerMax64 and YFWE.