Lightning Storm In Central Wyoming
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
When she opened her eyes, the carpet was nowhere to be found and Zoe was riding next to Agnes in the passenger seat of their white Buick sedan, a leftover vehicle from the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. The car came with the Olympic ring insignia on the rear bumper. They were heading south through Wyoming towards Colorado and would eventually drive through Texas and head west across Arizona and New Mexico toward California.
Zoe and Agnes were driving south from Thermopolis during the summer to visit a family friend. Most of Wyoming is high plains desert, scrub brush, and sage along with mountains and cattle pasture on either side of the highway. The highway was a two-lane highway, one lane in each direction continuing straight ahead as far as the eye can see. Green highway mileage signs for upcoming towns appeared on the right side of the highway every fifteen or twenty miles, and small farms dotted the landscape with a few cattle or horses grazing off in the distance. The pastureland was marked off from the highway by three single-wire rows of barbed wire fencing used to keep the cattle off the roadway.
Zoe and Agnes were headed straight toward a thunderstorm, southeast on Hwy 26 through Powder River. Zoe watched through the front windshield while Agnes drove. The sky was cloudy, dark and gray, and the rain pelted the roof and windshield of the Buick. Zoe saw a forked spike of white lightning flash across the afternoon sky far off in the distance. Agnes kept driving. Clumps of yellow and sandy brown desert scrub brush, dusty green sage and barbed wire fencing passed by on either side of the highway while the mountains rested lazily off in the distance. Zoe glanced through the windshield and saw another forked streak of lightning flash across the gray sky, only this time it was closer. They appeared to be driving directly into the lightning and the highway only went in one direction, toward the thunderstorm. All Zoe saw ahead of them as far as the eye could see was pelting rain, ominous gray skies and the lightning bolts that appeared to strike the highway directly in front of them, albeit farther off in the distance.
Zoe realized then that they had to drive through the thunderstorm as there was no way around it. Agnes kept driving and Zoe kept a close watch on the highway directly on front of them. Zoe watched the desolate gray skies for lightning and the bright, white flashes grew closer with every strike. This made Zoe extremely nervous. She could not remember whether or not it was raining. She couldn't remember whether people driving in a car were safe from lightning, or whether the rubber tires acted as a grounding device that wouldn't conduct electricity to the car's passengers. Agnes kept driving and Zoe watched the sky.
The desert landscape didn't change, but merely passed them by as the car continued forward until its passengers were in the middle of the storm. Nothing happened except more rain pelting the roof and windshield of the car. Agnes kept driving and after awhile, Zoe did not see the lightning flash in the sky ahead of them anymore although it was still raining. She waited awhile, and when she finally mustered up enough courage, she looked behind her, and saw the that the bright, white lightning strikes were flashing in the sky behind them now. They had driven safely right through the storm - lightning and all. They had come out on the other side. They had survived. ~
Zoe and Agnes make it through the lightning storm and Zoe falls asleep listening to a song on the radio...she has a dream from many years ago where she was swimming in a turquoise blue sea...