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Three old friends and one new acquaintance were eating dinner at a local brewpub. There was a flash of white and electrified silver wallpaper raining down like charged confetti. Todd, the new acquaintance, actually said this. I'd never met anyone hit by lightning, so I was paying close attention. The current raced up the drainpipe and came blasting through the television program into the attic bedroom. It blew him off his bed. They discovered the wallpaper was metal based. A white flash knocked him onto the floor where rioting lab rats twitched madly through his limbs. He actually said body like fish on land, but I don't think that's as good. He's a computer consultant and maybe it is. Either way, his mother found him there and ran to the neighbors. Todd was only fourteen, the hallways were filled with silver confetti and their phone was dead. When paramedics arrived they located a small burn hole in Todd's back. At dinner he made them talk like surfers, Cool, man, check it, it went right in there! But by the time they reached the hospital, the mark was already gone. Todd pointed at his back where, he noted, it was like the magic bullet, same entry point. That doesn't mean it didn't happen though, I blurted out. But I always do that. It was inappropriate so I added something else. My wife listened patiently. My other friend, Todd's friend Scott, ate also and listened modestly. No, Todd didn't have any flashbacks. Not really, he said. Once while watching television with friends a storm came closer and closer until it was unbearable so Todd rushed over to turn off the television and they all stared at him - it was weird and that was like a flashback, he said. I bit my burger, chewing. My wife was silent except eating and Scott was already finished. The waiter came and left more beer. I'd meant delirium, but why push my luck: dinner was good and we were talking and now I had this interesting story to take home too. My next thoughts would be more unassuming though. Such a delicate balance - one wrong word and all is lost. I would go for as long as I could or until dessert then I would go no further. My wife knew this instinctively though. There's actually a club for us, Todd continued.




a story about it

peter conners