The Lightning Monster

Gillian Goodrich, Grade 8

The TV droned in the background as I played on my phone. The news anchor warned of I intense lightning storms that would start within the hour. The news droned on, and eventually I fell asleep. 

BANG! The noise startled me, and I shot up out of bed. The news anchor was still talking, though she was now telling of the disappearances of 30 people, all within the last hour. Lightning struck, followed by the roll of thunder, and the news anchor disappeared. No warning happened, but after I heard mutters of confusion coming from behind the camera. After that the power flickered out. I crawled out of bed and tiptoed down the hallway. The door creaked open. 

“Mom? Dad?” I whispered into the darkness of their room. Silence. I stepped just as lightning flashed, revealing an empty bed. 

There was no way to tell that there was anyone living on the street.

“Mom!?” I yelled as my voice reverberated throughout the house. Silence. Nothing happened. I climbed down the stairs and felt a breeze. I noticed the door was open. Curious, I walked out. The wind howled as rain hit the street. I grabbed my hoodie and a pair of shoes and walked into the storm. Lightning flashed through the sky as I closed the front door. The street was silent, except for the pounding of rain and the howl of the wind. There was no way to tell that there was anyone living on the street. Windows were dark, and the houses were silent. The lightning was picking up and flashed ten times in quick succession. A beam of light hit the house I was passing, and it caught fire. There were no screams, or signs that they noticed. The fire alarm blared loud and constant. There was no clatter from inside the house, no sounds of movement or cries, just the roar of the flames and the beep of the fire alarm. 

I watched for a moment as the flames devoured the upper floor before continuing down the street. I heard sirens coming down the street, a flash of lightning, tires screeching on the road, and the sounds of a car crashing off the road. The men’s groans could be heard, but eventually they went silent. 

Lights were on, but no one was inside.

I walked on for a while. The lightning grew more and more intense, flashing a bright unceasing white light. It grew stronger, and by the time I made it down the street it was hard to tell when the lightning stopped flashing and the next started. The town was empty. Lights were on, but no one was inside. I peeked through a window, the weatherman who had been talking since the news lady disappeared was gone. 

Another bolt flashed, and suddenly it felt like I was trying to walk in sludge. I felt glued to the ground. I had the strange sensation of something trying to pull me up. My feet left the ground and the air seemed to leave my lungs.

I gasped as I woke up, surrounded by the putrid smell of dead bodies. I sat up and saw what must have been hundreds of dead bodies all around me. Their faces were frozen in fear, silent screams fell from their open mouths. I scrambled to my feet and then I saw it. 

A long, curved knife glistened, coated in a layer of red.

Standing a few feet away, hidden in the shadows, was a single white mask, stained with blood. A long, curved knife glistened, coated in a layer of red. I scrambled off the ground and ran through the woods, trying to put distance between me and the shadow monster. I ran until I was so deep into the woods that I couldn’t see the monster or the field of dead bodies. I paused, and I saw the darkness close in around me, and a single bloodstained mask appear. I backed away, but my foot hit a root and I tumbled onto the ground as the bloody knife plunged into my chest.


1 ~Editor's Note~2The Dragon's Toe3George's 4Exotic Flavor5Paper Cutter 6Masked , Big Fish , A Plant , and Pass, Hit, Set 7The Stories of Colors 8The Lightning Monster9The Rainy Life of the Weather Named Stormy 10Tables, Reflection , Arachnid , and Distant Forest 11Discovery 12Etched Blossoms , Owl, City Scape , and Puppy 13Superior Species 14Those Butterfly Wings , Converse , Tunnel Vison, and A Cloud 15A Sea of Red 16Nebula Metro17Life of a Diary 18Flowers , Swan , Waves , and Grass 19The Dragon's Tooth 20The Girl in a Dress 21Burning Out , Blue Dot , A Southern Feminist's Manifesto , and Silhouette 22The Fire Kindling: Chapter 1 23The Perfect Student , Social Pressures , and The Perfect Student 2 24Patina Nightmare25Eventide26Creative Shutdown, Eye's Through A Looking Glass , Head on Collision , and Writer's Block 27The Road to the Championship 28Reconnecting With Nature , Eos , you were a summer thunderstorm , and Reconnecting With Self 29Senior Spotlight: Ava Muller, Photography, The Landing , Tranquil , One-eyed Flyer , Grief , Dreamer , Fractured , Breakin', Lost Lives , and Lilypads 30Senior Spotlight: Maggie Huffman, Digital Illustration , Nice to Meet You!, Exploration of "Circe", Surfs Up! , The Return of Morales , Companionship , Mandalorian , Ambush , Just Hangin', and The High Priestess 31Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry , Don't, Muse, Being a Boy , In Search of a Cosmos, Overstimulation , Wheels , and Final Moments32Playing Time Struggles, Head in the Game , Sky High , and Moment of Glory 33Pollination , Azure Afternoon , Creator of Color, and Elegant Emu 34One , Fido , Heart Handles , and Early Birds35Dedication: Katherine Berdy