During counseling a while ago I had the idea for a race of people who were commonly struck by lightning. I know, right? But I went down a random rabbit hole about lightning and saw some of the crazy, and in many cases beautiful, scars that a lot of survivors of lightning strikes carry after their ordeal. (You know, once all the bruises fade and they’re released from the hospital with a strong distrust of… the sky…). You should look them up, honestly, if that’s something that might interest you. The scars are lightning shaped, which is, you know, vein shaped because everything on this planet is the same as everything else because humans and animals and plants and everything all evolved at different times but efficiency is a thing and nature is amazing and ANYWAY. It’s super cool. 

So this race of people would basically be extremely durable and able to withstand lightning strikes with essentially no problem except for the basic physics of being knocked around and maybe they build a religion out of it or something because some people do that but the FUN SCENE idea I had was essentially:

Protagonist (one of the lightning people) takes off toward the antagonist, murder in her eyes. She’s thickly built and moving like a steam engine. You know it won’t end well and the antagonist knows it, too. They take off (run away, run away, live to fight another day). The protagonist leaps up, well within range to just murder the crap out of this guy when OUT OF FREAKING NOWHERE a blast of lightning comes down and knocks her ass over tea kettle. Whilst in the air, she lets out a mighty roar along the lines of, “SON OF A BITCH.” Or something else as heart-wrenching. Meanwhile, the antagonist thanks their lucky stars and skedaddles the hell out of there.

I just… I love the idea of the protagonist missing out on an opportunity because of something entirely outside of anyone’s control. It’s not a big battlefield full of chaos, it’s not a lucky shot from someone else’s arrow timed just right, it’s a freaking LIGHTNING BOLT. I keep chuckling at the idea. 

This would also happen near the end of the book, so it would be entirely conceivable that the antagonist is about to be taken out. And they probably would be ten pages later (after they both share a momentary glance at the sky, just in case). It has something of the flavor that Sir Terry Pratchett (Discworld) or Bill McCurry (The Death-Cursed Wizard) would write. I don’t have any kind of story beyond that single scene, but I’ve worked with less.

January 23, 2021

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