There was actually time for thought – I remember thinking how strange that was afterwards – not the panicked sort of thoughts, either, more slight confusion when a prolonged sizzling sound filled the tin tent and there was no logical reason for it. We were not on the mains, not connected to the grid at all. By that stage in our life out in the wilderness, we had a generator that charged up some batteries, but at that moment there was nothing plugged in, no power going to anywhere and the generator wasn’t running – so where was the sizzling coming from?
The thought lasted far shorter than the time it takes to read the above paragraph. The sizzling ended with a loud pop immediately followed by a BOOM!!! At that point instinct took over. One moment I was standing in the middle of the dug out room, wondering what was going on, the next I had hurled myself onto the bed in a curled up position. I don’t remember making the move.
It was a lightning strike! When I gathered my wits and dared lift my head again, I went outside, expecting to see that a tree had been blown to smithereens or burnt down one side, but there was no sign of damage anywhere, and I realized the tin roof itself had been hit. The sheets of metal came down and into the ground – there were no walls – the roof basically sat on the ground and the room inside it was hollowed out and dug in. So the lightning had hit the tin and grounded at once so nothing blew apart (fortunately for me). The prolonged sizzle was the strike itself, the pop was when it broke off, and the BOOM was the thunder that goes with it and scares the wits out of you when it’s actually too late to be frightened!
It was an amazing experience. I even had time to think “What IS that?”
Yes, okay, I’ll get back to the writing side of things shortly – just sharing some of my research and living in the wilderness adventures. Only one more to go.