POV: Third person
Subject: Father, Thunder & Clever
Barry’s father Brian was a great man. He wasn’t exceptionally intelligent, diligent or even particularly perceptive of anything that happened around him but he was a great man nonetheless. After all, brains were not required for Brian’s role in life. You see, Brian was a man of ideas, a thinker and a creator. Among his most formidable talents was the impressive ability to conjure seemingly ludicrous ideas into reality.
Brian’s crowning achievement was his theory of thunder. Thunder always follows lightning, right? Wrong! Brian theorised that really this was all some big misunderstanding and that the two elements were completely unrelated, only coincidentally appearing together. Madness you say? Well now, people said that about Einstein and Newton too you know.
Brian died two years ago after sustaining several thousand volts of electricity to his highly conductive bodily regions.
Although Brian’s brain was fried, along with all remaining trace of his genius, his legacy lived on in Barry. Barry, I’m almost certain to say, had a somewhat troubled childhood. There is no evidence to support this theory but, and let’s be honest here, how could he not have?
Barry idolised his father, believing his traits to be the pinnacle of mankind’s development. Evolution? Pah! Wanton abandon and a complete disregard for the established laws of physics was the way to go. How on earth could you refute science’s teachings without nearly killing yourself in the process. It truly seemed like the only answer. A most noble cause.
So Barry resolved to prove his father’s crazed hypothesis. He waited until a particularly stormy night, one where the thunderous rumbles followed very closely the illuminated sky flares. It is safe to say that no man has been more excited to see a storm than Barry was on that night. He stared into the night, watching the falling rain in a sort of comatose awe, before punching the air jubilantly and running to his garden shed. In hindsight that was probably one provocation too far.
He gathered up several metal washing line poles that he had been saving for this very occasion and raced to the edge of a nearby field. The land sloped steeply upwards and he climbed defiantly, tumbling over the turned ridges of claggy earth and stumbling through the deep furrows slicked with rain. At the field’s apex he stopped to assemble the poles, tying each one together tightly with wire-cored twine. He plunged his newly made lightning rod into the earth triumphantly and stood, his beaming idiot face aimed to the sky, waiting for the promised results.
Few intelligent thoughts ever passed through Barry’s mind. His was not the sort of brain that could hold those kinds of things. Barry’s father discovered that there are two sorts of brains: ones that hold ideas like a bucket that holds water and ones that filter ideas like the way a sieve doesn’t hold water.
So Barry was a giant sieve; certainly not the worst label he’d ever been assigned. But in that moment, clutching gleefully a large metal pole, a thought came to him, an idea so incredible that he just had to follow up on it. The feeling was intense, unlike anything he had experienced before. Synapses fired, neurones connected and suddenly everything in the world was as clear as pure as crystalline water. That’s when it struck him.
They never did write anything on his gravestone. What could possibly be said? He’s down there now, deep in the earth; such a shame that he didn’t have that protection before. He conspires together with his father now. I wonder what their next great plan will be. I heard a theory that the afterlife is all just a ruse anyway.