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This micro story was published in the University of Phoenix’s College of Humanities and Sciences 1st Quarter Newsletter.

It was a dark and stormy night, and Laura couldn’t stop shaking. Light sparked across the sky in a streak of lightning, followed with a crash of thunder that rattled the windows of her small home. The lightning was so close, so immediate, so… terrifying.

Memories of her childhood and the storm that had destroyed her home so many years ago rushed up to meet her, and her chest constricted with fear, her heart thudding almost as loud as the thunder. The fear threatened to consume her.

The lights in her home flickered, trembled, and then gave up, dousing Laura in complete darkness. Her trembling fingers reached for the flashlight on the table, but it tipped over, rolling off the table and across the floor. In absolute darkness, she slid from the couch and crawled across the floor, her hands seeking blindly for the flashlight.

Another brilliant flash lit up the room, and her eyes quickly spotted the flashlight just a few feet ahead. She crawled to it, snatched it up, and hugged it desperately to her chest, shaking so badly that it took a few tries before she was finally able to turn it on. Armed with the thin stream of light, she crawled back to the couch.

“It’s just a storm,” she whispered to herself. “Just a storm. Everything will be fine.” Trembling and clutching her flashlight, she listened as the storm’s raging thunder grew more distant, moving away from her home. “It’s just a storm…. Just a storm…”

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