Humor Fiction posted September 16, 2020

This work has reached the exceptional level
(573 words) The sound of thunder brings back memories.

Jacko And The Thunder Box

by LisaMay

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Grandma Flossie held little Caleb on her lap, soothing him while the thunderstorm raged outside. She glanced across to her husband, Jacko, catching his eye as he read the horse-racing guide. A knowing look passed between them. 

“My gammy old leg sure gives me hell on these stormy days,” he commented, wryly. 

She smiled sympathetically, feeling lucky to be sharing their old age together. While she crooned a lullaby to Caleb, her mind went back to another storm she’d witnessed, far removed from their current suburban safety.

*  *  *

When Florence heard the wattle branches whipping against the walls and the corrugated iron roof banging in the wind, she knew the storm was nearly upon them. She’d listened to the weather report on the short-wave radio earlier in the morning – the Queensland cattle station’s means of communication with the rest of Australia.

Jacko was out among the stringybarks, chopping timber for fencing. He’d left early while the kookaburras were cackling, soon after brekky. 

“It’ll take more’n a few raindrops to keep me home, Flossie m’darlin’. There’s work to be done.”

After listening to the radio for a while and chatting briefly over the static to Ness at Northburn Downs, Florence made a batch of scones for Jacko to come home to. As she scraped the last of the blackberry jam into a small dish she glanced out the window and was concerned by how dark it’d become. 

There was an ominous feeling of suppressed energy in the air, then it flashed alive in a vicious, brilliant fork. A couple of seconds after, thunder cracked.

Florence was anxious. I hope Jacko’s okay. There would definitely be more than a few raindrops.

*  *  *

“Struth! I’ll be buggered!” 

Jacko couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The words were out of his mouth unbidden, as the bull dropped dead in the paddock, hit by lightning. 

“I’d best hightail it back to the homestead!”

He smacked his axe into a log then began jogging along the bush track towards home as the rain swept in. Lightning zinged and crackled overhead, accompanied by noisy rumblings.

The trees had kept him marginally sheltered, but he knew he’d turn up looking like a drowned rat at the back door if he braved the open expanse to the homestead. The track went past the dunny, so Jacko decided to shelter there until the worst of the storm passed over.

He figured he needed to take a dump anyway. He could sit out the storm under cover and read the racing guide he’d put there yesterday for toilet paper. 

*  *  *

Thunder rumbled around the homestead, rattling the windows. Just as another zig-zag lightning strike zapped the view into sharp light, Florence looked out the kitchen window through rivulets of rain, searching for a sign of her man. She clapped her hands to her ears as a crack of thunder split the air right above the house. 

Her eyes widened in horrified disbelief as she saw her husband, clutching a newspaper and with his corduroy pants around his ankles, flying sky-high on a wooden toilet seat, heading for Mars while yelling S-H-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-T!!!

He fared better than the bull and lived to tell the story.

It was a fart that would go down in family history – the day Jacko rode out the storm and nearly went into orbit on a toilet seat powered by a methane gas explosion.


Thunderous Days writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story about a character who is stuck outside in the middle of a huge thunderstorm.


Author's Note:
'Thunder box' and 'dunny' are both Aussie slang terms for a rudimentary outside toilet, situated away from the main house.
"Struth! I'll be buggered!" is an expression of extreme surprise. Struth is an exclamation from late 19th century Australia, abbreviated from "God's truth".

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