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May 20, 2002
I am eleven years old. There is a fierce thunderstorm raging, and I am afraid. My grandfather tells me he will teach the “little sissy” not be fearful of storms. He locks me outside the house on the steps. A bolt of lightning strikes the telephone lines up the street and follows them down past our house. Even though I am on the opposite side of the house, the force of the voltage knocks me off the steps and onto my back, unconscious. When I awake, my father scolds me for going outside during the storm. Grampa agrees, eyes twinkling.