The Hundredth Meridian

Night Vision

“I hear thunder,” Ivalene said in a puzzled voice, looking up to the blue sky stretched tight across the great canyon.

“How could there be thunder?” Will Ford demanded.  “There isn’t a cloud in sight.  They must be blasting somewhere close by to here.”

“So how could they be blasting, smart-ass?” she retorted.  “Blasting isn’t allowed in, like, national parks—you know?”

The low rumble sounded again almost under their feet, and Will Ford, looking at his boots, saw the head of the thunder cloud eight hundred feet down, flashing like a lightbulb between the walls of the side canyon.  “Well I’ll be danged,” he said.  “Look at that, would you?  A guy comes all the way out here to the Grand Canyon for a little R and R, and it sounds just exactly like Baghdad on a slow day.”

“How could anyone possibly compare the two?” Ivalene retorted.  “Thunder is the voice of Gaia, Will—the goddess of nature, goodness, and peace.”

Will Ford was about to answer her when he thought better of it.  Brains, after all, weren’t the reason he kept Ivalene around to begin with.  Even so, it wasn’t always easy having a tree-hugger for a girlfriend.  “Maybe you better get dinner started now, before that thing...

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