One Time I Didn’t Have a Flashlight (Originally Written in October of 2011)

One of my non-writing hobbies is collecting flashlights…At all times I either have one on my person or very close to me. I feel naked without one and it troubles me greatly when I can’t have one with me (very rare does that happen.)

Here is the story and I hope you enjoy:

I was a senior in high school when this happened to me:

~January/February 2006

I would always sleep with my Mini Maglite in my pants pocket, and this night was no different. In Louisiana, the late winter is almost, always very stormy. We get severe thunderstorms and sometimes even tornadoes very frequently around this time of the year. This night was one of those stormy nights.

I lived about 2.5-3 miles (as the crow flies) south of the BNSF Lafayette Subdivision Mainline and a strong north wind had been blowing. There was also a severe thunderstorm going on in the night, which knocked off the electricity. I was sleeping on the living room sofa as I had usually done every other night.

In the course of my sleep; my Mini Maglite had fallen out of my pants pocket and deep into the sofa. I had woke up in the middle of the night to the crash of thunder and realized the electricity was off. I reached in my pocket for my flashlight but it wasn’t there. At the same time a high speed freight train was passing through my town (I didn’t realize it was a train at the time.) The north wind was still blowing carrying noise of the train further to where I lived. Usually in that part of Raceland you have to be outside to hear the train passing through. However, with the north wind blowing, the sound was much louder. My mind didn’t process all of this right away and one always has 20/20 vision in retrospect.

I panicked, as I had heard many people describe the sound of a tornado similar to a freight train. The electricity was off and there was a bad storm going on even further caused me to assume that there was a tornado. I seriously thought it was headed straight for me. I fumbled around in the dark trying to get to my parents’ bedroom and warn them when:

I heard the horn of the train.

I initially thought it was warning sirens; but then thought to myself “…wait a minute Lafourche Parish does not have warning sirens, right?” I realized it was a train and not a tornado, but was still shook up and distraught because at the time I was a severely back-slidden Christian; I was wondering what would happen if it was time for me to meet my Maker.

At daybreak the electricity was back on, and I reached deep into the sofa and found my trusty Mini Maglite. All was well, sort of.

I enjoy telling this story, and I wonder if anyone has similar stories they would like to share about times they wish they had a flashlight.

Back to “Personal Reflections”

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