Roy C. Sullivan must be the unluckiest man alive. He’s been hit seven times by lightning.  On the other hand, he’s one of the luckiest men.  He lived.

There are hundreds of people struck by lightning every year, and the effects of being struck are never the same.

From a lightning strike support group, the members include:

Cheryl, hit while phoning her husband to warn him about a storm: petit mal seizures. Mike, hit while golfing: completely paralyzed but slowly recovering. Rachel, hit once indoors, once outdoors: no lasting effects. Geneva, hit once indoors, once outdoors: headaches, chronic pain, digestive problems, fatigue, sensitivity to barometric pressure. Angela, hit three times: severe neuropathy, chronic pain, digestive problems, aphasia, apraxia, frontal lobe damage, short-term memory loss and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Not everyone survives.

There are places in the world where lightning is more common than others.  The most frequently lightning struck part of the world is near Catatumbo River in Venezuela, where there are 40,000 strikes every night, for most of the year.

In the United States, Florida has the greatest number of lightning strikes every year.  It is for this reason that, when I developed the character Unnur Guillory for The Branded Rose Prophecy, I made her a local of Lakeland in Florida, where lightning is experienced the most.

Unnur is a lightning strike survivor, who wears a brace on her leg because it has been permanently weakened by the lightning passing through it and into the ground.  She has a starburst scar on her cheek and suffers severe migraines.

She can also tell the future.  She knows her gift was a result of the lightning strike that stirred her brains for her.  As a result of the events in The Branded Rose Prophecy, her abilities are enhanced and magnified.

It’s not a coincidence that her surname, Guillory, is derived from a Germanic name, composed of the elements wil, meaning “will”, and ric, meaning “powerful”.

Have you ever seen lightning strike something or someone?  What was the result?


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