We were awoken long before dawn by the demon of the heavens.
Jolted out of sleep, I lay quaking, with a a vision of some vast, dark being swarming through the skies directly above me, roaring - racing, chasing, in furious pursuit of I knew not what.
I understood why small creatures quiver under stones and hide in undergrowth.
It is suddenly essential to be invisible in the face of such uncontainable rage.
Is that what it's like on a battlefield?
The barely controllable instinct to turn tail, to burrow in, to be anywhere except in the line of such cataclysmically terrifying sound. Heavy guns, coming out of nowhere.
They say we are born with a fear of loud noises.
Today it was just thunder. The worst I remember.
And the speed with which it rolled away only augmented the unbidden picture in my head, as if the beast had merely trodden on my lair as it sped through the halls of heaven in pursuit of other prey.
Not so for everyone.
As the crossfire took over from the big guns - the breath-stopping staccato of wind-driven hail exploding against the roof - I turned over in my warm, dark nest and snuggled down again - my heart beating faster, but my body and lair unscathed.
I closed my eyes, but other unbidden visions came to mind.
Of ordinary people, just like me, around whom demons roar, but who are not unscathed.
The list goes on...
Since posting this I have heard of two houses nearby - one belonging to friends - that were struck by lightning even as I lay shivering in bed. In one, skirting boards, floors and pipes exploded, in the other wiring, electrical equipment and computers were trashed.
Mercifully, no people or animals were harmed.