Skylark

This evening around 6:30 Buzz and I took our first walk in what seemed like years. There was a flurry of snow and the familiar trumpeting of elephant seals played on the wind, so I had a bit of a spring in my step, and I thanked the universe for taking me off its shit list, at least for the day. I brought along a some bacon that I had folded in a napkin, and as we walked I nibbled and shared some pieces with Buzz.

We headed down into the valley to the Array. The dishes were packed with snow, so I figured there was a fuse blown or a short at the terminal because each dish is equipped with its own defroster.

At the bottom, I checked the box at the ARC and found a spent fuse, which I unscrewed and pocketed, then replaced it with a spare and locked the box and the access door to the terminal.

Suddenly Buzz started barking. But before I could even turn my head, I heard a colossal thunder clap—so loud I ducked—and when I looked up, a giant ball of flaming death was screaming through the atmosphere. I sucked in a breath, backpedaled, and shouted at Buzz to run. But it wouldn’t matter. An instant later the meteor rocketed over my head, the heat from its tail singing my clothes, and slammed into the ice, obliterating dish 20 in a great plume of smoke and white powder.

Once I could breathe normally again, I immediately retracted my earlier pleasantries to the stupid universe, sighed, and hustled over to investigate.