It was the wire that saved my life.
It was the summer of my twenty-second year, and I was apprenticing as an electrician. A good job for a small town; even though my boss was a drunk, people still went to him because there was no one else.
It was the lamppost outside Macy Thompson’s house. It had been flickering for several weeks and when it finally died, she called me and Bob to come fix it. He was drunk; he was always drunk. But I knew enough to figure out the problem alone.
A hot day in summer, at high noon. After only ten minutes, I was sweltering. Macy saw and offered me lemonade. I would have been a fool not to accept.
It was light. Refreshing.
When I was finished, I thanked Macy for her hospitality and I went back outside.
The sky was dark. Curious, but only a cloud passing over the sun, I thought. I went back to my work, and saw what might have been the problem: an exposed wire dangling from the lamp. I got my ladder and set it up, and just as I was staring up at the wire, about to climb, the first feather fell.
Forty years have passed, and still we don’t know why the pheasants destroyed our town. For years, Bob’s screams haunted my dreams. But now I have made my peace. I was able to warn Macy Thompson and save our lives that day, because of the exposed wire.