Russell Banks, "Lobster Night"

A bartender at an upstate New York roadhouse has conflicted feelings about her flirtatious married boss.

(from Contemporary American Short Fiction)

He looked at her. “Lightning! Jesus! Are you kidding me? How the hell did that happen?”

“The way it always happens, I guess. I was doing something else at the time. Going up the stairs to bed, actually, in my parents’ house. It was in a thunderstorm, and I reached for the light switch on the wall and bam! Just like they say, a bolt out of the blue.”

“But it didn’t kill you,” Noonan tenderly observed.

“No. But it sure could’ve. You could say it almost killed me, though.”

“But it didn’t.”

“Right. But it almost killed me. That’s not the same as ‘It didn’t kill me.’ If you know what I mean.”

Possible reasons Stacy did what she did.
1. Having once been struck by lightning, she’s a little messed up in the head.
2. Having once been injured while skiing, and thus ending early her promising future in the sport, she’s a little messed up in the head.
3. Having been conflicted about her boss’s advances, and the weasley way he denied them, she finally snapped.
4. Her empathy for the bear and the lobster inspired her to exact her own cruel brand of justice.
5. She’s just messed up in the head for no reason the author cares to share with us.
6. Other. Read it here and tell me.

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