What happened when lightning hit the circus tent while the Avalons were performing?

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When the narrator is recounting the three times her mother saved her life, she begins by mentioning how her mother narrowly survived a tragic trapeze disaster while she was pregnant with her first child. The narrator's mother was a renowned trapeze performer named Anna Avalon, who was partners with her...

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When the narrator is recounting the three times her mother saved her life, she begins by mentioning how her mother narrowly survived a tragic trapeze disaster while she was pregnant with her first child. The narrator's mother was a renowned trapeze performer named Anna Avalon, who was partners with her husband, Harold Avalon. Together the Flying Avalons would travel throughout the country astonishing audiences with their death-defying mid-air performances. One overcast day, Anna and Harold were in the middle of their trapeze performance when a lightning bolt struck the main pole of the circus tent, interrupting their routine in mid-air and causing Harold to plummet to his death. Fortunately for Anna, she was able to grab a hold of the extremely hot metal wire in mid-air and break her fall. She survived with minor injuries, which included a broken arm and severely burnt palms. Tragically, Anna hemorrhaged on her way to the hospital and ended up losing her baby. Overall, three people died in the accident and Anna Avalon survived with minor injuries.

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The narrator is relating the convoluted story of how she came into the world. Her mother, Anna Avalon, was a famous acrobat, part of a circus act with her husband, Harold. Together, the "Flying Avalons" were renowned for their extraordinary acrobatic skill and death-defying feats.

But one day, tragedy strikes. The Avalons are in a big circus tent performing their daring blindfold trapeze act. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning strikes the tent, which immediately starts to collapse, sending Harold crashing to his death. Anna, who's pregnant, survives by grabbing hold of a braided wire, still hot from the lightning strike. Although she suffers some nasty burns and a broken arm, she survives. Unfortunately, however, Anna subsequently loses her baby due to a hemorrhage. It is while convalescing in the hospital, that she meets and falls in love with a doctor, the man who will become the narrator's father.

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