Something made Diana sit up in bed. She couldn’t tell if she actually heard a crash or if it was in a dream. CJ snoozed beside her blissfully. A storm howled outside.
The bedroom lit up with a flash of lightening.
“CJ. Wake up. I heard something.” Diana still wasn’t sure, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
CJ mumbled incoherently and rolled over.
Diana sharpened her elbows. “Wake up,” she said with a jab to his ribs.
“I heard a noise.”
“Check it yourself. Feminists unite,” muttered CJ.
“Would you get up? I’m serious.”
CJ groaned. “Fine.”
“I think it was downstairs. Maybe outside. It was loud, whatever it was,” said Diana. Her heart was racing.
Diana followed CJ down the stairs and through the kitchen. They were both momentarily blinded when he turned on the lights.
“Nothing here,” said CJ. “Must’a been outside.”
“You should check.”
“First thing in the morning,” said CJ. He looked up at Diana. She stood with her arms folded and gave him a steely glare.
“In the morning,” repeated CJ. Diana stood firm. CJ shook his head and opened the door to the back yard. “What am I gonna do now? It’s dark?”
“Find a flashlight.”
“They’re called raincoats. Please.”
“If I get sick and die I’m coming back as a ghost to haunt you.”
“It’s a deal,” said Diana, handing him a golfing umbrella.
“It’s not a raincoat.”
“Next best thing.”
The wind pulled the door from CJ’s hand. He slipped on the top step of the porch but held himself together.
A gust of wind pulled at the umbrella. For a few seconds CJ windsurfed across the rain soaked lawn. He held on tight. The golfing umbrella became a giant sail. A sudden gust lifted him from the ground.
Helpless against the wind, CJ was launched across the yard. A flash of lightening lit up the wooden fence just before impact. The was a crack of thunder.
There was another crack. Muddy water splashed over CJ as he and the section of fence landed in his neighbours back yard. With another flash of lightening CJ watched as his umbrella floated off into the stormy night.
Diana’s voice echoed in the wind. “Are you okay?”
The lights of the neighbour’s back porch flicked on. CJ saw the darkened figure of an elderly woman in the doorway.
“What’s going on back there?”
CJ groaned. He was still lying in a mud puddle. “It’s just me Mrs. Peterman. Sorry to disturb you.”
“What happened to my fence?”
“The storm, Mrs. Peterman. I’ll fix it, don’t worry,” said CJ. He slowly rose to his feet. It hurt to breathe. Clumps of mud slid from his face.
“You better. I wonder about you kids, today,” mumbled Mrs. Peterman as she closed the door behind her.
CJ slipped and stumbled back home. Diana greeted him with a towel.
“Are you okay, honey?”
CJ slouched onto a kitchen chair. “I’ve seen the other side of the fence. It may not be any greener, but it’s just as muddy.”