There came a crash ,bright flash and the sudden sound of 1000 little hammers into the silence.
We all jerked in unison and leapt to our feet the sound of chairs scraping lost in the racket. We looked at one another. Tension sharp in my friends faces.
I caught the crisp almost acrid scent of ozone Lightening. “Was that thunder and lightening?” Anna asked.
“It was close.” Tawny answered raising her voice to be heard over the loud pelting noise. Anna ran down the hall, I presume to check on the children. Tawny and I went to the front door and opened it. Golfball sized hail was falling.
At the far end of the yard a tree was on fire the flames turning to smoke and dying out altogether as we watched.
Anna joined us at the door,” They are sleeping like little logs.” She reported.
“Bob isn’t. Poor guy looks terrified.”
I pointed to my truck. There he hunched meowing wide mouthed at me through the windshield. I looked at the white missiles shooting from the sky and looked at my poor terrified cat. I had been inside that truck in a storm like this; the noise inside reaches deafening levels. I thought of his sensitive hearing and all he had been through with me. I didn’t hesitate. I ran. Jackhammer hail slammed into me. Anna and Tawny yelled for me to stop.
To late. I saw the eyes peering from under the running board. My heart lurched. No stopping now Bob was in there! I launched myself to the top step swinging the door open as I hit. Bob was ready. Like a bullet he was gone. Still in motion I slammed the door and jumped as far as I could off the truck, everything slowed I could hear my heart beat like an echo my breathing far away. The coppery taste of fear made me want to wretch. My feet touched the ground and the world sped up. I hit wet grass off balance sliding in the grass for a moment my ass touched the ground but like a kid on a slip-&-slide I swung my feet regained my momentum and sprinted. It almost had me. Something cold brushed my waist a moment of tension on my shoulders. Then my shirt tore. I slipped again propelled forward by the sudden lack of restraint. I wanted to turn and glance back but could see the look of horror on my friends faces and knew it still chased me. There was a loud crack and bright flash to my left. I jumped and almost fell again. Was it this far to the truck? Behind me screaching erupted, making the hair on the nape of my neck stand up, and then silence. No human or animal that I ever heard of made that noise. My whole being shuddered and shied away from that thought. I made it to the waiting arms of my friends and we all turned to look into the empty yard. Not a sign of what had attacked me. Not a sign of who had saved me either.
The air stank of gunpowder and terror.
“Bob?” I gasped. “He is inside” Tawny answered, still staring out into the storm. Anna pulled me into the house ordering Tawny to close and lock the door. We complied out of shock more than anything else. “Did you see it?” I sucked in a breath. “We saw something ” Tawny answering haltingly. ” A form with glowing red eyes. Blackness poured out from under your truck and reached for you.” I felt weak at that. Like the night in my room. Anna appeared with thick fluffy towels and a blanket. “The kids are still asleep and Bob is with Jason.” Relief washed through me. Bob would never forgive me for this fiasco. Tawny brought me a cup of coffee and tub of ice cream. The warm aroma of the coffee doing more to sooth my nerves than a seditive could.
“I think it’s time we got some answers from Miss Jeanie” Anna spoke with a mothers firm determination from the front window. “I agree” Tawny stepped next to me the firey red headed anger crackling in her eyes.
I felt to much gratitude and love to speak.
We researched the links on the website we had read and randomly searched terms related. Then we made a plan to go together to confront Jeanie and get answers. Tawny had an appointment with an important client in the morning, so Anna and I would go, and we would all meet up afterwards.
Feeling we had accomplished something and noticing the storm abating. We decided to sleep. The adrenaline that had coursed through us earlier had left us wrung out.