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"'Adam' means 'man," she nodded. "I already checked."

Light flashed against the curtains, calling Adam's attention away from Charlie. He paused, waiting for the answering thunder. When it came, Adam went to the glass door and stepped into the enclosed garden to see the storm. The leaves on their tree rustled in the wind as a tumbleweed sailed over the high wall and caught itself on one of the rose bushes. Adam turned his face to the dark sky. Sunrise was hours away, but he wished it would come sooner. A thick blanket of clouds were blocking out the moon and stars, and for some unexplained reason, it made Adam uneasy. Maybe it was the strong prevailing winds that made him wish for daybreak, or maybe it was something else. A blinding flash of nearby lightening quickly sent Adam inside.

The thunder shook Villa Rosa so much, that Wally scampered out of bed and tried to jump onto Charlie's nonexistent lap!

"Wally!" shouted Adam, as the dog frantically searched for another place to hide. "Are you all right, Charlie?" He looked his wife over and let out a sigh of relief. "I wish that dog would settle down," Adam breathed patiently. As he said this, Wally dove beneath their bed in response to another crash of thunder.

"Adam, would you get me a glass of water?" asked Charlie. She turned her head to look at Adam, just as the curtains behind him glowed with so much light, Charlie momentarily thought the sun had come out. Then the brilliance disappeared, putting out the bedside lamp and plunging the room into complete darkness.

"Adam?" Charlie nervously called to him. "Where are you? What happened to the electricity?"

"It's all right, Honey," he assured her from the other side of the room. "I think that last lighting strike must've hit a power line." Stumbling through the darkness, his foot stepped on something furry. Wally yelped, and ran to Charlie.

"There, there," Charlie petted her frightened dog. "You're safe."

"Sorry, Wally. I thought you were still under the bed," Adam apologized. "Charlie, where do we keep the flashlights?"

"In the cupboard, under the kitchen countertop."

"After I get a flashlight," said Adam, "I'm calling the electric company to find out what's going on!"

Adam crossed the room, trying not to bump into anything as he moved. His hands were expecting to find the door, when something furry scrambled past his legs. "What was that?" he asked in alarm.

"It was Wally," explained Charlie. "I think she's hiding in the bathroom."

"That dog," mumbled Adam. "I'll be right back, Charlie. Stay in the rocking chair so I'll know where to find you."

Adam opened the master bedroom door, and gazed up at the darkened skylight above the indoor courtyard.

"Who's there?" a startled voice asked Adam.

The courtyard momentarily lit with lightening, and for a split second, Adam saw Chuck standing near his bedroom door.

"Where's Mom?" asked Chuck.
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