Fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty!”
Hide-and-go-seek was the order of the evening. Two days of rain with no signs of stopping meant mud, mud, and more mud. Jenny already knew where the kids were. They always hid together and in the same spot. Twins like to stick together, it seemed.
“Where could they be?” she said convincingly as they giggled somewhere in the house. She tiptoed down the hall and peeked into their room. “Goodness, I will never find them! Maybe...here!” she shouted as she dropped to the floor and pulled the covers back.
“Err, guess not...” she murmured searching the empty space under the bed. “How about...here!” she shouted again, this time at an empty closet. They’re really making me work for it this time, she thought. Nothing in the bath, no one in the laundry...she knew they were too scared to venture in the basement but decided to check after she’d exhausted all other options.
Jenny noisily stamped down the stairs to announce her presence, hoping to elicit some giggles and shuffling. “I’m going to find you!” she sang. She stopped, noting the uncanny silence. With a five-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, the only silence she ever experienced happened while they were sleeping—and even that was often interrupted by nightmares.
“Jordan! Casey! Come on kids, you win! I give up!” she shouted merrily. “Olly olly oxen free! You win!” she shouted with slightly more urgency. “Mommy’s not playing anymore. Come on now, it’s time for dinner!” Still nothing. “All right, how about this? If you come out now, we’ll get a big cheesy pizza, two buckets of whatever flavor ice cream you want, and we’ll rent a movie! But, you have to come out now!”
A minute passed, and the panic set in. “All right, kids, come out now. If you don’t come out, you’re going be in trouble, okay?” she shouted in her serious voice. “Jordan Oliver Jones, you and your sister come out this instant!”
Jenny suddenly heard movement above her and sprinted up the stairs.