by Janet Fogg
I bolted upright in bed, as did my husband.
Heart pounding, struggling to speak, I threw off the blanket and stood up, shivering. “F... fountain,” I finally forced out as I groped for my robe.
“What?” Dick asked. He switched on the lamp.
I shook my head, slipped on my robe, and trotted into the living room, flipping on the overhead lights. Dick followed close behind and we wandered the perimeter of the room. Nothing had fallen from the bookshelves and the wall of west-facing windows appeared intact, not that I expected to see broken glass. That wasn’t what we’d heard, what awakened us. We surveyed the kitchen, quickly checking cabinets and refrigerator shelves. Nothing seemed out of order. Our house was silent.
“Maybe it was something outside,” Dick said.
Unconvinced, I padded down the hall to the bathroom and stopped in the doorway to peer in. The heavy, framed print that once decorated the wall had fallen and was now wedged behind the toilet. Fingers of water reached across the tile floor.
Dick sidled past me. He reached down behind the base of the toilet for the shut off valve as cold water curled around my toes. I threw towels on the floor to dam the thickening puddle before it escaped.
As the flow of water stopped, Dick straightened and turned to face me. He raised one eyebrow á la Mister Spock.
“Fountain,” I whispered.