The forecast called for murder.
|"Leave it to the rain, baby," Zachary murmured. "That'll wash it all away."
He put a knee on the bed and stretched himself over her. He nuzzled at her mouth, pulling at it with his own, and put a palm to her bare side. She was warm and firm to the touch, like a hot water bottle.
Kate groaned and arched her back as he straightened up, as though trying to levitate and float after him.
"You don't have to go, do you?" she pouted. "It'll be hours before Greg comes home from the station." She made a face. "First they have to get the makeup off his fat, silly face, and then he has to—"
"Sometimes I wish Greg did a better job of keeping you satisfied," Zachary said. "You wear me out."
"Like he's ever known how to," Kate sneered. "Like he knows how to do anything right. Two years later, and there's still a leaky spot in the dining room ceiling."
Zachary shrugged. "Well, he's picked up a couple of local Emmys, so he must be good at something."
"He's a weatherman." Kate's tone turned scathing. "You can't go wrong with 'Seventy percent chance of this' and 'Forty percent chance of that.' He says he's only giving you percentages." She groaned. "Oh, but you're one hundred percent of— Where are you going?" She raised up.
"Home. I have to start putting stuff together, if we're going to do it this weekend." Zachary buttoned up his blue jeans, which drooped away from his taut, flat stomach. "You do want to do it this weekend, don't you?"
"I want to do something with you this weekend." Kate writhed on the bed.
"Be serious." He swept his polo shirt off the floor. "It's gotta be Saturday if we're gonna let the rain do its work. Otherwise, who knows when—"
"Explain it to me again." Kate grinned. "Like you did when you first got the idea."
Zachary rolled his eyes. "Okay. So, Friday afternoon you'll tell Greg you—"
"No! Like you did it before. By the TV. And leave your shirt off."
Zachary shuffled over next to the big-screen TV that took up nearly half the bedroom.
"Forecast calls for a ninety percent of murder," he exclaimed with a toothy grin, and he pointed to the blank TV screen as though it was a weather map. "Followed by a one hundred percent chance of celebratory nookie." Kate giggled. "Saturday morning is forecast to start with local meteorologist and dead-fish-husband Greg Buckford getting his smug face caved in with a heavy tree branch as he stands on the back porch of his weekend cabin. That will be followed"—Zachary moved to the other side of the TV while still gesticulating at it with one hand—"by his being dressed out in a rain slicker, cap, and all-weather boots, preparatory to being rolled down the hillside and positioned by the creek. Now, at that time the weather will be continuing clear and mild as it has all this week, thus facilitating the return of his soon-to-be widow and her stud lover boyfriend to town in time to set up their alibis."
Kate buried her laughter behind her hands and peered out merrily between her fingers.
"Following this, a storm system will bring heavy rains to the region, setting up flash flood conditions in the mountains. These floods will carry away the bodies of any pot-bellied, liver-lipped weathermen who have been left in low-lying areas beside flood-prone streams and rivers. Damaging contusions can be expected, complicating subsequent efforts of law-enforcement officials to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the time and cause of decease. The forecast after that calls for—"
Kate threw off the sheet.
"Don't give it to me as a forecast," she panted. "Give it to me now!"
"I thought you said we could just roll him down the hillside," Kate huffed. She was pushing (rather ineffectually) at her husband's corpse as Zachary pulled him along by the ankles. The trail from the cabin down to the creek was a lot less steep than he'd remembered it being, so that they were having to drag their burden along. Face down, too, there not being enough of his face left to warrant a casual look.
"It'll be okay," Zachary panted.
"He's getting all dirty! Won't that look funny when they find him afterward?"
"He'll be in the water, honey bunch. Once the creek floods and gets hold of him, it'll look like he spent a couple of hours in an industrial-grade washing machine!"
"It doesn't even look like it's going to rain!"
"Well, not yet—"
"They're going to catch us, aren't they?" Kate moaned.
"Leave it to the rain, baby," Zachary assured her. But even he thought he sounded too anxious.
Kate almost broke a nail as she punched Zachary's number into the phone. "There you are!" she spat as he picked up. "Are you watching?" She used the remote to turn up the volume on the TV.
The station's anchor was chuckling with the weekend weatherman. "So where's that gully-washer of a rainstorm we were supposed to get?" he asked.
"Well," the other replied, "local sports fans will be glad to know that a late-developing high pressure system to our southwest has nudged the precipitation just far enough from the metro that we can expect nothing worse than a little cloud cover and maybe a sprinkle."
"Did you hear that?" Kate demanded. "You said the—!"
"I didn't say anything!" her boyfriend bleated. "It was your husband who said we were going to get an inland typhoon!"
On the TV, the anchorman leaned back with a grin.
"Well, come Monday," he laughed, "we'll try not to bust Greg in the chops too hard over a failed forecast."