Thunder crackled outside Liams window. Thunder boomed, making his cat and dog cower together under the couch. “It’s okay,” Liam said, trying to assure his pets. They were shivering. “It’s only thunder.” he smiled.

Liam didn’t know why some people were so scared of loud noises. He liked storms. Liam sat down on the couch and looked out the window. The rain looked so welcoming and as lightning danced across the sky, all Liam wanted was to be up there.

“Mum!” he called. “Yeah?” she shouted from the kitchen. “Can I go outside to play?” “Okay. Just put your raincoat on!” Liam didn’t put his coat on. He walked outside and listened to the thunder, distant yet close. He sat down in the garden and looked up at the cloudy sky, feeling raindrops splattering on his face.

After about two hours, the rain stopped. Grey clouds still blotted the sky, and thunder still banged overhead, but the rain stopped. Liam just sighed and went back inside. Sad because there was no storm, he played half-heartedly with his pets.

They played a game of tag, but his dog and cat were both it, and when Liam got tagged, it included a few scratches and a big lick. When he got tired of that, he went over to the window, desperately looking for a droplet of rain. None came.

“Mum, can I go to Graces?” “Okay. By the way, you two make great friends! You should hang out more, not just when you are bored!” “I’m not bored!” Liam lied. Liam’s mum walked over and gave that look that says: I know the truth, but I want you to tell me anyway.

“Okay, I am a bit bored, but-” “I knew it!” “Goodbye.” Liam walked out of the door and put his gumboots on. He jumped on his bike and rode down the road to Graces house.

He knocked on the door and Alberto opened the door. Alberto was a personal robot assistant, which Graces parents bought after they won the lottery. That’s right. Graces parents won 1 million dollars, and they spent it all on a personal robot assistant.

Not a fancy mansion, a house boat or a home theatre. A personal robot assistant. But luckily Alberto was quite nice, and for some reason always making hot cocoa, even in the summer’s hottest days.

“Oh, hi Alberto. Is Grace available?” Alberto’s robotic, cylindrical head whirred around, the way he did when he was thinking. Ding! Alberto’s head flashed green and then he responded: “Grace. Grace is in her room on the Acer computer, editing the videos she made on Thursday, the eighteenth of November 2021. You should be able to go inside.”

“Thanks again, Alberto.”

“You’re very much welcome. Help yourself to some hot cocoa I made inside.”

Liam remembered that Grace loved making photos and videos and then walked to Graces room. He knew it all too well: the posters of movie stars on the walls, the millions of magazines scattered across the smooth Red-Oak desk.

He looked around and saw no Grace. Just as he turned around to search elsewhere, a familiar voice spoke behind him. “Magic!” Liam turned around and saw Grace, sitting in her swivel chair which had been empty two seconds ago. Liam opened his mouth to ask, but Grace just smiled and took a bite of her apple, which appeared to have come from nowhere. “More magic.” she said, before Liam could even say something.

Suddenly, a worm popped its head through a left part of the apple and Grace squealed. “Back to the magic world with you!” She threw the apple into the air, whisked her hand and POP! The apple disappeared.

Finally, she turned to Liam. “Bored?” “Yeah. Do you want to do something?” Grace shrugged. “Maybe catch some videos of the lightning flashing in the sky?” Liam suggested. Grace hopped to her feet. “I will be back with my camera and shoes in a minute. Go outside and I’ll be right with you!” Liam smiled and walked out to the large backyard.

He looked at the sky, and saw huge clouds of grey and black flashing with lightning and booming with thunder. Soon, Grace pulled up next to him and started filming the sky. The only annoying thing was, whenever she saw a flash in the clouds, she imitated it and made sound effects (example: “Boom! Crackle! Zap!”).

Liam looked at the ground and thought he saw a drop of rain slowly drift up to the sky, but he must have been hallucinating. But no… there was another one! And another one! Slowly, millions of tiny droplets came off the grass and they slowly drifted up to the sky, as if in slow motion.

Suddenly, a white bolt shape erupted out of the ground, but it was also in slow motion. “Whoa,” Liam said. He reached out to the lightning, touched it and… “Ow! That is hot!” Grace was gawking behind him: “I don’t think you should touch lightning!” “Yeah.” Liam agreed, nursing his hand.

More lightning and rain drifted into the air, and Liam thought it was the coolest thing he ever saw. Thunder under his feet boomed louder than ever before. After the upside-down storm was over, Liam turned to Grace; “Tell me you got that on camera.”