Derek reached out to grab Laurie, but it wasn’t necessary; she was already running backward on her own.
He joined her and dived out the window immediately after her. They both cleared the garden fence without slowing down and sheltered behind it just in time to hear an earth shattering kaboom that ripped apart the centre of the house.
“The car!” Derek yelled, already getting to his feet, “We have to move the car, before the neighbours see!”
He ran toward the road, only to find that Laurie wanted to get out of there even more than he did. He tossed her the keys as she overtook him; and together they clambered into the car and set off.
When they were safely around the bend, Laure stopped the car and look back. Derek would have preferred it if they had kept driving, but he looked back too.
The house was on fire, and it lit the street up with a cheery glow. As they watched, the rest of the structure collapsed on the burning pile, and a towering sheet of flame shot up into the sky as something flammable caught.
Derek looked around and saw people poking their heads out of their houses and looking surprised. Someone was trying to get a bucket brigade started, and someone else was trying to pickpocket people in pyjamas, and was meeting with a profound lack of success.
No one seemed to have noticed the little blue 2CV around the corner.
Derek touched Laurie’s arm, “Let’s go” he said.
Laurie nodded and drove the car away; leaving the lights off until she had driven half a block from the fire.
“Well” said Laurie, “I guess we won’t be able to wait for Ernest Mckingle after all”
“Ernest Mckingle?” said the hobo lying in the back, “Charming kid that.”