Copyright 2013 Beth Madden
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The instant the engine spluttered silent, Paul threw himself from the passenger seat.
Don’t speak. Don’t engage. Don’t look up.
Monstrous clouds soaked up the sky, so black and harsh they could have been smoke. The stagnant air Paul breathed was near as thick with moisture, though the earth was sucked dry, two years of drought tanning the adjacent school oval brown, blades sharper than a field of thumbtacks. According to the most recent dam levels update, Wivenhoe lingered at a distressing eighteen per cent. Paul had long since gnawed his nails down to ten tiny, stinging nubs.
Don’t look up.
Parents and friends congregating in the car park peered skyward with such expectation. Several optimists even carried umbrellas. Paul threaded through them, knowing better. Heaven wouldn’t spare a drop.