47 Random Fragments of Unauthorised Hope and Despair


THE SKY was entirely blue, with not even a hint of cloud.

It was hot, too. He took off his leather jacket, but after a few more seconds still felt stupidly overdressed.

The warm weather had come fast.

Ten days ago he had been sheltering from frozen northern winds.

And now this.

The change had taken nature by surprise.

Nothing up here in the woods was growing yet.

The trees were all bare. No, in fact it was even stranger than that, he realised. One in twenty was still draped in the brittle dead remnants of last year’s foliage.

This could almost be autumn.

Or, he mused to himself as his boots kicked up dust where for months there had been cloying mud, this could be summer.

But a summer where nothing grew, where the sun reigned in the midday sky, the temperature soared and nature simply failed to respond, declined to grow green and lush and ripe.

The last summer.