What do you expect

Yesterday had been a day when you sweated standing still. Today the August storms arrived ten days early. Palms dipped and swayed close to parallel with the ground. Shallow roots held as the rain had not yet softened the sun-charred earth.

Vito looked up from his cards and wrinkled his nose: it will all be past in half an hour. The far horizon was lightening. Thunder was far away above the sea.

The cicadas were silent. A single bird sang. It could have been warning, it could have been sorrow but it sounded of triumph. And now the sky was close to half clear and the rain had stopped. Shorter, weaker gusts of wind switched the olive trees from green to silver to green again. They shone in the reappearing sun.

Vito looked up again. What do you expect, he said. It is summer. There are strangers. What do you expect.