photo by Dev Benjamin via Unsplash
The bell went for break, the children’s whoops and laughter receding along the hall as Shona set to tidying. She’d been showing them simple origami swallows, training their faltering, stubby fingers to create sharp folds, the table scattered with a rainbow flock of creased paper wings and torn beaks. The tap of shoes in the hall made her turn.
Poppy. Sensitive, more likely to be found talking to the dolls than her school mates. ‘Miss, the birds – they’re falling!’
Shona smiled, sent the paper rustling with her hand. ‘We made them, remember? They’re not real.’
Poppy shook her head, pointing to the window. ‘Not those. Those.’
The sunlight flickered, dimmed. A sound like hard rain falling. The children screaming.