HeatIt was the hottest summer on record. Everyone waited impatiently for the rains. Dust blew off the clay-baked earth. The heat was so thick it buzzed in Jay’s ears. He poured a few drops of precious water onto his favourite neck scarf and laid its fleeting coolness on his cheek. He wished Mamma would hurry back with ice. The first locust hit the mesh screen with the sound of a torn high voltage wire. Jay ran down the hall and slammed the door. His heart pounded in rhythm to each thud against the rough siding of their home. As he checked the last window in the front room, he looked out to the driveway and saw Mamma in the front of the Chevy, her palm pressed against the windshield, her mouth a perfect round O, her scream drowned by the beat of a million papery wings.