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Leith leaned out of the large sash window and looked down on the street. It was summer. Even if his skin lacked the sensitivity to detect temperature change, even if he had no frame of reference to decipher that a blue sky meant warmth, he could still tell it was summer from the way people dressed, the lighter clothing, the bare arms and legs, and the way sounds drifted and wobbled through the heat. It had something to do with the denser air molecules – a sort of sonic heat shimmer.
The noise that met his ears felt unfamiliar, like some large metal structure melting under heat, buckling and groaning under the strain of its imminent collapse. He looked skyward and saw the airliner falling on its trajectory towards the airport. Then down at the street where a bus pulled up, its brakes emitting a deep bass note. From somewhere, the clang of scaffolding parts being thrown onto concrete. He almost ducked, then gingerly craned to see the pavement. There was a rank of delivery bikes parked diagonally, and a wide bald head barking instructions to somebody unseen. A builder’s van reversing, then pulling out, then reversing again, trying to ease into a slot marked out by orange cones.
You can also listen to a reading of ‘Cascade’ by actor Greg Page on the Litro Podcast.