Scorching days

The heat rose up from the bitumen in shimmering waves of translucent nothingness. Nothingness she couldn’t touch, but feel in every pore and surface of her body. Even below the surface it seeped, strengthening the feeling of melting. Still she kept walking.

She’d tried to cover her whole body in light linen clothes. It wasn’t pretty, but keeping the sun from touching her directly might have made a difference. She found that it did not. Instead it trapped the heat in the air between her and the fabric. Cue the feeling of being a bun in an oven.

She’d gone back to wearing cute dresses after that experiment. At least that way when there was a breeze, there was a chance of refreshment under the skirts. That big bright yellow star in the sky—the sun, yes, the sun, but she liked to think that simply referring to as a star helped—seared away and made it feel as if burning directly through her.

Gritting her teeth—no, the gritting happened in her mind. In reality she groaned a long, drawn-out moan. Almost there. She could see her house in the distant, at the end of the street. The street which looked like a molten puddle of silver.

She knew a nice cold beer waited for her in the fridge. Her feet dragged forward, her legs felt like heavy lumps of swollen water deposits. Sweat dripped—no, it cascaded—down her face, prickling in her sunglasses-shaded eyes. So close.

Step by step, slowly but surely, she got closer to her goal. Everything was too quiet on the streets. People rather stayed inside when it’s this hot. Can’t blame them, she thought, but money had to be made.

Finally, she arrived. After burning her hand on the doorknob and discovering it was as hot inside as outside, she turned on the air conditioning. Dealing with the electricity bill would come later, when she wasn’t in danger of melting all the flesh from her bones.

The fridge! There it stood, a glorious red, shining shrine in the kitchen. She absently bent down her knees to pet her cat, twirling around her. Her eyes were only on the fridge though, her steps feeling lighter. She opened it. Glorious coldness washed over her and she moaned in delight. The largest grin accompanied the greatest feeling in the world—for that day anyway. She closed her hand on the cold beer bottle.

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