She stands in the evening air as winds pick up. They whip away the warmth and stagnance of day. The sky crackles darkly, it jabs with light and grumbles with thunder.
The crickets schreee. Fat palms and ferns begin to whip about. There is a smell of ants and frangipani and wet soil.
Soon the night air fills with the rumble of rain, large pellets hitting leaf and ground. It drowns the chorus of crickets and drums the roof and window panes.
In an instant, the night lights up like day – the verandah, the trees, the driveway – all alight as though by a giant flash bulb.
Then thunder tears apart the air, a whip crack overhead so loud the building shakes. She jumps.
The children shriek but not with fear. They strip off and run in the rain. More lightning, more thunder.
The adults gather on the verandah to watch as – pick! pock! – ice balls begin to fall.
She pulls a cardigan around her. The children gather in and they all watch the lawn turn white.