Summer (a short story)

The puddle was higher than he had anticipated when he began wading through it with absolute abandon, in fact it coursed over the leather lining of his boots and through the eyelets to join the natural damp of his feet, he didn’t care, he was offroading to his mind. He watched the preened faces under umbrellas slink by, patent leather shoes punished up on tiptoes to avoid the dips in the pavement where the rain had pooled, dry-clean only shoulders hunched up into the parasol completely oblivious to the eyes of those injured by its passing prongs. They don’t care though, look after number one; that’s the rule.

A woman slides sideways off her bike at a crossing, falling into the gutter, into the wet, people look, they look out from under the comfort of the Mail hoisted above their heads, they rubberneck as they make their way to their shitty middle management job that they’ll be stuck in until the eventual stroke, nobody steps up to offer a hand. It’s dog eat dog out there apparently.

‘Are you okay’ he asks, pulling the hood of his parka back to expose himself to the refreshing rain.
‘Yeah’ she laughs, she laughs away the pain, can’t cry about getting a booboo anymore, isn’t accepted. She hobbles off. He looks up at the bus that courses past, catching the edge of a puddle and spraying the majority of it at him.
‘We Are In Drought’ the message from Anglian Water reads on the side of it.

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