All the warehouses along this potholed road were derelict; truck containers sat on skeletal metal legs in the dust. The fierce sun made tarmac dance before his eyes. In the rearview he saw Noah, comatose: small mercies.
Finding a sorry patch of land surrounded by ragged gorse he stopped, got out and stretched. The sun mercilessly blasted his egg-in-the-nest: he could practically hear something hatch. The patch seemed to be growing daily – was “growing” the correct word? Could an absence become greater? Shouldn’t a lecturer know this stuff?
Whatever the grammar, Jim knew the day he slapped sun cream on his bald spot it was all over for him.
In a hurry to depart before Noah woke he looked furtively around. Beyond the smudged blocks cars slid along the hazy horizon but there was no-one in sight. Jim opened the boot; dully it registered he’d brought no shovel. Hoisting the sports bag across his shoulder like a deranged Santa he walked up the bank and pushing his specs up his nose looked down the slope.