Julia’s challenge this week is heat.
The curtains were still drawn in the windows of the tall houses, but the sun, its face scrubbed clean by the night, was fully risen. The pavement burned her feet through her sandals. A fox stopped its cantering along the street to stare at her, turned, and ran away.
She smoothed her hand across the rough brick of the house; each nubbed ridge a rosary of memory. She felt for the key hidden behind the lintel. The dark hallway smelled of her mother’s perfume. Her redundant coat and shoes, in neat pairs behind the door, waited unrewarded for her return.