The dust came in April. In the first week of an unrelenting, unrepenting April. And at first it went unnoticed, it blew so lightly on the wind. But as Easter approached, the dust became a hazy presence in the air. It fell upon the people slowly. Fell upon them gently. And slowly and gently, it began to kill. Even the most unobservant noticed it then, and started to pray. Around the altars, among the assurances of resurrection, they prayed, while all the days of spring passed quietly into dirt.
In an office window overlooking Queen’s Park, a narrow face with spectacles hovered in the fluorescent glow and stared out through gritty glass. A mug of coffee steamed unnoticed on a ledge beneath its nose. A few floors above the window, the noon clouds had settled like a shroud, damp gray and threatening. In the east, lightning flickered between the walls of buildings. The time, it seemed, was passing for an easy change. A hard rain was needed now to wash away the dust. That’s what everyone was hoping for. The face in the window didn’t seem to think it would happen though, the face that belonged to Ian McGacheon. Ian didn’t expect much from anything anymore . . . .