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The night sky cracked apart, revealing for the blink of an eye, the white-hot purity that glowed behind the darkness. Seconds later the earth shuddered its response like one hundred bombs detonating at once.

We huddled together under the lee of a jutting boulder, while below us a tiny creek began gathering force as rain pelted the peaks and gullied off granite, collecting in gravel rivulets.

We were doomed, if not by the terrible force of the electric sky, then by the predatory patrols of men with machetes. Basra clutched my son to her chest. We needed to keep moving, but if we were lucky enough to avoid the electric bolts from heaven, we risked sliding off the now mud-slick path to the rocky and ever more forceful water passing below, beckoning like a witch’s finger.

Another flash lit Basra’s face and my heart fell into her round, terrified eyes. The accompanying timpani triggered Aaden’s shrieks of fear and hunger. At that moment, the tumult of the storm was a blessing that covered the wails of our child. How much longer could we run? When would it stop?