As the sun soars, heat blots out birdsong, the scratchy call of insects, and soon there’s nothing but the tramp of our boots across the parched earth. Ahead, a stand of trees, dark fruit hanging from bare branches.
We’re almost in their shadow when we look up: not fruit but bats, wings gently flapping to fan away the heat. But this heat—there’s no escaping it. We lean against tree trunks and sip tepid water. Soon, a soft thud. Another. In the dirt around us bats lie splayed, broken things with pink mouths that gasp and gasp, then go still.
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