An idea, which began as a kernel of uncertainty, blossomed into excitement within Isabella as they drove on in the night. Anders slammed on the brakes, sending her crashing against the dashboard. Debris had fallen from above, narrowly missing them.
“Are you all right?” Anders asked her.
“I think so, yes.”
She put her hand to her head to brush aside the hair from her eyes. When she removed her hand, there was a damp stickiness.
“You’re bleeding,” Anders said, concerned.
“Henkle, hand me your handkerchief.”
Henkle made no reply, but sat there transfixed in frozen motion.
“Henkle! Your handkerchief!” Anders repeated.
Henkle fumbled for it in his pocket and passed it to Anders. He dabbed at Isabella’s temple.
“Just a dribble, I think,” he said to her, looking truly relieved.
The back door opened, as Henkle stepped from the car and stood looking at the sky above.
“Oh for goodness’ sake,” Anders muttered, visibly annoyed by Henkle, “What’s the matter with—”
Anders didn’t finish his statement but stepped from the car, followed by Isabella, and stared as wisps of mushrooming clouds dotting the horizon dropped from the sky.
“Parachutes,” Isabella said, hoping she did not sound as pleased as she felt.
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