There was always a second before the siren started when she was aware of a sound as yet unheard. It was like an echo, or rather the opposite of an echo. An echo came afterwards, but was there a word for what came before?

There were many things Viola could have said at this point. She had thought of all of them while gazing at the forest, the sacred river, the birds, ‘I’m sorry’ being foremost, but instead she told him about the dream. ‘And then you turned to me and you were smiling and you said, “We did it, Mum! Everyone got on the train.

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