A bird sang, and Anna raised her eyes to the topmost twigs of the still bare maple. Far, far above the tree, a jet plane ghosted across the luminous blue of the springtime sky. No contrail, and flying ahead of its sound. Silvery-white, it looked almost translucent, beautiful. Anna thought how strange that dozens of humans were up there, perfectly ordinary people talking, eating, farting, sleeping, anticipating their arrival in some distant city.
The tubular shape vanished behind a medium-sized cumulus cloud that billowed pure white, its edges made incandescent by the morning sun. Anna waited, neck craned, to see the aircraft emerge–because you just do.
She waited. Nothing emerged. No jet plane. No sound, either, although it should have arrived by now. The cloud shifted its shape, sending out illuminated tendrils, elongating, transforming. But the flying craft had disappeared completely, as though vaporized.
Exactly three minutes later, the rain of blood began.