- the sky.
- a region of unreality, imagination, etc.; dreamland.
It was raining steadily, and thunder cracked high in the overcast sky; there was a war in cloudland tonight. Red and blue lights lit up the street when the lightening didn’t.
I was barefoot, standing in the middle of the road in a too-thin nightgown. My hair hung to my hips, damp and stringy.
“You see, ma’am,” said the police officer for the millionth time. “There was a murder next door to you, and I need to know if you heard a gunshot an hour ago.”
I sighed. “I know,” I said. “I understand what you need to know, but there is a very violent thunderstorm currently occurring, and it’s been loud enough that I haven’t heard much of anything.”
“But you were home an hour ago?” he asked again.
It is three in the morning, I wanted to say. Of course I was home. I forced a smile onto my face. “Yes, sir,” I said.
He nodded briskly. “But you didn’t hear anything?”
“Just the thunder, sir.”
“Could you have mistaken the gunshot for thunder?”
“Anything’s possible, sir,” I said. This was a lie: I had heard gunshots before. There was never any mistaking them for thunder.
“So you did hear the gunshot?”
“Not to my knowledge, sir.”
He drew breath to ask another question, but another police officer ran up beside the first. “We’ve just discovered something,” he said. “He was killed with a knife.”
I don’t know what this is. Please note that I generally find police officers to be competent, respectable individuals…just not in this story, I guess. Just go with it.