The sky was the odd gray-black of burned paper that remained whole but would disintegrate if touched. It even appeared wrinkled like that due to the jagged, ashen clouds that crossed it in all directions. It was dark early. The air was molasses-thick as if a tornado was brewing; you could feel it compress your skin like swimming-pool water, but there were no storms for miles. It was September and not at all cold, but she had goose bumps even on the backs of her arms and the nape of her neck. Years later, she recalled this night, trying to pick out the moment that her grandmother had expired. She'd only stepped out for air, but she lingered studying the nearly alien atmosphere, and her elder died alone. She battered herself for not seeing the omens. When she returned to the stifling house, her skin felt as like it was stabbed by pins, and she nearly choked on her guilt. Until she died, she tasted dust inside of her nose and upon her tongue.