The kids were squabbling over something – some filter Jess was using – and Sukey could feel her blood pressure rising. Literally feel it, as if her blood was going to explode out through her skin, coating the inside of the car with sticky red gunk. She resisted the urge to scream at them to shut up – it would only lead to endless “He did”, “She did” whingeing. She took a deep breath and tried to lower her shoulders.
That was when it came – the great flash of light, just over the brow of the hill. Sukey instinctively braked, but kept her hands tight on the wheel. For a moment or two she was dazzled, couldn’t see anything. The car fell silent instantly, both kids stunned. Joe spoke first.
“What was that, mum? Was it a bomb?”
Sukey shook her head. She had no idea.
They reached the brow of the hill and Sukey stopped the car keeping the engine running. The three of them stared out over the valley before them and the thing that now lay at the heart of it.
It was massive. A vast silvery dome, covered in flickering lights, smoke or steam gently rising round it. The trees surrounding it were scorched and flattened.
Jess broke the silence, this time.
“Wow. What is that? Let me out, mum, I need to get that on Snapchat”.