Gill has a safe way of exploring past lives ... but when Concha tries it she experiences an excerpt from the life of a woman who will be her daughter, living in a world of worsening environmental conditions. The question is whether she 'the' future or just 'a' future and whether she caused the future she saw. Duplicity and double dealing, greed and lust for wealth at the expense of the environment and murder demand all Gill's resourcefulness.
Another jagged streak of lightning forked down the side of one of the nearer peaks, which loomed for an instant from the rain and the falling darkness as another, more distant, flash lit up the sky behind it. The lightning was almost continuous now, illuminating the whole of the Sierra Nevada in an eerie firework display, to the accompaniment of an equally continuous, though not immediately near, crackle and crash and rumble.
The flash was followed by a sound halfway between a vicious tearing noise and a great pile of bricks falling but, though the flash had been vivid and the noise loud, the seat of the storm was not particularly near. The thunderstorm was possibly the more interesting to watch as the worst of it was clearly passing them by, the centre of the storm unleashing a spectacular fury as the air rose to cross the mountains.
Gill stood at the open door of the balcony, rather than on the balcony itself, watching the awesome display, as the storm continued to take out its anger on the mountains.
"Looks like the worst of it will miss us," said her husband Steve, joining her at the door and watching with her.
"It's as if the clouds are tearing themselves apart on the tops of the mountains and we're just watching them breaking up," said Gill, not really answering him. "Like a ship running aground or the coracle in your storm," she added.
"Probably nearly as wet," he remarked. "The street outside is like a river."
Lights were beginning to come on in the town, though it had been dark with lowering black clouds for some time. Malaga had been sunny and quite hot for late February, and they had driven fifty kilometres up the coast before seeing any sign of the storm. Even when they reached Salobreña it had still been dry, though very threatening.
It was certainly raining hard now. Precipitation hung from the clouds like strips of fine, grey muslin and lashed like something solid. Salobreña clings to a rocky outcrop: the rain soaked into the earth where there was any and bounced off the rock where there wasn't. Water gathered in the alleyways like little streams and tumbled down flights of steps like miniature waterfalls, on its way to join the growing rivers flooding the steep streets and tiny squares.
Behind the first two watchers, Dave and Concha quietly came into the room and also watched, not interrupting. "Is this as fierce as that storm two thousand years ago?" Gill asked Steve.
"Completely different," said Steve. "That was the wind. A gale or worse, but, not a thunderstorm, though there was rain."
"One doesn't rule out the other. You can get thunder and lightning with a hurricane."
"I don't recall thunder. Anyway, it was the wind I remember. And the windblown spray." There was humour in Steve's voice as he added, "I'll say this though. I don't recall a more violent storm in this life."