Out there in the darkness, beyond the edge of the lamplight, the bush ticks. Wild calls sound for a moment, then stop. Padding, stealthy and deliberate, comes close, passes as the hot wind, straight in off the limitless desert blows through black and blue dry and dead. A thing howls in the dark and a low chorus erupts from the lagoon. The wind sits in the heads of the trees and moans.
I turn in the heat, close my eyes to sleep, and the bush ticks. The dead air slips over me and I know I will never sleep peacefully again.