EASTWOOD HAD NEVER liked storms. Not the Brisbane ones anyway, which didn’t so much pour as drop.
He hadn’t liked the shatter of the rain, or the hail – hard and round as golf balls – or the wind that could strip just about anything dumb enough to step out into it. Those nights, Eastwood would peel his hulking body off the floor and lumber out into their overgrown yard, battling the leap of fat-necked toads and the maw of the black night. He’d stand there, old body thick, and bark at every growl of thunder and blink of white lightening that broke through.
Hazel would stand too, walk her sweat-sticky feet across the floorboards of their battered home to call him in, her voice swallowed by the rain in a way that Eastwood’s growl never was.
‘The gate will hold so leave him be,’ her father would tell her. ‘He’s talking to it.’