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The rain’s fat, slow and hard, with a warmth behind it and the rising smell of bruised worms: a summer storm in winter. When each drop has its own weight and sound, thinks Edwidge as she shrugs up her thin hood, it’s easy to give them names and stories too.

There: Wilhelmina, who sings as she falls, to the adoration or envy of her fellows. There: Cruet and Sylvan, who touched at twelve thousand feet and were never apart again. There, Dmitri, who knows what the others don’t: that every raindrop, like every pearl, is born from a speck of dirt.