Janice Galloway is the author of several award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her latest, All Made Up, won the Scottish Book of the Year Award 2012. This story, “Fittest,” comes from a new collection, Beacons: Stories for Our Not-So-Distant Future, in which a selection of writers have responded to the subject of climate change. “I wanted to write about that moment we all face sooner or later when there is no option but to turn spectator sport into sharp-eyed engagement,” says Galloway.
The weather had been wicked for ages but summer was little short of criminal. Warm, heavy rain every morning shifted to high winds, howling winds and tree-shaking bluster by noon. Long humid evenings, the sun emerging fitfully like a jaundiced eye between bruisy clouds, brought an end to more days than most cared to remember. There was even a freak shower of giant hail,