“Do you suppose that’s our downpour coming?” said the stalky old man. On one of the ten days of witch-camp there’d always be a cloudburst. It had become something of a tradition: we’d all tear our clothes off and dance naked in the rain.

Shading my eyes to peer at the horizon, I shook my head. “Looks too small to be a rain cloud.”

“Well,” said the old man in a testy voice, “it’s the one I ordered.”

Seeing the look on my face, his features softened. “Haha. Just joking.”

But he wasn’t, you know.

Within the hour we had the biggest rainstorm I’d ever been caught in. But the old man wasn’t enjoying it. He was running round in the marquee with a broom, tipping out the bulges of rainwater swelling on the slanting roof to stop the canvas ripping. I found another broom and went to help him.

Outside the entrance a trio of girls danced in the sopping grass, flinging their arms wide and twirling on their toes in the mud. One of them was called Chris: she looked so exuberant and beautiful, her red hair streaming in rivulets down her milk-white skin.

A lightning flash lit up the field. At that very instant I made a wish, knowing that it couldn’t help but come true. How I wish I’d wished for something else! But at the time I didn’t have a choice.

I wished for this girl’s body.

A crash of thunder came in answer. It seemed to say AMEN!

As the rain eased, I followed Chris back across the field and said, “You’ve no idea how lovely you looked as you danced back there.”

She turned and gave a bashful smile, her fun-bags firm and pointed. “You’re not so bad yourself,” she said, compressing her lips. But I wondered if she wasn’t just being polite.

“I’d complement you on what you’re wearing, but you haven’t given me much to go on.”

Bending down, she picked a saturated dandelion, tapping it on her hand to fluff it up, and threaded it into her hair. I loved the way the moist down of her armpits contrasted with the smoothness of her breast.

“That’s a gorgeous flower you’re wearing.”

“I put it on just for you,” she said.

We walked along in silence, our bare feet squelching in the turf.

“You know what…?” I ventured. Her face evoked a cricketer straining for a difficult catch. “I’m trained to give body massage. I’ve a pile of dry towels in my tent. Come back and get dry.”

For an instant she shivered. As the rain stopped, a chill breeze had sprung up, making it difficult for her to refuse. Kneeling on my groundsheet, she cautiously accepted a pink towel from the pile I dragged from my rucksack. I picked up another to pat her shoulders dry—and she let me.

Out came the baby powder. My dusted palms slipped over her skin like butter and she shut her eyes and groaned with passion. I pinioned her arms and our mouths coalesced, her moans buzzing on my lips like a bee snared in a web.

Witch-camp is a many-body problem of astronomical complexity. Out of all the myriad possibilities, how were we to know that, from the very outset, her heavenly body had been on a collision course with mine?

…to be continued.