He put a checkmark in the ledger next to his own name in the column marked “Absent/Unexcused”. He was only a couple of minutes late. No one really wanted to get down to business, anyway. No one wanted to stay, but no one dared leave. Only four or five of them had ever actually been struck by lightning. Two were twins, but their identical siblings were elsewhere. Everyone was dreaming, hoping for better days in far more hospitable places, but everyone was, after all, only dreaming and—sadly—everyone knew they were only dreaming. No one dared to wake up.
No one could wait for it all to be over with, least of all him. He double-checked the ledger, noted his own unexcused absence. He closed his eyes.
He made a silent wish.