An extract from The Foundling by Agnès Desarthe

‘A fireball cartwheeling right across the road, then, suddenly, after the bend, blat! Into a tree. This fireball smashes into the trunk and burns the lot, leaves, branches, even the roots. I thought it was like some paranormal phenomenon. But actually it was the boy. The boy on his bike. Apparently that don’t never happen, bikes catching fire like that, for no reason, but it happened then. I was there. I watched it from above, from the bridge over the main road. That’s where I saw it. A fireball.’