Note: all stuff written here is mine (warts and all). It's probably first draftish stuff, and hasn't seen the inside of an editor's head yet, so be warned. And also, please don't steal it. Thanks.
Dawn watched as the Army trucks rumbled up the long driveway from the front gates. Security had been getting tighter lately; there were no trips into town scheduled for the next few weeks, at least. Anything that had to be gotten from town was sent for and the Army would pick it up. Probably. The PX was stocked full, so there was really no need to go into town for basic groceries. And it wasn't as if Dawn went into town very frequently anyway. But the thought that she couldn't go if she wanted to made her feel more cooped up than ever.
It was also very hot. Midsummer in New Mexico tends to toward the hot-and-dry side of things, but the drought was just making everything worse. Combine that with the cooped up feeling that everyone seemed to feel and it made tensions run a bit high. So Dawn understood why her father actually raised his voice and yelled at her. Understanding it didn't make the hurt of it go away though.
She hadn't meant to eavesdrop on their conversation. It's just that the stairway was one of the best places to catch a breeze on those hot days. With everything open, any sort of cool air would come in the downstairs windows. All the hot air would leave by the upstairs windows, and that caused a steady stream of air to come right up the stairs as the circulation wound through the house. Dawn's characters were in as much of a mood as she was, so she abandoned her hot sunny writing nook in favor of reading of some Arthur Ransome on the stairway.
Just as the Swallow, a little sailboat in the Ransome book, was getting a hole knocked in it, Dawn's father came home. Dawn barely heard him usher Dr. Oppenheimer into the sitting room – the water was rushing into the Swallow faster than Dawn could bail the words past her eyes – so she perhaps can be excused for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Soon the Swallow was safely on shore, Captain John and his brother and sisters were lamenting the damage, and Dawn's attention suddenly shifted to the voices drifting up from below.
"We're ready to go ahead with Trinity." Dr. Oppenheimer's quiet voice rumbled. "I've discussed this with the military and we've set the date for the morning of July 16th. "
"I see, sir." That was Dawn's father. He had never lost his grad-student's deference for Dr. Oppenheimer, even though they were technically colleagues now. "What can I do to help, sir?"
"I want you to be one of the men with me at the test site, John. I need your expertise – and your fast fingers. We're going to be gathering a lot of data very quickly and I don't want to lose any of it."
At this point, Dawn could hear the tap-tap-tap of her mother's heels on the kitchen linoleum. The house was small enough that she could work in the kitchen and still be mostly a part of conversations in the sitting room.