Most of the dragon was underground with only his flanks and stegosaurus crest sticking out of the ground and curling big-spoon-ways around a canyon. The land the dragon slept in was the color of the 1970’s ––all rusty, creamy and drab greys with the rough textures of courderoy and polyester–– but the dragon’s back itself was covered in white chalky scales that flaked off and turned to dust under my paws.
Slot canyons give me the willies. Their plots are like thrillers, where you never know what’s around the next bend, but you know it's something that doesn’t belong to the real world. Mom loves slot canyons for all the reasons I hate them, because they are filled with surprises and she needs to find clever, swashbuckling ways out of danger.
“You see,” Mom said. “The trick to not getting stuck is to just keep moving. Eventually you’ll find solid ground again. It's a metaphor. You should put that in your blog.”
The sun burned like a grapefruit over the mountain, and as it rose higher it lit the trees and rocks in the same color as the Wagon's tail lights had lit the trees and rocks the night before when Mom had almost backed into them.
Normally Mom makes me step off the trail and up-up onto a rock when we see someone coming, and then she turns her back to the trail and stuffs me full of kibbles until the people pass. But now, Mom pulled on the mask and the other people did the up-uping, as if by magic.
Mom plans for everything that won't go wrong and when everything goes right, she and Oscar decide to turn around anyway.
The trail's steepness had been shallow, but right below our toes the other side of the mountain disappeared into thin air. Other cracked half-peaks lined up in the near distance, and behind them the full variety pack of mountains drew a spikey line like the stock market against the sky.
I felt sorry for Mom and her addiction to measuring things. All it does is make her wish that her adventure was over so that she misses the whole thing... I hoped that Mom would finally figure out what I'd been telling her all along, and things like time and distance are something that she made up to torture herself, but she was done talking.
After a few minutes, Mom checked the mapp. "You idiot! You're on the wrong trail!" The Witch told her. "The trail was back that way!"