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My own private outside

Usually we can't even go to this trail on the weekend because there's no time to run between all the jumping into the poison oak whenever a bike rides by. But this year Mom has only gotten poison oak one time.

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Turnt at Albuquerque

she kept staring up toward where the sunrise should have been. Instead of a sunrise, there was a giant mountain covered in an armor of thorny rock spikes. Puffy clouds were stuck in the spikes like trash stuck a fence along the freeway, and those clouds were lit up from underneath by the missing sunrise. The whole thing worked like a trap to pull on Mom's eyes like a giant billboard that said CLIMB ME.

Not rock climbing

Even though it was very easy to follow, Mom tripped and swore almost as often as she took pictures because the big rocks above our heads kept stealing her eyeballs making the rocks under us steal her feet.

World falling down

Suddenly, I heard a loud rumbling coming from high on the mountain. It sounded like a crack of thunder, and rumbled in my ears like a gunshot. But it went on for too long to be either a gun or thunder, and had too many sharp new sounds buried inside to be just a disturbance in the air like an echo.

Rekindling

“Lemme at ‘em! I’ll bark at ‘em, and I’ll chase ‘em, and then I’ll bark at ‘em while I chase ‘em!” But Mom, who doesn’t understand how to appreciate wildlife at all, ignored me and slowly chased the beasts to my side of the street.

Doomed

We ran 5 miles up and down the dooms. Then we ran through trees that grew right out of deep sand. Then we ran on the beach. And when we left the beach we ran through the grass, which only lives in deep, deep sand. Everywhere we ran it was sand, sand, sand! Have you ever run in sand before?

Manners

Mom and I have never been so badly matched as dance partners, so there are only so many places where Mom can walk with her elderly meatwad shuffle and I can frolic like a light-footed freight train. But I'm so starved for sprinting that even the old familiar places are exciting. When I smelled the beach coming, I whimpered a happy song and crawled up to the copilot's seat to look out the front window for all the dogs just waiting for me to chase them around in the sand.

Tourists and dognappers

"I know that bridge!" I said. "Bodie lives on the other side of it!" "No, you're thinking of the Golden Gate Bridge," Mom said. "This is the Bay Bridge."  "What the heck are you talking about?" I asked. "I recognize it." Mom can be so think sometimes. 'Tourist,' Mom muttered.

Action star

It all started with a smell. It smelled like camping. Then one day the sun came up and I discovered that someone had gone through and erased  the world. All the nearby stuff was still there, but anything in the distance had been erased leaving nothing but a smudgy grey-white in its place. Around the same time, the people started disappearing off the streets.

Oscar the mermaid

The Little Mermaid is a story of a fish-person who sees a prince playing with his dog and realizes that swimming is scary and she wants to be a human so that she can run around and wrestle with the Prince, just like the dog. She goes to the Sea Witch and asks to be a human, but the sea witch says she has to be debarked in return. So when she sees the Prince, she can't bark in his face to make him chase her.

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