Now here we were again, and a truck so fat that we had to step off the trail to keep from getting squashed was stealing our peace and darkness. When the truck’s cockpit passed through my spotlight, I saw a lady inside waving. If Mom’s face hadn’t been hidden behind the light, the lady probably would have been ducking for cover rather than waving.
"Do you know what they use buoys for?" "They're like road signs but on water, right?" "That's what they want you to think," she said, her voice turning hollow and haunted. "Buoys are like gravestones, they mark where there's a dead body underneath."
The path they made seemed like nonsense when you looked at all the pieces together. As it got hotter, I was sure it was all devious Witch trap, and that soon she would push us into an oven, just like Handsome and Griddle.
“Well…” Mom thought for a minute about whether she expected a Witch to know more or less than God, and then decided that it was probably best not to say. “Fine, we’ll check it out,” she said to make a good impression on New Witch.
As we climbed higher, the stark naked mountains exposed more and more of themselves. Mom stared with her mouth hanging open as they revealed the private cracks and scraggly bits that more modest mountains hide under trees and meadows, but when she tried to take pictures, they came out too graphic and messy under such a harsh, unblinking sky.
Whenever Mom decides that something won’t be as bad as she thought, that means that it is definitely going to be worse than expected. Pretty soon, the road got serious, making grinding, popping and crunching noises under The Truck’s big paws while Mom and I bounced this way and that inside the cockpit. Now I knew how the wet food felt when Mom tried to get it out of the can without using a fork.
“You mean to say you've been leading me into mortal peril this whole time without telling me?” “I guess. But angels or not, you can't not do something just because it's dangerous. If danger can find you anywhere, then you might as well try something epic. Otherwise you're bound to have a season-ending injury vacuuming or something, and where's the cool story in that?"
I wanted to ask Mom more about pants that could turn people into muffins, but then I saw a group of ladies sitting in a spot where Mom would have made me pose for a picture if they had been home cooking turkey.
As we started hiking, a group of giggling and clucking flags flapped across the trail ahead of us. “They’re not flags! They’re ladies!” I squealed, running ahead to introduce myself.