Aug. 20th, 2010

Rusty Truck

I'm not sure I was a person until after high school.

So my advice would be: at least go out once. Talk to people on occasion. Read better books, because even though you read all the time already, no one takes you seriously unless you can quote random Latin literature. Make up is actually wonderful, and makes you feel pretty, as do clothes and shoes that at least fit. Cut your hair, it looks bedraggled and ridiculous. Smile more. Sneak into pictures on occasion: it's more flattering than sneaking out. Wear shorts and skirts more often, so at least you're equally freckled. No, I guess learning to drive earlier really wouldn't change anything. Apply to better schools, even if you can't afford to go. You can always wave the acceptance letter in naysayers faces.

Are you kidding? I wouldn't say any of that!

Well, maybe I should have talked more with my friends. At least gone hiking more often, up in the local mountains of which there were many. Gotten lost near A's house, up in the hills. And also, the smiling and wearing make up was good.

But, remember that time with A, when we went up past the pond that we used to visit when we were younger and still caught frogs and lizards? Only it was summer this time and almost completely dry, so we went exploring. Those old gnarled posts of juniper wood with strings of barbed wire weren't of enough of a deterrent when it's late afternoon and we were completely bored. And we walked past the rusting truck, although maybe you should have dared to go nearer, and then you might remember more than it was orange.

Her cat ran lightly alongside.

At least we didn't stop. Even we came across the bleached bones of some poor cow and could only regret that it wasn't the skull. Wasn't it a pelvis? The grey-green sagebrush wasn't too dense for walking, and we came up across that hill. After that, wow, we could see so far--the Warners dropped along the horizon looking even less looming since we were so high. It was a little scary then, because we turned around and it was sunset, and we didn't know where we were.

This is what happens when you don't have a trail. Even the fences were out of sight. Of course A knows the area better than you do, so the frisson of nervousness was better off ignored. Keeping back in a straight line from where was the logical thing to do.

Before long we came across the horses that belonged to A's neighbor--the last home on this side! Nothing but wilderness on the other. I wish she hadn't told us that, although we were still probably close enough. Still, it was good timing since the dark was really falling. We followed the barbed wire line around the horses and made our way to the end of the road and the cat wasn't with us. Even as long as we stayed the cat just didn't come back. And it was full dark and the cougars had been really active over the past few months. A waited anxiously by the sliding glass doors, but then we had to go home. If we hadn't gone too far, no one would have been lost. That's always the first thing I remember.

But when A called too late at night, it was because the cat found her way home.

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I have no imagination.


Oddly enough, asking for a new animal by combining three is a popular one in art classes. Or at least it was in the classes I remember. They didn't have to be pets, at least, but the idea was still to use real-life references with originality.

I hated that assignment.

The straight truth is that I don't have that kind of creativity. I've always preferred working with what's *there* already. I'm too practical for the fantastical and can't let go of "this wouldn't work"--the details just get me all tangled up.

But I do have a favorite tri-creature.

Diana Wynne Jones' book Dark Lord of Derkholm has griffins physically eagle and lion, but mentally the children of their *human* parents. (Their father is a magical cloner). So two of the children are human, but the rest (at first) are griffins of various colors and sizes and magical abilities.

Kit is my favorite. He's the first, the biggest, and the darkest. The book itself skews toward campy humor, and slightly satirical, and then it takes a darker turn--

I must like this style, I just realized its similarity in that way to the Rogue Agent series. --

Anyway, Kit is my favorite, but especially paired with his human brother, Blade. The two of them join up, with the rest of the family to help their father be the "Dark Lord" for a series of tours from a world like ours wherein the tourists pretend to be part of heroic groups. Of course, these themed battles really do destroy their world. And Kit and Blade learn magic (from a giant old dragon).

It's been so long since I read those two books. I need to read them again! I guess I don't dislike this prompt so much anymore.

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