Page 90 - November 2020
P. 90

November 2020           90

                                                      DESERT CANDLE

              “Beep!  Beep!”  came  the  same  two  boys  again,  going  the  other  way.  She  sat  up,
              startled.  What  if  they  hadn’t  seen  her?  She  might  have  been  hit.  One  looked  like
              Wade’s friend from middle school.

                          “It’s gittin’late,” he said, “’Better git on home!”

                          He was right. The sky was getting dark. She wondered how far she had to go
              to get
              home. She didn’t get to see the house at the bottom of the rise. She would have to
              come back another day. Was it an hour yet? Could she go back and sit in her and
              Billy’s room?

                          Ashley shivered. It wasn’t cold; she just felt something strange. Did she
              breathe something odd, sitting by those glow-in-the-dark green and purple flowers?
              She got back on the crusty road and walked fast. She needed to get home to Mommy
              and get her hand and knee cleaned up. Then suddenly, she heard something.


                           A huge firecracker went off, way off down the road, the way the boys were
              going. She could hardly see where she was going, except that she hurried toward the
              light. Who was setting off fireworks? It wasn’t the Fourth of July yet! It wasn’t even
              summer, even though it was hot already.

                          “KABOOM!”  Again, it went off, and everything got light.  A big stick of fire
              with all kinds of colors in it went up into the night. It had red, yellow, orange, blue,
              green, purple… green, purple…green, purple.


              It  looked  like  and  RV.  Oh,  no  –  like  her  RV,  like  where  she  had  left  Mommy  and
              Morgan. More explosions came. Ashley could see the rising fire, and she ran,yelling.

                          “Mommieeeeee!” “Mommieeeeee!”

                 *  Caulanthus  inflatus  –  desert  candle  –  is  a
                 member   of   mustard   or   brassicaceae
                 (cruciferae)  family  found  in  the  Black  Canyon
                 area north of Barstow, CA, and other parts of
                 the southwestern Mojave Desert.
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