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Trapped

I’m going to get it when I get home. Momma told me not to take a short cut through the yard.

“Keep to the trees, son. Keep to the trees.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. She just doesn’t understand my generation. We like to feel the grass on our feet. We don’t mind climbing a chain link fence or two. And running across the roof of the garage: well, she just wouldn’t understand.

Now I’m in for it. They’ve got me trapped. I can live with this animal against animal thing: I can out wait that dumb cat, but now there’s a two-leg involved in the whole deal. Cat on one side, two leg on the other. I hope momma doesn’t see me like this. I bet, I just bet, if I make a break for it, the cat and the two leg will collide going after me.

Wait, ah, here’s my chance. The two leg is going to consult with the cat. Idiot. That cat doesn’t have clue how to get me off the wall. Uh oh. The two leg is picking the cat up. What’s he going to do? I bet he’s going to throw the cat on me to knock me off the wall. Now’s my chance. If I just leap over the porch, I’m home free. No way that cat can beat me to the tree. Dumb cat. Dumb two leg.

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Daddy?

Yes, Little Bit?

Where does that go?

Where does what go?

That water.

Oh, do you remember the lake we saw a little while ago?

Yes.

It probably goes there.

Oh. I bet they feel lost.

You bet who feels lost, Little Bit?

The little drops of water.

Why would they feel lost?

Because these are creek water drops, and the lake has lake water drops.

Oh, I see. But don’t you think that a water drop is a water drop no matter where it starts?

Yes—but—I mean, they’re the same, but these are not used to it being so deep. 

Do you think they will have a hard time adjusting?

I bet there’s nothing as fun as that waterfall in the lake.

I bet you’re right. But do you think they will be OK?

Probably, but I bet they will miss home. It’s hard to just sit in a lake if you’re made to jump off waterfalls. 

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The men took great care in picking the perfect site. The hill provided a natural wind break. Still, they planted dense shrubs to provide more protection. They dug the pool and ensured a level base before pouring the concrete. The nobleman employed the finest architects and stone masons to ensure a glassy surface. The day came to fill the pool. The nobleman paced too and fro waiting for the ripples to subside that he might enjoy the perfect reflection of the archway: The Other Way he called it. His servant urged him back inside for the day, to wait for the morning stillness. 

He slept fitfully. Fuzzy dreams and vague thoughts unsettled his sleep. Twittering birds outside his window summoned him from his uneasy sleep. A pale gray wash followed the darkness, giving faint outlines to the objects in his room. He dressed quickly and went out. A steel sky held its breath. The reflecting pool lay calm and still but unrevealing in the dim dawn.

As the light seeped onto the gray palette, the sky exhaled. The moment The Other Way appeared, the breath of morning caressed the pool, sending shivers across the water. The image wavered and danced: a mirage of perfection.

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