Some cartoon must have been our manual. Probably I was nine. Or maybe eight. Three ways we tried to make my hair stand up, but it wouldn't stay. We had practiced laying still, eyes open but dull, like in the movies. Outback, by the burn pile, April Lee painted black ash stripes underneath my nose. She wanted to put some of it in my ears, but I wouldn't let her. The filched screwdriver was carefully placed, then rearranged further from the outlet, as if thrown.

Ape kneeled. She cried and was convincing. Mom stood near the door. She didn't panic or pick me up mid-shriek or come to the rescue, like we had expected. Big tears slowly growing. Then April Lee laughed, flew toward the back door. Its spring clapping it shut after she cleared.

And I moved quickly to catch her.

RV Scaramella
The Black Rhinos of Namibia
Rick Bass