The Making of Carl Caballo

Excerpts

 

“Fine,” said Janice Lee, “we’ll move to Texas.”  She grimaced as though at a car crash.  “Texas!  That means ignorance, illegal activities and violence--all in a desert setting.”  She stood up.  “I’ll just have a horrible year, and run away.”  She fled to her room and slammed the door.  Her parents looked thoughtful.  Janice Lee usually did what she said she would.

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“Down!” shouted Dad.  The McCulloughs all dropped to the ground.

Zing, zing!

Dad lay very still, listening carefully.  Finally he whispered, “Just someone target shooting.”   His son Carl, heart knocking fast, peered at the thorny bushes, the gnarled trees, the wild brown grasses, the rocks.  He watched them, they watched him.  Suspicious.  His eye was caught by a nearby movement in the grass.  Something small.  Very small.  A tiny, bone-colored lizard with a head like a triceratops blinked at him.

Nearby a dove began to coo.

The tension was broken, but all of the family stayed down.  This was one weird place.  And Carl knew:  a cloud of trouble had surrounded him.

He would have to watch for dinosaurs, and being shot was a real possibility.