W-H-O-A

Why does there have to be so many different types of milk? Corinne scanned the refrigerated shelves of the grocery store, and the colorfully labeled 1%s and 2%. Finally, she picked up a half gallon of vitamin D milk.

Corinne got in line behind a young mom and her three kids, a girl with a mane of dark brown hair that couldn’t have been more than four, a chubby, red faced boy that must’ve been two, and a newborn that lay almost asleep in a car seat at the front of the cart. Corinne smiled as the girl pointed to something and whispered to the boy, tugging his arm. The mom finished paying and pushed the cart towards the exit, the little girl and boy tromping behind her. Corinne walked up to the checkout counter and put the milk and a five dollar bill she’d pulled from her small shoulder bag onto the worn plastic counter. The checkout person asked if she wanted a bag, but she shook her head.

Outside, she headed towards the bicycle rack, a good block from the store. A light drizzle had started, but it was cool and refreshing, washing off the grime of the buildings around her. Her apartment would sure smell nice when she got home. Corinne quickly flipped through the combination on her bike lock. W-H-O-A. That could sure be a conversation starter. She smiled as she threw a leg over the wet and rusted frame of the bicycle. The asphalt shook. She immediately jumped off her bike and whirled around. An horned, slimy monster was inspecting the mom and her three kids, who were on their way home; no one drove cars around here. Corinne raised her eyebrows. This was new. The monster took a step forward. Right into some power lines. It gave a loud roar, and stepped forward again, snapping the power lines. Corinne started her stopwatch and ran.

The world froze. She darted around raindrops and through the extremely slimy monster’s legs and grabbed the sparking power lines trailing behind it. A couple tight laps wrapped them securely around the monster’s legs. She dashed back to the store for a pack of fertilizer. The money clinging on the counter, she dumped the fertilizer in a circle around the monster, who was about to step down again. Pulling up a rawhide cord that hung around her neck, she yanked off the stopper of the bottle that was attached to it and shook some pinkish purple glittery stuff in the circle and on the monster. Then she raced around the monster. Again and again she circled it, rain hitting her face like a cool mist. The monster was surrounded by a whirlwind of black dirt and glitter, and soon, began to glow a pinkish purple color. It became brighter and brighter until it faded completely. She slowed to a stop, and, gasping a little, stopped her stopwatch. 59 seconds. She smiled. A new record. She walked over to where the monster had been and picked up the piece of paper with a pinkish purple picture of a very horned and slimy monster on it. Folding it up and placing it in her shoulder bag, she strolled over to her bike and picked up the half gallon of milk. She twisted of the cover and downed it the entire thing, then threw the carton in the trash. Glancing over her shoulder as she jumped on her bike, she saw the open-mouthed expressions of the two little kids and their mom. She smiled as she pedaled through the drizzly rain and down the street. That was an expression she liked to call W-H-O-A.

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