An original story....

The main character's name is Valerie.

Chapter 2

The Devil Might Be Naked


Our living room transforms from a cavernous chamber into Mount Saint Cardboard Boxes. We've been here for half an hour and all that's been accomplished is Mom unpacking some empty plant pots (I don't understand her priorities). Swish has managed to make an expedition in the fire place, leaving her looking like a fugitive cat. Dad went out to get gas a while ago, but I think he got lost on the way to the gas station. Well, they say adventures start away from home.

When Mom finds out that my mattress is lounging somewhere between Iowa and South Dakota, most likely in a dusty ditch, she gives up on the idea of making lunch. I guess I'll be sleeping on the couch.

I waste time thinking about a family of opossums nestled comfortably in the fluff of my mattress. I forget about it once the pizza arrives.

The pizza boy's (pizza man's?) chest hair is like a jungle of hair poking out underneath his sauce red polo. They're dark and curly and remind me of spider legs. I wonder if I can tip him in advice instead of money. I want to tell him to shave.

I hand him a twenty and tell him to keep the change instead. The pizza box is the most beautiful cardboard product in the room. I can feel the others seething with jealousy and lust.

I enjoy the hot, soggy feel of the box on my hand. Double cheese, double sausage. Perfect for a house warming.

Mom is on the phone with Dad. The car ran out of gas because he couldn't find a station. Swish crawls into a plant pot and falls asleep. She looks so comfortable that I want to try it. I don't fit.


Our porch has a hammock. I'm so excited that I don't even care how many boxes I have to lift and unpack before I can use it. Hammocks are worth it.


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