The Idiom Wizard: Chapter 11

RUNNING FOR MY LIFE

I ran out of my house faster than I ran into it. Then I kept running. As I took shortcuts through people’s backyards, I kept expecting dogs to bark and chase me away, but of course, there weren’t any dogs to do this. So I continued to run and splashed through one muddy puddle after another as I headed as far from all that craziness as I could get.

But it didn’t take long before I realized there was no escaping whatever was happening, because it was ALL around me.

In one yard, I stumbled across a man who was all tied up with a thick rope. For a second, I thought about stopping to untie him, but a woman shouted, “Food!” and charged at me like some crazed zombie trying to eat my brain.

I don’t know what she was thinking, but I was thinking that I didn’t want to die. So, I kicked it up a notch and ran faster than fast, right passed the tied-up man and right passed another man balancing himself on a fence, and then right out into the street…

I know, I know. I should have stopped to look both ways, but I was freaked out!

A car swerved to miss me, or maybe to hit me, I couldn’t tell. I dove out of the way and rolled back to my feet. The car continued to swerve until it hopped a curve and crashed into a tree. Another car swerved and hit a mailbox, crashed through a bush, then swerved back into the road where it hit the side of an ice cream truck. Rainbow popsicles exploded into the air.

It only took a second for me to see why so many cars were swerving about. All the drivers were wearing those white jackets that patients at looney houses wear. You know, the ones that tie their arms around their stomachs so they can’t grab anything sharp. Or, in this case, so they couldn’t steer their vehicles.

In the middle of it all, was a cop who struggled to direct traffic while balancing himself on a large blue ball.

Somehow, I played Frogger and made it across the street to safety. But the strangeness was far from over. Above me, someone walked on air. Someone else, who had wings grown out of his butt, flew by that person and waved hello at me. Across the street, I saw a man swatting at himself as ants crawled out of his pants and up his body.

“Billlllly!!!!!”

I stopped running and turned around to see who shouted my name. It was James!

I met him halfway.

“Did you see—” we said at the same time.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. The dogs,” I said.

“And the cats,” he added. “They just…”

And we finished the sentence together, “…Floated away!”

“This is cray-cray,” I said.

We looked at a man beside us who stood shaking his leg. “Red,” James asked. “What’s going on?”

“I dunno,” I answered, “but one of those dogs was Bonzi, and I gotta get him back.”

“How?”

I had no idea how, but before I could even try to answer, that smarty-pants girl, Hannah, came running towards us.

“Duck!” she shouted. Me and James just looked at her. “Quick,” she shouted, louder. “Duck!”

The next thing I know, she tackled us to the ground like she was a professional football player. A loud YIP sounded from somewhere around us, then a quick meow, followed by another yip.

“Gravity,” Hannah said, panting for air as something crashed into the bush next to us.

“What do you mean, gravity?” I asked.

She looked annoyed. “You know, Isaac Newton. What goes up, must come down.”

As she said it, I watched a cat fall straight into someone’s chimney.

“Uh, oh…” James said.

“Quick,” Hannah shouted. “Go, go, go!”

We scrambled to our feet and ran for shelter. All around us, cats and dogs rained into trees and bushes and puddles and pools, and I am not exaggerating when I say it was by far the most absurd thing I ever saw.

Until what happened next…  

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