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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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“The bear climbed over the mountain, the bear climbed over the mountain. The bear climbed over the mountain….”

Annaliese stretched out the last lyric in that song as she meandered along behind Ray. Humming the rest of the song, she contemplated their situation. Ray had saved her from Krazy Kris when he just snatched her up and ran. They had wandered for a while, taking in the sights as they headed down the mountain.

She had kept up a steady stream of conversation. They had talked about some of her favorite topics, ranging from the deforestation of Brazil to the waves of hive collapse spreading across the globe. Well, she had talked and Ray listened. Downside was that Ray had not sung at all. That was a little disappointing. All in all, apart from the “running for our lives” part, this had been her most pleasant day here on Anti-Fantasy Island.

The angry growl of Ray’s stomach stopped Annaliese dead in her tracks. Her eyes widened at the sheer volume coming from his midsection. He must have been embarrassed about the noise since he was trying to squeeze it into submission. Dude, it sounds like his tummy is eating itself. I wonder if those starving little kids in refugee camps have tummies that make that much noise?

Annaliese felt a stab of guilt as Ray complained about the lack of decent food. She still had those extra rations she’d taken from Frankie all those days ago. She had food she could share and Ray was hungry. He had saved her from Princess Crazypants. What was wrong with her, not offering to share?

“Dude, you should have said you were good to eat. You’re in luck. I have,” she cheerfully called out as she dropped her bag and began to paw through it. She held up Frankie’s mostly rock hard load of bread. “Lembas bread! And look, lembas bread. Oh, wait for it…more lembas bread!”

Sitting back on her heels, she grinned at Ray as she held out the bread. “Swear to you, this Danya guy is a LOTR fan. The bread, the killing, the need for stoicism and manliness. Dude wants to bliss out on Middle Earth.”
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What Goes Up... · The Mountain