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Hot Flashes

By Rafael Angel Solorzano
Illustrations by Christine Lin, Paola Barreto, Sarah Belle Lin

A red sun rises over the Mojave Desert. Three days since the accident. No food, no water, no supplies. Hot breeze fills my lungs while I walk towards the unknown, mile after lonely mile. Heat waves gesture to me, sparkling, shimmering, hypnotizing like a cheap carnival.

The mirage grants me free admission into the carnival. A frosty turquoise salamander helms the controls, while an azure wildebeest comprised of liquid sits on my left. A honey-glazed salmon offers steam-powered lemon pop-tarts, and discount lessons on underwater ballet, accepted without hesitation, as a cart begins to chug, deeper down the red tracks.

Teal ride-cushions whisper contents of the Magna Carta, while mist seeps down my thighs. Clear centipedes wiggle out my ear soliciting calendars made from crystals. I buy twenty. My grip on the safety bar begins to wane. Vultures encircle with their chef hats, and little chef smocks, ready for their culinary show to begin. They throw me into a glass bowl, with two eggs, milk, butter, flour, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla, a large cup of sand, and BAM! The audience back home applauds in awe. Baked at 112 °F for 72 hours, laid to rest for 30 minutes, before becoming a fowl snack.