1. It was all over in seconds, but years later he’d awake from nightmares of her silhouette against the sun.
2. Parrots can learn to mimic anything and are diligent students as long as there’s food involved. All it took was a hidden feeding station that played and rewarded repeated sounds and the local flocks were his to control.
3. Springtime in the valley was boringly predictable. Storms piled up against the western mountains, growing stronger and stronger until they could breach the ridge and turn the town to mud.
4. The fire started slowly enough, but once it caught a taste of the hoard’s abandoned treasures it flared to life, cleansing the house of all the rotted memories.
5. “What do we do now?”
She looked up at the pine tree and the small spotted badgercoon that was cussing them out from the highest branches. “We climb.”