A horror story.

“On the day they arrived in Joshua Tree, it was a hundred and six degrees. They had never been to the desert. The boy could scarcely believe the size of the boulders, clustered under the enormous sun like dead red rockets awaiting repair, or the span of the sky, a cheerfully vacant blue dome, the desert’s hallucinatory choreography achieved through stillness, brightness, darkness, distance—and all of this before noon. It was a big day, they agreed. It was a day so huge, in fact, that its real scale would always elude them…. They had prepared for the hike well, they thought, with granola bars, water, and an anti-UV sunscreen so powerful that its S.P.F. seemed antagonistic. ‘Albino spring break,’ the boy said, rubbing cream onto her nose. They’d heard about the couple who had died of dehydration six miles from where they were standing. They congratulated themselves on being unusually responsible and believed themselves to be at the start of a long journey, weightless spores blowing west.”
Karen Russell, “The Bad Graft

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