“Damn it, Joe. We’ve been searching for hours. That pet of yours could be anywhere.”

Joe bit his lip as he scanned the landscape. “She’s just playing hide and seek. We’ll find her.”

Billy wiped the sweat from his face. “No we won’t. That chameleon could be right in front of us and we wouldn’t see it. You should never have let it outside.”

“Wasn’t right to keep her locked up. Creature like that needs to fly.”

“Well it flew alright, probably into the next county. Let them deal with it.”

“I’m not giving up.”

“Well I’m hot, tired, and I’ve seen at least four disappearing ponds. I need a drink.”

“Let’s just check the next few sand dunes. She’s got to be close.” He gave a shrill whistle and trudged up the next sandy slope. “Come on baby, where are you? Come to papa.”

“Get real, Joe. It’s a bloody reptile, not a dog.”

Joe felt heat flush his face. He glared at Billy. “She’s smarter than any dog.”

“Not even close. My…what the….”

Sand shifted under Billy’s feet, and he tumbled down the dune. A pair of fist sized golden orbs peered at Joe, then Billy’s prone figure. Rows of jagged teeth appeared and a rumbling laugh filled the air.

“There’s my little Mirage,” said Joe. Her tail thrashed back and forth as he scratched behind her leathery wing. “You showed him who’s smarter. Great camouflage.”

Billy sighed. “You win, but you’re concept of size is really skewed.”

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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