a novel by Joe Cottonwood.

Smashwords edition Copyright © 2012 by Joe Cottonwood

Previously published in 1995 by Scholastic, Inc.

Cover image modified from a photo by J.K. Nakata of the United States Geological Survey, public domain, taken of a cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains after the 1989 quake.

Bicycles in Santa Cruz after the quake, photo by C. E. Meyer of the United States Geological Survey, public domain.

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Tuesday, October 17, 1989

I hadn’t seen Jennie for five years. We used to live side by side in San Jose. I remember how she used to trap mice in a cage — in secret, because her father was trying to exterminate them —and give them birthday parties. She would bake chocolate cupcakes, and I’d bring a crumb of bacon wrapped in tissue as a present, and then she and I and the mouse would devour the goodies. After the party, she’d release the mouse in her backyard. I’m sure it moved right back into her house, hoping to be caught again.

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