There was only one route to walk to and from school, which took all the fun out of walking. On one side of the street was a tall cliff, netted to catch falling rock. On the other side of the street the houses and alleys were fenced in with razor wire. To live there you had to have a special remote control for the razor-wire gate and a regular one for the garage door. The town had planned it that way to prevent predators from gaining access to the children. Chelsea, a student at the school, liked it when base jumpers dropped from the cliff into the school yard; she helped them fold their parachutes. The base jumpers carefully calculated their stunts to moments when no one was looking out the school windows, but Chelsea was an attentive student and she noticed when chute shadows dimmed the classroom. She resolved one day, while on the long straight boring walk home, to only marry a man who shared her views on both clapping and clapboard houses. This vow caused her trouble as an adult because most men couldn’t recognize a clapboard house* if it clapped its boards in their faces, let alone develop unorothodox opinions about it. Chelsea wished she had had the foresight to resolve something more related to folding things, or to beverages.

*This is a clapboard:

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