Ryan’s big sister posted the map twice, and now she doesn’t know how to delete one.

Eight-Year-Old Ryan McGillicutty Presents his Grandmother’s Novel at Open Mic Night Hours Past His Normal Bedtime

“Hi, I’m Ryan and I go to Mark Twain School. I made this poster for my grandma’s book, ‘Dust Devil Tails’. My big sister helped me, but I did most of it. It’s about stories that happen in Nevada by Highway 50, the loonliest highway, and there’s giraffes in it. Any questions?”

“Ryan, is this a book for children?”

“No, ‘cuz the first story has sex in it. And there’s a story about drugs, but it’s only pot. And then Grandma kills a bunch of people, but they’re all bad.”

“How many people does she kill, Ryan?”

“Eight hunderd and eleven.”

“Eight hundred and eleven?”

“That’s what I said.”

“What are the giraffes’ names?”

“Dot and Spot. They belong to a nasty old lady who was a Hollywood movie star, and they’re really little, about ten inches tall, and they want to run and be free, but she carries them around in her Gooky bag.”

“Who is your favorite character in your grandma’s book?”

“Katsuo Setagaya. I got to name him. Grandma asked me to name a nice billionaire. I said, Bill Gates, ‘cuz he helps people in Africa, and that’s where giraffes and elephants live. But there aren’t any polar bears. What was I saying? Oh yeah, Grandma googled ‘Gates’ backwards and ‘Setagaya’ came up. It’s in Tokyo. So the character is a cool ninja guy, and an inventor, a builder, and a astronomer. And he’s rich, but he’s nice.”

“Is Katsuo the main character?”

“Hmm . . . not all the time. It’s more about Stephanie Morales. Grandma said, she’s a untreatable navigator.”

“You mean, ‘unreliable narrator’?”

“Yeah, that’s it. She has two times a day when she’s paralyzed. She can see, but she can’t react to anything. The first time it happened, she was in driving training and she crashed into the Principal’s PT Cruiser.”

“Oh, oh.”

“That’s not the worst thing that happens. She accidentally lets a A. I. out of its room on the Holodek. Oh, crap, I think that was a spoiler. Can I have some warm milk now? I’m getting sleepy.”

Her writing muse lurks in the volcanic hills amidst mustangs, marmots and jackalopes. While hiking with her dogs, Ann stumbles upon stories of dark humor.

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