Pru crunched a vinegaroon under her boot as she watched it try to skitter away. They were fast, but not fast enough. The California sun beat down hard on the flat desert expanse. Pru wiped her forehead, flicking away a bead of salty sweat. She crushed another vinegaroon as she rethought her decision to abandon civilization to build her own private homestead in the middle of nowhere. Her neighbors were nice enough, though they were miles away. She insisted on building her house by herself, which meant staying in a trailer until she’d completed her task. And it was slow work, very slow work. She’d just finished the foundation and was taking a break to hydrate herself. 

She pinched the skin on the back of her hand – she heard once if you were dehydrated your skin would lose elasticity. Still elastic. Also, ow. She sighed and took a big old swig of water, making a face as the taste of hot plastic hit her tongue. The amount of water she had to drink was definitely the biggest downside to moving to the desert.

The upside was the amount of pride she felt for controlling her destiny. For literally building her own home. She learned and set her own limits.

And that was worth all the plastic-tasting water and vinegaroons in the world.

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