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Hell on Earth
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Don't bother with "Go to Hell" today; Hell has arrived.

The winds (45 mph) are whipping the trees and howling in the cracks of the windows. The sky is dark red, glowing like an inferno. The air is acrid with smoke, making us cough and cough, painful to breathe, but breathe we must. I closed the windows but that wasn't much help.

The animals cower under the bed or under my desk, asking mutely, what's wrong? Why is is like this?

I'd like to explain about fire in southern California (cough, cough) and pre-dawn light and Santa Ana winds. But they mostly just want it to stop.

Callie came inside after her morning walkabout, but Misty, who sleeps under the fence in the back yard, was nowhere to be seen. I braved the wind and swirling dust and leaves and went outside to call her. She came running, and is now perched on my cedar chest, uneasily watching the bending palm trees and flipping tarp cover through the window.

I don't know what the current temperature is, but I'm wearing cutoffs and a tee, barefoot, and I'm uncomfortably warm already. Today's high is predicted to be 91 degrees (96 tomorrow).

Everyone's talking about "earthquake weather".

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