08-28-2011, 09:33 PM
A single motorcycle cruised down the long stretch of desert highway, the dull roar of its engine breaking the natural silence. Criss Angel, Las Vegas' famous illusionist, was enjoying one of his rare days off from performing, taking in the stark beauty of the Nevada desert as he rode his customized Harley along that lonesome road. It was good to get away from it all: the ringing phones, the cameras, the demands on his time from both producers and fans. Nothing but the sun on his face and the open road beneath his wheels--that was bliss.
He had been born in suburban Long Island, New York, almost an entire continent and virtually a world away from the arid desert of Nevada. Even in the oasis of Las Vegas (Spanish for "The Meadows" for its lush greenery among the dry scrub), there was precious little rainfall, about four inches a year: less than a single summer's worth of precipitation compared to the Empire State. But at least he didn't have to get up before dawn and shovel snow from the driveway anymore as he had in his early youth (there were extremely rare snowfalls coming from the mountains north of Vegas, but they melted away within a day or so), and he could count on clear weather for outdoor shooting of his television series, MindFreak. Despite the triple-digit temperatures in summer and the constant threat of flash flooding from the mountains, desert living had its advantages.
Criss rolled on, savoring his freedom and privacy. The chaos that had become his life had blown off his shoulders in the cloud of dust and exhaust he left in his wake. This was his moment, and his alone, to enjoy, and nothing was going to spoil--
A flash of white caught his eye. He slowed his Harley down to clarify whatever he had seen, if only for safety's sake. It could have been a white car, or a person walking along the shoulder, or--a cow?!?
Criss halted in the middle of the road, unable to believe his eyes. He removed his goggles to get a better view. Yes, it really was a cow, black and white, with an udder and everything. It glanced in his general direction and trotted away; from his point of view, it looked as if it was heading toward the city. Criss removed a bandana from his back pocket and rubbed his dusty face. "I must be losing my mind!" he said to himself.
Fearing for his sanity, he turned around and headed back toward Vegas. I did not see a cow in the desert, he kept repeating to himself firmly, I did not see a cow in the desert. I did not see a cow in the desert. I did not see a cow in the desert...