We looked out the window. It was already dark outside. I hate how fast it gets dark in the winter. It felt like it was really late at night, even though it wasn’t even time for dinner yet. And the lights were on inside the house, so we couldn’t see anything outside. So we opened the door and stepped just outside the door.
The air was really cold. It probably wasn’t any colder than it had been a few minutes before, when we were coming home from the Haunted House, but now we were used to the warm air inside the house and it was cold all over again. Plus, we had both taken off our gloves and hats when we went in to look for my glasses, so the air was touching our skin. It made me remember how once Granmy had said that you lose ninety per cent of your body heat through the top of your head, so it’s important to always wear a hat. When she said that, I thought it sounded funny, because if that was true, the top of your head would be warmer than the rest of your body all the time. Then I realized that maybe the top of my head really was warmer than the rest of my body all the time, and I didn’t notice, because I never touch the top of my head. So I decided to check it once every half hour to see how often it felt warm. I made charts on some graph paper I got from the math teacher at school and wrote down how it felt every time. All I found out was that my head felt a little warm if my hands were cold from being outside or from holding a drink that I took out of the fridge. Most of the time my head felt colder than my hands.
When the librarian asked me why I kept touching the top of my head, I told her about my experiment, and she laughed. It hurt my feelings at first, but then she explained that she wasn’t laughing At me, she was laughing because People Believe Such Silly Things. Then she showed me how to find information about Myths on the internet, and we found out that you do lose most of your body heat through your head, but only if you cover your whole body except for your head. That Made Sense. If you wore pants, and a coat, and gloves, and a hat, and a scarf, but no shoes or socks, then most of the heat you lost would be from your feet. So if you wear everything but a hat, then most of the heat you lose is from your head. Actually, it made so much sense that I was really confused that anyone would believe that you really lose more heat from your head than from other places. But when I told Granmy what I’d found out, instead of being happy to learn something new, and that she could stop worrying about hats being so important, instead she got really angry at me. She never told me why. That sort of thing happens all the time.
Now that me and Jose were going out in the cold with no gloves and no hats, that meant we were losing most of our body heat through our heads and our hands. It made me wonder where Granmy was. I wanted to put my hands in my pockets, but they were zipped up, and then I saw what had made the horrible noise, and I forgot that I was going to unzip them.
My tree was on the ground. It had fallen down in between some other trees and landed right in the middle of the yard. My branch was sticking straight up in the air. Granpy and Ms. Fess were standing next to it. They looked scared. Granpy had his hand on Ms. Fess’s shoulder, which made me feel squished-up and wrong inside, but I didn’t know why. But Granpy took his hand off her shoulder, and then I only felt wrong because of my tree being on the ground.
Jose said, “Isn’t that the tree you showed me earlier?” He made me jump because I had forgotten he was there. I nodded my head Yes.
Granpy was walking over to where the tree used to be in the ground. I heard him say “It doesn’t make any sense” and, a few seconds later, “don’t just fall like that.” I was scared, but I had to see what had happened to my tree, so I started walking over to him. Jose came with me. I saw the roots of the tree sticking up in the air. They were a lot bigger than I realized, because before that, they had been mostly underground. Granpy was standing behind the roots, looking at them and scratching his head and pulling at his ear like he always does when he’s Thinking about something. And behind Granpy, I saw a whole line of Dead Eye ghosts. They were all standing next to each other in the woods, in the dark, and they were a little bit blurry because I was wearing the wrong glasses, but they were definitely the same ghosts I saw in the Haunted House.
I asked Jose if he could see them, and he said, See Who?
But we both heard Simon hiss behind us, and when we turned around, we both saw the Duchess leaning against my tree branch.