Sixteen: The Great Eighty Road

The men had wanted silver. That seemed to be the short of it. The answer hadn’t felt especially satisfying to Laura when Pa had tried to lay it out for her the night before, and, when she awoke the next morning, her questions seemed to have only grown as she slept, like seedlings sprouting new shoots in the moist night air. . . .

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Fourteen: Jimapples

Laura stood on the tips of her toes, straining to reach her paintbrush just as high as it would go. Everywhere her brush swished and dabbed, the monster’s creetrock skin glowed like new, protecting the ancient beast from wind and rain and sun. . . .

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Eleven: Tobias Goatherd

Laura couldn’t sort out at first where her memories ended and where the dreams began. She remembered something stalking her. She could still feel it, icy on her skin, the terror of being treed by some unseen predator. . . .

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Ten: Yowa Country

The days that followed were warm. Laura didn’t need to wear her mittens or her wool cap any more. A few days later, when they stopped for a midday rest on a bluff overlooking a densely forested river valley, Ma let Laura unlace her traveling cloak. . . .

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Seven: Showtales

One night, Laura and her family made camp by a lake. They had been following a road called the Ten Road. Or maybe it was called the Ninety-Four Road. Or else it had no name . . . .

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