Twenty-Four: The City of Mounds

The door that covered the entrance to the dugout creaked cautiously open. Its misshapen wooden boards scraped the dirt floor as a sneaky shaft of daylight slipped past. From the narrow earthen passageway beyond, the light pushed eagerly through the widening doorway, growing bit by bit. Instinctively, Laura and Ma both looked to Mary. They […]

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Nineteen: On Convoy

The Great Eighty Road stretched on and on, gray and unwavering, day after day. Laura sometimes found herself despairing at its oppressive straightness, longing for the days when her way had meandered and detoured in all manner of surprising directions. . . .

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Fifteen: Carrying On

“It’s time for us to go,” Pa said when he found them there.

Laura lay cradled in Ma’s lap, beneath the shade of an apple tree. Mary and Baby Grace huddled close beside. Somewhere up above them, birds chirped. . .

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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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