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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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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