They drove on. There were other holes in the road, of course, but none were as bad as the one that had nearly swallowed the van.
They wore themselves out, Cya and Pellinore, muttering Words under their breath to make the dirt, to shape the road, to give themselves the paved surface where no road crew had been in generations.
And then, when they were both panting from the effort, Pellinore’s son wiggled up into the front, perching on the console between them. “I can…?”
He made it a question, which made Pellinore want to punch something. This was his son. His son, not some woman’s…
“Hey.” The boy thumped him in the arm with a fist. “You’re getting that face.”
Pellinore coughed. “What face?” The boy was a stranger, he couldn’t know…
“The Luke face. I mean, Luke gets it a lot; he doesn’t like the idea of collars at all, I think. Ambrus got it once or twice, but if your name is really Pellinore, I always figured that explained it.”
“That…” Pellinore was lost.
“Anyway, relax. I like being under her collar. It’s a lot better than anything I’ve had before. And anyway, I can take over for the Workings for a bit and let you two guys rest.”
“I think we’d better stop the van.” Cya was already matching actions to words and putting the brakes on. “Because…”
She didn’t need to finish that sentence. Because the road ends would have been close, but the road didn’t so much end as turn straight upwards in a gravity-defying right angle.
And in front of the right-turn there was a sign.
“Well.” Pellinore coughed. “I bet this is our first stop.”
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