Episode Thirty: Departures: Scene 21

She found us a place that sold burgers, fries, and the best fruit pies I’d had in my memory.


I had a dim memory that dwarven pies were better, from perhaps some childhood trip, but it was still behind a veil. Existing, but not fully retrievable. But I couldn’t…no, I could relax.


I just couldn’t pretend to be normal. It would be lying to myself. And I spent enough time lying.


But I could be me, on vacation. That was probably better anyway. I finished my pie slice and sat back with a sigh. “I wonder if this place ships frozen pies.”


“Mmm…that would be good, wouldn’t it. Except we’d never agree on a flavor.”


“That’s why we get all of the flavors.” Well, maybe not all, but. “Stock up.”


“Hrm. Maybe we could get one of those coolers on the way back.”


Reluctantly, “I think it’s slightly too far, and Angrboda’s not around to do a cold spell for us.”


Kanesha laughed. “I bet she would, though.”


“Oh, she’d want something from me in return, but she’d do it.” I still wasn’t sure why she liked me, it was an awkward friendship. But it was definitely a genuine one.


“Well…we should probably get the check?”


I was in no hurry to move, perhaps having eaten slightly too much pie. But Kanesha was right – somebody else would want the table. “I don’t want to go back to normal.”


“What’s normal?”


“Being shot at.”


She laughed. “Or fireballed at, more likely, of late.” She tailed off as the waiter came over with the check.


Hopefully he hadn’t heard. Or he had misheard it as something more legitimate.


I knew we couldn’t entirely rely on that phenomenon, though. But…it was nice to know most people would mishear us.


And we got out of there with no incident. It was only the next day that we grew a tail.


It was a blue car, battered, rusty, no front license plate. Very convenient, that, but wherever we stopped, it parked nearby.


At lunch, I glanced at Kanesha. “You see that, right?”


“Yeah. Shall we?”


“You stay with the car, just in case they have friends.” I headed over to the blue car. For all I knew it was a friend, but I doubted it.


And I smelled something very off about the car as I approached.


Something not dissimilar to the Valkyrie’s steeds, but something…not nearly as clean and pure.


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