Going back to a bit of writing! Mostly to get this strange weight off my chest. An excerpt:

“I have a plan.”


“You won’t like it.”

“Well, there aren’t many choices.”

“We need help.”

“That much I know.”

“I mean, help. From beneath.”

“No!” Jo bit her lip and her fists tightened. “No. We don’t need help from those people.”

“We do.” Táchira sighed and kneeled down. She fumbled with the dented lighter in her bandaged hand. “I know you have history with them, but they’re not all bad. What about your friend? The tunnel rider?”

“Laurel? I guess. But there’s no way we’re bringing those metal beasts into the forest. They wouldn’t survive the first night.”

“Most of them wouldn’t, agreed. But there are a few. Old friends, you might call them.”

“Really? I didn’t know you still keep in contact with people underground.”

“Oh, I do. I was born there, after all.”

Jo caught her breath. She threw a jarring look at Táchira. “Sorry?”

Táchira paused. Her eyes flitted toward the ground. “I guess I never told you. I was born in the Underground.”

“It… you never showed. I wouldn’t have known.”

“Not that I liked it,” Táchira said quickly. “I never felt at home there, anyway.” She gestured toward the forest and the fields. “This is home. I suppose it’s not always where you’re born, but where you wake up one day and find your real self.”


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