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The · Record · of · Roses


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He thinks, on the road; mostly of that night, of the dizzying dancers, of Rosamaria with her pockets lined with sugar, of the two of them shoved behind the statue of St. Iona, in the darkness of the family chapel, giggling and stuffing strawberry tarts into their mouth. How happy they were to have gotten away with something so big, until Nurse showed up and dragged them both out by their ears to their tired, post-party parents.

They've been in the cart for a few days. Everything they have is loaded in it: the furniture, the books, Rosa's wardrobe. The whiskey. That's stashed up front.

It's all right. He breathes easy; they take turns napping in the back of the cart wedged in the wrapped-up bedclothes. They stay at inns along the way. He registers as "Marcus Grant," because it's been a while since any of the Helstones have passed this way, and he doesn't want to leave a trail for the agents of Altias Bromn that follow. He rests his hand on Rosa's leg during the day. He stares forward. He stays quiet. He doesn't talk about Myrken Wood. Or Altias Bromn. Just his father; just about the old times.

"... do you remember, Rosa," he says, "when we met? Is that the only time we got caught? I don't remember."
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