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Ellery waits a day for the varnish to dry before he takes the axe to the chair. After a while he switches to a sledgehammer, because it’s easier, and accomplishes the same thing.

“No record,” he pants to Kidra between swings. “No embarrassing beginnings. No evolution.”

“You’re not doing a very complete job,” says Kidra. It’s in crude, uneven pieces.

“Don’t care.” Ellery pauses to wipe his nose. “No snide commentary on my amateur days. Not ever. I want to burst into carpentry like Minerva, fully grown.”

But he buries the pieces instead of burning them. Kidra thinks she understands why.