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“Too far to walk back to the city now.” Luck keeps his head low as they look over the ridge. “I can’t believe you survived the trip once…”

“I hid on a river barge.” Blot’s face is blue with blackberries. “It didn’t hurt, then, as long as we were going south.”

“Neither of us belonged there anyway,” says Luck. “And I know there are people on this side of the river, no matter what they say. Other people, other cities.”

“You believe those baby stories?” Blot’s scorn is older than she is.

“I believe,” says Luck, “in a place called Hope.”