Nobody can hear you, what do you think you’re doing?
Trying to see if anybody can hear me.
Nobody can hear me, I know. I got that. Where do you think they are?
You’re asking me?
Might as well.
Not close to the front, that’s where.
Where do you think we are?
In a giant red desert.
Wherever that strange color warping thing before the box took us.
That’s not helpful!
You’re the one that asked.
Pretty sure. Not like it matters though, since we’re both me. Both you. We’re the same person.
I know, Cory.
I know you know, Cory.
So what are we going to do?
Find shelter? Find food, find water?
Sounds like a plan.
Small problem, where does one get water in a desert?
I don’t see any plants. I just see rocks.
How should I know?
Okay, well, maybe we could find a cave to sleep in so the sun doesn’t scorch us.
Great idea Cory.
“Mina, I’ve got a problem.”
“It’s my anniversary of being alive and you forgot it?” Mina didn’t turn around from the sink of dishes.
Cory paused. “It’s not your anniversary. I bet you don’t even know what day it is.”
“Wednesday,” she announced flatly.
Cory titled his head. “It is?”
Mina shrugged and set a sparking gray plate aside. “Sure.”
He sighed. “The problem is I need to be able to talk to Winnie.”
She paused, hand halfway between plate and sink. “Is that really such a big deal?”
Mina turned, setting her sudsy scrub brush to the side. “Why?”
“Because she’s all the way over in the forest.”
“I…fail to see what the issue is exactly, Cory.”
He tugged a stool away from the flour-strewn counter and eased himself into it. He sniffed. “Bread?”
Mina nodded. “I was just cleaning up.”
Mina frowned. “I think you have a point you’re waiting to make.”
He grinned faintly. “How well would your bread work without one of the ingredients? No flour, or something?”
Turning back to the sink, her gray apron rippled. “You know exactly how it would turn out. Terribly.”
“Well, I need to talk to Winnie, because without any communication with her she’s a missing ingredient.”
She chuckled. “I don’t think that bread metaphor quite works out.” Sink water sloshed. “Unless you’re trying to bake a conversation into a pie.”
“Alright, so it’s not the best metaphor. Ingredients aren’t quite like good communication,” he rubbed a hand over the flour-strewn counter, forming absent swirls. “But my point still stands. It’s important, because I don’t want to miss any information.”
Mina set another glistening plate on the fuzzy towel to her side. “Cory, I think you need to lighten up a little bit. If Winnie has something important to tell, I’m sure she’ll find a way to tell us. She can fly.”
Cory sighed. “I just don’t like it.”
“Would some bread help?”
He shrugged. “I’m not particularly in a mood for eating.”
“I could use some help cleaning up. That would get your mind off it.”
Cory frowned at the drying dishes. “Fine,” he sighed. “What do you need help with?”
Mina glanced back. “You could start with the counter.”
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