Elaine poked her head out the tent flaps and observed a vaguely familiar world. When she looked east, though, there was a swirl of grey where she knew home was.
“Hey, kiddo. Ready to call your dad?”
He was on his way! On his way! He could come and get them, he could take them back to Mave’s car…or could he? Mave sensed her question.
“Not yet, sweetheart. They’ve blocked the traffic headed home.”
“But Dad said…”
“Yes, he can get as far as Longville, and it may take him until tomorrow sometime to get here. We’ve already checked with the Info Lady, and she said no buses, no dice. We can either sit here and wait or start hoofing it again.”
Dad said he could find someplace on the way to meet her if they moved again, and they were letting people charge up phone and emergency batteries in town.
Dean stretched and indicated the smoke. “They say we’re safe…for now. I say we walk into town and recharge those batteries. All of ours.”
As Elaine steadied herself, still getting used to the bright-pink-now-swathed-with-grey feet that were not hers, she noticed something.
“Karen!” The girl turned. A girl whom Elaine had never seen without perfectly coiffed hair, stood about 10 yards off, with mismatched socks, an orange shirt and pink leggings, and unkempt hair. Elaine ran forward, now in a pant.
Karen, one of Miranda’s perfect, beautiful, older friends. Now looking imperfect and extremely out of sorts.
“Karen! Karen, do you know where Miranda is?”