It took them half a day to reach another of those clear spaces where they could make enough sense to each other for more of the story.
“A railroad oval. An engine runs into a caboose. Tale before the tiger,” Marion explained. “A race between beginning and end, she said. Tale wins.”
“Maybe tails win,” Billy Jean King said while sitting on a small bed in the corner of the otherwise almost unfurnished and undecorated cabin. “As in a coin. Flipping a coin — heads and tails.”
“She said to always pay attention to the blue roses. They always indicate something. We looked west now. Two thrones — blue roses to side. She said these were the Prince and Princess of Rosehaven, but only when Caledon is Caledonia.”
“See?” BJK nudged Philip sitting beside her in the ribs. “I *told* you it was Caledon. Maybe we were in the wrong place to start with.”
“No,” insisted Marion. “We were definitely in the right place. Caledonia. And then — get this — they removed their, er, masks. Actually the Prince had on some rainbow swirly globe or something — over his head. The princess just shed her golden skin, like a snake. ‘Let the waters rise,’ they said in unison, then. I looked around but didn’t see any water, let alone water rising. But something had changed. I could feel it.”
I also noticed there was a tiny bit missing from the Prince’s fin-foot, like it was bitten a little bit.”
“A little *bite*,” BJK insisted. She turned toward Philip knowingly. Philip just stared back blankly.
“The Princess’ shoe was right there.”
“Achilles heel?” BJK offered, visualizing it backwards in her mind.