“*There’s* our tea, April Mae. I thought I was going to have to ask to send your (6 prim) *gardener* away.”
“I’m not quite finished with him,” defended his wife of 7 years about keeping her vacation pal around a bit longer. “You have your smoking guns. What do you care?”
Herbert Gold couldn’t say anything to that. He looked down at the steaming hot tea in front of him. He’d have to wait to take a sip. April Mae put her own cup to mouth and slurped noisily, taking a deep draw. She was use to hot. She grew up in central Jeogeot.
“Well… I *do* like the house. It’s in the middle of everything, it seems. Middle of Meribel, middle of Snowlands. You know I’m use to middle, growing up in the center…”
“Yes,” interrupted Herbert. “I know.” He watched her slurp more while his own tea still wasn’t ready for his own mouth. “I *am* glad you like it, despite all else. But…” Herbert hung his head down. He couldn’t say it. April Mae said it for him.
“I know,” she attempted to comfort. “Rosehaven was perfect, I know.”
He was going to dream of someplace else tonight. He was determined about it, did all the right preparations before bedtime. *Not* Rosehaven. But, as he was told, *negative* suggestions didn’t usually work. He couldn’t tell himself, over and over, *not* to dream about Rosehaven. He might as well say to himself to dream about it then. Instead he decided to suggest someplace warm. That would let Rosehaven and its current, wintery landscape out of the picture. But it brought into play some possibilities he didn’t particularly care about. Like jungle. April Mae would be at home there. Not him. So he decided instead of “warm” he would use the word “temperate.” He looked it up beforehand to make sure. Temperate climates indicates *mild* temperatures. Not too hot, not too cold. A goldilocks clime. He finally fell asleep at 2:01 AM…
“Aah, North Yd. Shouldn’t known.” But North Yd was no longer a wasteland village but simply a wasteland period. The Tiler Church was no longer here. Zoidboro didn’t have a place to preach any more.
Yes, he realized. He was looking for Zoidboro. And possibly his guy-gal pal Patrick Starr as well. Better head up the cliffs to see Sally. Both of ’em. Get the scoop on what happened to North Yd.