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Eight

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        Fortunately it didn’t take very long for us to get to the Fifth Region once the shuttle picked us up. “Never again,” Winder said after we’d gotten off the shuttle and started heading in the direction that the shuttle driver had pointed us in.

“What?” I asked him.

“I’m never riding on a shuttle again.”

“Why?”

“Why? Because it’s disgusting that’s why,” he said curtly. “I knew there was a reason I never let myself get on one before.”

“Not all shuttles are the same you know.”

“They pretty much are. I hate public transportation.”

“I don’t know how you’ve lived all these years, Boy,” Kanon chimed in.

“What are you talking about?” Winder snapped.

“How can you survive without public transportation?”

“Easy: I don’t take it.”

“But—“

“I’d rather walk before stepping foot in another one of those germ-infested buses.”

“What if the place you’re going to is like, hundreds of miles away?” I asked.

“Then I’ll call a limo service to come pick me up and take me to the airport so I can fly those ‘hundreds of miles’ in first class,” he quickly responded, never missing a beat. “Even a plane ride wouldn’t be as miserable as that shuttle ride.”

“What about the taxi we took to the airport?”

“That was disgusting too.”

“So then why did we take it?”

“Because you were so gong-ho on calling a taxi.”

“No I wasn’t.”

“Really? ‘Let’s call a taxi to take us to the airport’ doesn’t ring a bell?”

“Well yeah, I suggested that because I didn’t know how else we were gonna get to the airport.”

“I told you: a limo.”

“Well most people take taxis, so that’s why I suggested a taxi.”

“Whatever.”

“And you didn’t say anything to stop me, so you’re just as much at fault.”

“Well you’d just pulled me off the street saying you had this master plan of how we can bring ‘world peace’ … how was I supposed to disagree with your plan? I’d just met you—I wasn’t gonna make a scene when I’d just met you.”

“Whatever Winder,” I said, as we turned a corner onto a dirt road that was labeled Sparrow Lane. It was pretty barren except for the few rundown, rusty buildings and the one house that were on it. “You didn’t complain or interject.”

“I wasn’t complaining about the taxi! I was complaining about the shuttle!”

“Yeah but taxis are just as ‘germ-infested!’”

“Yeah well I wasn’t in the right state of mind to complain about it back in Diamonds!” I rolled my eyes. “But now I am. And I’m saying I hate public transportation.”

“Alright, y’all quit it,” Kanon interjected.

“This place is a dump,” Winder blurted out as we approached the place that had the number 13 on its black mailbox. I was thinking the same thing. The house looked more like an underground, secret fortress of sorts than a loving home. Even though there were no neighboring homes in site, I felt as though I was on the front line, and I was being watched.

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