When I grow up, I want to be a sunflower. I want to stand in one place and turn my face with the sun. I want to be tall and bright and make people smile.
Dad says sunflowers will have a better chance than us. But by the time I’ve grown up, even they may need too much water. And they don’t actually turn with the sun. Cacti grows tall, he says. I’ll get to see them soon as we’ll move again and this time, it’ll be the desert.
Cactus, sunflower – I’ll take it, as long as it has roots.
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‘No slowing down.’
‘It’s too hot, Willow. I need a break.’
Clouds offer moments of shade not long enough to make a difference. But it’s not what worries Phoebe. She doesn’t know how far they’ve come. How could she lose the map? It was their only guide home. Not knowing where they are makes her uneasy. She keeps track of landmarks that might make good breadcrumbs, but they will take them only as far as the spot where she noticed she’d lost the map.
Willow marches on, heading for those trees in the distance.