The Tasteof Burnt Matches
“I want to go home.” My sister turned rom the river andclosed her eyes, as though she could wish away the river,and the barge on the river, and Eldric on the barge. But liedoesn’t work that way, more’s the pity.“We can’t leave now,” said Father. “It would hurt Eldric’seelings, don’t you see?”But Rose didn’t see. She never saw, not about eelings. “Iwant to go home.” Villagers thronged the riverside, but they gave us plenty o room. I’d orgotten that, orgotten how they let a cushiono air around the clergyman and his porcelain daughters. We’dalways be outsiders, even though Father’s spent twenty yearsin the Swampsea, and Rose and I have spent seventeen. We’venever been anywhere else.“One hundred and eighty-three steps until home,” saidRose.