Allegro 44: Princess

The Glasscoaster continued to be a viable mode of transportation for almost half a century despite the considerable advances in technology.

— Forsin dea Casin, The Legacy of the Glass Vehicle Company

Linsan didn't realize how much losing the Glasscoaster had stressed her. Being in the leather seat felt like a comfortable bed and the heat filtering through the windshield made it hard to keep her eyes open. Underneath her, the rumble of the engine and the thump of pistons were a lullaby.

She yawned and turned to the side.

Next to her, Brook was on her second glass of tea. She looked more relax than Linsan, with a smile on her lips and an almost mediative look on her face as she scanned the road ahead. Her hand constantly shifted from the gears, to her cup, to her lap, and then back again. It was graceful how she moved.

Linsan regarded her friend. Even though there was a new intimacy between them, she wasn't sure what would happen with them. She had no idea if she was in love, lust, or something else. Her knowledge of plays and songs couldn't help her; her heart wasn't bursting with joy and not a single bird gave her a monologue. She was also sure that she wasn't looking at Brook in the same way her mother looked at her father.

She sighed and closed her eyes. What was love? Affection? Lust? Something else? She enjoyed the closeness and the sex was enjoyable, but she couldn't imagine dressing up like Brook any more than she could imagine Brook wanting to dedicate her life to the Sterlig grove which Linsan could never abandon.

No answers came from fairies flying into the car or that one talking cat from Gone With Winds and Flowers. Linsan smiled to herself and began to hum one of the songs from the play before glancing at the back seat.

Miska was still sprawled out on the back seat, knees up to her chest and her blonde pony tail resting on her shoulder. But her eyes were wide open, staring at nothing.

Linsan's heart skipped a beat for a moment.

Then Miska looked at her and smiled.

Linsan did a double take.

With a yawn, Miska sat up and leaned into the gap between the two seats. Her eyes scanned the road and then she pointed forward. “You need to get stop at that village in about three leagues.”

Brook jumped. “Mother damned!”

The buggy swayed violently for a moment before she got it under control.

“What is wrong with you?”

Miska didn't seem perturbed. “You are burning off your water. I figured you have about five to ten leagues before you're out. The village up there is a cistern and a place for me to patch up the boiler.”

Brook peered at one of the gauges. “It says I'm good.”

“Well, I say you are leaking water, Princess. So do you trust that I installed that thing properly or the fact I can hear your water tank running low?”

Brook's lips tightened.

They continued down the road, not slowing at all. The Glasscoaster bounced off a rut and Brook smoothly brought it back into line.

Miska shrugged and then leaned back. “You're choice, Princess.”

“Stop calling me that!”

“Well, stop dressing up like some doll and acting like you have a stick rammed up that ass of yours and maybe I will.” Miska clicked her tongue as she sat back heavily.

Brook's face purpled. “You have some nerve.”

“And you should be a lot more grateful I'm trying to keep you on the winter-blown road!”

“It isn't even winter!”

Miska said nothing.

Linsan groaned. The two were going to be fighting for the rest of the trip if she didn't find a way of getting them to talk to each other. They both had a lot in common, if they stopped and listened.

A league raced by then Miska groaned loudly. “Damn, I should have packed some supplies.”

Linsan leaned into the space between the seats. “I wasn't sure, so I found some of your clothes and put them into the trunk. I also threw in some of your pieces of metal.”

“And my hammer?”

“Um… no. But I did put some pliers and other tools into the back. Plus you can use mine, but they're rather delicate and suited for maintenance of instruments.”

Miska chuckled. “Good girl. I guess I won't have to go buff after all.”

Brook's noise wrinkled. “That's disgusting.”

“Eat my ass, Princess, and maybe I'll do the same.”

Brook started to say something, but her mouth remained open as her eyes widened. A blush colored her cheeks.

Seeing a possibility, Linsan sat back with a smile.

Brook glared at her.

Up ahead, Linsan spotted a sign for the village. “Are you going to stop?”

Brook made an annoyed noise in the back of her throat. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel. The Coaster began to accelerate, pushing Linsan back into her seat.


“Fine!” Brook snapped before pulling her foot off the accelerator.