After a long plane journey where I posed as Alyce's unfortunate mute cousin, we bunked down for the night in a cheap motel. It was bitterly cold outside, and sleet pounded the windows.
The heating was too warm; it made sweat trickle down necks into collars and brows needing to be wiped frequently. Stifling, clammy and close indoors, bitter cold, fresh and windy outside in the snow.
Alyce sat cross legged on the grey bed coveres studying her maps, while I flicked through television channels, bored. It was getting on Alyce's nerves, I could tell.
"Look," she exploded after I had flicked through all fifty channels and began at the start again. "I don't even know what we're looking for here. Any help?"
I shrugged. I was in a bad mood, and the atmosphere was tense as Alyce scowled at the maps on the bed.
"We can't go anywhere in a car," she added miserabley. "I can't drive."
I rolled my eyes expressivley at the cieling. Alyce enjoyed mourning over her lack of driving expertese.
It's easy really I wrote on my whiteboard.
She snorted at me. "Look, something odd is going on here, and I know that we are going to figure this out."
I gave her a double thumbs up and slumped back on the bed, eyes foccusing on the television again. Canadian TV is bad I thought. Or maybe I was just used to watching CBBC shows on BBC One all afternoon, then watching the repeats later.
This was going nowhere. Stuck in a country on the other side of the world where everyone drove on the wrong side of the road and called pavements sidewalks.
There was a way. We were looking in the wrong place. Looking for a totally normal and rational explanation.
Maybe that was wrong. Maybe something bigger was going down here. Something, different...