Peering up from a low crouch while re-situating dusty, sweat-smeared hands filled with random bits of debris, Hope finally hisses, "I have no idea what you're talking about. I've kept my end of the bargain; you keep yours."
Joshua sighs. "You don't get this, do you. There is no deal. There is no bargain. And heaven help me, if only I could make you finally understand ... there is no competition. It's all been a lie!"
An indrawn breath is all that registers. Then its slow, forced release. Followed by a steady grind of teeth.
"Then what the hell am I doing here! What the hell are we doing here! Josh, since you know so much, tell me why ... are ... we ... HERE?!
Joshua, obviously playing for time, pushes the toe of his left boot into a partial decomposed clod of garden soil and squishes it flat. "I'm not quite sure. But I have a few theories. I'll share'em with ya if you're interested. But only if your interested."