A five-legged toad sat against the side, staring at her with wide, bulging eyes. Five legs, the sign of Aheben, the Fifth. Daha recoiled.
It is called transference, of course it does, though of course it is not exactly that. Mrs. Pongboon has a device, yes she does, and what the device does, is copy—how clever, those Chinese across the border!—is copy-and-delete.
Reh Izo came from Toynejo, where they believed in wishes. Lopi knew Reh came from Toynejo because of her accent, and because of her rings, and because of way she always accepted packages with a little jerky nod. That was a Toynejo habit, that jerky nod.
Martha killed the wolf as it belly-wiggled out from the chicken coop. A head shot, on account of the wolf was only halfway out, and the fence blocked most everything else. With her newfangled Winchester, she could’ve had another shot, but there was no call to waste a second bullet.
Yes, the Cloud Nine does have wings. Huge wings, each twice as long as the ship itself and ten feet thick, covered atop with what can only be checkerboard grids of black solar cells, their trailing edges spouting long lines of presently immobile propellers. It’s like standing on the back of a gigantic metal manta ray.
She made a false step in the darkness, maybe even two steps, and stumbled off the road and couldn’t stumble back. It was insane; how hard could it be to turn around and undo a thing as simple as a step?
The whispers fly home at dusk, rushing to the castle. They flow through windows and holes in the ceiling and the spaces between collapsed walls, eager to share what they’ve learned since their last gathering.
The Mumbaki came, as did the elder warriors, and they sang of Bugan the sky goddess who descended to earth to marry the warrior Kinggawan. They sang of how the lovers lost each other and how Kinggawan seeks his Bugan to this day. When the Mumbaki poured the wine over your head you did not cry.
I am Molimus. I live under the bridge where the day-boats go from wet and wooden Bracklow to the foot of the sweeping stone stair going up the hill to Firmitas and the military school.
The Mission District of San Francisco is a weird place, even by SF standards. If Herb Caen was right, if this is Baghdad-by-the-Bay, then the Mission is the back corridors of the seraglio, where the eunuchs trot about with chilled sherbet and headsman’s axes.