The night Miss Carstairs first saw the merman, there was a great storm along the Massachusetts coast. Down in the harbor town, old men sat in taverns drinking hot rum and cocking their ears at the wind whining and whistling in the chimneys.
The morning after she lost her art, Felicity sat at her speckled mirror, inspecting the glossy, gray-white feathers covering her cheeks and forehead.
“Dragon-slaying is an honorable death, and generally quick, from my understanding; and will legally clear your debts. Unless you would prefer to commit suicide?” he inquired.
The dire bat’s headless body lay on the floor of the cave like an accusation, blackish blood still seeping from its neck. Crystal looked at it and shuddered, disgusted, before giving it a sharp kick.
The license was invalid by a couple of months, and the photo on it looked somewhat like him but it was faded and not reliable. I told him so. “Oh,” he said. “I should have noticed it was out of date.”
Lily’s hand is not resting carelessly in her lap. Lily’s sandy feet are not up on the dashboard. Lily’s salty hair is not blowing into a knotted, lovely mess.
Curious, he had asked the wounded man, “Did you slam into me on purpose?” People did sometimes, to provoke a fight with Richard St. Vier, the master swordsman who wouldn’t take challenges from just anyone.
The boy felt a tingling at the tip of his fingers. He saw with his inner eye: The leader rode unarmed because his power was great. The aura of Qi around him was unmistakable.
Why had I come back to Collingswood? That was what I asked myself, standing on the path that led to the main school building, a structure built of gray stone and shadowed by oaks that had stood for a hundred years.
Samuel Crewe was the son of a witch. He was, in fact, the seventh son of a witch, who had herself been one of seven daughters. In fairy tales, this sort of lineage was meant to point to great strength, good fortune, and adventures.