“But I’m tired of the doll house. I want to play on the rocking horse.”
Alexander’s complaint reached Maria as she crossed the midpoint of the stairs. The creak of the ancient wooden staircase beneath her feet drowned out his next words, and it wasn’t until she approach his bedroom door that she heard him speak again.
Emporium was quiet for a Saturday night, but then, it tended to attract a lot of Espers. Dunno why. Maybe they like the music. Maybe they like that the bar staff don’t ask How’s your day been? as soon as you pull up a stool. Maybe they just like the soft-light ambiance. Emporium wasn’t really my scene, but I didn’t feel as uncomfortable there as most simple, honest folk do.
One micey. Two micey. Three micey. Four—
He stopped, stock still, on the gleaming barbed wire fence. The fourth spike was empty. Where was four micey?
“Tell us a story, Grandpa!” Talia begged. Her cry was picked up by the other children in the flock, a chorus of voices demanding entertainment.
Pussycat lay draped over the side of the rowboat, her paw trailing listlessly in the water. Every few minutes a fish would swim up to examine the ripples, only to dart back to the safety of the depths when Pussycat took a swipe.
Her gnarled knuckles ache with the pain of age and cold as she directs the brush this way and that across the upright canvas. Darkness is her comfort, her old friend, her nightly blanket. Darkness because eyes clouded by cataracts require no light by which to see.
We dug into the ground with pick and axe, iron and steel biting into rich earth. We delved for everything which sparkled and shone. From the ground we tore everything precious, and some things which were not.
It came in the night. A rage-filled howl shattered the peaceful air of the valley, screaming its promise of pain and death. Zihao’s eyes flew open. He pushed himself up from his futon and grasped the hilt of his sword. Fear clawed at his stomach; he fought against it, and won.
“Are we doing the right thing?” Fran’s voice quavered around the laboratory. “He’s been gone for so long. What if we can’t bring him back? What if something goes wrong? So much has changed since he was last awake—”
Mother and babe slept soundly, she beneath a grey blanket and the child nestled in a crib at the foot of the bed. The glass of the bedroom window pane fogged with the heat of Saoirse’s breath as she stared in at the pair. The sleeping woman was fair and beautiful, exactly Odhran’s type. He always picked the finest mortals to bear his offspring.