By Jennifer Estep
It's now not as nice as you'd imagine, dwelling in a vacationer city that's often called "the such a lot magical position in America." related dull highschool, simply two times as many monsters less than the bridges and rival households killing one another for power.
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Extra resources for Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, Book 1)
Good black suit, a little too small, clutched briefcase, freckles of gray in the hair. No rings. He did not seem startled or doubled over with desire as they sometimes were. He was calm, his answering smile measured and almost sweet, like a photograph of a soldier lost in a long-ago war. Coolly, without taking his dark eyes from hers, he turned over his left palm and rested it on the creamy brown edge of his briefcase. His hand was covered in a mark she first thought horrible—it snaked and snarled, black and swollen, where fortune-teller’s lines ought to have been.
At the end of each day they tell her all they have learned of living. It is necessary work. No family has been so often formally thanked by the city as hers. _______ On the other side of the street: a fortune-teller’s shop. Palm fronds cross before the door. Inside are four red chairs with four lustral basins before them, filled with ink, swirling and black. Orlande lumbers in, a woman wrapped in ragged fox fur. Her head amid heaps of scarves is that of a frog, mottled green and bulbous-eyed. A licking pink tongue keeps its place in her wide mouth.
It folds itself, origami-exact, in midair: it has papery eyes, inky feathers, vellum claws. It stares down the long avenues, searching for mice. This is the life cycle of Palimpsest fauna. Yumiko leans against the door post, holding her arms out like a sister who had never hoped to see her dear one again. She is not wearing her schoolgirl’s dress any longer, but a red scrap that clings to her waist like a spool of yarn pulled tighter than breathing. With a local girl’s surety she guides Sei inside—a little scalloped bell chimes, and Imogen looks up from her parchments with a stern face, her black hair soft around a neck just slightly too long for a woman to wear in company.