The jeweler’s house, at the bottom of the incline, boiled like a cauldron. Lonan plaited tough thread and rum-mixed resin through Shay’s sweaty hair, patterning crushed cockle shells in braids away from Shay’s hairline. His fingerwork was tight and precise.
“Ow! It’s pulling!”
“You were the one who asked for mercenary charms. You’ll get used to it.”
Next to Lonan’s thigh was a small collection of jet pieces chipped from Eva’s Wall, and two black-tipped seagull feathers. He picked out bits of jet and twine to mat in the longer sections of Shay’s bangs.
“There. Now you’re part of Selwyn’s horde.”
He picked up the two feathers and drove their points into the braids until they stuck. The black tips aligned with Shay’s conspicuous streak of black. Lonan rubbed his fingertips free of resin in the bowl of rum and tried not to think about it.
–“Lost and Found,” Elyan White
This story basically runs on funky rituals, I can’t lie.