Persis had never heard a door slam in Seller’s Moon. No raised voices, and no babies’ cries—no one wanted to stir up dust from the long season.
Crushed between two pages bookmarking a section on home fertility remedies, Shiori found a head of dried hydrangeas. He plucked it out gingerly—the petals were veined and brittle as fly wings. They shuddered quietly in his grasp. Shiori's eyebrow ticked. He hated dead things.
“Tell me, Umi Siskin, great hero of the Margins,” he said. “Tell my why a Demon is a Demon.”
This is what the stars have shown us. From this day forward, the Lumisary Legion is disbanded. By the turning of the final lunar month this year, all services for the dead will be concluded. The War of Bleeding Margins is, henceforth, not to be written, mentioned, or preserved in any distasteful way. From thirty-three years of suffering, let us build thirty-three more of perfect peace.
He killed any fondness for his favorite game, of spotting the nervous buttonquails when they ran. He thought not at all of being sent off to bed without haggard carers and squabbling sisters.
Before their boat touched shore, Umi had listed the behavior and customs expected in Saikasu to the best of her memory. Be conservative in the home of the high priestess, she'd said. Take nothing and give nothing. Do not let anyone read you.
Creativity is not glamorous. Usually, it's a bit more like trying to shake a wet piece of paper out the bottom of the wastebin. Here are more confessions from and for the put-upon writer. (To all this month's Camp Nano participants, keep it up!)
Shiori fell to the bottom of the world. It was black. It was cold, and wet like oil was wet. It was full of moving faces. They ate Shiori’s fingers, robes, eyes.
Shardae Jacaranda’s cords were purple. Royal treason. Her chain locked her upright to the stained wall of the house who owned her. Dangerous. She spit at everyone who met her, when she had enough spit, and heat stuck her hair to her face in short black chunks. Not going to sell.
“Regnor has a history with magic like this. We’ll send him there.”