The lopsided asymmetry of the shanty-house slouches oceanwards...
Lonan braced his hands on both sides of the nearest hollow, staring into it with all his determination. Porous rock stabbed his palms. The blackness ahead shimmered with sound. Garbled nothing-lyrics vibrated below his ear and jaw. All around him, Lonan was surrounded by the rushing Ream.
Every day before breakfast, Mariela crept out to see the fairy’s maze. She took her mother’s old mirror from the top of its mahogany dresser, blowing off the scraps of crumbling wallpaper, and swiped a scone from the cook’s first batch of the day.
After the first pirate attack there were the humiliating murmurs, the way Neils would gently separate them after that. He’s meant for Cypress, people tried to explain to Lonan. Then Xan got the seashell tattoo, pearl-white on his chest.
In the pale wash of the cracked window, his clipped hair shone almost white. He’d changed since he and Lonan had been bathed together and scolded together—he was built like a swordswoman’s son now. His mother’s spitting image.
The runners bolted at the signal. Their feet pounded the rock, all Serafina’s teenagers galloping through the crevasses. Jeanie with the leg she’d broken summers ago lagged, but her torch was the first to find kindling. The long fronds of a fescue patch ignited.
Cyprus touched the remnants of the decal. He could make out very faint impressions of white trees, their leafless branches enclosing blue-green globes. Silver-dabbed snakes cradled them, eyes set from trimmed malachite.
Shackles in filigree cage man’s wings to his chest.
The fire bursts awake in the trees. It begins by eating the green from each leaf.
The letters get away from me, making tiramisu.