Monday, November 19, 2012

From The Killing Moon - N. K. Jemisin

"More than shadows aided this priest’s stealth. Long training softened his footfalls against the stone; his feet were bare in any case. He wore little altogether, trusting the darkness of his skin for camouflage as he crept along, guided by the sounds of the city. An infant’s cry from a tenement across the street; he took a step. Laughter from several floors below his ledge; he straightened as he reached the window that was his goal. A muffled cry and the sounds of a scuffle from an alley a block away; he paused, listening and frowning. But the disturbance ended as sandals pattered on the cobblestones, fading into the distance, and he relaxed. When the love-cries of the young couple next door floated past on a breeze, he slipped through the curtains into the room beyond. The bedchamber: a study in worn elegance. The priest’s eyes made out graceful chairs upholstered in fraying fabrics, and wood furnishings gone dull for lack of polish. Reaching the bed, he took care to avoid shadowing the face of the person who slept there—but the old man’s eyes opened anyhow, blinking rheumily in the thin light. “As I thought,” said the old man, whose name was Yeyezu. His hoarse voice grated against the silence. “Which one are you?” “Ehiru,” said the priest. His voice was as soft and deep as the bedchamber’s shadows. “Named Nsha, in dreams.” The old man’s eyes widened in surprise and pleasure. “So that is the rose’s soulname. To whom do I owe this honor?”" 3.5 out of 5

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