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This is from the short story I’m currently working on:
Towards the end of Kit’s life, she came to understand that memories were also a kind of magic. They were alive even as magic was alive: taking root from within her heart, yet changing with each passing heartbeat, so that she could never hold onto the shape; and perhaps, she thought, all the more lovely for it, for the fleeting had its own beauty. The night that the marble men came with fire, Kit remembered, was the most beautiful night of all. In the dusk the boy from across the street came to see her with a secret. He wore a impish grin and sly, bright eyes, poking his head through the door like a fox sniffing the henhouse air. He was no fox, though. His hair was long and heavy with curls, his clothes a tangle of lace and rainbow colors, pungent with the scent of honeyed oils. In the old country the women would have slapped him for wearing such things. For her part, Kit thought it made the boy look the fool. It made him look like one of the marble men of this land, the men with skin dry and fleshless as bone, but of course he was not. He never would be. That was the way with their people, the people who lived apart in earth and hovel. It was always that way, with them.
“Go away, Amma,” Kit told him. She stuck out her tongue. “Or else bother my sister.”
“She’d tattle on me, and then your Ma would chase me back across the street with the big spoon. Did you hear about Preacher Ellar?”
“Preacher Ellar is a shampooed dog.”
Shampoo was one of Kit’s favorite insults from this land, and she had more occasion to use it now than ever.
“Preacher Ellar says that the crown is pleased with how the gospel spreads in the community. That’s why he was invited to see the king. He wants some of the young Puuna to go with him.” Amma smiled, his voice softening as he leaned in close. “Like me.”
That stopped Kit’s tongue. “You’re going to see the king?”
Getting back into short story writing this summer. I’m going to try to write one new short story per week.