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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Checking In

Damn fine carpets they had here, anyway.

For some reason that was the first conscious thought Ebreth found himself with, standing there in the otherworld hallway. Part of him still couldn’t believe he’d gotten so blasé about interplanar travel that the interior decorating of a place like this could catch his attention more than the staggering strangeness of being there in the first place. But it was the middle of the night, and just about anything seemed plausibly routine to Ebreth in the groggy moments between awake and asleep. He was still in his bathrobe, and the carpet was unusually plush under his bare feet. Ebreth Tor didn’t know what the hell was going on here, but he knew a good carpet when he stood on it.

Brett was there then, suddenly. Not the kind of appearance from nowhere that made teleportation so unsettling, more like she’d been there all along and Ebreth just hadn’t noticed her for some reason. “Welcome to the Hotel,” she said.

“Right,” said Ebreth, rubbing his eyes. “Are you going to tell me what this is about now, Brett?”

“I’m not really Brett,” she said.

“You’re not?” He squinted at her in confusion. Something about her did look different, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. “But you were just standing with me... on the porch.” She shook her light head. “Well, then who are you?”

“Your destiny,” she said.

“If I had a dime for every woman who tried to tell me that,” Ebreth said.

“You’d be able to buy yourself a better jokewriter.” She looped her arm through his. He realized, suddenly, what was different about her: her hair wasn’t wet. “Come with me.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

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