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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Blood Brothers

“Johnny!” Jackson Cage scrambled down the embankment and into the highway. Jack got up to his hands and knees on the pavement and looked up dizzily to see a Cynystran stagecoach bearing down on him. Crap, he had time to think, before the bard grabbed him by the belt and jerked him back out of its path. The horses whinnied and veered, the carriage tilted, some fat man yelled something threatening out the window at the window at them and shook his fist, and then they had passed, vanishing into the night. Jack registered several seconds after the fact that one of the horses’ flying hooves had clipped him across the chest as Jackson pulled him to safety. The force of it felt like it had knocked every word for the next five minutes out of his body. “Jesus Christ,” Jackson said. “What was that about?”

“I--I don’t know,” Jack wheezed. “Something--exploded. Burning.” He looked down at himself in confusion. His shirt was torn almost in half from the hoof strike, but his clothes weren’t blackened, his hair not singed. Illusions didn’t normally affect Jack. “You didn’t see it--didn’t feel it?”

“No,” Jackson said. He was staring at Jack’s shirt too. “What the--” Leaning over, he touched two fingers to the slash across the smaller man’s chest, brought them back clean. He looked at them, looked back at Jack. “What are you?”

“Is she alive?” asked Ebreth, skidding down the incline with passable agility for a pig.

“I think she’s just unconscious.” Aithne’s body lay across the rocks at a very ugly angle. “She has a pulse, anyway. Are you all right?”

“Aaah, my dignity’s survived worse than this.” Ebreth squinted at him. “Jack... are you bleeding?”

“I think so.” Jack put his hand to his burned temple. “I don’t think it’s too serious, though. Should we get out of here before she comes to?”

“Jack,” said Ebreth. “You don’t bleed.”

“I don’t?” he said, confused.

“You didn’t.” Ebreth took a long, long look at his friend, and then finally shook his porcine head. “Fuck it,” he said. “My hunch said trust you, and second-guessing my hunches always gets me hosed. ...I know what her problem is now, but I don’t know if I can explain it to her before she makes bacon out of me. We’d better start making tracks.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

Native American language dictionaries * The Restigouche * Alabama was named * Mohican casino * Indian name origin

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