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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

In The Tunnels Uptown



The Rat tested the air for cats or dogs, and finding none, popped out of the drainpipe into a spherical room. Norna the Valkyrie was hovering here in a white and silver desk, and the Rat eyed her suspiciously. “Please,” she said. “Sit down. Have an orange.”

This was all quite odd, but at some deeper mathematical level, it did seem to add up. The Rat hopped onto the nearby table and scampered across to the bowl of oranges sitting as a centerpiece. As he reared up to hook his front claws into the closest fruit, the bowl tipped sideways and spilled its contents to the floor.

Each orange hit the gently curved floor and shattered into thousands of pieces.

“You see,” said the Valkyrie.

The Rat looked at the one remaining orange between his paws, and thought maybe he did.

“We have much to do,” she said, almost gently. “Let us begin.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

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