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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Secret Debts

*Squeak,* explained the Rat, riding on Norna’s shoulder as she strode along the shore. *Twitch.* *Clean whiskers.* “I understand!”

“That might work,” Norna responded. She had lost the Valkyrian breastplate and helmet; in faded jeans and a ponytail, barefoot on the sand, she seemed more accessible somehow, less dangerous. Of course, the Rat knew she was really more dangerous, but it didn’t seem to matter as much. That was the nice thing about fairies, he guessed. Not that Seeker of Places didn’t like humans, but it had to be admitted, they were not the most mentally stable beings in the phylum. “You realize it will involve temporal paradox.”

“Thank you,” the Rat said firmly. *Squeak.* *Chitter.* *Twitch.*

“You sound very determined. Are you willing to pay the price?”

The Rat shivered a little, but this was Jack they were talking about, after all. *Squeak.*

“I see.” She hopped up onto the hood of a nearby Dodge, looking thoughtfully across at the sunrise. “This may get interesting, then.”

*Clean whiskers.* *Twitch.* *Run in a counter-clockwise circle.* “Thank you?”

“Well, to be honest with you, Seeker, I don’t know myself. You see, we’ve never actually had a rat in here before. And I can’t say as how we exactly know how to proceed.”

*Squeak squeak,* said the Rat. *Twitch.* *Clean haunches.* *Squeak.*

“I suppose so,” said the Valkyrie, and nodded. “Let’s get to it, then.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

Native heritage * Micmac Nova Scotia * Caddo house * Lenape orator who inspired Pontiac * Choctaw Indian name

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