The Festival of Shadows was a memory. And like a memory, it could be frightening.
The girl watched the spectacle of dancing monsters, the giant, the scavenger, a man and a child, all theatrically presented in exaggerated flare. Aasfresser, that was the name for the scavenger. Sekr, the giant. She did not remember the man’s name.
Once upon a whisker, there was a cowboy who bumped into luck and fell down hard. It was the kind of fall you don’t get up from easily. Mouse, who had followed the cowboy’s dust for miles, didn’t like it at all.
It was traditional, not to say required, to be married before the stones. The people of the fields and drops of Little Boulding had kept to this tradition, not at all a requirement, since before anyone could remember. So of course it was expected that if they were to be married, even a goblin and a man ought to be married before the stones.
On this day, the happiest day, Gnarlas was trying to decide why the man wanted to marry her at all.
It was a firm kiss, soft but passionate. His hands at her elbows were not confining but relaxed. It would have been simple to translate his laxness as overconfidence, but there was something in his expression that warned Li otherwise. And she couldn’t help it—not when his glance was lost to her, not when she saw how tired he was—not when he looked as if he had read her thoughts and his heart was close to breaking.