12/27/21 Snippet, THE STARS ARE WRONG.



Rust. That is what I remember. Rust, and light.

The rust was almost comforting — when you have iron by the sea, you soon learn the scent of it rotting — but, oh, the lights! They hung from the walls, and while some had the comforting flicker of oil or tallow, more were unnaturally steady, and even more unnaturally hued. They were as likely to burn hot as cold, and I could not grasp the scheme by which they were laid out. Whenever I tried, the mysteries of that ancient place rushed in and staggered my steps.

For the passage beneath was ancient, once we descended far enough. It had the cruel lines and angles of the oldest ruins, ones no sane person would visit; and I shuddered to see such an unclean path beneath the city I Guarded. I had thought all traces of the time before Seacity had been ripped out, whole; how wrong I was! How foolish, to think that foulness could be banished forever!

The Vicar found my revulsion amusing, chuckling roughly. “Aye, you didn’t expect to be walking a city street like this when you woke up this morning, hey?” His Kee accent had come in with a vengeance, now that it was only him and I. “But don’t frighten yourself! See how smooth the path is! Why, not a rock or a root or even a patch of mud to make you trip! You’ll learn the joys of a road like this soon enough, so you will. And you’ll laugh at how silly you were to be afraid, too.”