I cannae believe you let me touch you." His voice grew hoarse. "I shall remember this for all my nights." Tears speared into her eyes. Dearest Virgin Scribe, for all her life, she had waited for a moment like this... . "Do not cry." His thumb went to her cheeks. "Beautiful female of worth, do not cry.
Lunch looks grand, Meg. You've really outdone yourself, ' James commented, loading his plate. He frowned down at an escaping carrot extending precariously over the plate edge and eased it back with his fingertip, then grunted and promptly stuck the burnt digit in his mouth. 'I've been trying to eat better, organic and all. Are these vegetables free range?' he asked with a straight face. The table fell silent as several sets of eyes blinked owlishly back at him. With an equally straight face Beth speared a roasted wedge and studied it. 'I don't think potatoes require much grazing room, genius, ' she deadpanned.
Kammy could see the palace built into the cliff face. It was a majestic construction. Its white walls stretched up into a cluster of turrets and towers. Its fae§ade was broken by gigantic windows that reflected a rainbow of colours. The palace was flanked by two waterfalls that filled the chasm running far below them; a chasm that was bridged by a staircase of monstrous size. But Kammy hardly noticed how far she would fall should her grip fail. The giant structure that speared out of the palace and up into the sky commanded all of her attention. It burned her eyes so she could hardly look at it, but at the same time she could not look away. It looked like a white diamond. Each of its countless edges sent off shards of brilliant light. It dwarfed anything that Kammy had ever known and she had never felt as alive as she did in that moment.
We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn't sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can't fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don't stand a chance. We're mired in gravity, we're earthbound. We're ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.
Hold on to me!' Tedros yelled, hacking briars with his training sword.Dazed, Agatha clung to his chest as he withstood thorn lashes with moans of pain. Soon he had the upper hand and pulled Agatha from the Woods towards the spiked gates, which glowed in recognition and pulled apart, cleaving a narrow path for the two Evers. As the gates speared shut behind them, Agatha looked up at limping Tedros, crisscrossed with bloody scratches, blue shirt shredded away. 'Had a feeling Sophie was getting in through the Woods, ' he panted, hauling her up into slashed arms before she could protest. 'So Professor Dovey gave me permission to take some fairies and stakeout the outer gates. Should have known you'd be here trying to catch her yourself.' Agatha gaped at him dumbly. 'Stupid idea for a princess to take on witches alone, ' Tedros said, dripping sweat on her pink dress. 'Where is she?' Agatha croaked. 'Is she safe?' 'Not a good idea for princesses to worry about witches either, ' Tedros said, hands gripping her waist. Her stomach exploded with butterflies. 'Put me down, ' she sputtered- 'More bad ideas from the princess.' 'Put me down!'Tedros obeyed and Agatha pulled away. 'I'm not a princess!' she snapped, fixing her collar. 'If you say so, ' the prince said, eyes drifting downward.Agatha followed them to her gashed legs, waterfalls of brilliant blood. She saw blood blurring- Tedros smiled. 'One... two... three... 'She fainted in his arms. 'Definitely a princess, ' he said.