Eddie shuffled and kicked his way into the row of sistrum players and snatched sistra away from them. As he plucked the instruments from their grip, the players kept playing, shaking their empty hands intently as if they were still making sound.
They were in trances. Or ensorcelled. Or high, although people who were stoned shouldn’t be able to make such a complicated, coordinated sound together.
He thought he’d grab all the instruments and silence them, but there were too many of them, and then the rest of the worshippers lunged his way. He looked over his shoulder for help, but the others were distracted with their own problems. Aaron Irving was standing, snake arms raised high and chanting as nude women crouched around his feet like feral cats. His brother faced off against him, staggering forward one step at a time like the Nehushtan was a boulder and he had to push it.
Eddie grabbed a handful of the instruments and retreated.
Eddie, who was as good as stoned on snake venom, shouldn’t by rights be able to play anything at all. The crowd loomed huge around him, naked and sweating and full of breasts and totem poles, and the room spun. But he was the world’s best tambourine player, dammit. The world’s best.
Eddie jammed a sistrum handle into the top of each combat boot. He pinned a handle in the crook of each elbow by bringing his fists up to his shoulders, and he held two more in his two hands.
And he started to dance.