The fairy moved off alone.

Wellman’s had been built in a building that had once been a railroad station.  Its walls were two storeys tall and made of brick, and its windows and ceiling had a Gothic look about their arched apices.  Bare lightbulbs hung in straight rows from very long wires, and the crow wheeled slowly around them.  A length of track still ran along one wall, terminating at either end in blank brick wall.  The restrooms squatted off a short hall tunneling out perpendicularly from the bar, over a bridge of planks that had been nailed into place to limit the tripping opportunities for drunk patrons with urgently pressing bladders.

The fairy skipped over the bridge and headed into the restrooms.

Jane followed.  She prepared as she went, slipping an iron knife—not steel, iron—into her right hand and a digging a small glass vial from the pocket of her duster with her left.  She checked the vial visually as she passed under a lightbulb to be sure she’d grabbed the right one—the glob of quicksilver inside slid back and forth and she smiled without pleasure.

The wards of dissembling were her general travel disguise because they were so simple to erect and so costless to maintain, but they would lose effectiveness if she walked directly up to the fairy.  As the drummer stepped into the mouth of the restroom’s hall, she cast a long, pale shadow by the hallway’s lights.  Jane stepped firmly onto the shadow and spoke a few words.

If anyone in the hall had heard the words, they would have been unable to decipher them, or even remember the sounds, two seconds later.  She had spoken in the tongue of her birth, a language that hadn’t been spoken on earth for millennia, and which most humans were no longer able, by divine fiat, to understand.  The language was Adamic, and Jane understood it because she had been born before the great tower, the Confusion of the Tongues, and the First Great Scattering.  She was subject to the Fall of Adam—she was its firstfruits—but not to the Curse of Babel.

She spoke her spells in Adamic because it was one of the Primals, and a powerful language for magic.  As soon as she had spoken this one, and willed some of the force of her ka into it, she became invisible.  Everything looked the same to her, but she knew that to any other observer who had been able to see her at that moment, she would have vanished into the fairy’s shadow.

About David

I’m a writer. This is my blog.

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