Check the Wizard’s Pockets

“Check the wizard’s pockets,” Eddie says.  He delivers the line like an order, but he does the searching himself.  When he finds a thin, sharp bit of iron, like a razor, and shows it to us, I grin and try not to back away.

I remember the Marked Woman leaning over me, pushing such a blade against my throat as the tattoos on her face swirled about, threats and curses.

“Very good.”  I show teeth.  “Now, follow my lead.”

I kick Flit Fox in the belly, and when she sits up, eyes bulging out, I grab her before she can do anything.

“Show your sparrow,” I say, “and my demonic familiar here will kill you.”

Flit’s eyes gape.  For a moment I think I’ve got her.

Then: “That’s no demonic familiar.  It’s just a human, of the kind with lots of pigment!  What kind of idiot do you think I am?”

Well, it was worth a try.  I carefully conceal my disappointment.

Eddie’s boot slams to the tile next to Flit’s head, and suddenly he presses the cold iron up alongside her face.  It’s quick enough, and his snarl is ugly enough, that I’m taken by surprise and feel nervous.  “Show your sparrow,” he growls, “and I’ll kill you anyway.  I’m from Chicago.”

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