iii) Abia and Shyan sit around the fire


Abia and Shyan sit around the fire when Cang and Fassn stumble back. Fassn has sprouted a set of slender gull wings. They flap nervously.

Shyan shoots to her feet, stops them with her palm up and a hard look. “What have you done, Fassn?”

“I drank a thing,” he says, clutching his stomach. “Not feeling great, I’ll admit.”

“But I am,” Cang says, his breath wretched with alcohol. “I found a bottle of rye.”

Fassn flaps his meager wings. “Old Ajralan had his fill tonight!”

“Share it then,” Abia says to Cang.

He produces en empty bottle and shrugs, a grin on his face.

“Can you fly?” Shyan asks.

Fassn’s wings beat weakly. “I’m flying all right!” He throws his arms into the air, then stumbles to the ground.

Shyan gives Abia a look. She draws nearer the wobbly Fassn and extends her hands to graze the milky feathers. Her eyes roll back in her head.


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