Cast Shadows - Chp. 10 .OLD.I'll never know how Cherry got me back to her room. I certainly didn't help much; I can hardly remember getting from the arena door to her small chamber. I felt nauseous, and my legs shook so hard I had to stop several times. Cherry was patient, I imagineor perhaps she wasnt. If she said anything, I did not hear it, and I paid it no mind. Somehow, though, she managed to get me safely back, and I found myself lying on her bed, still shivering, her spring colored eyes watching me carefully.
"I'm alright," I told her, or something like it. I wasn't sure what I was saying. I was anything but all right. All I could see was the last drop of Dagger's body and the blaze in Piebalds stare.
"Ive got to go back to work," Cherry said. "Stay 'ere until I return. Do not leave for anythin'even if you were a pitbuck, you'd not be allowed on this 'all."
I swayed a little where I lay; I felt like the earth was spinning under me. "Why?"
"Pitbucks can't stay on the same floor
Cast Shadows - PrologueThere have always been stories with green pastures, sunny skies, and happy endings. The characters are familiar, sharing our heritage and living in a world that is almost like ours. In those evening stories told in the light of a low fire, enemies are overcome, war is noble, and freedom is inherent. In them, tyrannies are no more a threat than thunderstorms, fear and sorrow are brief as lighting, and no clouds darken the horizon which do not dissolve into light.
They were only fairy tales to us. Sun and rain alike made no difference. Our harnesses were worn with years of labor, and our chains were cold and cruel. Eyes of our old would dim quickly--their bodies to follow--and memories scattered like rain. Those memories were collected only in stories to live like candles in the eyes of children and coals in the hearts of the old. There are none alive that saw a world where men did not build cities, where our soil was free of their crops and their footprints, and where our faces were not
SightDown between the crevices of my island suburb life I can see
a street lined with laundry and sunburned children
and children whose skin never burns. They are
all alike shaded by the Spanish moss,
that magis sacrifice.
Thin bike tires
the broken lightgolden white and cool blue in a
that makes you blink. The oak branches are
so old, thick as a mans waist,
Christopher and the CloudsChristopher always watched clouds. Not just like youre doing now, because today they look like anything youd like, but always and whenever they were over him. I dont know why he watched them, just that he did and did it well. He was the little boyyou knew himwith blue eyes as big as anythingas what? If youve seen them, you know. If you didnt, Ive got no words to tell you. As big, maybe, as the sky.
Christopher Cumulus we called him. Christopher, who somehow lived in two places at oncehere with us and there with them. Do you remember his songs, his funny little Sunday school voice singing about lint-in-the-sky and cotton weeds that never touched the ground? He was floating with them sometimes while he was singing, maybe all the time. Maybe he never came down at all and we only saw his shadow like the lacy edged shapes that go wheeling over the country in a high wind. I dont know and never did. Maybe no one knew, except th