16. A Bit Well to Live

They both take a sip. Inglorion doesn’t know what to expect, so he’s surprised at the subtle layering of flavor: Salted lemon, tart mango, the wild honey and its comb, piercingly sweet. Then there’s the wine itself, which is dark, smoky, redolent of licorice and cherries. “That’s very good,” he says cautiously. They sit there […]

15. To The First Storm of Summer

Over the spring and early summer, the pullets grow into young hens, Inglorion finishes the Thousand Nights and One Night, and both households’ crops mature. Brutus gives Inglorion a tobacco plant and teaches him how to cultivate it. Summer settles in, and it’s as bad as everyone says. Worse, since predictions and warnings are abstract, […]

14. Delighted with His Useless Gift

Lucius trots off, probably figuring its not the stupidest thing he’s been asked to do that evening. Inglorion perches on a nearby retaining wall. It’s a pleasant evening, and in a very few minutes he hears Lucius’s happy chatter, and Brutus’s soft replies. They come into view. Brutus is pulling a small, hand-drawn wagon. Inglorion […]

13. Who’s a Motherfucking Rock Star?

“Hey, buddy,” Inglorion mutters to the bird. It’s dusty up there, but not filthy — the pigeons must think it’s a real owl. After a moment, he examines statue’s base, and sees that it’s held in place by four bolts and nuts. They’re coated with rust, of course. He has a saw and chisel, but […]

12. Thirty Feet of Drop

Inglorion frowns, peers around the side of the building at his projected route. Now that he’s looking at the particulars, he realizes it won’t be a walk in the park. The fall from the first-floor ledge, which he’ll free-climb, is 10 feet. If he should happen to slip while rigging the drainpipe, he could fall […]