A House of Angels: Chapter #8The innkeeper was already awake when the two women came down for breakfast, standing behind the counter and counting the money in his till. He was surprised to see them up so early, and hurried to put the cash away.
“Breakfast,” the dark woman said.
“Two servings, please,” the beautiful one added, with a little smile to take the sting out of the dark one's bluntness.
“Ain't ready yet,” the innkeep rumbled.
He seemed to hesitate, then plunged on: “Weren't wearing that yesterday.”
“I like to change my clothes every day,” the dark woman replied. “It's better hygiene.”
She did not put any special emphasis on any of her words, and she did not give any pointed looks, but the innkeep still found himself standing a little straighter and brushing off his apron.
He tried again: “Not traditional 'round here.”
“Wonderful,” the beautiful woman said, smiling. “Maybe we'll start a new trend. Wouldn't
A House of Angels: Chapter #7Cassandra awoke on the razor edge between night and dawn. Even before she opened her eyes, she knew she was not alone; there was something on the pillow besides her head and she could already hear the faint crackle of a burning candle.
“Good morning, mistress,” a silvery little voice said to her. “This is your wakeup call.”
Cassandra opened her eyes and looked at the creature that had spoken. It was roughly the size of her hand and looked humanoid, apart from a few trifling differences. The hair and skin as white as marble. The meaty tail. The solid silver eyes. The black batwings at its shoulders.
“Good morning, Pithamarda,” she replied, and sat up.
The Parasite Imp sat cross-legged on the pillow and looked at Cassandra, just sitting upright in bed. It watched her eyelids droop, her shoulders sag, and crawled into her lap like a cat.
“You told me to wake you up as soon as dark turned to light, mistress,” it said, and poked at the dark wo
On peaceThe question of real, lasting world peace concerns human beings, so basic human feelings are also at its roots. Through inner peace, genuine world peace can be achieved. In this the importance of individual responsibility is quite clear; an atmosphere of peace must first be created within ourselves, then gradually expanded to include our families, our communities, and ultimately the whole planet.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
A House of Angels: Chapter #6They stayed at that table, watching the other customers. After Cassandra had finished her second glass of re-vaped grain, a girl came and asked if they wanted to order dinner.
“Tonight, we have roast goat with boiled tubers and a three-vegetable salad,” the girl explained, while she absent-mindedly tucked a couple of chestnut curls behind her ear.
“Goat?” the beautiful woman asked.
“Goat,” the girl confirmed. “It's always goat, I'm afraid. Or at least it has been since the last of the camels died last year.”
“Very well,” the beautiful woman said. “Bring us two servings, please.”
She cocked her head at the girl and said: “Didn't I just see you at the palace? You sing very well.”
The girl smiled – no, to be honest, she beamed.
“Thank you! I'll have your dinners out in a moment. Would you like a couple of beers with that?”
Cassandra started to open her mouth, but the beautiful woma