randoms iv

“How did we build the Crow Boy?” Mourne said.
Elgar considers this for a moment.
“That’s a very good question-”
“Rhetorical,” Mourne told her.
Elgar nodded like she understood. There’d been a lot of that.
“Adding a shade of drama to the affair, see?” Mourne continued. “A touch of the old theatric, you follow?”
Elgar—just an apprentice—not really following at all, but she kept it quiet. Eyes open, beak shut. Just here to learn. That’s the way.
“This is just rehearsal,” Mourne went on. “They like a bit of palaver, up at the Parliament.”
He nodded his dark head and cast a glance around the crowded, cluttered jumble of his—being polite—laboratory. Mourne tutted and sighed to himself for a heartbeat or two.
“How did we build the Crow Boy,” he said.
Tap of his talons on the grey stone floor, Mourne answered his own question: “We crafted with blood.”
Collected from a human child, Elgar knew, gathered up with a square of silk on a summer’s day. Raised voices, running feet, a harsh and desperate wailing; quite did her ears in, that did.
Another tap on hard stone. “We worked with breath,” Mourne said.
Stolen from a different, sleeping child, Elgar remembered, and captured cold in a bright crystal globe.
One last tap. “We built with bone.”
Mourne’s tone serious, solemn, and the words faded slow into dead air.
“Well,” Elgar said. “It weren’t quite so straight as that…”

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