The Mirror of Displacement

Perhaps centuries from now, medicine will be able to restore what was lost from injuries such as his. But now, I must turn to practices arcane.

Clara sighed as she watched the ink dry. She sat in the dim basement of the home she shared with her husband, who was working in his office upstairs. It was a chilly autumn day. Yet the basement was temperate. She dipped her quill into the well and continued.

I have built it according to the instruction I found. I have built it with my own hands, against warnings, it is true. But I am a desperate woman. I am a desperate wife.

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Who Is Sylvia?

“You know who that is, don’t you?”

My partner was testing me again. One year together. And I’d saved his pudgy life twice, but he still thought I must be too young to know about certain things, like what “real” music is and who the gangster lying dead on the floor was. Anyone else and I’d have copped an attitude. But Teo Riley is worthy. And he’d saved my lunatic life four times over the past year.

“Sylvio Milan. Verona Strand’s most notorious crime boss. They called him ‘The Gentleman’ on account of how he doesn’t believe in torture and treats friend and foe alike with honor and dignity in all of his dealings, even the ones that go south.”

“Yeah, he’ll make sure you’ve had a taste of his thousand-dollar wine and imported caviar before he lops your head off.”

“I’ve also heard tell the name is ironic.”

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