Bread and Circuses

Why an armed man should have been the one worrying, she never explained, but I had seen the tumblers tossing one another in the air and the strongman lifting all six dancing girls on his outstretched arms like they were no heavier than a pair of sleeves. I could guess what would happen to anyone who was caught out.

She and I made bread every day knowing that if the grain didn't ripen, we were next in line to be cut down.
The Popinjay’s Daughter

Every time I opened it, it felt as if I were opening one of the House's doors, and indeed, the book was filled with pictures of them, marked with strange glyphs and sigils. Hundreds of times, I painstakingly copied the diagrams onto doors in the attic, and always there was a sense of impending something. Yet when I opened the doors, the symbols would vanish, and the door would be just a door.

But the truth of these words is as mutable as the doors, and the magic of doors is both blatant and subtle, depending upon the expectations of the opener.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Dying on the Elephant Road

Podcast: Download (Duration: 50:39 — 34.79MB)
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Abe experienced the odd sensation of Madame Oljon inside his head aligning her face with his, pushing eyes and lips forward past his own.