Red Dirt

The shadows on the buildings seemed alive with movement, although the air was too cool for mirages. The memory of my dream still lingered, fooling my weary brain into believing that I glimpsed animal shapes writhing there. I hurried my pace along the empty streets, wondering if I should just pay the Commissaire's bribe and be done with the place.

The collective growl of the spinning weighted ropes mimicked the song that had invaded our sleep.
Lession’s Tower

Lession's first catch was an old drunk, a silver-haired sailor who was staggering through one of the back streets. When he bit a chunk from the drunk's shoulder, the man went limp. The initial thrill of tasting meat soon evaporated. The flesh was old, sour, steeped with alcohol. He couldn’t take this back for Hurkerna. No. Goat would taste far better. 

But if the castration had been terrible, it had been nothing but a bite compared to the wing-cutting.