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Paul Escu

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- Tarnish: Bridge Over Clouds

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- Tarnish: Bridge Over Clouds

Tarnish: Bridge Over Clouds (Book Excerpt)
         by Paul Escu
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From Chapter 15

Already, they were safely across the trickling river (theyíd used the bridge). By the time the first sun had completely set. Some of the reflection in the stream. Distorted rays of good. Up, down, softly moving, reflecting in the eye. The walking bridge had been constructed of wood finely eaten by woodworms. The builders never did get round to replacing the bridge. Actually, there were no builders, and if there were, they didnít do much except private work for the Dukeís owned and unused, just for show, manors.

"Are you heading back now?" asked Maneuric, expecting very much a yes answer. Who would want to be with him? Why would she want to stay? She showed him the way? She couldnít find his friends. Where are they?

Éba. "No, for I do not want to fall down into a ravine. So, Iíll be sleeping the night at the inn. I usually sleep nights in."

Amazing the way her voice failed to show any emotion, like ice with a tiny flame for a heart. Has she not learnt how to feel? Iím wrong.

Maneuric. "I thought you said-"

"Ah, I only stay nights when I travel."

"But how do you...and I thought you didnít..."

"My father left me some golden rocks. I exchanged some for the thing you call money. That, I hope, explains my rations of food that I buy from continuously moving gypsy markets." she smiled, wearily. Gypsy markets were known to move since most gypsies were wanted for something or other, usually theft or kidnapping as is known by the popular myths. He didnít feel like inquiring. Why did her father have so much money?

Maneuric picked up a tiny, crude, rock with rough edges and a flattened personality. He squeezed it in his fist. Felt the asperity. He turned round facing the diminishing stream, and threw the stone hoping his accuracy and strength would be enough. Nothing was heard. She must be wondering at my sanity. Nothing apart from the soft, breezy, whispering of the approaching night. Heíd always felt more comfortable at night, as if the burden, laid down during daytime, darkened and tarnished during nighttime. She. But night had always shopped the utmost displeasure. Day brought pain, while night brought torturous repertoires that went around and bang and round and bang. He had hardly ever thought, perhaps because of the lack of time, of his vomiting. Vomiting all the time. Through the nose was worse than through the mouth. Like an uncontrollable filtered explosion of unknown nastiness. She.


Reflecting on his recent positive outlook, his insides lit up. Amazing, I laugh at this now, but, before, I couldnít see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The first sun had spread, as if using a self-owned palette knife, shades of reddened yellow, orange red, across and through the clear blue sky; the sky was always blue, regardless of whether it was day or night. Too clear for the psyche of most, too pleasurable for the King when his majesty liked to open his luxurious windows and embrace the wonder that only he and his like saw. Shades of blue, hues that moved from pure light blue to ultramarine and sometimes even soft crimson. Strong yet mild, powerful as a god yet gentle as a lamb. Why did the sky float so? By will of the goddess, he answered. There must be an answer to everything.

Copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Paul Escu, All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.

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