You are watching: Read the excerpt from "the love song of j. alfred prufrock."
Into the reality called the Escapement rides the Stranger, a lone gunman top top a pursuit to rescue his kid from a parallel world. However it is too basic to acquire lost ~ above a moving landscape full of dangerous version of his son’s most beloved things: cowboys unable to do lawless, giants do of stone, downtrodden clowns, old battles, price stennis2007.orgms and much more shadowy forces at play.
But the flower the Stranger seeks still lies past the mountains of Darkness. Time is to run out, as he journeys deeper and also deeper right into the an enig heart the an unanticipated world.
The kid said, “I view your Magician and also I raise you Death.”
The Stranger had the Emperor yet not the Empress or the Wheel the Fortune, and also though he retaliated with the Moon it to be no great and the boy swept the money to his side of the table with one scrawny arm. There was an old piano in the corner, and also a one-eyed mrs tickled the ivories, playing a Dibdin piece. She’d flashed the Stranger a grin as soon as he’d come in earlier.
“So you’ve met the Lovers and also lived,” she said.
The Stranger inched his head in reply. Climate Temperanza went earlier to she playing. She looked prefer she was waiting for something; despite she was probably simply waiting because that the train.
“I’m going to take a piss,” the kid announced, and he strutted across the floor, his spurs making a rasping sound across the scuffed wood. The Kid had actually been drink moonshine steadily throughout the game, yet he to be still beating the Stranger at cards.
The Stranger watched him go. The boy wore his pistols low-slung top top his hips and his hat at a cocky angle, however for all that he simply looked prefer a boy playing in ~ dressing up.
They were almost the only human being at the bar. It was not a place that invite confidences or readily available comfort. The tables to be rough-hewn wood and also tallow candles burned with oily smoke yet offered tiny light. In one corner sat a small man cowled in shadow and also now the the Kid had actually gone come the outhouse the man got up and also sauntered over to your table and sat down without being asked.
“New in town, stranger?”
He had actually an ordinary face and hard black button eyes and his nails and also his hair to be both reduced short. The Stranger looked, however he couldn’t view if there was a dagger covert up the masculine sleeve, despite he fairly suspected so all the same. That said, “What’s it to you?”
“Just do conversation.”
The Stranger shrugged. “It’s no secret,” he allowed.
“You talk in from the Doinklands?” The black switch eyes turn shrewd. “You didn’t occur to’ve come throughout the Thurston Brothers, walk you? Scalp hunters, yes sir a reward out for them. Good money, too.”
“I think that bounty’s claimed,” the Stranger said, and over through the piano Temperanza smirked there is no breaking melody.
The other male nodded.
“Is that so, is the so. Well, never mind, i’m sure. The world a far better place for it and so on.”
“Professional interest?” the Stranger said. The other man shrugged.
“Listen,” that said. “Out there, did friend see any kind of sign of the war?”
The Stranger nodded. “The Titanomachy rages on. I saw a fight in the distance, but I didn’t walk close, and also who won it, if any, i don’t know. Why?”
“No reason, no reason,” the other man said. “Only, yes sir rumours, see? ns am looking for something, yes, yes, there might be a handsome reward in it because that a male such as you. A item of materiel, rumour says. Some kind of weapon. Yes. What it does, no one knows for certain. Other big, though.”
The Stranger believed uneasily about the tinkerers; and about the huge slab of mechanically fish he had recorded sight of, for simply a moment, concealed under blankets in the ago of their wagon. However he shook his head, slowly. It might have to be anything.
“You’re a Pilkington?” the said. The other man shrugged.
“We all gained a project to do, ain’t we?” the said.
“Bit far from base,” the Stranger said.
“Pilkingtons go wherever lock must,” the other guy said. At that moment the son came sauntering earlier into the room and also sat down, glaring in ~ the Pilkington.
“I believed I told you to store out of my business, Clem,” that said.
“This ain’t your business, kid.”
“Fucking Pilkingtons,” the son said. The other man glared at him yet said nothing.
At that moment, the Stranger felt the wind change. The tinkle the wind chimes began to sound ethereally in the air, and the odor of rotten eggs and also custard intensified. Pass out on the breeze, the Stranger assumed he could hear a demonic laughter, like a distennis2007.orgted echo of the sounds one heard once one come upon the Colossi walking the Escapement. Yet this was no the inhuman sound that the Colossi yet a terrifying, yet an extremely human, sound. The heard two gunshots go off outside, one after ~ the various other in rapid succession, coming from two various places.
The three guys moved individually but almost in unison. Temperanza alone, unconcerned, stayed at the piano, and also the music she played was haunting and sad.
The Kid hosted his pistol and the Pilkington, Clem, had a sawed turn off shotgun that appeared to just show up out that nowhere, and the Stranger had the uneasy emotion it had actually been tape-recorded to the underside of the table.
He himself organized his revolver. They had all moved to the window, weapons drawn, and also the Stranger peered out onto key Street. He experienced the shops were swiftly closing, their internal lights extinguished, and the human being outside were to run for shelter, and in mere moment the street to be deserted. Behind them, the heard the owner of the bar loudly pump a shotgun.
“He’s coming,” she said.
“Who?” the kid said.
But then they heard it. The cries, faint at first, but growing in volume, native one next of key Street to the other.
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The Stranger and also the child exchanged bewildered looks; but Clem, the Pilkington, grinned in savage satisfaction. The Stranger stared out. The burn multicoloured lights cast the street in a non-linear chiaroscuro. Also those prospectennis2007.orgs passed the end on the side of the roadway from Sticks were gone now, dragged far by their comrades to safety.