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Nightjar

No more walking the road or wandering the grounds: she has three rooms, six books, embroidery and a closet for privacy. The books have lessons. Gnomon’s always a few silent feet away.

Her mother wakes her in the morning and her father tucks her in at night, warm and solicitous. They don’t blame her. She’s a child! She had an ordeal, and what matters now is her safety.

But Nightjar remembers the terrible freedom of the balloon, vulgar conversations, the danger of his hand on her arm. Remembers being an uneasy peer. Remembers Killington’s hat falling, in the spray of black.

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