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Franceschina

Pierrot remembers Franceschina in the morning, hanging prayers from the roofbeams, between onion and thyme.

“Who are they to?” he asked, bemused.

“Do they have to be to anyone?” She tiptoed to reach the doorframe. “Maybe they’re just prayers.”

“I think that defeats the purpose.”

“If you must know, they’re to everyone. Hera and Frigg and Ganesha and I Am, and Other Gods I Haven’t Heard Of But Maybe They’re The Real Ones.”

He grinned and kicked away coverlets. “You really think the smattering approach will work?”

“Nobody minds a little business mail,” she said, and hung one off his nose.

Pierrot

“It’s started already,” says Billie Youngblood. Pierrot believes her. His nose is considerably longer, but hers is as sharp as frost.

He kicks Azazello awake. The old thing hisses at him, but Pierrot kicks again. “Air’s turning, scapegoat,” says Pierrot. “Go quickly and we might save you some bones.”

Azazello tries to look bored, but his long pupils dilate all the same. “Wanna rabbit bones,” he sniffs.

“You might get dust.”

Azazello snarls and scuttles up the hill, launching at the crest. Billie and Pierrot watch, as always, at the way he turns dawn’s light oily: an angel with pigeon wings.

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