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“I’m being abducted,” says Nightjar, “by someone named Killington?”

“Mmm,” says Killington.

“That doesn’t bode terribly well,” she says.

“You don’t need to be afraid, little girl,” he says, grinning a knockaround grin. “Think of it this way: you’d be in more danger if I were my parents.”


“They named me that.”


Killington plays with cranks and sprockets, and the fire below the balloon turns from blue to white. They rise slowly to pass between two loops of road.

“My parents,” says Nightjar, stumbling a little, “named me Nightmare.”

“I know they did,” says Killington, and his smile disappears.