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Dizzia , a married Israeli woman living upstairs with whom Lucas aggressively flirts and then viciously taunts when she rejects his advances. Strong, who exudes a sullen poisonousness when his character is in attack mode, strips away the harsh exterior to expose the sad truth about Lucas.

Nicholson is terrific too in this extended scene, confessing at one point that her life with Denny has become so troubled that she wishes she had never become pregnant. Kim plays tour guide with the perky demeanor of a s stewardess and the wardrobe to match, suggesting that we will still be recycling the same fashion fads well into the future. The excellent costumes are by Jessica Pabst. But there remains a cadre of extremists who believe that fatal toxins need to be returned to the world so that people will again know suffering, and thus empathy will be reborn.

Dizzia, in a grim role , bent on liberating Lloyd and spreading the latest of his grisly diseases to humanity. Through March Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address.

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Sign Up. She had started braiding another length of dark hair before the man made the decision to approach.

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He came to stand before her narrow shelter and stared without speaking, the heavy rain falling between them like a beaded curtain. Xhea eyed him in silence: his polished shoes, dotted with water; the neat line of his jacket; the monogrammed cuffs that peeked from his jacket sleeves. Only the clean cut of his tailored pants was marred, and that by the slow curl of his fists within the pockets.

He straightened, pulling himself upright as if to get every intimidating inch from his average-sized frame. From another pocket she drew forth a single match, thankfully dry, which she struck with a practiced flick.

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Cigarette lit, Xhea leaned back against the concrete. She smoked in contented silence. Xhea snorted and flicked away a bit of ash. The man looked from her braid-tangled hair to her dirt-crusted nails and all the mismatched layers of clothing in between, disbelief plain. He turned away, running his hand through his thinning hair as he walked. Yet his ghost remained, her tether stretching: a clear indication that the man would return. Xhea smoked slowly, watching the ghost. She floated, serene, eyes closed and legs folded beneath her, lost in dreams. What was their story, she wondered.

Too young to be his wife, unless his tastes ran to the illegal; too calm to be the victim of a hit and run or the unlucky bystander in a spell gone awry. His daughter, maybe.


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How touching. Had illness taken her? But no, these were City folk, through and through. Illness was rare in the City, true disease rarer still, health and long life all but guaranteed by their magic. Suicide, then? Perhaps her father had killed her.

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Xhea exhaled a long breath of smoke as the man again approached. Come to my temple, she thought to him mockingly.

Jeffrey Ford's Well-Built City - Home

Three walls of concrete and one of rain; a cloud of tobacco for incense. Come pray for your ghost. He stood before her for a long moment, staring. The words were slow, tired: an admission of defeat. The coins in her hair clinked with the movement. Do you want her gone, your pale ghost?

It was only then that she realized how thin his umbrella of magic had become, fading in his exhaustion, or that the circles beneath his eyes were dark as bruises. She squelched what little sympathy she felt.

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Even if he had lost everything, if everyone he loved had died, he still had magic, a gift of nature and blood. With that power, doors opened to his touch; vendors could sell him food; the City acknowledged he existed. He was, in a word, normal. Unlike Xhea. There was no brightness in her, no magic, only a dark stillness in the depths of her stomach; an ache, like hunger, that she could only think of as absence. Each felt their haunting a little differently. She suppressed a grin. His umbrella flickered and failed, and the rain poured down on his unprotected head.

Xhea watched as, to her eyes, his hair and clothing changed from mottled grays to tones of charcoal and black, the fabric slicking to his shoulders and arms and the slight paunch at his waistband. Water dribbled in his eyes and trickled from his nose as he stared.

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No magic in you at all. Xhea ground her cigarette against the wet concrete, watching the ember sizzle and dull to black. A line of smoke rose upward, vanishing. What few knew was that they were literally bound to that unfinished business. Unless, of course, you had a really sharp knife. The man, soaked to the bone, stood rigidly as Xhea climbed onto an overturned fruit crate, knife extended, and examined the tether above his head.

Carefully, Xhea closed her hand around the near-invisible tether. It felt like little more than a length of slippery air and vibrated at her touch like a plucked guitar string. Holding it steady, she probed with the tip of her knife for weakness.

Sickness Trilogy by Sean Fields - Revealed magic

They were designed for children too young to understand the value of their own magic, more likely to weaken themselves buying candy or be drained by a predator than to buy a balanced meal. Though she appeared younger than her age, Xhea knew she still looked too old to be using chits. With no magic of her own, she had no other way to buy food; it was that, steal, or starve. The rest of the payment had been spelled to transfer to her upon completion of their transaction.