By Rachel Caine, Kelly Gay, Kevin Hearne, Kelly Meding, Rob Thurman, Jennifer Estep, Allison Pang, Seanan McGuire, Delilah S. Dawson
Come one, come all! The Carniepunk halfway can provide you each thrill and kick back a touring carnival delivers. yet worry now not! city fantasy's largest stars are right here to lead you thru this unusual and hazardous global. . . .
RACHEL CAINE's vampires aren't child's play, as a naïve youngster discovers whilst her middle leads her some distance, a long way off beam in "The chilly Girl." With "Parlor Tricks," JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the basic murderer, opposed to the Wheel of demise and a few dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, airy story of a mysterious carnival that returns to a deadly city after two decades in "Daughter of the halfway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea." KEVIN HEARNE's Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound observe in "The Demon Barker of Wheat Street" that the impossibly healthy sounding Kansas Wheat pageant is basically now not a fit position to hang around. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN unearths the destiny of a psychopath stalking younger carnies in "Painted Love."
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The air in the room was thick and it stunk of mildew and rot and things long dead. It made those boiled pigs’ feet and that pissing cat and that rottentooth bastard downstairs smell like perfume. Tootie was lying on the bed, on his back. His eyes were closed. He was a guy usually dressed to the top, baby, but his shirt was wrinkled and dirty and sweaty at the neck and armpits. His pants were nasty too. He had on his shoes, but no socks. He looked like someone had set him on fire and then beat out the flames with a two-by-four.
I don’t know . . ” “We did,” I said. ” I shrugged. ” “It did, didn’t it? ” “Sometimes I wish a lot of things,” I said. She leaned back in the seat and opened her purse and got out a cigarette and lit it, then rolled down the window. She remembered I didn’t like ciga THE BLEEDING SHADOW ■ 29 rette smoke. I never had got on the tobacco. It took your wind and it stunk and it made your breath bad too. I hated when it got in my clothes. “You’re the only one I could tell this to,” she said. “The only one that would listen to me and not think I been with the needle in my arm.
Should have found and married a man with a steady job that could have done all right by her. But that hadn’t happened. Me and her had a bit of something once, and it wasn’t just business, money changing hands after she got me feeling good. No, it was more than that, but we couldn’t work it out. She was in the life and didn’t know how to get out. And as for deserving something better, that wasn’t me. 45-caliber automatic, like they’d used in the war a few years back. Alma May got a little on the dope, too, and though she shook it, it had dropped her down deep.