All tagged vignettes

Before setting foot in the temple, she unfastened her shadow from her boots, then folded it neatly at the base of the stairs. This was not just a matter of reverence, but also one of self-preservation; the lanterns that flanked the entrance had teeth, and the flames within them had tongues.

Kissing was invented in the city of Thusk, a seaport with thousands of citizens, yet only one dentist. Her services were scarcely needed, for the civic biologists had rendered most of her profession obsolete.

"This telescope was built to accommodate several different modes of operation,” the observatory’s director explained. "For instance, right now, it's set to hermetic mode. That means that whenever you focus its lens on a particular star, the image of that star exists just as far backwards within your mind as the star itself is from your eyes."

When he is seen in visions, Nexorpan, the god of small agonies, has no face: what appears to be a sea urchin sits atop his neck as a surrogate head. Its numerous spines have shredded the torso of his three-piece suit, exposing the raw patches of violet skin beneath. Every morning, his handmaidens bathe him, dress him, and tend to his wounds, yet all of their work is swiftly undone.