The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
Every time she was about to gut a fish, she first whacked the fish’s head with the side of the knife blade to stun it. She said it was less cruel that way. Then she sliced their throat in between the gills.
The qawwals will gather here on Thursday night and the air will ring with their voices mingling in high devotion, but just now the shrine is quiet, almost ordinary among the smoke, and the flowers, and the great minarets and domes of old Roomi.
“I've thought about getting glasses,” the dragon said as we sat on rocks with mugs in our hands and the tin of butter cookies on another rock between us. The dragon even had cloth napkins, which hid the gaping wound in my abdomen.
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