Black Juice by Margo Lanagan

By Margo Lanagan

As a part of a public execution, a tender boy forlornly is helping to sing his sister down. . . . A servant learns approximately grace and loyalty from a mistress who might relatively dance with Gypsies than take a seat on her throne. . . . A terrifying come across with a demonic angel provides a tender guy the power he must break away of his oppressor. . . . On a bleak and dreary afternoon a gleeful capturing spree ends up in tragedy for a determined clown not able to flee his fate.In every one of Margo Lanagan's ten striking tales, human frailty is positioned to the try out by way of the implacable forces of darkish and lightweight, guy and beast. black juice deals glimpses into commonly used, shadowy worlds that push the limits of the spirit and depart the brain haunted with the data that black juice runs via us all.

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Mother! ’ Ew, the accent on him. ’ She kissed Jelly on both cheeks. She was quite a sight in her stage-pancake and tutu and her auburnised croquembouche hair. And she smelled, too—one of the clean, old, bottled scents, magnolia or something. Jelly stood in the cloud of it, very much the shaggy son. ’ said Jelly. All eyes in the Puffin were on the mother now. Except Jelly’s—he looked at me. ‘You know,’ said his mum. ‘The prize! The Yellow Jersey! For the day’s best bouffons! Don’t be thick, darling.

Cousin’s eyes dart aside. ‘How was she conducting herself? Tell me true, man. ’ ‘She was upright and . . ’ He busies himself with some harness-straightening at my foot. ‘Come, Berry,’ says Mullord, and kicks his horse into a trot. My cousin stands back and casts me a look that says, Didn’t we all know it would come to this? and it’s off with us into the night again. Heaven Seat pushes its stony shoulders up out of the forest beside us. Mullord disappears into the trees, and my mare follows him.

We were crouched inside, in a mist of our own breath, the draught chilling our eyeballs. The filthy window was cracked open just wide enough for the muzzle of the Fioreschiacciare. ’ Jelly cocked his head, clicked his tongue in agreement, and kept fumbling in his jacket pockets. I stroked the curved clips remaining in the canister, awed at myself, how far I’d come. A top-of-the-line Fiore. Famous for her precision work during the Lemonade Wars, she was matt black, with the slender, high-haunched build of all the weapons Benato designed for Fiore.

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