At Spout Rises she crossed the Threshhold of Ashk. Her cowl was worn through at the knees. Her bones ached For The Stars. Two more bridges to traverse. Fool’s goddesses if I won’t!
She looked at the next lambent door less forbodingly.
“I have no wand, but maybe I have a key. Do I, Corvus?” Rubbing her thumb over the pulsar, she prayed, “Please be a key!”
Could she assume that the Dowser was overseeing. Or that she had overseen while she levitated above dead night? Was Iiq a Guardian Cherub as well as a teacher?
Apprehensive, she eased the stone against the hushed fiery pane. The pearly light was extinguished, leaving her facing a black hole in the lavender-hued rock. Before the entrance could relock itself, she ambled straight ahead into whatever awaited her.
…Another unsympathetic clamp to his head yanked him upright and posed him for the Gypsy’s convergence. Removing a web of precious beads from one of her hilts, Himmwast draped her amulet over his navel and incanted to him eye to eye. “Entrails be in.”
A maroon bandeau, wholly shimmering with a print of swimming tadpoles, completely mantled her unfeathered skull. From a forehead clasp there hung a gleaming zircon in front of her right ____
Her right eye. It was missing! No, not missing. There was no socket to contain it. Only a natural unaltered surface of flesh. His vision was locked there. For a moment he imagined himself standing in some outlandish desert. It was night. Very overcast. No stellar campfires. And in the gloomy distance the contour of several baleful minarets was heightened by a faint acraviolet glow…