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Skyglass: Chapter 9

Buy the complete novel: ebook | paperback (coming fall 2016)

Glitter and Give

PHOENIX

“Rebirth!” Devin shouted, tossing his empty goblet into the crowd. It cracked harmlessly against someone’s head and burst into a glittery mist of fructo-glass.

“Rebirth?” I asked, leaning back in my seat and sipping a sparkling shot of incendiary sugarshine.

The two of us lounged on squishy divans in the middle of a sunslab party, surrounded by a sea of drinking, tonguing, and barely dressed poppers. There was a forest of birches within arm’s reach, their branches bejeweled with meditating elves whose heads were wrapped up in a flossy fiber that clung to the skin of their faces and twisted into cables connected to limelight wires embedded deep in the birch trees. A thousand tiny straws for the trees to sip from. I imagined the rhizomes hidden in the floor growing fat on excess energy–energy used to power the very sunslab we rode.

“Yes. Rebirth,” Devin repeated. “That’s what our show at the Ventriloquist is going to be all about. For my outfit, I was thinking of wearing a crown and a giant bubble dress with lots of sparkly bones on the hem.”

Ah ha. Of course. We had a two-week countdown before the show, and yet here Devin was, already planning his clothing. Apparently our private, sky-high party wasn’t entertaining enough.

Devin poked me in the nose and kept talking. “I mean, after our most recent show–you know, the whole death thing?–life after death just kinda makes sense. So, rebirth. Think you can work with that, Phoenix?

I snickered–very funny–then said, “Yes. Yes yes yes,” as my idea-tinder caught fire. I knew just what to do.

Devin smiled. “Good. Just be sure to make it perfect–’cause I need a little help in that arena. I’m pretty awesome, but I’m not flawless.”

Thankfully. You’d be so boring without little blips like your chicken addiction.”

He pouted. “My passion for Peeps is perfection.”

“I’m just glad that someone appreciates my benevolence. Unlike Zinn. He’d better not be hiding from me.” I swept my eyes across the sunslab’s innermost room, hoping to catch sight of his green hair and lukewarm smile. Moss was being social elsewhere; Sable and Yunayuna had left half an hour ago to find a private room; but Zinn was nowhere to be found. I wanted to ignite him, but wishes weren’t sparks, as I knew all too well. The only thing that caught my gaze was a parade of poppers approaching, their gigantic sparklers spraying prismatic fire into the air.

I groaned. “And I thought it would be fun and distracting to be a popup again, spinning at the center of everything. Pissing ugh.” I licked Devin’s cheek and rose. “Anyway, I’ll keep the whole murderous life-cycle thing in mind for the new Blowup. We’ve still got two weeks. In the meantime, I’m gonna hunt Zinn down and find out what makes him think shirking party duty is acceptable.”

Devin looked at me incredulously, and then burst out laughing. “You know you’re not getting into his pants, right?”

“We’ll see, sweet Devi,” I said with a smirk. “We’ll see.”

Proceed to Chapter 9, page 2–>

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