Sleep No More by Seanan McGuire EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: Seanan McGuire
- Language: English
- Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
- Format: PDF/ePub
- Size: 1 MB
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October 28th, 2015
Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more!”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth.
SAMHAIN AND BELTAINE ARE the hubs around which the rest of
Faerie’s year turns. The two Moving Days, when the least among us—those
ranked even lower than changelings like myself—are free to pack up their
lives and move along to their next home. That freedom extends not only to
the forgettable. On the Moving Days, courtiers, changelings, and servants
can move between demesnes without concern for the possibility that they
might offend the Lords and Ladies under whom they serve, for Oberon
himself has granted his blessing. The skies go dark with flocks of pixies,
Piskies, and leaf-winged sprites, and the roads are thick with traveling
petitioners, all of them seeking a new place to belong.
Since I reached my majority, it had become my duty to man the door and
watch the gate during the weeks surrounding each Moving Day, providing
the levels of hospitality required by Oberon’s decree and not a crumb or
comment more. It was simple work, beneath the others who dwelt in the
household, and yet still I took pride in it. On those fleeting nights, I felt
shamefully as if I held some actual station in our house.
A family of Hamadryads were the latest to find their way to Mother’s
tower, three pureblooded adults and two children, both of whom carried the
distinct marks of human heritage. The five of them approached along the
road connecting us to Shadowed Hills, and one of the children glanced back
over her shoulder with glossy eyes and a quivering lip, making me wonder
whether they had first sought sanctuary in my uncle’s halls. Fools.
Wherever they had been before they started this journey must have been
glad to see them go, to have released them early and so very unprepared.
I adjusted the drape of my cloak and moved from the window to the hall
between the sitting room and kitchen, where I would be able to hear them
knocking at whichever door they chose to approach.
If they came to the kitchen door, cutting through the back garden, I
would give them parcels of bread and cheese Father had prepared for this
very purpose. The bread was rich with herbs he had grown himself, and I
sometimes suspected he enchanted it in some small way, to give petitioners
luck on the journey yet ahead of them.
These people would need it, clearly.
For them to have removed changeling children from the household they
were born to serve was not a violation of the rules, but it was unseemly at
the very least, and unwise by any measure. Such children’s lives would
always have been short. Now they would likely be hard and brutal as well,
for what liege would ever trust them not to flee a second time?
If they came through the front garden to the main door, I would give
them nothing at all. It was not Moving Day proper yet, and even if it had
been, Mother’s careful avoidance of any title save the one she was born to
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