The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author: Martha Brockenbrough
- Language: English
- Genre: Teen & Young Adult Historical Fantasy eBooks
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
THE gure in the ne gray suit materialized in the nursery and stood over the
sleeping infant, inhaling the sweet, milky night air. He could have taken any
form, really: a sparrow, a snowy owl, even a common housey. Although he
often traveled the world on wings, for this work he always preferred a human
Standing beneath a leaded glass window, the visitor, who was known as
Love, removed a small, pearl-headed pin from his tie and pricked his nger. A
bead of blood rose and caught the reection of the slice of moon that hung low
in the late winter sky. He bent over the cradle and slid his bleeding ngertip
into the child’s mouth. e baby, a boy, tried to suckle, his forehead wrinkling,
his small hands curling into sts.
“Shh,” the gure whispered. “Shh.” is player. He could not think of one
he’d loved more.
After a time, Love slipped his nger out of the boy’s mouth, satised that
the blood had given the boy a steady heart. He replaced his pin and regarded
the child. He removed a book from his pocket, scribbled a few lines, and
tucked it away again. When he could stay no longer, he uttered two words, as
softly as a prayer: “Have courage.”
e next night, in a small green house across town, his opponent made her
choice. In this house, there was no leaded glass in the windows. No gracious
nursery, no wrought-iron crib. e child was a girl. A girl who slept in an apple
crate — happily so, for she did not yet know of anything else.
In the house’s other bedroom, the child’s grandmother slept lightly,
listening from some ever-alert corner of her mind for the sounds that would
indicate the child’s parents had returned home: the creak of a door, the whisper
of voices, the careful pad of tiptoeing feet.
e old woman would wait forever to hear those sounds again.
Wearing a pair of soft leather gloves, Love’s opponent, known as Death,
reached for the child, who woke and blinked sleepily at the unfamiliar face
overhead. To Death’s relief, the baby did not cry. Instead, she looked at her
with wonder. Death held a candle near so the child might have a better view.
e baby blinked twice, smiled, and reached for the ame.
Pleased, Death set the candle down, held the baby close to her chest, and
walked to the uncovered window, which revealed a whitened world glowing
beneath a silver annel sky. She and the baby watched the snow fall together.
At last, the child fell asleep in her arms.
Death concentrated on her essential task, relieved when she at last felt the
telltale pressure behind her eyes. After much effort, a single black tear gathered
in her lashes. Death removed her glove with her teeth. It made hardly any
noise as it hit the oor. With her index nger, Death lifted the tear.
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