Brand stepped up to the car and noticed a shifting movement in the corner of his eye. He turned to see the gypsy woman and her husband descending the stairs towards him.
Halfway down, they drew up short and the air around them fluttered and shook. A second later, the fabric of the night whipped aside and a shivering tramp stood astride a rickety rusty bicycle, an old boneshaker with metal wheels. The tramp flickered in and out of Brand’s vision, like a candle flame in a draft. He seemed hollow beneath his skin, but gradually filled in as he stood on the steps, like he was the bottom bell of an hourglass. Brand’s feet carried him up to the scene before he knew what was happening. He stood a few steps below the trio. The tramp pulled a satchel up from inside his loose overcoat and reached into it. He drew out a scroll tube and held it out for the gypsy woman.
“For you, um, I guess. Ma’am. Is that—“
“Yes, is correct. For me. Ma’am,” the gypsy said, letting a bright tinkling laugh follow her words into the night air.
“Is okay. Ma’am or mother. I am called both.” Madame Tibor took the tube from the tramp’s outstretched hand and replaced it with two coins.
“What’re… I get paid for this job?”
“Is for passage. You are messenger now; immortal. Still may need passage in future,” she said. Brand caught a gleam in her eyes as she spoke. “Coins are for that.”
AJ Sikes – Gods of Chicago
Gods of Chicago is a dieselpunk novel with strong fantasy elements alongside sf elements. I’m a fantasy lover, so of course I liked the fantasy elements better that the sf, although both help create a very dark environment in this novel.
The idea of the ghosts is by far the one I liked the most, because it’s unusual. I mean, it’s visually and intimately unusual and it really added to the personality of this novel, in my opinion.
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