City Lights at Night

Carnival and Conspiracy

in which there is conspiracy, dinner, and the telling of fortunes

I feel horribly, terribly guilty. I am not happy about that. I’m hidin’ things, things I ought not to, because I don’t even have a very good reason to.

I had an invitation to dinner on Friday— from Ms. Silver, of all people. So I went, with Dirge in tow; it may just have been the creepiest thing I’ve done since I came back this side of the Hedge. (‘Course, that was likely because we had dinner in the Hedge, surrounded by cobwebs and creepifyin’ paintings and such.) Ms. Silver wanted to know about what happened when we got rid of the demon inhabitin’ the Leviathan. So I told her about what Red had asked, and about what Masa had asked… and I hesitated when I got to what I had asked. I was a little afraid to mention it, because it was somethin’ I really ought to have asked Dirge about. Ms. Silver picked up on that, and covered for me—said somethin’ about only two questions bein’ allowed. I owe her for that, I think— but now I wish I’d just said outright what I had asked about, because it’s buggin’ the hell outta me that I didn’t.

Anyway, we talked about other things too— a bit about Galt (and she mentioned, I think, a name that I just barely caught), and a little about the Tower (the Reverend knows about it, but it’s driven him mad and the story’s in the book he keeps). Oh, and she gave me a present. It’s a necklace, a leaden diamond (very, very Autumn-court-like, no surprise). She said if I need a little outside wisdom, all I have to do is wear it. Very thoughtful.

Went to the Market too, there was a carnival in town this week. The Last Picture Show, greatest show beside the Earth. Seems Ondrej was lookin’ for somebody there, someone to tell him about Jeremiah Wolfe and how he died. I’m not sure why Ondrej is lookin’ into this, but it has to have somethin’ to do with Texarkana. There was a fortune-telling praying mantis woman there too, read the cards for me. She told me a fair piece about what’s goin’ on and what will go on. I didn’t used to put much stock in fortune-tellers, but considerin’ where I spent fifteen— or was it fifty?— years, well… that aside, it seems the Tower will spell disaster for either the Knight of Cups or the Queen of Wands, and that means either a particular gentleman I’m very fond of, or a very nice but very scary older lady that I’m also rather fond of. I’m not lookin’ forward to either option. Apparently I’ll also get at least a few answers outta all this chaos, but one of my brothers will be betrayed, one will lose his luck, and things will change… but the last card she turned was the World.

Maybe my end, after all that, will have some kind of peace.

It’s gettin’ there that’s the problem.

I still feel terrible for hidin’ my question from Dirge— but all I wanted was to keep from draggin’ up memories that are less than happy… is that a good enough reason? I should talk to him about it, but what if it makes him angry? And what if… ah, hell, I’m just goin’ to tell him. I have to ask him about Red’s conspiracy, too. Might as well lay everythin’ out on the table, show my hand.

“Some day fate may be kind
Pray for the future, hope for the best
One never knows, does one?
That’s just the way it goes.” (BH)



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