In the House of the Worm by George R. R. Martin

By George R. R. Martin

In a crumbling urban on a loss of life planet, younger Annelyn has lived a lifetime of privilege. while he's humiliated by the hands of the artful groun hunter they name the Meatbringer, he and his high-born acquaintances plot revenge. yet Annelyn's plan is going desperately awry, top him deep into the city's ruins—and to the grotesque fact approximately his forebears' reverence for the mythic White Worm.

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He glanced briefly at me, and back to Gretel. ’ ‘Then go in peace,’ he said, and bowed again before returning to his people. I waited until he was out of earshot. ’ I demanded. She shrugged. ‘He’s a trader, remember. ’ ‘Yes, but what was he talking about? ’ She hesitated, and then nodded, like someone relenting under pressure. ‘I’ve agreed to attend the tinker women if I’m needed. ’ ‘Because I don’t want it generally known. It could harm my standing in the community. Also, I don’t want you involved.

Of course it didn’t. As I released my hold and stepped free, I barely had time to think: I’m doing it! Flying! I will see the faerie light, I will!  until, mercifully as they say, I lost consciousness. The generously spreading branches of the old tree saved my life, for I was still more or less intact when I reached the ground and lay spreadeagled amongst the tendrils of bindweed that had once been the setting of my fantasies. I wish I could say I dreamed of Robin Goodfellow during the hour or more that I lay there unattended – his glowing face stooping over mine, his wings brushing my lips with faerie-like concern – but I had no such vision.

With a brief nod of apology, I reached for the latch. Straightaway he grabbed me by the hair and forced me roughly to my knees. ’ I shook my head, too scared to speak. ‘Then answer me this. When you visited us last, how exactly did you come to see past our dimming?  a crack in the front door,’ I stuttered out. ’ He didn’t wait for me to finish. ‘Which eye was it that betrayed us? ’ It came to me then – in the midst of my terror – the truth about Gretel. ’ I blurted out. ‘But why? She’d already seen you!

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