A dreary mizzle would seep through the city, a chill bitter mist that
reeked of the sea. It brought with it the Mizzle Wrecks - furtive shifting
creatures, their hands held out hollow as begging bowls. They sat on
desolate corners as the light turned lurid grey and told tales such as
no-one had heard before. They whispered thin as the mist itself, their
words little more than a shiver slipping from trembling lips.
All day long she painted pictures of dancers in a village wearing bright
robes streaked with scarlet and saffron, their faces hidden by masks
shaped like owls. As each picture was finished she hung it on the wall
till the room itself seemed to be dancing. And then Tamarind lay on
her bed and watched the colours swirl and imagined that she was back
in the village again, just as she had been when she was a girl.
At dusk she walked the streets, trying to find the harbour, each narrow
alleyway threading to another, the basements lewd with bawdiness and
the gutters sluiced with liquor. Then silent cobbles and no sound of
strife or laughter till her eye was drawn to an upper window where sat a
young girl weeping. Ghresselle hurried on, but before long she saw
another, in another house, another window, but as if the same girl sat
there in a green flowing dress, calling wordlessly for help till her voice
seemed to follow round every shadowy corner. The same girl in the
same dress, the same cry from house after house, again and again.