Miranda woke up, shaking, sweating. It was three in the morning.
She flung off the cover, and swung her legs around the small bed, grabbing an almost-empty package of Chesterfields off the nightstand on her way to the window. She pushed it open, inhaling the fog that pulsed downhill on its way to Market Street and south of that to the piers, the street lamps dim with cloud-wrapped cataracts, the traffic noises muffled as if by a damp wool blanket.
1937. At three in the morning it was always 1937.
She watched a couple in evening clothes stroll down Mason toward Union Square and the big hotels. She watched the man put his arm around the woman, watched as she leaned into him, their footsteps beating a sharp tattoo in the wet pavement. She lit a cigarette, and watched them until they were out of sight.
She smoked, and thought about Eddie Takahashi, and shivered a little. Shed be alone, but Miranda was used to that.
Excerpted from City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley. Copyright © 2010 by Kelli Stanley. Published in February 2010 by Minotaur Books. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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