By DG Hartwell, K Cramer
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Additional resources for Year's Best Fantasy 2
She holds him back and hides him deep, fearing to give birth to her master. ” The Finder s 31 Gelluk stopped and said nothing for some time, thinking, his face excited. Otter glimpsed the images in his mind: great ﬁres blazing, burning sticks with hands and feet, burning lumps that screamed as green wood screams in the ﬁre. “Yes,” Gelluk said, his deep voice soft and dreamy, “she must be burned alive. And then, only then, he will spring forth, shining! Oh, it’s time, and past time. We must deliver the King.
Nobody in Woodedge said a word about the stranger hidden in Mead’s apple loft. They kept him safe. Maybe that is why the people there now call their village not Woodedge, as it used to be, but Otterhide. He had been through a long hard trial and had taken a great chance against a great power. His bodily strength came back soon, for he was young, but his mind was slow to ﬁnd itself. He had lost something, lost it forever, lost it as he found it. He sought among memories, among shadows, groping over and over through images: the assault on his home in Havnor; the stone cell, and Hound; the brick cell in the barracks and the spellbonds there; walking with Licky; sitting with Gelluk; the slaves, the ﬁre, the stone stairs winding up through fumes and smoke to the high room in the tower.
But he must not hurry, he must be patient, must make certain. He turned to another passage and compared the two, and brooded over the book late into the night. Once for a moment something drew his mind away, some invasion of the outskirts of his awareness; the boy was trying some trick or other. Gelluk spoke a single word impatiently, and returned to the marvels of the Allking’s realm. He never noticed that his prisoner’s dreams had escaped him. Next day he had Licky send him the boy. He looked forward to seeing him, to being kind to him, teaching him, petting him a bit as he had done yesterday.
Year's Best Fantasy 2 by DG Hartwell, K Cramer