empty: only a few lazy sparks in a sea of sun-fuel, most of
its sphere flameless, reflecting its track and the stars
behind it, as if the weather is too hot for even the sun to
On the street the Cani are melting. Six of them, four of
them pushing a cart of ladders and brushes and paint, one
carrying a basket of food, the last singing a lazy walking
song and tapping a small drum with the end of a paintbrush
and looking as if he has affan in organizing travel. Fur,
lacking quills, cannot stand in this weather, and Cani look
as though they've been dipped in windy water and not quite
allowed to dry properly. They are already panting, pink
and mauve tongues shining in the sun's drooping dawnlight.
The food-carrier threatens to choof the drummer, saying he
took a job for them that wouldn't be done before Oix.
Inside the apartment, we have worked students' strategems to
hold on to Chirreb's cool as long as we can. The air has a
metallic-tasting magical resonance, just barely strong
enough to be aware of, from some spontaneous cooling magic.
For my roommates this is a small price to pay for a refuge
from heat. For me ... a larger price for refuge from