Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears

By Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling

The 3rd installment in a well-liked sequence offers modern retellings of such fairy stories as ""Hansel and Gretel,"" ""Beauty and the Beast,"" and ""The Little fit Girl"" through such authors as Joyce Carol Oates, Gahan Wilson, and Jane Yolen. 10,000 first printing.

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Quickly the lanterns are spaced farther and farther aside. the line underneath us is damp from the rains, and the air smells of cedar and pine. we're touring a rustic footpath that might take us into the mountains. on the head of the procession, Lord Ikeda calls a halt. His servants rush to mild pine torches. I method Haruko’s palanquin. She’s been so quiet that i would like to ensure she’s okay. “Haruko? ” I name softly as I stand beside the clutter. The curtains half, and Haruko seems to be out at me. “What? ” “We’ve left Kyoto,” I inform her. “And the rain has allow up. Aren’t you curious to work out what lies past the town? ” Obliging me, she friends into the darkness. I see her eyes widen. “What is it? ” I ask. She issues. within the darkness close to the bottom of a cypress tree eyes watch us, sparkling like topaz within the mirrored image of the torch fires. “It’s simply an animal,” I inform her. “Nothing to be terrified of. ” “That’s no longer what frightens me,” she replies, and vanishes in the back of the curtains back. * * * * It’s approximately dead night after we cease on the hotel. Lord Ikeda’s loved ones is clearly used to commute. For notwithstanding we're all exhausted, it is just mins prior to the horses and palanquins are within the strong, and we all and the bags are contained in the hotel. nutrition is ordered for everybody, then Lord Ikeda barks an order at one other servant to guide Haruko to 1 of the visitor rooms. Her eyes meet mine. it's the first time due to the fact she was once an boy or girl that she and i've slept aside. this night she sleeps together with her lord and her eyes are wild with terror. It’s sufficient to make me do the unthinkable. “My lord,” I name out. Ikeda turns and stares at me. although he’s noticeable me again and again, it’s transparent that this is often the 1st time he’s actually taken detect of me. “What is it? ” he calls for. “A thousand pardons,” I start, “but my girl, Haruko, has no longer been good those previous couple of days. I’ve been nursing her again from a belly disease. may well I remain by means of her facet this night? ” He exhibits no anger yet whatever difficult and implacable enters his eyes. “My spouse sleeps with me,” he solutions. “I will see to her belly if there’s an issue. ” He glances at Haruko. “Are you ill? ” She shakes her head and stares on the flooring. “There isn't any problem,” he says, as though his pronouncement makes it the reality. I watch Haruko being led away, after which i'm led right into a room with the opposite ladies servants. “Tell me,” I say to the older girl at the pallet beside me. “What did his different better halves die of? ” She laughs. “Not of bedding the lord. Don’t worry. Your chick might be alive within the morning. ” i don't sleep all that evening. within the morning i'm the 1st one up. it kind of feels hours prior to breakfast is served, and Lord Ikeda and his spouse emerge from their room. Haruko is certainly alive. She greets her better half's mother with a bow, me with a nod. She wears the expression i've got obvious her put on so frequently after a conversation along with her father. She is as composed because the Buddha himself, the embodiment of her identify, this means that “the Tranquil. ” yet for Haruko the looks of serenity is often received at nice expense.

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