The Golden Shadow
The Valeshard tips his hat to the dusted ladies, then sets himself down beside the knocked over statue of frozen boy-flesh, to begin his feast.
But as he applies his fingers to a nice, juicy section of cheek, placing the digits so carefully between forehead and chin, a strange thing happens.
His hands fall through the skull, striking the floor.
He looks down.
Suddenly, there is no boy at all and he is afraid.
He looks down again, just in time to see his own fingers cracking like the women’s had, running through with little fissures, breaking into streams and rivers and seas of fractures, like feathers crawling away over his body.
Gold belches forth from between the landmasses of his skin like heat from a steam vent, licking at the frosty air.
Burning away the cold.
The unnatural rime of all his precious chaos.
He blinks, to clear his head, and when he opens his eyes again, his eyes shout gold light with each flicker of his eyelids.
He looks down for the final time, and sees his own bald head. A golden robe, off-shoulder, pinned with a small green and red pin.
He smiles, and rises to his feet.
“Let’s see if I remember where it is,” he murmurs, then he plods barefoot down a random hallway, his naked toes making steaming the melt water, making ripples.