“Correagal is a city of bridges. One hundred and twenty-seven of them, on most days,…” Learn more about this storytelling project and the people behind it here.
“I mean it. Get away from him.”
“Or what? You’ll poke me with your toy sword?”
“Look again,” Neda said, stepping further into the light. “This is no toy.”
The woman tilted her head, gave the sword a second, longer look, than glanced Neda again, as if trying to see who she was behind her mask. “So I see. Who are you?”
Flustered by the question, Neda jutted her chin forward. “I… I’m Daena Falisse Duresia, Princess of Averest, Champion of the Alund, Lady of a Thousand Tears, and I want you to get away from my friend.”
She pursed her lips together thoughtfully. “I know why don’t like masks,” she said and leaned close to whisper. “It’s because you’re wearing a mask all the time.”
it had looked as if someone had plucked every star from the night sky and strung them across the river. Up close, it was like stepping into another world. Light from scores of magic-filled paper lanterns illuminated the ancient arcade with pools of shifting colors, rose and turquoise and violet and gold, and made the iridescent streamers and canopies of silvered linen shimmer with rainbows. Lush garlands of night-blooming flowers wrapped all the railings and arches, scenting the air with their sweet, unsubtle perfume, while fist-sized soap bubbles bobbed overhead, sprinkling showers of glitter whenever they popped onto the masked faces below.