Dradin, in love, beneath the window of his love, staring up at her while crowds surge and seethe around him, bumping and bruising him all unawares in their rough-clothed, bright-rouged thousands. For Dradin watches her, she taking dictation from a machine, an inscrutable block of gray from which sprout the earphones she wears over her delicate egg-shaped head. Dradin is struck dumb and dumber still by the seraphim blue in her eyes and the cascade of long and lustrous black hair over her shoulders, her pale face gloomy against the glass and masked by the reflection of the graying sky above. She is three stories up, ensconced in brick and mortar, almost a monument, her seat near the window just above the sign that reads “Hoegbotton & Sons, Distributors.” Hoegbotton & Sons: the largest importer and exporter in all of lawless Ambergris, that oldest of city named for the most valuable and secret part of the whale.
City of Saints and Madmen / Jeff VanderMeer