I blow up opportunity, she tells him. I like to study the blast patterns of deprivation. These spell books are moldy and useless. And what good are daemon and golem, if you are willing to assume a yoke yourself?

He listens. When she falls asleep and begins the chase again, he steals out to the yard to look for the talisman, a tarnished brass keyring with a supermarket shopper’s club bar code attached.

The work needs no extra light but it’s tiring, and he glances up at the window sometimes. An outline in the glass would be to see her again, as she was before this and so many other objects were carefully discarded.