An astonishing, long-awaited collection of stories that intersect imaginatively with Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, and Flannery O'Connor. Includes John Kessel's modern classic "Lunar Quartet" sequence about life on the moon.
Sophonsiba advanced with the torch. I took out the straight razor and unfolded the blade. When Patterson saw the torchlight gleam along it, he let out a muffled howl and lost control of his bladder. The urine splashed down the front of my robe. I slapped his face.
Disgusted, I crouched before him. He writhed. "Keep still, or this will not go well for you!" I said. His legs trembled like those of a man palsied. When I touched the razor to his groin, he fainted. His body slumped, and he fell against the blade. Blood welled and ran down his leg.
"I'm afraid I have nicked him," I said.
He bled a deal, but the wound was far from mortal. I shaved his pubic hair, and delicately cut a circle and dependent cross on his chest.
I was withdrawing the bloody razor from my work when Louellen hissed, "Someone's coming!"
A half dozen horses came galloping down the road.
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