Frozen Iron: The Icy Shores

Hungover

By Zai Symon

I’m never doing that again. My head hurts and the lights in here are too bright and my mouth feels like cotton and tastes like bitter acid. Gross. Why do so many people look like they’re having fun when they drink beer? This is awful. And what’s worse, I can hardly remember last night.

I remember a dude that looked like a boat and Stella shushing me when I talked loudly about the Bagman. And I remember the sound of a mirror breaking and a wolf howling and waking up in a huge bush and running as fast as I could. I think someone knocked me out. Or, no, maybe I passed out. I know I was unconscious at some point.

But as awful as all this is, they all came in to save me. They could have just left me, but they came. Even Sam. I don’t know how I’m going to repay them. I don’t have any skills, and I barely understand what I am as a Changeling. I’m so dependent on them for everything: money, knowledge, company, safety. And Gwendolyn is more a nuisance than anything else. You can’t exactly take a badger out on a leash. I wonder could I learn a spell or something that would make her look different to humans like we all look different to humans.

I need to figure things out and I need to start learning on my own. But how? I’m pretty sure the reason everyone had to come rescue me was because some other Changelings we met turned out to be bad guys. How do we know who to trust? I wonder is there a library for us somewhere. Stella knows a lot from her books, so maybe I could learn from there. So that’s what I’ll do; I’ll search out a library with stuff on Changelings so I can start pulling my weight. I know how to get Glamor now, though maybe next time I’ll try being nice instead of being evil. Stella disapproved of the way I drank in that kid’s greed. I should have tried to help instead. That’s the new outlook: help wherever you can and learn stuff in order to become independent.

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