Three shoddy mull jonquils hastily pinned to her breast. Hardly a basket of flowers, but three being better than two it will have to do. Electra pulls a long face in the foxed mirror, views herself like an astronomer, one eye at a time. Behind each eyelid, the stars come out. Hope is painted in a gracious arc of blue above each eye. She makes her mouth luscious and robust and spins before the reflective oval, longing to meet the gumptious day, to get out where the sky is the exact chalky blue of an Easter Sunday. But hoping and longing aside, first she must pull on her dim cloak, the red boots , the misremembered dress with all the little blades sewn into its hem.
Hunting seems to be my thing, she thinks, as she follows her nose past the kitchen, where cook is measuring knives against her wrist. Past the horrific kettle of eels she goes, the cauldron of jellied pigs' feet, past the birdcage window and out onto the street, where the rain falls in halos and arcs, and down to the quayside, strewn with improbable storm-wrecked blooms.
Tell me, says the voice of Rafael in her head, what it is you plan to do now with your one wild and precious life
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