Rafael stands dauntless above their heads, balanced on the narrow wire. Behind him the silks of the evening sky lie ripped with defeat. The air is radiant with jasmine or snow. Way below him, the strong man moves in random ways amongst the crowd, unseen by Rafael who leans into the curved air and doffs his top hat. From behind a parapet of dark Alisha's raven flies towards him, a lit cigarette in its beak. He lands on Rafael's head, the chip of molten light dancing.
Rafael drops. The crowd gapes with a capricious longing for blood, but elegance and fate bind him and the cigarette describes a resurrected arc. The strong man breathes out and dips away from the tent. Looking up Electra sees them, bird and man sharing the light. Finally, she thinks, you came true.
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