Black Night by Christina Henry

Description : Black Night
I STOOD IN THE ALLEY BETWEEN DAMEN AND WOLCOTT in the recently trendy neighborhood of Wicker Park. There was a parking lot filled with cars directly across the alley from my position. It was bordered on the other three sides by four-story apartment buildings. Behind the wall that I leaned on, the clubs, bars and restaurants of Division Street did a brisk trade in liquor and lust for the upscale singles who had purchased all the new condos in the area. The cold November night was no deterrent to business. After all, if you lived in Chicago, then you understood that there are only two seasons—winter and construction. If you let a little cold slow you down, then you should probably move somewhere else.

I shifted a little, flexing my toes inside my boots in a vain effort to keep them warm. When I had died and been reborn a month ago, my human heart had been replaced by an angel’s heartstone. As a result, I was usually a little warmer than ordinary human beings, since angels’ hearts are made of the sun. But a half angel’s body is still no match for the Windy City.

My gargoyle, Beezle, poked his head out of the lapel of my wool peacoat. He’s the color of stone, about the size of an overweight guinea pig, and he’s got little wings, the better to flap around my head and annoy me with.

Before we had left the house he had trimmed a childsized scarf for his own use. He had a small strip of rainbowcolored wool wrapped around each horn and a longer piece wound several times around his lower face. The edge of his beak poked through the material. He mumbled something through the cloth and I glared at him.

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