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▶  More from Fiction Before the Rising Sun
‘The Witches, Our Sisters’
Impressions of Chapter 13 of Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer
Reading from pages 84-89 of Shadow & Claw
The Lictor of Thrax
“The shadow of a sour smile crossed Master Palaemon’s ruined face…”
Severian finds that he is to be sentenced to be a carnifax—a common executioner in some town without widows called Thrax, in order to save the guild from shame and from future censure, which could effectively ruin its autonomy. He is permitted to gather his things and while doing so dallies childlike at the transparent top of the citadel:
“I climbed the stair of our tower then, past the storeroom to the gun room, where the siege pieces lounged in cradles of pure force…”
Before descending to be given his orders he was able to take in a view of his suddenly expanding world:
“North lay the House Absolute and the cataracts, and Thrax, City of Windowless Rooms. North lay the wide pampas, a hundred trackless forests, and the rotting jungles at the waist of the world.”
Diction of note
-caique, a vessel
-uhlans, bandits
Easy Chair and Other Stories: Humorous Reader Generated Fiction
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