[Maestro] stabbed two fingers at Xinshi’s chest and crooked them like he was lifting a fish from a bucket. Across the room the old man staggered forward. Certainly all the Ones knew this to be the [maestro’s] magic. Nearly all of the Twos believed as well. I knew it to be nothing more than a trick of the mind. A false compulsion Xinshi had fallen for–again.
We all waited for the [maestro’s] next sign. Without dropping the finger-hook he waived his left hand back and forth like he was holding a placard and asking a question. :What are you doing?: I’d seen him ask this simple question a thousand times of hundreds of Ones over the years.
The thirteen red feathers of the [maestro’s]
Does this seem like I wasn’t finished?
I made up Xinshi as I wanted something with an X in it. I am told that in Mandarin it translates to ‘something you think in your heart‘. Fun.
Word count: 170