Still Faces


“Bahahaha,” Lin rolls back laughing, one hand almost losing grip of the oar. “Oop!”

Jay scoffs. “What’s so funny?”

“Wh-when you said faces in the water I thought you meant”—shakes his head, still chuckling. “You made it sound like you saw a mermaid.”

Jay grunts. “No…No, no. That’s on you. All I said—”

“You said, ‘Lin, Lin, you have to come with me to the green shoals. I-I-I saw something.’ I asked you what you saw and your eyes grew the size of the moon. ‘I saw…faaaces.’ ” Lin laughs. “You left out the statue part.”

Sullen, Jay huffs, “I think they’re neat. How old do you think they are?”

“Mm, no older than your mother.” Lin shoots him a glare. “Sorry-sorry,” Jay waves his hands: please-don’t-hit-me.

“Everything’s a joke to you.” Jay says, Lin only shrugs. “Think it’s from before the rifts were sealed?”

“Who knows?”

“Looks like one of the seven nobles. A little like Vasna,” Jay cranes his neck as the boat glides over the statue’s face, looks over the other side of the boat. “Give me a coin.”


Holding his hand out, “Come on, I know you have one. Give me a coin. Anything. I want to say a prayer and make a wish.”

“Pfft, you don’t believe that stuff do you?” Lin asks, but is tugging at the coin pouch on his belt. “Here.”

“Thank you.” Jay holds the coin close, mutters a few words, touches it to his forehead, flicks it into the water.”

“What’d you wish for?” Lin asks.

“For you to learn some respect.”

That shuts Lin up and for the rest of that day the two friends talk little.