By Margo Lanagan

As a part of a public execution, a tender boy forlornly is helping to sing his sister down. . . . A servant learns approximately grace and loyalty from a mistress who could particularly dance with Gypsies than take a seat on her throne. . . . A terrifying come upon with a demonic angel provides a tender guy the energy he must cut loose of his oppressor. . . . On a bleak and dreary afternoon a gleeful capturing spree ends up in tragedy for a determined clown not able to flee his fate.In every one of Margo Lanagan's ten impressive tales, human frailty is placed to the try via the implacable forces of darkish and lightweight, guy and beast. black juice deals glimpses into customary, shadowy worlds that push the limits of the spirit and go away the brain haunted with the information that black juice runs via us all.

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They must be just jumped up from hobbies. I seen them before, though. ’ ‘They will be soon. Heading for the park. Swilling drink. ’ ‘If I could make it look natural. But you don’t jump two metres sideways in the middle of coughing. He’s okay now, anyway. That’s it, Tat, give him a good thump on the back. ’ Despite that monstrous gob, Jelly’s voice still had major rattles. ‘Tif just hoiked and gobbed in perfect time with you. ’ ‘So they’re in the park? ’ ‘Blow ’em anyway. Let’s finish here and get some dinner.

Did Jelly spring as well? I don’t know how much of that last back-somersault he intended. Or whether he did actually stop a moment, out past the broken lip of the balcony, and catch my eye, through the rain, before he dropped. The rain hissed. The merry-go-round jingled and groaned below. Slowly my body came out of the twitch. The bouffon would fall in the churchyard mud, inside the safety fence. No one would see him; no one would have seen him go down, if I was lucky. 55 black juice-text pages 12/2/04 3:27 PM Page 56 black juice And I was lucky.

I could take it up myself. But there were too many other things to spend money on right now. The borrow of this weapon, for a start. Tools to improve the world with. Tools for doing good. ’ Jelly was still at the sights. ‘Blackbird, Prince Prawn, the Tumblin’ Dice. Wouldn’t I like to put a rocket into that lot! Ants ’n’ Pants . . Look, a Flying Orologio Brother! What a colourful band of beloveds. ’ He dialled with his cigarette hand, the smoke muddling the air around his fingers. ‘Ah, Your Highness.

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