What I’m Writing: excerpt from Before Luck Runs Out

The following night Jedda picked up the conversation right where they had left off. Kirrin took no pains to remain hidden now.
“You’re early,” Kirrin noted when Jedda arrived.
But you were here first.
Jedda shrugged, unsure what the correct response was. Kirrin didn’t look annoyed, though, so Jedda decided it didn’t matter. Kirrin closed a small notebook, tucking it into his jacket and stood up from the bench where he’d been sitting.
With a closer look, Jedda decided Kirrin was probably only a little older than himself. The man was well dressed in the same charcoal colored pants as before, with a medium blue shirt and black vest. Jedda also noticed Kirrin’s hair was clean and brushed and he was clean shaven.
Jedda made note of how Kirrin walked and how he looked, deciding that was the model he was supposed to follow.
“Let’s walk,” Kirrin said, looking around the sheltered garden and nodding his head towards the north side of the city.
The two of them leaned on the stone railing that overlooked the stepped terraces. Just as casual as any two people, Jedda realized. But he was more focused on the conversation.
“Can you tell me about this magic stuff?” Jedda asked, picking up the conversation from the previous night.
“Magic can do all sorts and manner of things.” Kirrin explained. “The question will be, what will you do with your magic? If it wakes,” he added. “But generally, people have gifts, different strengths. There is no telling precisely how yours might develop.”
“How did I get this magic? Do you have magic?” Jedda asked, wondering if it was an illness he had acquired or something he had stolen or touched.
“No, I do not have magic. Not in the way you do; I am Chanmyr. Human,” Kirrin said. “As for you? You are only part human. The other part of you is Faenyr. They possess magic naturally. So, where did you get your magic? From one or both of your parents.” He glanced sideways at Jedda’s face. “Do you know anything about your parents?”
A simple shrug, self-conscious, head hanging. Shame.
“Well, from the look of you, with that beautiful tawny skin, there is a good chance one of your parents was Tajynal. That’s one of the two Faenyr races. Your eyes look human, very human, perhaps Beddo,” he said, showing a glimmer of distaste for whatever ‘beddo’ was.
“Beddo?” Jedda asked.
“Those are the travelers, the tinkers. Very useful people, but generally disliked and not trusted. You’ve seen their barges on the canals, no doubt. Very colorful and bright. They stand out against the local ships.”
Jedda nodded, remembering the low riding barge boats with banners and flags, filled with music and laughter. The disdain the shopkeepers treated him with suddenly made more sense. He took a breath, resolved. “How do I do magic?” he asked again, feeling more comfortable around Kirrin now.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know how to do magic. I know almost nothing about it.”
“Then how do you knows I can do it?” he asked, sharply focused on this critical aspect of his life.
“It’s just a hunch,” Kirrin said.
“Can Karrahk do magic?” Jedda continued. “Who can teach me about it, then? Is it dangerous? What about the priests?” Jedda pounded away with the questions.
“Enough with the questions,” Kirrin barked. “Enough about the magic, okay?” he asked, eying Jedda closely.
Kirrin waved a hand. “One more magic question and I’ll toss you in the canal down there. Got it?” Kirrin said, his tone indicating that he would do precisely that.
Jedda clamped his mouth shut tight, forgetting whatever he might have been about to say.

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