Flash Fiction: Striking Midnight (142 words)

After midnight, Tashel lost some of his stillness. His gaze, usually so steady a thing that Jule could balance her earth on it, drifted toward the floor or flicked to the ceiling in the middle of a thought. As broad and muscled as he was in daylight, he suddenly leaned his elbows against tabletops, and chair backs, and his knees. Then, in some silences that seemed to wrap him tighter than the others, he would walk a coin across his knuckles – roll it, tumble it – showing quick fingers that he would never display otherwise.

Jule watched the flash of metal out of the corner of her eye, holding her own quiet.

She was never sure what she was watching until he caught her eye sharply, hands suddenly still again, pinning her with the knowledge that she had struck one of his secrets.

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