Brand: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Shadow opened his eyes, and, groggily, sat up. He was freezing, and the sky outside the car was the deep luminescent purple that divides the dusk from the night.
Tap. Tap. Someone said, “Hey, mister,” and Shadow turned his head. The someone was standing beside the car, no more than a darker shape against the darkling sky. Shadow reached out a hand and cranked down the window a few inches. He made some waking-up noises, and then he said, “Hi.”
“You all right? You sick? You been drinking?” The voice was high—a woman’s or a boy’s.
“I’m fine,” said Shadow. “Hold on.” He opened the door, and got out, stretching his aching limbs and neck as he did so. Then he rubbed his hands together, to get the blood circulating and to warm them up.
“Whoa. You’re pretty big.”
“That’s what they tell me,” said Shadow.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Sam,” said the voice.
“Boy Sam or girl Sam?”
“Girl Sam. I used to be Sammi with an i, and I’d do a smiley face over the i, but then I got completely sick of it because like absolutely everybody was doing it, so I stopped.”
“Okay, girl Sam. You go over there, and look out at the road.”
“Why? Are you a crazed killer or something?”
“No,” said Shadow, “I need to take a leak and I’d like just the smallest amount of privacy.”
“Oh. Right. Okay. Got it. No problem. I am so with you. I can’t even pee if there’s someone in the next stall. Major shy bladder syndrome.”
Nag champa incense, patchouli, and freshly-soaped skin.
Released: American Gods III