This is a story called "The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds". It was first published in 1984, in KNAVE and was my third published short story. It was reprinted in 1993 ANGELS AND VISITATIONS (although I didn't put it into Smoke and Mirrors) and it's been collected in anthologies a few times since then.
or What's A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9' S, Longitude 126° 43' W)?
A Study in Emerald - [5.1 MB PDF file]
Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrations and Layout by Jouni Kopnen - Requires the Adobe PDF reader available at Adobe.com.
Cinnamon was a princess, a long time ago, in a small hot country, where everything was very old. Her eyes were pearls, which gave her great beauty, but meant she was blind. Her world was the colour of pearls: pale white and pink, and softly glowing.
"Come on," said Vic. "It'll be great." "No, it won't," I said, although I'd lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it. "It'll be brilliant," said Vic, for the hundredth time. "Girls! Girls! Girls!" He grinned with white teeth.
Download the full audio of How To Talk To Girls At Parties in parts:
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