Whether it was the pale transparency of her face, or the icy touch of her hand, or her sharply pointed nose, anyone who met her was struck with an unexpected chill. She was not unkind; she was not aggressive or disdainful in her demeanor; but the questioning glint in her eye and the gentle lift of her shoulders when she breathed were the only indications that she was not a perfectly molded wax figure. She glided across the room like an iceberg; when she spoke, each word that fell from the sedentary line of her lips floated gently to the ground, spinning with its fellows in a cascade of crystals. “Excuse me,” she said, and the room shivered. The man in the back corner, with the furrowed brow and over-sized trench-coat, sneezed.

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