And it brought out a number for me:
We drove down the street beneath the presiding cloak tower, between all the brick houses, some with roses in small front gardens, blossoming red and pink and white, some with flower boxes hanging from their windows. An arm emerged from one window to water her bright blue flowers, and then the person with the watering can noticed me, to nod and smile.
He should go on. Even without a clock, he could tell from sunbeams how few hours he had left. But he did not look from the mermaid's grave face, without smile or frown. Her white arm, above the wave, was whiter than foam that clumped about like roses.
Halley's mouth twitched. Even here? A castle lit by the moon, not sunbeams, engulfed in roses, a white-armed lady arriving to dance with the prince and give him her smile until the clock warned her she stayed too long? She wondered what fae was thus restricted.
Hope eyed the people as she walked about the fair. Admired the roses in the exhibit, got flour all over her red shirt from slinging a tray on one arm in the baking booth (she should have worn white), smeared on sunblock against the sunbeams, watched the clock, returned smiles and wondered which, if any could be trusted with superpowers.