Three days from the sea lies the city of Gezze.

Gezze has no roads, no alleys, no footpaths. The buildings are squeezed one beside the other, so close together that the sunlight does not reach the ground floors of the homes. The citizens, therefore, do not keep company in the parlors down below, dusk-filled even at noon, but instead hold court on the rooftops.

I found myself lost in a maze of houses, passing from room to room in search of open air, until I was certain I’d never again see the sun.

The baker’s daughter found me, gasping for breath in an empty room. She took me to her father’s roof and pulled me up onto the ledge as I gulped in great mouthfuls of sky.

“We shun the ground, hoping the gods will see and grant us flight.”

She stepped lightly, from her father’s roof to the next, less than a man’s width away.

Then she turned and beckoned to me.

But fear of falling kept me from crossing even such a thin chasm. I left her there, her arms like outstretched wings, and returned to the earth.

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