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Emma Bull

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Front Cover

FINDER

By

Emma Bull

Contents

Chapter 1 - Falling Out of Paradise

Chapter 2 - Chance of a Ghost

Chapter 3 - Valid I.D.

Chapter 4 - And Miles to Go Before We Sleep

Chapter 5 - Special Deliveries

Chapter 6 - The Consequences of Thataway

Chapter 7 - Street Smarts

Chapter 8 - Talking Heads

Chapter 9 - The Transformation Blues

Chapter 10 - Ghost of a Chance

Chapter 11 - Paradise Lost

Chapter 12 - Getting On with It

FINDER

The Best in Today's Fiction…

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for Today's Readers

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Finder
by Emma Bull

Briar Rose
by Jane Yolen

Wildside
by Steven Gould

Sister Light, Sister Dark
by Jane Yolen

City of Darkness
by Ben Bova

The One-Armed Queen
by Jane Yolen

Dogland
by Will Shetterly

White Jenna
by Jane Yolen

War for the Oaks
by Emma Bull

FINDER

EMMA BULL

TOR

A TOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK NEW YORK

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

FINDER: A NOVEL OF THE BORDERLANDS

Copyright © 1994 by Emma Bull and Terri Windling

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

Bordertown and the Borderlands were created by Terri Windling, with creative input from Mark Alan Arnold; from Will Shetterly, author of the novels
Elsewhere
and
Nevernever;
and from the authors of the stories in the anthologies
Borderland, Bordertown
, and
Life on the Border
: Bellamy Bach, Steven R.

Boyett, Emma Bull, Kara Dalkey, Charles de Lint, Craig Shaw Gardner, Michael Korolenko, Ellen

Kushner, Will Shetterly, and Midori Snyder. Borderland is used by permission of Terri Windling, The Endicott Studio.

"Genesis Hall" copyright © 1969, 1994 by Richard Thompson. Lyrics printed courtesy of Warlock Music Ltd.

Edited by Terri Windling

Cover art by Craig Phillips

A Tor Book

Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

175 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10010

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www.tor.com

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Tor® is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

ISBN: 0-765-34777-6

First Tor Teen edition: July 2003

Printed in the United States of America

To Lynda, who was the first to meet the people in this book

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Terri Windling, for letting me mess around in her town; to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, for telling me it would be All Right; to Fred Levy Haskell, for answering the question I was supposed to ask, instead of the one I did; to the Scribblies (Steven Brust, Kara Dalkey, Pamela Dean, and Will Shetterly) for reading duties above and beyond the call; to Sunnyvale Syntactic and IssaQuery Ink (Gordon Garb and Jon Singer, respectively) for reading the next draft; to all the Borderlands writers for drawing the circle and calling the quarters; and to Will especially, for everything.

My father he rides with your sheriffs

And I know he would never mean harm…

—Richard Thompson, "Genesis Hall"

Chapter 1
Falling Out of Paradise

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I remember where I was and what I was doing when Bonnie Prince Charlie was killed. Not that I knew it at the time, of course. But while Charlie was travelling the distance from the Pigeon Cloisters belfry to High Street with all the dispatch that gravity can muster, I was sunbathing.

If the weather had held, I'd have been on the roof of my building the next day, too, spread out like a drying sweater. But it promised rain. (If the forecast had been different, would the past be, too? Would a lot of people still be here? This town is strange and has weather to match, but I never imagined it was a matter of life and death.)

So when Tick-Tick pounded on the frame of my open front door, I was in and washing dishes. She

poked her head in and shouted, "I am the queen's daughter, I come from Twelfth and Flynn, in search of Young Orient, pray God I find him!"

I lifted my hands dripping from the suds, took the herbal cigarette out of the corner of my mouth, and said,
"Excuse
me?"

"Well, in a manner of speaking," said the Ticker placidly. She stalked in, the picture of elven self-possession, and picked a saucer out of the dishpan with thumb and forefinger. "Mab's grace. So low as you've fallen, my precious boy."

"I'm out of cups. Nothing else would have driven me to it." The water had killed my cigarette. I sighed and flicked it out the window.

She dropped into my upholstered chair and swung her long legs over the arm. Her concession to

summer's heat, I noticed, was to tear the sleeves off her favorite pair of gray mechanic's coveralls and roll the legs up to mid-calf. And still she did look rather like a queen's daughter; but the elves usually look like royalty. When they're trying not to, they only look like royalty in a cheap plastic disguise.

Tick-Tick had a face like the bust of Nefertiti, only more daunting, and her eyes were huge and long and the gray of January ice.

"Is it still overcast?" I asked.

"Oh, yes. Nice summer thunderstorm tonight. Ah, of course, my condolences. Your tan isn't finished."

"You don't exactly finish a tan."

"I wouldn't know. But I'm
trying
to share your sentiments on the thing, really."

The skin on her face, her arms, her ankles, was smooth and almost buttermilk-colored. As far as I know, elves don't sunburn, either.

"So have you come to help me wash dishes?"

"Earth defend me. No, I've come to take you away from all this. I've work for you to do."

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