urge on; cause to act
The not-quite-ghost girl sat eerily still, but when her gaze turned on Pao, it was obvious: Pao’s pushing and
prodding had backfired.
showing inventiveness and skill
And the girl was smart,
But she was too
naive. She hadn’t seen enough of the world....
having your attention held as though by a spell
Pao watched Ondina,
transfixed by the longing in her eyes.
deliberately impassive in manner
“And I’m the lucky winner," Pao said, trying to remain
deadpan despite the terror freezing her throat and chest.
walk in an emphatic or exaggerated way
“You want to walk free knowing that someone’s daughter had to die, someone’s friend, so you could
flounce around showing off your hair?”
show to be right by providing justification or proof
Pao held her gaze,
vindicated. “And you think you’ll be free once she does it? That you can just go and live your life? Do you want an eternity of facing her disappointment, Ondina? Because it doesn't seem to be making you very happy now.”
difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze
It was almost too
subtle to notice at first—a section of glass, warping and swirling until it looked like a face.
the human face
And then, beside it, another
visage formed, and another, until there were more faces than blank wall.
a ghostly figure, especially one seen shortly before death
She was describing the pathetic ghost Franco had discounted a century ago, Pao thought as she struggled to sit up. A
wraith who had not yet become shrouded in legend.
cover as if with a burial garment
She was describing the pathetic ghost Franco had discounted a century ago, Pao thought as she struggled to sit up. A wraith who had not yet become
shrouded in legend.
a person who is very poor
“Why?” Pao asked, wanting to buy herself time, but also shamefully fascinated by La Llorona’s transformation. From a wailing
pauper barely worthy of local gossip to the scourge of the rift and beyond....
something causing misery or death
“Why?” Pao asked, wanting to buy herself time, but also shamefully fascinated by La Llorona’s transformation. From a wailing pauper barely worthy of local gossip to the
scourge of the rift and beyond....
a positive motivational influence
It would give Pao the
incentive to keep fighting when her fear was rapidly overtaking her bravery.
an odd or fanciful or capricious idea
“It’s up to me to know what’s best for her, not cater to her silly
“It’s not a silly
whim to want to prevent suffering,” Pao said.
a platform raised above the surrounding level
"Enough!" La Llorona cried, and she turned to the
dais in the middle of the room.
firm in purpose or belief
“Enough, Mother,” came her voice, a little shaky, but
in a manner showing arrogant superiority
“Let them go," Ondina said, sweeping her arm
imperiously at Franco, Emma, and Dante.
remorse for your past conduct
I was branded a sinner for loving. For daring to have joy without
penitence and fear.
characterized by a rebellion against authority
mutinous daughter was the much greater threat.
a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned
In the face of her mother's shining, unnatural strength, Ondina looked small and pale, a
waif clinging to the boundary between life and death, threatening to let go.
unnatural lack of color
They both lunged at the same moment, their movements eerily similar despite the unnatural size and
pallor of La Llorona's form.
sad beyond comforting
And then his abandonment, and her
inconsolable grief, pushing her to the edge of madness.
preoccupied with unimportant matters in a spiteful way
Her self-doubts and
petty jealousies, the quick temper that had bonded her to Ondina and set this whole thing in motion. Those flaws would feed on the power and pervert it, she knew.
move about aimlessly or without any destination
Pao felt a little lonely as her eyes
roved over them, but she tried to shake it off.
the time between one event, process, or period and another
“Wait, the what now?" Emma asked, looking a little dazed, and Pao suddenly felt overwhelmed by how long they’d been apart. How much had happened to both of them in the
strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
Dante seemed to understand, and besides, Pao could plainly see how much he wanted to
marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness
He had a kind of magnetism, a
rakish, irreverent joy that was peeking through the layers of fatigue and stress.
feeling great rapture or delight
It was like this, with
ecstatic boys hanging from his arms and shoulders, that the presumed-dead former leader of Los Niños de la Luz made his entrance.
filled with bewilderment
“Ondina?” Pao asked,
nonplussed. “What do you mean?”
working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
“We’ve been fighting the rift for a long time. It’s
insidious, and Franco knew what he was up against better than anyone. Believe me, he didn’t do anything he didn’t decide to do."
deeply or seriously thoughtful
Pao, Dante, and Emma walked the rest of the way to the boundary in
contemplative silence, and Pao realized that each of them, in their own way, was getting ready to reenter a world they’d left behind.
support with evidence or authority or make more certain
Their story about getting lost in the cactus field had passed muster without much examination. It didn’t hurt that it was
corroborated by Señora Mata, who told of her own girlhood mishap in the same field, winking at Pao when the two moms weren’t looking.
a temporary leave of absence, especially from military duty
After many phone calls, the trio had been given
furlough for today, because it was a special occasion.
a deep prolonged sound
“No, thanks!” all three kids chorused, then broke into
peals of laughter.