A Dragon Who Looks Like A Man
“Cade looked good for his age, so long as his age was about two hundred and fifty. For someone in his mid-thirties he looked dreadful.
His decrepitude wasn’t always this brazen; usually he veiled those limps and lurches that went with his parlous physical condition behind a loose and rolling gait – tourist chic, gaijin glamour. But for the last few weeks he had been playing up his twisted leg, his contorted shoulders; he hadn’t disguised those aching tremors that stretched down to his hands from time to time. He had wanted to look a shade ruined. He had wanted to be looked at, inviting an autopsy.
He was in Shibuya, and only every third person of the two hundred thousand around him seemed to be over twenty, so he stuck out like a sore thumb. This was appropriate: as it happened he also had sore thumbs.
Just then, aching, he was sitting in a jazz bar, sipping water, waiting for a terrifying offer. To meet the offer, it was important that he appear nonchalant. This was not a problem. Nothing had worried him since he had been ten, which was either twenty-five or two hundred and forty years ago, depending upon your credulity. Cade was counting on your credulity being actually pretty realistic, but your sympathy for realism being fairly non-existent.”
(c) Ian Bird 2013