The Lonely God

Henri had played with the three ondine of the Seine as a child, and he’d had misgivings (to say the very least) watching the city’s elders induce them to do their duty to the city, luring Prussian soldier after soldier to their deaths. In the wake of the Germans’ retreat from Paris, the nymphs had developed a taste for blood and breath — he forced himself to think on this very calmly as he watched Niklas Bergqvist crouch on the riverbank and stare into its depths.

“Eighty thousand francs,” said Henri. “You won’t kill them, will you?”

Closing his eyes, Niklas frowned and dipped his hand into the black water. “Just talk to them.”