Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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. . .

. . .

“I mean, that’s good, isn’t it?” Tom says, now that he’s human. “Humanity can be my most . . . fabulous . . . adventure . . .”

Linus, who isn’t, straightens. Then he looks around.

Tom clutches at his sleeve.

“You can’t fight him, Linus,” Tom says. “He’ll devour you. He’ll destroy you. You don’t understand. You’re not good enou — evil enou — you’re not good enough. He’d win.”

Linus sets his jaw.

Then an uneasy memory fills him. He looks at the walls around him. He looks at the floor. He remembers a childhood fear.

He rests his hand for a moment on a pristine wall.

“I know you, monster,” he says. He is distracted. He is ignoring Tom. He is walking on an ethereal, exalted mental plane that only an antichrist, thinking about the cleaning man, can walk. (You shouldn’t walk on this plane, by the way. It’s poorly balanced. You might fall off!)

“I know you,” he repeats. “I remember.”

He looks around. His eyes burn.

“You don’t get to do this to him and just walk away, Mr. — Mr. —”

Linus has no idea what his enemy’s name is.

He spits out: “Mr. Clean.



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