Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 12 –

– 12 –

Space princess assassin Lucy Souvante stops by the campus Konami Thunder Dance club.

She stares in.

A warm and tender smile spreads across the evil prophet’s face.

“Why,” she says, to the world at large. “You’ve actually got something interesting.”

She leans against a wall. She watches as they dance.

It’s Meredith and Max this time around. They’re going at it pretty hard, and they’re warping reality as they go — not too much, of course, they’ve got the Konami Thunder Dance safeties on, but even so the dance has swallowed up the ceiling in an endless night, bucked up the floor into twin intertwining towers, and is raining bits of apple and fire down from the sky onto her head.

She goes to pick up an apple slice — it’s pre-toasted! Mmm! — but Paul, who’s leaning against the wall and watching, shakes his head.

“That’s a bad apple,” he says. He jerks his head up towards Max, who’s dancing to some sort of hard-beat J-Pop. “From the song. You don’t want that.”

“Oh,” she says.

She looks at it.

“If I —”

“You’d probably be cursed to eat thistles and farm the ground and bring forth your children in sorrow,” he says. “Then you’d give it to me and I’d do the same! That’s why I don’t think people should dance Bad Apple against Human.

“Oh,” says Lucy.

She tosses it aside. The apple slice screams as it splashes against the ground.

“I’m the evil prophet of space,” she introduces herself.

“Paul,” he says. “And shh.”

They watch. They wait. After a bit the song ends and Max and Meredith lean against the arm and headrests of their PlayStations and their towers lower and the world fades back towards its normal state.

Finally, Max lifts his head. He wipes away his sweat.

“Oh, hey, a newbie,” he says.

“I’m the evil —” starts Lucy.

“Want to try it?”

She considers. Then she smiles. “Sure,” she says.

After a while, she says, “This isn’t very much like rock-scissors-paper.”

“No,” Max says.

She chews on her lip.

“I’m Lucy Souvante,” she says. “I’m a space princess assassin evil prophet.”

Max shakes her hand. He smiles.

“Welcome to the club.”

He’s speaking welcomingly, so he isn’t implying he and Meredith or Paul, too, are space princess assassin evil prophets. He’s informing her that she’s welcome there: welcome to join the Lethal Magnet School for Wayward Youth Konami Thunder Dance club and learn how to dance the thunder dance and then to dance it with and against him, along with other interested students like Meredith, Emily, and Paul.



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