Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 7 –

– 7 –

Still later yet:

The scissors fall. For a second time in Earth’s history — not counting the little spurts and dribbles that had come between — scissors fall out of space.

How many?

I cannot count them all. Too many. They are endless.

Most of them were flattened under Vidar’s Boot when it came down, or have been battered away by the wave of reality-alteration that spreads from it, but uncountable scissors remain. They pour themselves down from the endless sky in a single metal sheet: indivisible, like the horn of a narwhal spiraling down, ten miles around at its narrow tip.

And there is half a wolf.

That is a terrible thing. Half a wolf, its guts spilling out behind it, but the boot has missed it. The boot has almost missed it. The boot has . . . partly missed it, as it came down from space.

It is half a wolf, and therefore it is better than none.

It is half a wolf, whining and struggling, sickening, its eyes rolling, its tongue lolling, but it is not dead; and that wolf, that particular wolf, well, if it is not dead, then it should not be possible for it to die.

And there is a snake, and oh, how ungodly is that snake. It is rising, and it is rising, and it is pierced through over and over again by the scissors but the will of Vidar’s Boot commands that it does not die.

Its teeth close on the side of the wolf. The wolf snaps at the scissors, gulps them down. And the boot is shattering, fraying, leaving only Cheryl, standing there, with the hammer of science —

I probably shouldn’t call it that.

With the hammer of deciding what shall live and what shall die held and coiling with lightning in her hand.

In this the end of days they raven, and they curl in on one another, and I think this is an egg:

A thing from which something beautiful should be born; will be born; would have been born, except —



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