Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 7 –

– 7 –

This isn’t the story of the nithrid’s redemption, so I’m not going to tell you how it had been wrestling with its conscience for some weeks.

I’m not discussing the fact that Emily beat it, and then spared it —

That it had argued with Peter; that Martin had spoken to it, and Jane; that it had begun to think about whether there might be other career options out there for a gigantic, civilization-destroying storm.

I’d have played that up if the nithrid were going to become a better person here, but that’s not what happens. I’d play that up, in fact, even if the nithrid weren’t going to become a better person here, if the nithrid were going to stumble on the path to grace and fall tragically back into damnation because of an unprovoked attack.

But that isn’t what this story is about.

This story, as I’ve mentioned, is about Mr. Enemy.

So, you know what?

Let’s skip that whole redemption . . . stuff.

Maybe the nithrid was on the verge of becoming a magical happy-puppies-and-rainbows-for-everyone kind of storm. Maybe it was working its way back up to being a threat to the human world. Maybe it had stopped killing people entirely. Maybe it was just dieting, you know, cutting back.

I don’t know where things would have been about to have gone. I don’t know how they should have been.

I just know that they didn’t get there.

Lightning strikes.

The bell tower explodes, with Bethany in it.

The bells go ringing, ringing, falling through the sky.



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