Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 2 –

– 2 –

St. Peter wanders the campus of the Lethal Magnet School of Wayward Youth. His hat’s gone all red with his sainthood. At his holiest, his eyes gleam red too.

Peter stops in at a forbidden theater.

He’s drawn to it by an instinct. Students are stealthily watching Girls with Scissors. They scream and run when they see him standing in front of the movie screen:

They scream: “Run! It’s a saint!”

Peter frowns after them. Then he turns and stares at the movie from far too close.

“Good grief,” he sighs.

He tries not to yell at the girls on the screen to fight back against the scissors. He tries to remember that this is pornography and not a horror film so his advice is not apropos.

He licks his lips nervously.

“That’s really inappropriate,” he explains, to the movie, instead.

And it’s there, as the girls of the scissors-swarm work their cinematic wiles on the protagonists and viewers, that he realizes that the scissors are returning. They are coming back.

The Second Coming of the Scissors — it’s almost there.

They are coming back, and Peter is not ready. They have circled around Alpha Centauri — a good two thirds of the surviving scissors — and they are coming back to rain down again upon the Earth.

It isn’t a plot point in the movie. He’s shut down the movie and he’s staring at the canvas. It’s just an inspiration that the world pours directly down into Peter’s mind. They are coming, and he has no idea how he can actually defeat them.

He turns the movie back on, embarrassedly, and he walks out.

Everywhere it seems that there are omens of scissors to him. The shadow of the chapel is bent dramatically by angled light; the cross that tops it is made to seem as a pair of scissors would. He stomps on the shadow but it does no good.

A mouse stares at Peter from the bushes. It is wearing a little hat.

He ignores it.

A four-armed ape battles Lucy Souvante in an alley. They’re playing rock-paper-scissors. It is winning, it is losing, it is tying, but somehow she is holding a lead.

He’s not really much for rock-paper-scissors. He’s much more of a hobbit-Spock-spider man, is Peter.

So he just shrugs a little, he just laughs a little, and he walks on by.

Students wander past him, talking. They remind him of scissors. All he can hear is scissors, scissors, scissors in the soft susurrus of their speech.

That night he stands under the stars, under the great crisscrossing shadows of the orbits of the planets and the moon, and he spreads his arms.

He yells, “Fine!”

And: “Scissors, you want me? Come get some!”

The sky above him boils with the malice of the wicked god of space.

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