Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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Many years later —

A whole world later, really —

Bethany alights for a moment in Virginia. She stands and sways at the top of a tree and the nithrid rushes towards her.

She smiles at it, though she’s tired and her arms and hands are raw.

“I need a minute,” she says to the sky.

The nithrid skirls out. It plays for a minute around George Mason. It runs little rivulets of lightning up and down the river. It comes back.

It is almost upon her. She is bracing for the dance.

It does not reach her.

Her life is left empty. She sits down numbly. She cannot even cry. Her garments of red are crumbling to show her stained and faded school uniform underneath.

“Andrea?” she says.

That was the name of the nithrid.


And she knows in that moment that there is something worse than a wolf; worse than a nithrid; something worse than Hans or the Devil himself; and there is no reason to oppose it, because there is no thing good in all of life.

She drops to the ground. She curls over. She loses the memory of the lightning.

And there is no nithrid remaining at all.



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