Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 9 –

– 9 –

So Emily sets up her PlayStation. She plugs it in. She takes her position. Then she waits while Lucy goes off to rob a department store to get one of her own.

They stand facing one another.

Sid’s corpse isn’t rotting. Not while they’re facing one another. The next enemy isn’t approaching. That’s how it is with the Thunder Dance. There isn’t a yesterday. There isn’t a tomorrow. There’s only a now.

Then they move their toes across the keyboard of the feet.

And Emily has always been the best at this; one of the best that there has ever been — but there is a gulf now between them.

You should not have your yellow, yellow hat, Navvy Jim had told her, nor be in your yellow House.

She has fought hard to overcome it, but she is still a girl sorted into the Keepers’ House. She is still a girl whose eyes struggle to catch and seal, to keep the magic bound.

And Lucy has become something more than human; more than Fan Hoeng.

She dances HER EVIL PROPHECY in the name of the wicked god of space. It humbles Emily; it strikes her low; it kneels her, it takes her body and it kneels her, and her head comes down.

It isn’t even a contest. The evil prophet is just plain better than Emily now.

Emily was ready for this. She’d half-expected it. She hates it, and she hates herself, but this is for all the money; this is for the world.

She cheats.

She activates the Unlimited Cheat Code and enables the Great Networked Thunder Dance.

Lucy congeals herself. She frowns at Emily.

“You shouldn’t —”

Emily presses the Nobody Wants to Hear Your Opinion You Stupid Evil Prophet Anyway button with her toe.

Then she auto-activates the Symbol GATHERING to begin the Networked Dance.



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