Chapter 16: Hun-Came Appears

I groaned. My mouth was dry as sawdust. My skull was pounding. The funny thing is, I’ve almost never had a hangover that really made me feel wretched. This is at least partially because growing up, I would often wake up severely dehydrated. The experience of waking up, tongue like a piece of leather, head aching, body numb, is one that I went through on a regular basis. Having it induced by alcohol, rather than dry air, was not a major change. So I did what I always did, and groped for water by the side of my bed. My palm brushed the tabletop, and pain lanced through it, forcing my eyes open.

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Chapter 14: I Am Not Dead Yet

“Let’s just change her, now,” Donny said, hissing, his eyes narrowed. “Bitch is tricky. Just bite her, change her-” He dropped silent as Chaac turned her warm brown eyes on him, his back straightening. “Just saying. Just saying we should do this fast, before she has time to pull any shit. Don’t want her pulling any tricky shit like the last time-”

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Chapter 13: Out of the Woods

“I cannot believe you threatened the entire night court,” said Polly as we sat in the office. The humidifier was off, and the iron chair sat in the corner, where it wouldn’t do anyone any harm. A large tray of chicken spiedies, ordered earlier in the day and stored in my office where they’d stay fresh, sat in the center of the desk. Hamburger buns sat on the side. A blood bag sat in Jenny’s lap, although she didn’t seem to have much appetite. I leaned back in my chair, chewing industriously on a particularly tough piece of chicken, and enjoying the feeling immensely. I was in my nice chair, and had pulled the other good chairs out of the storage closet, big armchairs with comfortable armrests and high backs. I didn’t particularly care if they got a little messy, I never got a chance to use them.

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Chapter 12: What Goes Around Comes Around

“I had half expected you to leave town,” said Lady Ann Willing. She sat with one leg crossed over the other. “Though the damage your home suffered was a nice touch. Why have you come back, Atina LeRoux? Come to claim that your client, through no fault of your own, escaped? That you should be allowed to live unmolested in Binghamton again, and to continue to find legal work here? That you were simply suckered in, and are innocent of all of these things?”

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Chapter 11: Crooked Body and Twisted Hair

A mother and child are at the graveyard, visiting the memorial of a beloved family member. On their way back to the car, the child asks his mother, “Mom? Do they ever bury two people in the same grave?”

“Of course not, honey. Why do you ask?”

“Because that tombstone read ‘A lawyer and an honest woman'”.

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Chapter 9: Did You Think It Would Be That Easy

For someone who doesn’t care much for leaving home, I love driving. I don’t like maintaining cars, or souping them up, or making a particular car mine, and only mine. Cars are a big, clumsy method of giving me the freedom that is driving. It’s considered one of the quintessential American joys, and for good reason. Every time I drive, I’m consuming a resource that will take millions of years to replenish. The bones of the dead, long since rendered into energy-rich jelly. It’s the inheritance of our species, the thing that can keep society grinding long enough for us to make it to some new energy source, the necromancy for the everyman. And I was wasting it on zooming down a highway at midnight in rural Pennsylvania.

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