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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ANNE'S OGRE -- Excerpt #9

"I was afraid of that." She looked around, wiped her sweaty face, tugged her rainbow-striped stocking cap down over her flyaway red curls, and walked over to his car. "I stopped in to see him after dinner last night, and he was talking about hurting a little boy, wanting to shake him until he broke bones. He said he killed the little boy's parents, and he wanted to make the boy cry, but…" She shrugged, blinking rapidly and swallowing in a loud gulp.

"But what, birdy?" he murmured, and caught hold of her shoulders, bracing her.

"Then he got really confused, and he said the shadows got in his way. He said the shadows tried to kill him, and he was glad. He was glad the shadows stopped him. He said he wished the shadows had killed him." Another loud gulp. "Vincent, I know there are bad things, from when George wasn't George. The last time you had me take him out rambling, he talked in his sleep. His voice sounded different. I couldn't understand most of what he said." She offered a crooked smile and a shrug. "Most of it was in German, I think."

Vincent bit his tongue to keep from correcting her -- Snow had been a master of half a dozen Eastern European languages, including Dutch and Russian, along with several Arabic dialects.

"How come you didn't tell me that?" he said instead.

"It was in my written report. Is it my fault if you don't like to read?"

"Smart-alec… little bird," he finished on a sigh, and lightly slapped her cheek once, before cupping it.

"I couldn't find you last night when I got in, and you weren't around when I went to see you this morning." She reached up to clasp his wrist. "What's wrong with him?"

"The man he used to be before George is trying to come back. He needs distracting. Are you up for it?"

"Me and Uncle George, on the road? You know I'd do it for free -- heck, I'd pay to do it."

BooBoo barked three times, as if giving support to her jaunty response.

"You're a good kid." Vincent drew her into his arms, hugging her hard.

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