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The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
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Read free chapters of Dispensing Justice here (or get it here).
Read free chapters of The Red Rook here (or get it here). -- Fritz Freiheit

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ParaV:PVCACD Chapter 6 - Memory of the Hound

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“My name’s Vance Coreman and I see things that other people don’t.”
The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there. But that question was one among legion, because what memories he did have were as comforting as a blackjack in the dark. So it wasn’t surprising when he found out that trouble was his business, and business was kicking his door down. (e)

Chapter 5 — Did You See That?

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Chapter 6 — Memory of the Hound

My ears ring with the sounds of small bells that are everywhere and nowhere. Through a vision that shimmers with a haze of heat, I face a beast not quite there. The beast is tattered flame and flaring coals in the crouching shape of a great wolf.

I put a name to the manifestation of my fear. It is a Hell Hound. It has been sent to boil my blood and turn me into a spattering of tarry ash.

The Hound looms in front of me. It fills the room from floor to ceiling, poised as if to leap, mouth agape with black pits where eyes should be. Beyond the swirl of licking flame and sparks, a bed and wardrobe is visible. The walls are covered with a strangely translucent green and yellow striped wallpaper. The Hell beast lunges, its mouth growing impossibly wide. I suppress a spasm of fear. I shout a power word and bring up my hands as if to ward it off. It stops a foot short from my face with a violet flare of red and gold light. My mouth is dry. Sweat steams off my skin.

I know I can’t fend off the Hound much longer.

I draw in a breath of painfully hot air as I slip out of my shoes. I withdraw my wallet and drop it, then remove my jacket and deliberately drape it across the chair next to me. I speak arcane words and will the shield around me to expand, pushing it back, the bells sounding louder and louder in my ears. As the shield expands, the bed and wardrobe are pushed out to splinter against too solid walls. The Hell beast squeezes and distorts as if the sparks that make up its body are being pressed between massive plates of glass. The sound of the bell deepens to a bone quivering tolling. The shield stops expanding. Another shield has blocked me from pushing the Hound through the outer wall and breaking its lock on this room. The sparks press into the shield and, like glass growing molten, it begins to conform to the fiery wolf shape. The Hound steps forward drawing the shield with it like taffy. I back away. The realization that I’m trapped brings a renewed sense of fear. I hope Audrey has finished her preparations in the bathroom. My back bumps into a wall and I scrabble along it to find the cold metal of the doorknob. I speak an arcane word of dismissal. The now useless shield begins to evaporate as I turn and twist the knob.


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Chapter 7 — Am I Prone to PTSD Attacks?

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