Every sensation of burning at the stake – the unbearable heat billowing into her face, her dress catching fire, the mocking laughs of the crowd watching her, making fun of her shrieks of pain – all of these leapt into her mind so vividly that she jerked her head back from the sparks of the fires.
“What if I flew your dragon in the race?” Fia asked.
“What if I turned you into a little stone statue and you never spoke again?” the stabler replied, pulling the knots tight around the man’s wrists.
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Chunks of embers arranged themselves into a vaguely human shape: a larger piece of ember for the head, two embers for the body, stacked atop each other, and then the limbs strung together with the ashes and bits of cinders.
With a soft grating noise, like a log sliding over and breaking burned wood, the small human-shaped group of embers rose to its feet among the heat and ashes.
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The fog opened to reveal, directly ahead, a small green dragon waiting with open jaws. A green racer, and the kidnappers were dragging her daddy onto its back.
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Sarae suddenly struggled to a sitting position, speaking garbled words, her eyes unseeing. “What happened? What the hell is going on?” She looked wildly around the RV – and then her eyes darkened and she turned back to Marcus. “And where the hell is Remy?”
A movement brought the girl’s eyes up from the pool of blood. The surviving man, still standing in the middle of the field, coolly drew out a cigar, lighted it, and placed it between his lips, all while gazing with complete satisfaction at the dead man.
Her shuddering cry broke the silence. “Murderer!”
From that brief summer dream she was aroused by some sudden noise. Starting up, she
saw the sheep bounding far away, while a large, gaunt, wolfish dog snuffed at
her hands and face.
Once before, Edna had seen this dog chained near the stables, and Hagar told her he was “very dangerous,” and was never loosed except at night. The expression of his fierce, red eyes as he stood over her made her freeze, her heart pounding.