By Charles L. Grant
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All very symbolic. Or Homer given life and protecting her, guarding her, shepherding her until she had returned home, to safety. She nodded in her sleep. That made sense. That made perfect sense. Greg the shepherd and Homer the sheepgrizzly. Of course. Why hadn't she thought of it before? All her protectors lined up in a row, and why the hell couldn't she admit that she needed protecting now and then? The demon rose from the blue-black sea and slowly turned its head toward her. Fish eyes. Scales.
The police station was on the corner diagonal, the Town Hall two lots to the Cove's left. And for the Cove, red brick and white trim in imitation of Monticello, it was a slow night, a January night, when the bartender in red velvet and the waitresses in nautical black wanted nothing more than to go home and warm their feet by a fire. Pat sympathized, thinking as she stared at her gin-and-tonic that the way she felt now she'd never be warm again. They were in a booth as far from the entrance as they could find.
The keys, then, just as she thought she'd lost them. The wind shrieked, the shape watched, and once the door was open she leapt over the threshold and slammed it hard behind her. Backed away toward the stairs, Homer held high to her shoulder in case she had to throw it. A single bulb in the high ceiling gave more shadow than light, but it was sufficient for her to see the snow sweep onto the porch as if thrown by giant hands. It spattered against the glass panels on either side of the frame and made the curtains tremble; it slipped a small contingent under the door; it turned to ice; it turned to hail; and just as her heel thumped against the bottom stair the wind died, and there was silence.
Bloodwind by Charles L. Grant