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Rita

Rita’s vaguely aware that she’s dreaming. The Cold Man is in her dream, and he’s sitting at a table with other men. There’s something wrong with them: a flickering in peripheral vision, a cruel and articulated menace, hint of beetle-wing sheen.

The Cold Man removes his hat. His head has shrunken and withered, and his eyes are darkly enormous. “I am jessed and hooded,” he tells her, and somehow this makes a terrible sense. “They have made of me a dog to hunt.”

A deep gasp of cold air, and her hand is on the Glock before she knows she’s awake.

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