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Melroy reaches too hard for the sage and spills the pepper demons. His eyes go wide. He grabs the hammer and aims for the big groups first. This is unkind to the countertop, but Melroy has to hurry!

He breathes through his shirt; he’d cover his whole face if he could, because pepper demons are made of the capsaicin they use in Hell (for bloggers). Eventually he drops the ballpeen and goes at them flat-handed. It’s like swatting gnats, until one of them manages to point its tiny pitchfork straight up.

“Redacted!” grunts Melroy, and sticks his finger in his mouth–