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“It’s an unreasonable request.”

“Yes, it is, but reason doesn’t enter into it at this point.” Alcid looks strained. “You have to fix the race.”

Proper makes jerky movements with her hands. “They’re dachshunds, Alcid! We can barely get them to point the right direction in the first place!”

“Then just… dope them or something!” Alcid says. “Like with horses!”

“Like with horses.”


Proper slips a little Pepto-Bismol into their food dishes, which–as it turns out–is not the same as Alka-Seltzer like she thought. Miss Whiffles wins anyway. She thought she saw a piece of cheese.


Spirit oil is cheaper than you’d think, but there are lots of dead people.

Proper rubs down the pneumatic screen-door closer with it; it works okay. Of course, the dead ask him for things whenever he goes out to the porch now.

“Remember my names,” they wheeze in tiny voices as he carries out a plate of steaks. “Curse my enemies! Regret as I regretted; live as I never lived!” Proper doesn’t mind. The screen door closes a lot easier.

He does try asking what their names were. They just mumble a lot, and get embarrassed when they can’t remember.