The pack came out.
The dogs spread across my lands and worked with the ravens.
Octavius kept an eye on everything from the house, helping to coordinate the efforts of both dogs and ravens. He kept the peace between bird and beast and made sure to offer up a sane and calm voice for Jim Elroy. The boy still spent most of his time in the front parlor, but he did it out of bed and in the company of Miriam’s pups.
I roamed my land, listening to the complaints of the trees and the occasional ghost who made its presence known. Edgard stayed with me, occasionally taking to wing and soaring above me to let others know where we were.
I was listening, with shrinking patience, to the ghost of a man named Remember Grace as he bemoaned the fact he could no longer work his land. Remember had been dead for two hundred years. My father and I had shot him and put him in the ground, still breathing, knowing that if we didn’t, he’d go and eat another neighbor or two. Whatever madness had struck him while alive had left the man when dead. It was a pity. He’d at least been interesting when we were hunting him down.
Sane, he was as dull as a Sunday preacher.
I was pleased when Edgard landed on my shoulder and whispered news of the Kinderzähne.
Two of Miriam’s pack had cornered one of the creatures in a house on the island of Less. It was a good-sized bit of land at the top of the lake, close to the Hollow when the wind was right. Or wrong, depending on how you looked at it.
I took my leave of Remember and made my way to the shore. I found a canoe, climbed in, and paddled for the island. When I reached it, several more dogs were coming out of the lake, stepping onto the shore and shaking themselves dry.
Without a word, we followed the trail that led to the island’s single house and found it cordoned off by the dogs.
In the darkness beyond, I heard rustling and drew the Colts.
I needn’t have bothered.
The Kinderzähne rushed out and was seized by the dogs before I could pull the triggers. The creature’s screams were cut short as the other dogs raced in and joined the feast.
For a long time, the sound of tearing meat filled the air.