Home > Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3)

Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3)
Author: Kim Harrison


The Hollows series
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One

I took a deep breath to settle myself, jerking the…

Two

We were halfway to the church before I realized Ceri…

Three

“Ceri,” Jenks said as I flipped the switch and got…

Four

Squinting over my sunglasses, I leaned against my car and…

Five

Plastic hangers clattering, I stacked the clothes on the counter…

Six

I had gotten myself turned around and back over the…

Seven

I pulled my car carefully into the tiny garage, turning…

Eight

The rhythmic thumps of my running feet jolting up my…

Nine

Peace sat warm in me as I sprinkled the yellow…

Ten

I watched myself in the mirror above my new, solid-ash…

Eleven

“So,” I said slowly as I fought to keep myself…

Twelve

The familiar rumble of driving over railroad tracks woke me…

Thirteen

“What did you do, Rachel?” Kisten said flatly, stiffening as…

Fourteen

Fear flashed through me, and sensing it, Kisten took a…

Fifteen

The crunch of ice and salt was loud as Kisten…

Sixteen

Boots thumping in the hallway, I followed Ivy to the…

Seventeen

Skimmer’s departure left an awkward silence. As the cab accelerated…

Eighteen

The commercial cut in, the volume jarring me as I…

Nineteen

“Oh God,” I whispered, my words sounding as raw as…

Twenty

The coffee in my oversized mug was cold, but I…

Twenty-one

“It’s me, Rachel,” Kisten called, his voice faint over the…

Twenty-two

I smiled as the music ended, to leave a comfortable…

Twenty-three

“Damn!” I swore, backpedaling. The sanctuary. If I could reach…

Twenty-four

My sneakers were silent on the flat carpet of Trent’s…

Twenty-five

I settled into the seat of Trent’s limo, crossing my…

Twenty-six

I took a deep breath, listening to the silence. Trent…

Twenty-seven

The warm water I was sitting in was nice. I…

Twenty-eight

I scooped my shoulder bag up from the bathroom floor, makin…

Twenty-nine

Kisten had the heat on full, and the warm air…

Thirty

My head came up at the faint sound of knocking.

Thirty-one

“David Hue,” David said coolly, sounding bored and a little…

Thirty-two

The frost-rimmed rocks beside me slid, and I jerked out…

Thirty-three

“Coming!” I called out, my pace quickening as I strode…

 

About the Author

Praise

Other Books by Kim Harrison

 

About the Publisher

 

 

One

 

 

I took a deep breath to settle myself, jerking the cuff of my gloves up to cover the bare patch of skin at my wrist. My fingers were numb through the fleece as I moved my next-to-largest spell pot to sit beside a small chipped tombstone, being careful to not let the transfer media spill. It was cold, and my breath steamed in the light of the cheap white candle I had bought on sale last week.

Spilling a bit of wax, I stuck the taper to the top of the grave marker. My stomach knotted as I fixed my attention on the growing haze at the horizon, scarcely discernable from the surrounding city lights. The moon would be up soon, being just past full and waning. Not a good time to be summoning demons, but it would be coming anyway if I didn’t call it. I’d rather meet Algaliarept on my own terms—before midnight.

I grimaced, glancing at the brightly lit church behind me where Ivy and I lived. Ivy was running errands, not even aware I had made a deal with a demon, much less that it was time to pay for its services. I suppose I could be doing this inside where it was warm, in my beautiful kitchen with my spelling supplies and all the modern comforts, but calling demons in the middle of a graveyard had a perverse rightness to it, even with the snow and cold.

And I wanted to meet it here so Ivy wouldn’t have to spend tomorrow cleaning blood off the ceiling.

Whether it would be demon blood or my own was a question I hoped I wouldn’t have to answer. I wouldn’t allow myself to be pulled into the ever-after to be Algaliarept’s familiar. I couldn’t. I had cut it once and made it bleed. If it could bleed, it could die. God, help me survive this. Help me find a way to make something good here.

The fabric of my coat rasped as I clutched my arms about myself and used my boot to awkwardly scrape a circle of six inches of crusty snow off the clay-red cement slab where I had seen a large circle etched out. The room-sized rectangular block of stone was a substantial marker as to where God’s grace stopped and chaos took over. The previous clergy had laid it down over the adulterated spot of once hallowed ground, either to be sure no one else was put to rest there accidentally or to fix the elaborate, half-kneeling, battle-weary angel it encompassed into the ground. The name on the massive tombstone had been chiseled off, leaving only the dates. Whomever it was had died in 1852 at the age of twenty-four. I hoped it wasn’t an omen.

Cementing someone into the ground to keep him or her from rising again sometimes worked—and sometimes it didn’t—but in any case, the area wasn’t sanctified anymore. And since it was surrounded by ground that was still consecrated, it made a good spot to summon a demon. If worse came to worst, I could always duck onto sanctified ground and be safe until the sun rose and Algaliarept was pulled back into the ever-after.

My fingers were shaking as I took from my coat pocket a white silk pouch of salt that I had scraped out of my twenty-five-pound bag. The amount was excessive, but I wanted a solid circle, and some of the salt would be diluted as it melted the snow. I glanced at the sky to estimate where north was, finding a mark on the etched circle right where I thought it should be. That someone had used this circle to summon demons before didn’t instill me with any confidence. It wasn’t illegal or immoral to summon demons, just really, really stupid.

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