Jeannie ran, breath rasping in her lungs. The twisted man-beast's claws clattered on the asphalt behind her. She imagined she could smell the rancid blood on its breath.
Ahead of her, a door opened in one of the brownstones. "No, Gramma!" Jeannie shouted. "Don't come out!"
Gramma clucked her tongue and stood aside. Jeannie, too desperate to argue, fled inside. "Close the door!"
There was a thud, then a gurgling sigh. Jeannie spun to see Gramma calmly wiping a wide-bladed serving knife clean on her housecoat. "The family silver, dear," Gramma said. "As I recall, your sister always admired it."
The Subtle Skill of Royal Assassin
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