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The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly (Excerpt)

The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
A wizard and a computer programmer from opposite sides of an interdimensional portal must work together to save their worlds from destruction
A wizard and a computer programmer from opposite sides of an interdimensional portal must work together to save their worlds from destruction

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Dec 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SILENT TOWER By Barbara Hambly
He had always wanted her to live with him. Lately, he had begun to pester her about it, Joanna suspected, because he was thirty-four andreaching the age when he felt he ought to be living with somebody. He had bought the house in the expectation of it—or anyway, that was what he’dtold her. But then, Gary was seldom completely honest, particularly if hethought he could drum up pity.She sighed again, turning along the bright expanse of corridor. Twice inthe last week, she had been plagued by the same queer, terrible feelings of hopeless depression that had come upon her on the night of the assault; atthose times, she had found herself considering marriage to Gary, not becauseshe loved him or even cared very much about him, but because she felthopeless about her future to the extent that she did not much care what shedid. Those depressions frightened her, chiefly because some small, sane partof herself realized that, in the grip of one, she had no real concern whether she lived or died—that if one came upon her while driving down thefreeway, she would literally not bother to get out of the way of the other cars. The thought of living with Gary, she knew, was a little like that.The rest of the time, she wondered what her life would be like now if she had moved in with him when first he had asked.Well, for starters, she thought, you wouldn’t be working here. And thereason you wouldn’t be working here is because pool, jacuzzi, video room,
an IBM-AT with 60 megabytes and $200,000 house in the hillsnotwithstanding, Gary would have driven you to leave him within twomonths by his assumption that he could interrupt whatever you were doingto keep him company, and you’d have quit your job and moved to another town.Or else, she thought with a shiver, you’d be so chicken of change you’dstill be with him.And abruptly, the corridor lights went out.Joanna stopped and swung around, feeling that the blood in her veinshad turned to water. In brownish gloom, the corridor stretched empty behindher. Far back at the rear of the building, she could see the yellow glow of crossing hallway lights—ahead of her, the corridor stretched for another twenty yards or so, to the dim illumination around the corner that led towardthe hall to the main lobby.
 Just this section,
she thought.
 Just a fuse . . .
Terror breathed over her, like the wind from a half-open door thatlooked into the pits of eternity, unreasonable, shocking; she had to fight it tokeep from breaking into a panic run.
 It’s just the lights going out,
she toldherself, it’s stupid to be afraid. . . .Down some hallway to her left, she heard the stealthy slip of footfalls.
she thought, hoping against hope, but knew that Gary never walked with that effort at silence. She hastened forward, her heart pounding,her hand sliding down to the handle of the hammer again, knowing it woulddo her no good. There was something else here, something past ordinaryfear, a terrible knowledge that hummed over her screaming nerves.
 Do I run?
she wondered.
Or is this just what it’s like to go insane? Were

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