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By Dean R. Koontz

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All right," He said. "I will not postpone the changes. " He took off His gloves again and knelt on the earth. He pressed His fingers against the ground after brushing the snow away over a two-foot square area. As I watched, His hands seemed to melt and run into the soil. The frozen ground cracked and spattered up as His lengthening fingers probed and displaced it. Several minutes later, He smiled and withdrew His hands, His fingers flowing back into normal shape as if they had been rubber that had been stretched and now released.

When they started to purr and pull away, I ran back to our car, jumped in, slammed the door before the automatic closing device could do the job for me, and punched the keyboard for Mount McKinley National Park-and held my breath until we were out of the parking area. Snow pelted the windscreen, and wind moaned eerily along the sides of the teardrop craft. I was reminded of my childhood in Ohio with drifts mounting against the windows, being tucked in bed where I could look out and watch the snow pile up and up as if it would never cease.

Cut out two circles of that rimed blue and paste them in two globes of veinless white marble as alabaster-like as the skin of a Greek statue. Those were His eyes. There was no denying them, no escaping. They gleamed like ice in the sun, a droplet of mercury mirroring the ocean. "Strip anyway," I said. He knew I was stubborn. Everyone that knew me could attest to that. "I want to see it. " "I can resign from society without giving up my degree and skills. Don't pride yourself that I would cancel out all my medical interests, hopes and dreams just for you, boy.

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