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Book 1 emblem Book 1: Curious Little Thing Page 31: Among The Vespertine
 
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Panel 1

Mayor Osgood, holding his head and ducking the bats, yells to Zane "I'm gonna fetch *Chief Belknap!* Suppose these creatures carry *malaria* or some such!" Zane, looking around him with a terrified expression and holding his frying pan in one hand, yells back "*Where's Iris*?" The mayor replies "She's a smart girl! Probably gone *inside!* You'd best get to wherever you call *home* as well!" Bats are flocking all around them, and the strings of E's cover the purple sky and cool colored buildings in the background. This strip is shaded with more depth than the usual flat style, and the colors have a mottled quality to them.

Panel 2.

Zane swings wildly at a normal-sized bat with his frying pan, his eyes squeezed shut. He cries "Aaah! Get away get away" and it squeals "scree" in response, while other bats fly all around them. The sky has turned red, and the background buildings a flat grey. Previously, all the strings of E's have run perfectly horizontal, but now they're slightly tilted and cover the background.

Panel 3.

Zane pauses and kneels on the ground by a side of a building. He is grimacing and holding his frying pan in one hand. Some small bats fly in front of him, and behind him a large, shadowy shape seems to be crawling down the wall. It extends long claws that crack the wall everywhere it digs in, and is making a breathy, rippling huh sound. The E's seem to have ceased altogether, and the sky in the background is red.

Panel 4.

Zane is looking to the side with wide, haunted eyes that are drawn as small circles. In a quavering voice he says "No... This isn't *possible* --"

Panel 5.

Zane is shaking all over as he turns around, holding his frying pan in front of him with both hands. He is facing two gigantic creatures that look like bats with some simian characteristics. One is hunched over on the ground, and the other is climbing down the wall, poking its shoulders and head over from the other side of the building. Hunched over, they seem as tall as Zane. The wings of the creatures have turned into long, muscular arms with bat wings attached at the elbow. At the end of each arm are three curved claws. They look vaguely birdlike, and the middle claw is three times as large as the other two, jutting forward and creating deep cracks in the ground and wall. The hunched over bat seems to have thin, relatively small legs that bend oddly, as if the creature has two knees that point in different directions. Its feet boast the same claw structure as its hands do. The creature has two large, winglike ears that extend from its forehead and come to a point past each side of its face. Underneath the ears are two deep-set, glowing red eyes. Underneath those eyes are another pair of eyes. The eyes are glowing in a similar way to the eyes of the skeleton in Zane's dream, with thin lines of bright light extending horizontally from them. Between the bottom pair of eyes are two vertical slits that seem to serve as the creature's nose. Its mouth extends over the entire bottom half of its head, and is filled with three rows of teeth. These two creatures are coming towards Zane, their breathy huh sounds becoming more insistent, as the other bats swarm in the bright red sky and all around Zane. In the background, another of the larger bats spreads its wings, its four eyes glowing and its thin, whip-like tail floating behind it.

page 30
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