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January 02 , 2011

House of Cool Air


A mysterious mansion holds a boy captive, making him a different age every day he wakes up. Living a life with three girls and their mother, this boy must face being their whipping post. Forced to endure their terrible punishment, the time has come for this boy to leave. One night, the boy meets a girl who might be the key to unlocking a real chance to escape for good.

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DESCRIPTION:Leung Soey desperately needs the gold his wealthy client will pay him to be his personal translator. The gathering Leung Soey will be attending is far from ordinary as, Kwan Dohak is seeking his long lost sister who left the demanding family long ago. With Leung Soey having the knowledge and power required to tip the scales, what…

First published in Borderlands 4, ed. Elizabeth Monteleone and Thomas F. Monteleone. Brooklandville, Md: Borderlands Press, 1994, hardback; Clarkston, GA: White Wolf Publishing, 1995.

Today he wondered what had happened to the mysterious girl he had seen outside during the night. If she lived here, he wanted to find her. He had no memory of her or even of any sign of other kids but the three girls who shared his room. Of course, he hadn't made very many trips through the house, and most of his memories of them were blurry and confused.

The hall was chilly. He shivered and walked with his arms wrapped around his skinny torso. His toes were very cold but the carpet was just a tiny bit warm under his feet. Being only six years old today, he was smaller than he would have liked and that made him even more timid than usual.

Even so, he was glad when he reached the first corner. Another hall branched to the right. He crept to the corner and slowly peeked around it.

This hall, though also white, was shorter and no one was in it, either. It ended in a doorway with one of those white doors, but the door was standing open. Another hallway continued beyond it. On the right side of this hall, a line of tall windows let in sunlight. Thick, floor-length white drapes had been drawn over them on his last trip here. This time, the drapes were open. Now he walked forward cautiously and looked out the nearest window.

It opened onto a courtyard far below. He had never really known what the layout of the house was; in fact, it seemed to change from time to time, though his own room was always the same. Now he could see that it was a massive rectangle with a courtyard in the center. No one was there, but he could see cast iron furniture with green cushions, situated on a pavement of flat, gray stones. The leaves of several trees were just turning to orange and yellow, but the smaller bushes were still green.

"There he is," Lena said triumphantly, behind him.

He flinched, but firm fingers and a thumb caught his arm from behind and spun him around. Lena's hand went all the way around his thin arm as she looked down at him. All three girls were standing over him, their faces still flushed with the cold autumn air outside.

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