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Twelve Years Later
Chyna Greer stood on the bank of Lake Manicora. The late October day was gray, the sun almost white, and the lake bank covered with faded, damp leaves brought down by a recent storm. She drew the belt of her black raincoat tighter. "Lake Manicora," she said aloud. "A manicora--a being with the head of a woman and a body covered in scales." She sighed. "I don't know who named this lake, but it doesn't seem they were in a cheerful mood that day."
Michelle, sixty pounds of husky dog with yellow Labrador mixed in her lineage, looked like she was frowning