Tirol’s skin is white, porcelain white or maybe more like those milky treasures that mysteriously vanished from under your pillow while you slept when you were six. Yes, you still remember because you’re still holding onto that grudge with the relentless tenacity of a rabid dog in search of his favorite bone. Of course, by now you know that there’s really no such thing as the tooth fairy but what can you do about that figment of your imagination for which your resentment still festers like pus-filled sore?

Now, Tirol, he’s problematic. This monster at your door is very real and he’s come here just for you. Unlike some thieving deity from your childhood long past, Tirol doesn’t care who knows he’s coming. He’s big, bigger than you could ever grow. He fills the doorway, all fifteen feet, four hundred and seventy-five pounds of him. His spiky head is bowed low but still scrapes at your ceiling. He’s hairy, eyes blue, and his teeth are made for chomping metal and stone.

There’s no negotiating. There’s no pleading with this creature to delay punishment for your crime. Your eyes dart about in search of another exit, an escape route you already know isn’t there. Dead ahead was the only exit, yet every cell in your body is still screaming at you to flee.

The massive brute’s angry breaths fill the room. All you can hear are the ragged huffs and wheezes from something just as mighty and merciless as a bear. Your eyes lock. Tirol’s eyes burn with unmitigated rage. Adrenaline pools in your gut. You are paralyzed, filled to the brim with fright. You start feeling sick. Bile fills you up. It bubbles up into the back of your throat. Next, you hear a low rumble. It grates on your nerve endings and makes the ground shudder. Tirol’s ground-shaking growls balloon into a bellow. A lame little whimper creaks out of your throat.

Next, you remember, for some ungodly reason, the last thing you remember is that night-crawling thief who’d once left you one measly dollar and fifty-cents in exchange for your precious white jewels.

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