“Get it together, Butters,” I said, my voice tight. “This isn’t helping.”

He let out a wild laugh. “Nothing I can do would help, Harry.”

“Butters, you’ve got to calm down.”

“Calm down?” He waved a shaking hand at the door. “They’re going to kill us. Just like Phil. They’re going to kill us and we’re going to die. You, me, Thomas. We’re all going to die.”

I forgot my bad leg for a second, crossed the room to Butters, and seized him by the front of his shirt. I hauled up until his heels lifted off of the floor. “Listen to me,” I snarled. “We are not going to die.”

Butters stared up at me, pale, his eyes terrified. “We’re not?”

“No. And do you know why?”

He shook his head.

“Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I’m too stubborn to die.” I hauled on the shirt even harder. “And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.”

He blinked.

“Polka will never die!” I shouted at him. “Say it!”

He swallowed. “Polka will never die?”


“P- p-polka will never die,” he stammered.

I shook him a little. “Louder!”

“Polka will never die!” he shrieked.

“We’re going to make it!” I shouted.

“Polka will never die!” Butters screamed.

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” Thomas muttered.

Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Dead Beat.

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