As soon as she shook his hand, it was gone. All of it, as if it had never existed. The novel plot she’d been working on in the shower for over a year, the investment strategy she’d worked out with her broker…every idea and inspiration that she hadn’t yet acted upon.

He grinned a predatory, sharklike grin. “Always a pleasure to see you again.” His mind was abuzz with new thoughts, ideas, images…in addition to the possibility of using them to further his already comfortable lifestyle, they were like a potent drug. He craved the constant input of stolen ideas and siphoned inspiration like a heroin addict between fixes.

They are the dachtesauger, you see. They prey off every spark of human innovation, taking in into themselves in the constant and selfish pursuit of pleasure and personal gain.

They are the dachtesauger, and they are among us even now.

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