The tour group moved on. He glanced around as the display room emptied.
When he was certain that it was just him and a lit case of bones, he took a screwdriver from his coat pocket and cracked the lid of the case.
He slid his hand inside to stroke the little feline skeleton there, worn smooth by years of handling. It shuddered under his touch, the bolts and wires holding it together pinging free to bounce from the glass.
The skeleton yawned silently, then turned empty orbs toward him.
He smiled. ‘I knew I would find you again eventually.’
The cat braced its paws against the glass and he complied to its silent request, lifting it free of the case and letting it snuggle into his coat.… Read more
In support of the kickstarter for BOOKS & BONE, I did a fun little mock self-help guide to befriending a necromancer.
10 Ways to Befriend a Necromancer
How to Make Friends and Reanimate People
- Remember that for all their bluster, necromancers have very low self-esteem and appreciate compliments. A great opener is to comment on their robes — practical AND stylish, and the black hides blood stains perfectly.
- Necromancers are bad at small talk but passionate about their craft. Ask them about their method of reanimation or preferred source of “materials” to open up a dialogue.
- Much the way people talk about what they would do if they won the lottery, necromancers love to talk about their plan for world domination.
… Read more
Another microfiction for Mastodon.
She pricked her finger on the crooked needle and let the blood drip and swirl into the bowl below.
It clouded pink, then cleared.
She gripped the sides of the bowl with tight hands as an image resolved. A tatter-eared dog trotted through fields of smoke beneath a white sky, then paused and sniffed the air. It looked right at her, and barked, ears coming forward.
‘I miss you,’ she whispered.
Then came shouts and shuffling feet. She overturned the bowl and fled.
Image by Yuri_B, used under CC0.… Read more
A microfiction written for Mastodon.
She walked down the road, trailed by shambling, limping things. A badger with its face bared to one side. A housecat with crushed paws. A stag with blood-matted fur and cracked antlers.
Car headlights flashed by. She narrowed her eyes at them, but didn’t slow her pace.
She only stopped when she found a rabbit smeared at the side of the road.
She picked it up and hummed a spell, red threads stretching between her fingers like a spider’s web.
She wrapped the rabbit in those red threads and smoothed its fur, massaged its horrible wounds.… Read more
She opened her eyes. The people who had joined her were now an assortment of creatures, fae, werewolves and catfolk, smiling at her from the blank white space of the loading screen.
‘How … why?’
A fox person stepped forward. ‘This reality uses our mental images of ourselves.’ He gestured to her. ‘This is you.’
She looked down and saw scales and clawed feet. She shrugged her shoulders and felt her wings lift and spread.
She bared her fangs and prepared to fly.
‘I know I’ve been busy. But I’m putting that behind me.’ The mage’s hands were behind her back.… Read more
I make a podcast/audiobook series called Soul Jar! It follows Gretel Gravetalker, a young necromancer seeking immortality and revenge. It’s free to listen to and full of heartache, hope, and spookiness!
Image by Jiradet Inrungruang, used under CC0.… Read more
A collection of microfiction written for Mastodon.
Every night, woken by half-remembered dreams of cracked bones and dripping saliva, she saw the eyes. Two burning pinpricks within a boiling shadow, dark against the darkness.
Every night, she would close her eyes, and when she woke both eyes and shadow were gone, leaving only a lingering unease.
Tonight, she kept her eyes open. Her head tilted left, then right; the eyes followed her.
‘You’re really there, aren’t you?’
‘What — what are you?’
She licked dry lips. ‘Then — why are you out here?’
–I scared myself–
She considered a moment, then lifted the other end of the blanket.… Read more
Another microfiction from Mastodon. There’s something wonderful about how fleeting and restricted it is as a medium. Concentrated, maybe.
‘Why do you hate the stars?’ she whispered.
‘They are each of them another sun,’ the mage replied. She gripped her phylactery as if frightened the pale light would shatter it. ‘I was pushed into the night — too ugly, too strange — but sunlight is still the ruler here. Still the most beautiful thing.’
‘Not the most beautiful.’ She clasped the mage’s hands, another layer around the bottled soul.
And though she was brighter than any star, the mage smiled.… Read more
Another microfiction I posted to Mastodon (and therefore limited to 500 characters).
‘No! NO! Bad boy. No biting!’
She hauled it off her cowering apprentice.
The apprentice shuddered. ‘I don’t think I’m ready yet.’
‘Nonsense. You just need to take a firm hand with it. Oh, and give it something to chew.’ She produced a strip of dried meat from the folds of her blood-crusted robes. ‘Here boy! Want some jerky?’
The beast’s mouth lolled — she popped the jerky inside and patted his bald, flaking head.
‘See? He’s a good zombie, really.’… Read more
‘I want to see dragons,’ he said, gazing longingly through the scrying mirror. ‘I want to see fire and wind, and feel the sun on my face. Do you understand?’
She didn’t, but she wanted to. She stitched the wings of a raven to a crawling lizard, and filled it with the cold spark of her heart. She held it out to him; it leapt from her hands to his, and clacked its jaws at him cheerfully.
‘What’s this?’ he asked.
‘A going away present.’
‘I love you, mum.’
Microfiction written for Mastodon.… Read more