Tag Archive: fantasy


1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

A Phantom Love Story

When 16 year old Dash goes to summer camp, he sees a beautiful ghostly girl in a mural. One night, she pulls him into the mural, where they bond and fall in love. He finds out that she’s bound in servitude by a demon, who marries her off to an even stronger demon.

Can Dash rescue the girl before she is married off? Or will she suffer in death, as she had in life?

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

I would say Dash is, because he’s the teenage boy that becomes a man.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

I wouldn’t. :P

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

The novel was inspired by a classical Chinese short story.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

People can add me on facebook at Jason W. Chan or email: j_w_chan66@hotmail.com

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

Tons of love stories. :P

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

He realized he wouldn’t be able to sleep. 
    So Dash wandered around the campground aimlessly, passing the giant pine trees, the lake splashed with moonlight, and the vast football field.
    There he was. A lone figure meandering around in the dark immensity.
    He stopped and looked around him. He was aware of how alone in the field he was. Not a single living thing in sight.
    The boy began to shake, then cry. He sobbed until he could not anymore.  
    A slow low note rang in the air. Dash looked up. It was so faint that he thought he had hallucinated it, but, no, wait, there it was again.
    A guitar. The tune was melancholic yet attractive. It sounded like someone grieving. And it made him want to join in. 
    He wiped away his tears and moved toward the source, arriving at the entrance of the camp. The music stopped.
    He looked around. Where did the music come from?
    He looked up.
    Painted in bright blue letters, a wooden sign proudly proclaimed Camp Blue Mountain.
    Next to the sign was the mural that he saw earlier that day. Mist was very strong in this part of the camp, swirling around the mural.
    The moonlight illuminated the centerpiece, a girl in the mural, the most gorgeous girl Dash had ever seen.
    Sitting on the branch of an enormous oak tree, she was holding a ratty-looking guitar and she looked like she was about to play it.  
    Her hair, tied in a ponytail, was a chestnut brown, bordering on black, and was streaked with subtle hints of light brown.
    Her copper brown eyes stared right at Dash, giving off a tinge of sadness, disappointment.
    In the background was a river.
    Beneath the girl, a single word was painted onto the mural: Shaylee. Below that was an inscription, the kind that people would carve on park benches and tables proclaiming that they were there.
    This one read: S.M + B.K = LOVE. It was surrounded by a carving of a heart.
    Dash turned his attention back to the girl, who looked around his age. She was in a black dress, an evening gown, as though going to her prom.
    He was intrigued by her. Who was she? Who commissioned the painter to create this mural? Why was she the centerpiece?
    Dash looked at the word again. Shaylee.
    “Shaylee,” he said in awe. 
    He gazed at the girl, who was stared back, transfixed on him. The moonlight intensified on her, making her glow. The glow flickered, then brightened, then returned to normal.
    Staring at her, he realized that she was the only human figure in the mural. He reached out a finger and traced the outline of her head. Maybe she would understand how he felt.
    The scent of lily flooded his nostrils. He looked around, but there were no flowers in sight.
    The wind picked up, whipping Dash in the face. It caused some of the mist to vanish. 
    He turned away, but he struggled to maintain his gaze on the girl.
    He could now make out the features of her face. He admired her verdant green eyes. She reminded him of the girl he kept seeing in his dreams.
    As he stared, something strange happened. He thought he saw her eyes dart down, then back up again.
    Dash took a step back, one hand pressed against his chest.
    Her eyes were now back to staring at him, as though they had not moved at all.
    His instinct told him to whirl around and race back to his cabin.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

The White Hairs – Fantasy
A work of spiritual mythology, somewhere on a white and snowy mountain is a young creature learning how to leave his body and travel the world inside of the wind.

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

Farshoul is the protagonist and dominates the story. And yeah, he is very dear to me. I think that anyone who reads the book and sees him suffer the way that he does will come to care about him the way that I do, and I hope they will cheer for him in the end when he tries to win back what he has lost.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

Everyone would already know about it! The people who have read my book, have loved it. They’ve been so generous with the reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other places, but there’s such a distrust of self-published authors, such skepticism. I know that it will take a lot of work, luck, and kindness for my book to break through that.

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

I was very careful, both with the cover art, and the interior work to never show a picture of Farshoul or his people. I want the reader to get to decide what they look like.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Join my facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-White-Hairs/105095009538844?ref=ts#%21/pages/The-White-Hairs/105095009538844?ref=ts
Or simply pick up the book at start reading. It’s available at amazon.com, lulu.com, smashwords, bn.com, and all kinds of places. By Googling, I even found a company in Kenya, and three in India that carry it!

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m working on writing two novels right now. One is about magicians in the modern world, and the second is a survivalist story, similar in some respects to Miracle Mile or Road Warrior, but with a fantastic twist that I’ve never seen before.
I expect my next published work to be a children’s book that is being illustrated right now. I don’t want to give too much away, but its such a beautiful and timeless story, and I’m lucky enough to be working with an incredible artist!

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

These are the first few lines:

Farshoul watched as the long white hairs on his arms became translucent. He watched as they faded away. Soon he could see through the skin and bone of his arms to the ice beneath him. The frozen water that he could see through his phantom arm seemed more real than his own body.

He watched as the others blurred in his vision, their white fur becoming indistinguishable from the snow around them. They appeared to disappear.

Then Farshoul began to move.

He was watching the changing from above. He could only just make out the white furry bodies against the ice and snow that they sat in. He could barely see himself camouflaged against the ivory mountain. He saw all of the bodies sitting still where their souls had left them to go exploring.

This was all new to Farshoul. This was the first time that he had participated in the traveling ritual; the most sacred of the ceremonies left over from the previous age. This was the first time that he had left his strong and solid body since the day on which he had been born.

Farshoul hovered around his body, taking a look at himself – at his own face – in a way that he had never done before. He looked like a stranger. He looked like someone else. His nose looked differently than he remembered from his reflection, maybe a little bigger. His peaceful eyes were closed. The white fur on his face was so shiny and so healthy looking. His young jaw was stronger and wider than he had realized. And he was surprised to see how much taller he was, even sitting, than most of the others. He had never thought of himself as big. Farshoul decided that he liked how he looked, as strange as it was to think of that face as his own.

He looked around to see if he could see the others loose from their bodies, but he could not. Perhaps they had chosen to go exploring rather than hover around. He felt a little sad that none of them had stayed to guide him, a little frightened. It was only in this state that it was allowed by his people to leave the mountains and wander the world. He worried about getting lost, about wandering too far. Perhaps he should just stay nearby this time, and be careful on his first time out. But, he also knew how they would make fun of him if he did that and the embarrassment actually scared him more than the world did.

And so Farshoul let the breeze begin to lift him and carry him far away from his body and from his home, out into the wide atmospheres of the world’s great winds.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less
tagline:

Thanks for giving me this opportunity to introduce my young adult fantasy novel called The Legend of Witch Bane. The Legend of Witch Bane is the tale of three young children who embark on a desperate quest to save their kingdom from an evil queen.

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why? 
 

 

My personal favorite character in The Legend of Witch Bane has to be Laris Goddaya, the half-breed daughter of a human king and a fairy princess. Laris is a teenager who is trying to cope with the recent death of her mother and her new life in the castle of her human father. She is trapped between the world of humans and fairies—two worlds that she knows are about to collide. Laris is self-conscious of her mixed-birth and fears that she will be the downfall of her father’s kingdom. Although Laris possesses the otherworldly beauty and magical powers of her fairy kindred, she is also quick-tempered. But ultimately, she knows that she will have to come to terms with who she is or face an uncertain future that could very well result in the deaths of herself and her family.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?
 

 

 Although there are a few things that I would do differently if I were to publish the book today, the only thing I feel that needs to be changed is artwork that is featured on the book cover. Like most Indie authors I published my book with a very small budget and was unable to hire a world class illustrator to design my book cover. Although it isn’t a bad book cover per se, it isn’t nearly as inviting as I would like. Fortunately, the old saying that you can’t judge a book holds true for The Legend of Witch Bane as many of my readers can attest.

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

I’m a big fan of classic mythology, ancient legends, and folk tales. The inspiration behind writing the Legend of Witch Bane was to introduce many of the old legends and myths to modern audiences. Although The Legend of Witch Bane is a wholly original story, the observant reader will notice quite a few references to some of the world’s oldest stories hidden within.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?Anyone interested in finding out more about The Legend of Witch Bane can visit www.kevishendrickson@weebly.com.

 6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

 I have quite a few fiction books in the works. But chief among those books is the sequel to The Legend of Witch Bane. I am hopeful that it will be published soon.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant
to intrigue and tantalize us:
 

Some time passed as the children entered the land of Pryfhelm, a rugged country of low sloping hills, ice-capped mountains, dark forests, and whispering creeks. There they saw many dead people and animals lying about the road. Anyr was terribly frightened, but kept her silence for fear of appearing a coward to her brother and sister. The children did not dare to speak, but each one was growing very much afraid. Kòdobos had a mind to lead his sisters from the road when they were suddenly happened upon by a stranger who was riding atop a tall black mare. He was a dark fellow wearing a wide ebon cape. His garments also were black, but were strange and foreign. He wore very few pieces of armor, the most striking of which were his gold-trimmed pauldrons that were like large bat wings folded out from beneath his cape. Mostly he wore a strange leather hide like that which was made of serpent’s skin. Rather than a vizard, which knights wore to cover their mouths, he wore a mask of black cloth that revealed only his stark eyes. As the children weren’t certain as to the intent of the stranger, they greeted him as courteously as the circumstance warranted.

“We are travelers who would pass in peace. Will you give us the road?” asked Kòdobos.

The stranger said nothing, but glared at them with his terrible brown eyes. A long, curved sword was drawn suddenly from his side before he kicked the paunch of his mare to make her fall into a mad gallop. At once the children knew they were in danger and unsheathed their own weapons. Before they could even raise their defenses, save Anyr, who had let fly the arrow from her bow, the dark stranger fell on them with all his fury. Kòdobos was the first to go flopping from his saddle. Anyr soon followed him. Laris saw the danger her sister and brother were in, and gave strife to the stranger, her twin sabers flashing through the air like beams of silver light. But she, too, was overcome and tumbled off of her saddle onto the biting snow.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Failing Test – A Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy
You know him, but you can’t remember his name. He is the one that is always there, in the background, all but invisible to those roaming the hallways. What if he had a secret? What if it was a secret that even he didn’t know?

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

Clifford Johnston is probably my favorite character. He came from nowhere and became a HUGE part of the story.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

I don’t really have anything that I would change. I’m pretty happy with the end product.

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

I really tried to recreate the high school experience in Failing Test. I have had a lot of reviews and personal feedback that mentioned this, so I feel like I achieved a goal in that respect.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Become a fan of Failing Test on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=113897971961168&ref=ts

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

I am currently working on the sequel to Failing Test titled “A Shadow’s Light”. It should be out in December of this year. I have several other works in various stages of development and will continue on as new ideas strike me.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

     He had landed in what appeared to be a records room. There were filing cabinets and boxes everywhere. There was one window in the room, but it wasn’t facing outside. Instead it looked into a hallway. Slowly he walked to the door, opened it, and peered out. He squinted in the darkness, looking up and down the hallway. Seeing no one, he stepped out and began looking for the stairwell. It felt like he was playing a video game and at any moment some virus-laden zombie could come out of the floor. As he walked down the dark hallway, he finally came to the stairwell door. He reached out for the handle and then heard a series of clicks from the end of the hall. As if someone had turned on a light switch, his body ignited with color.
     The darkness became a display of light as the muzzle flashes burst from a dozen gun barrels. As on the roof, the bullets dropped from the air around him, covering the ground like gravel on a country road.  Test turned and held his arms to his side. The rate at which the pulses of light were traveling down his arms began to increase. The light from his hands became more and more intense as they collected each pulse of energy from his core. He took his first step forcefully and a quick pace took him towards the group of men. Suddenly a burst of flame appeared directly in front of him. The blast engulfed the hallway from wall to wall and ceiling to floor, blocking the soldiers from his view. As the remains of the blast settled, another took its place, and then another. Test’s eyes were blind from the intensity of the flames. Infuriated he thrust both arms forward, releasing a pulse so powerful that he could feel the air surging from behind him.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

An Old-Fashioned Folk Tale by Valmore Daniels is an fantasy written primarily for young adult audiences, but can be enjoyed by fantasy lovers of all ages.

Everybody knows that fairies, mermaid, elves, giants, dwarves and dragons are merely figments of their imagination … but they are very real, and they are in trouble!

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Leif, a young human boy dying of cancer. When I was younger, I was sick for six weeks and so I’ve incorporated a lot of my emotions and feelings into the character.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

Actually, I had the opportunity of changing the ending recently.  Originally, the novel was designed as a self-contained single volume story, but while preparing it for release on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords, I was able to alter the ending and allow for the possibility of a sequel.

4.)   Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

An Old-Fashioned Folk Tale pays homage to some of my favorite authors I read when I was younger: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, and L. Frank Baum.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

More information can be found on the author’s website, ValmoreDaniels.com.

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

Currently, I’m putting the final touches on a Hard SF novel concerning the possibility of faster than light travel, first contact with an alien race, and humankind’s first steps into the Interstellar Age.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

The gnome, shaking visibly, stepped through the void. The line moved up one place. Now Leif could see Gorr in all his grossness!

The brutish ogre was as ugly as the young hume had imagined. Standing almost eight feet tall, Gorr was nearly as thick as he was high! A mass of spindly hair covered his grotesquely muscled, naked torso. His eyes were set far apart on his ugly face and his mouth seemed frozen in a perpetual snarl under his smashed-in nose. Leif was duly frightened.

Samson snarled, his tail flattening against the back of his legs in a defensive stance; Leif could feel the hair on the Great Dane’s back raise up and bristle under his hand. He tried soothing the dog with pats and gentle words.

“Don’t worry about his appearance,” reassured Kamile in a low voice. “The Sorceress wanted the gatekeeper to be very intimidating so that they might extract a higher toll to use the Nardee.”

“It seems to be working!” Leif commented wryly.

Drive-Thru Interview with Author Tracey Alley

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:                                    

Erich’s Plea, fantasy – A deadly new form of magic threatens an entire world and only the powers of love, trust and friendship have a chance at saving it.

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why? 

It’s hard to say sometimes, I love them all in their own ways but if I have to pick a favorite it’s probably Nikolai, my necromancer of Bhaal.  He’s evil, filled with rage [you do eventually find out why] and utterly cold but he’s forced to work closely with a paladin of Ilmater and the two become firm friends which changes Nikolai’s life completely.  So watching him struggle between his instinctive behavior and the type of behavior he’s learning is rather wonderful. I love watching him fight against the chance at redemption that’s being offered to him and succumbing very, very reluctantly.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?  

I experimented a little with characters in this novel and while I think that Tares, my minotaur priest works well in retrospect Lara, my halfling assassin may have been a little too predictable.  Given the chance I probably wouldn’t have made her a halfling but it seems to work.                                                                                                                                               

4.)  Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series:

I don’t know if it’s a fun fact but an Interesting fact is while there are a lot of twists and turns to the storyline the ending is TOTALLY unexpected, I guarantee it.                                                                                                                             

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I’m on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tracey-Alley-The-World-of-Kaynos/127959000550782  Twitter – http://twitter.com/traceylalley  Authors Den – http://www.authorsden.com/members/  Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4076601.Tracey_Alley  and Freado – http://www.freado.com/users/22812/tracey-l-alley  and I can usually be found on Kindleboards as well for a chat and Erich’s Plea is available from Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Erichs-Plea-Witchcraft-Wars-ebook/dp/B003HS4V4S/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_4  and Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/15058  

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future?

I have two more books coming in the Witchcraft Wars series, both should hopefully be available by the end of the year.  Ursula’s Quest should be available in ebook format by the end of July.  I also have two series of children’s books I’m currently working on, the first aimed at the under 6 age group and the second aimed at the 8 – 12 year olds.       

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:   

Suddenly a deep shadow filled the grove and a bluish tinted light dappled the ground.  It was as though the Sapphire moon were beginning its ascent instead of the fiery sun.  Startled Slade looked up at the sky only to find it clear and cloudless; the deep shadow caused instead by a huge black dragon in flight.  The giant creature had a wingspan easily twenty feet across, its’ body more than twice that amount including the long tail, serpentine neck and huge wedge-shaped head.  Slade’s breath caught in his throat, the beast above was magnificent, indescribably beautiful. 

     Slade found himself falling to his knees as he gazed in wonder at the immense dragon, inexplicably hanging stationary in the air.  Slade wondered what a dragon, and a black dragon at that, was doing so far south?  Traditionally they were found only in the far north of the Heldann Freeholds.    

     Slade looked up towards his mentor, certain that Karel would have some explanation of this incredible sight.  Instead Slade was horrified to see Karel had somehow grown or expanded, towering above Slade and his fellow druids.  Karel threw off the cowl, the material splitting as Karel continued to grow, and revealed the grotesque creature that he had become. 

     As Slade watched in growing horror and confusion the thing that had been Karel still retained his humanoid shape but everything else was now grossly distorted.  He or it, Slade was no longer sure, looked a little like the ogres of the north, a bald oversized head on an incredibly strong and muscular body.  Yet it also closely resembled the woodland trolls, having their tough, green tinged skin and elongated arms and legs. 

     The creature turned his back on Slade and faced directly into the rising sun.  Slade was terrified, he knew none of this was natural or normal, and he did not understand what was happening.  Then he heard his father’s voice fill the air.  “Follow the Trunk, my son.  Follow the Trunk.  Only you can save me.  Follow the Trunk.  Save me, my son, only you can save me.”  The voice faded to a whisper on the wind and all was dark. 

     Slade opened his eyes, as much as possible given the amount of swelling that had not yet receded from his most recent beating.  As expected he saw only the flat, stone ceiling of his prison cell.  Once again, he had been dreaming, but this dream had been unlike any of the others.  Slade’s druidic initiation had taken place nearly five years ago, the ritual going as expected, with no unforeseen dragons or ghosts of his father’s voice.

Drive-Thru Interview with Kipp Poe Speicher

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline: 

“Closing My Eyes Helps Me To See Clearly” is a bit of fantasy,bizarro, poetic,violent beauty. It is a dark vision of the end of the world. 

2.)  Who is your favorite character and why? 

It is a bit hard to pick a character it is told in first person that changes bodies more of a stream of consciousness narrative a bit experimental.

 3.)  If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why? 

I’m happy with the way it turned out I have had it all story boarded out to make as a film for years but no budget to shoot it.

 4.)  How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kippoe

http://www.facebook.com/Kipp.Poe

http://kippoe.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/Kippoe

amazon.com

 5.) Give us one fun fact about your book or series:

My 18 year old daughter designed the cover art for me she is a professional photographer. I do a rough sketch of ideas and different elements to use and she has it for me within a couple day if not hours. She has already done the cover art for my new short story “Listen” that i’m still in the writing process with. It is a beautiful haunting image.

6.)  What can we expect from you in the future?

 I have two novels in the works and right now starting a crime novella 

7.)  And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

I awake in total darkness.  I cannot move.  My body is pressed hard against this structure.  I feel as if I’m going to suffocate.  As I struggle, the structure I’m entombed in sways back and forth.  I can hear the sound of water as it slowly drips, and I can smell the scent of lilacs.

Every muscle in my body starts to ache.  I’m trying to move, trying to break free.  My body is gripped with pain.  Claustrophobia is setting in, and I start to hyperventilate.  I’m losing consciousness…

I awake again and notice the tightness of the structure is even more binding than before.  It is crushing me.  Is it shrinking?  Or am I growing?  I feel my body begin to morph as my skin begins to leak secretions.  The walls of my cell become damp with this sweet, yet sour, smelling pus pours out of my skin.  The structure begins to give way as the pus eats its way through the walls.  Streaks of daylight invade my eyes, drilling in like lightning bolts.  How long have I been here?  The darkness is no more.

1.)   Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline: 

Cameo the Assassin~  Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing.

2.)   Who is your favorite character and why?

The co-main character Black Opal is my favorite.  He’s a rather flamboyant highwayman, libertine, dandy, and all-around free spirit.  He’s definitely the most fun to write about.

3.)   If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why? 

I’d tighten up the first chapter a bit.

4.)    Give us one interesting fun fact about your book or series: 

This book went through 20 years worth of rewrites, and Kyrian was the original love interest.

5.)   How can we contact you or find out more about your books? 

Kindle version:  Cameo the Assasin: Book One Or Smashwords:  Cameo the Assasin: Book One Or My website:  http://www.dawnmccullough-white.com/

6.)   What can we expect from you in the future? 

The “Cameo” books will be a series of 3 I believe with the second one being released in the fall of 2010.  After that probably something else in the dark fantasy or vampire area, that’s generally what I write.

7.)   And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us: 

Bel?” Opal woke, reaching for a pillow beside his own but found only cold, hard marble under his hand. He rolled onto his back in agonizing pain; this woke him completely. He stared up into the darkness of the ceiling, then to one side, taking in the dusty coffin. His body had merged with the sandstone floor, and he groped at his neck and shoulder to relieve some of the stiffness.

Outside the sun was bathing the graveyard in a bit of a silver glow, and Cameo was sitting on a short, square headstone, eating breakfast. She was trying to absorb as much heat as she could from the stone beneath her thighs, which wasn’t much. Faetta had two seasons, winter and summer, and summer was long gone. She watched her own breath snake around her face between bites of bread, staring at the stones in front of her. It was early, and she was barely awake. She gazed mindlessly at the grass and dead leaves at the base and their shadows in the morning light. It stretched out toward her, it had form, and a torso—the shape of a man. Not far from it was another man, a shadow of a man, and then to her left, out the corner of her eyes, she noticed another.

She took a swig of wine. She realized there was a mob of shadow people surrounding her, unmoving, seemingly waiting her out.

Opal tumbled out of the tomb, holding the back of his neck; he did not seem to be able to stand up straight.

Tell me again why I left Bellamy behind at that nice warm tavern?”

I’m not quite sure,” she said, pulling her gaze from the shades.

Fun. I actually think that was what I told him.”

Cameo appraised the purple jacket, which was much more crumpled than it had been a day ago, “That color is very lovely.”

He fixed her with a dark expression.

Wine?” she offered.

Opal turned half-heartedly back toward the mausoleum, then stopped suddenly because his stiff neck would only turn so far before it protested. “Isn’t that my wine?”

Oh, is it? It’s not too bad really—”

He took it from her and drank it down quickly.

Yes, it does a fair job of numbing the pain.”

I can’t believe you slept in that place and aren’t even slightly sore.”

She shrugged. “We should get moving.”

You’re joking, right? How about a moment to catch my breath?”

Cameo walked over to the tomb several yards away, “I need to get going.”

Well, I need something to eat, and a change of clothes.” He dashed the empty bottle against a tombstone.

She turned swiftly to look at him.

Opal was up and was closing the space between them rapidly, “Ow….” He held his lower back but kept moving in on her.

Look, if you want to work alone, fine.” He brushed past her and back into the

mausoleum.

If you work alone, you are just a walking target for the Association,” she hissed as she came in behind him.

Opal was going through his shoulder-pack; there were paints, food, and clothes strewn on the floor. Cameo looked down at the pitiful mess, and at Opal who was ripping off his jacket angrily.

She took a step back, uncertain.

Does it really matter? You’re a target, too.” He faced her, trembling with rage, “Will I be less of a target without you tagging around?”

Me tagging around?”

Yes.” He folded his arms in front of him.

Cameo raised an eyebrow, her mood lightened. “Alright…. I’m sorry I rushed you; take your time getting ready.”

Oh, really?”

Yes, yes, take your time. I’ll wait outside for you.”

Black Opal sat back down and began to collect his things, “You could always massage my shoulders a little.” The tenor of this voice changed, “I think that would help me hurry things up.”

She uttered a bit of muffled laughter.

When she had gone, he looked down at his things, all over the dirty floor of a tomb, and sighed. He missed having a washbasin and a hot cup of coffee.

 

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