Katabasis story I part II

Twenty minutes prior, Paris had been enjoying the crisp morning air, walking the path with a spring in his step. His copper hair shone in the sunlight, though he knew he could do with a trim, or even just a brush. But a town was right around the corner. He spoke this aloud to Lulu, who nearly dragged herself beside him.

“We could have been in town last night,” she complained, her dark eyes regarding him critically, “if you weren’t such a scaredy-cat.”

“There are more skeles at night!” Paris argued. “Everyone knows that.”

“And a campfire only attracts them. Everyone knows that.” Lulu yawned broadly. Her violet robe was dusty, the pack on her back causing her to slump over. Paris had to admit she looked thoroughly exhausted. One of her sandal straps had broken yesterday, and Paris had attempted to fix it with a bit of vine, but the sandal still flopped and made her limp. “I would rather have walked in the dark and reached a bed than stood awake half the night keeping watch. And you woke me up twice when it was my turn to sleep!”

“I thought I had heard something,” Paris grumbled, kicking at a stone. “I said I was sorry. And think of how good you’ll sleep tonight. And think of lunch.”

“Oh, I am. I’m starving. Finally, something besides your horrible cooking.”

“You only say it’s horrible because–”

“Shh!” Lulu stood stock-still, weight locked onto one leg, her nose in the air.

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Follow-up on New Book and Katabasis

Hi all! I’m regretfully admitting that I have to push back my new release again. I’m still dealing with some things and, though I wanted to put out this book in the wintertime due to its setting, I’ll have to wait until I’m fully satisfied with it. I also need to rewrite its accompanying short story that I’ll be releasing for free download along with it. So, there’s still too much to do! And I’ll not beat myself up about the delay!

In the meantime, I’ve decided to post a series on my page here. It’s something written purely for fun with a Greek D&D feel and a little bit of silly romance, and it’s not quite up to my publishing standards, so you get it for free! I’ll be posting it in bits until I catch up to where I stopped it, and then if people like it I’ll write more. So here is: Katabasis (or its working title: SKELETONS!).

(Sorry, I don’t have anything drawn for this, so have a dinky AI cover.)

Whenever he left a town, he always let himself have a brief fantasy that he was leaving to return home, that he knew somehow where home was and was following the path there. That in just a few days’ time, he would be walking back in the gates, and would be greeted, and maybe the spell on him would be broken and he could respond to anyone who spoke to him.

He had a few spare minutes to let his imagination work this way as he left Kalfas. The road changed from stone to dirt as he left the bustle of the town behind and the temple of Athena on its little hill was lost behind the trees. The sun was rising, just peeking over the horizon, though that was hidden behind the foliage as well. He imagined that he had asked directions, and that he had requested transportation just up the road. A horse-driven cart passed by him and the fantasy dissolved. He couldn’t even ask the driver if he could ride in the cart. He wouldn’t risk just hopping in – sometimes the drivers beat him out of their carts. He had no directions, and he would have to walk. It wasn’t like he didn’t have the time for it, but there were other thieves in the woods, and he couldn’t outrun them on foot. He had been beaten that way, too.

Whatever. He was used to it.

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The Fallowing – Interlude IV, Part I

Novel: Occult Adventure

In the red light district – call it a district but it’s only a street in the shadow of Wrigley Field – neon lights flash their announcements of girls, sexy girls, gorgeous girls, hot girls, cheap, fine, or the best.  Lamps blink hearts and shapely bodies and cats with tails whipping back and forth.  Music pounds at the doors and rolls out onto the sidewalk.  Slinky music, music not for dancing but for seduction.  Ladies in lingerie pose in the windows, women outside the clubs hug their furs around themselves and bat their lashes and flash coquettish smiles.  The outside ones are the prettiest, the most lovely on the block; they have to be, to pull in the customers while wrapped in coats and hats and gloves.  They’re also the most mysterious for it, their smiles the most knowing for it, their scarfs like veils in an Arabian Nights tale, hiding the loveliest of princesses.

One of these muffled beauties bites a thumbnail seductively, eyes directed towards a young man.  A boy.  Barely old enough to be here.  She locks eyes with him and, unexpectedly, his face turns sour.  He frowns, his eyes go dark, he sneers a little.  The beauty understands immediately: a woman-hater.  A revenge-seeker.  Here to take out his frustration on a female – any female.  A possible altercation.  A probable domestic.  She unfocuses from him and pretends she was looking past him at a gruff giant of a man just beyond.

The boy forgets her just as quickly as he noticed her.  He’s here on business.  He has an address.  He has a grudge, and he’s ready to collect what’s due.

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