Midnight Magic release

The Midnight Magic Anthology is coming out on the 25th of April and is now up for pre-order. Below is a snippet from my title in the anthology ‘Pack, What Pack, Were?’

Pack, What Pack, Were?


I walked to the nearby stream, carefully leaving a trail of human footprints. I started shivering as the crystal clear, but icy cold, water went to my knees. Then I started shifting. It was neither is pleasurable as the second shift had been nor as painful as the first. In a lot of ways, it just
was. I mean it was just a part of me, of who I was.

It’s hard to describe what the world is like through a wolf’s eyes compared to humans. Some colors are more intense, others are duller. You’ve got an overlay of wafting scent colors. All the smells around you subtly add an almost misty overlay to what you see. Gods this is frustrating. It’s like trying to describe the color pink to someone who is blind. It’s exactly like I’m telling you but it’s different as well. What it really is, though, most importantly, is both thrilling and wondrous.

I didn’t look at myself. I had been told by Mom and my sisters that I was large for a wolf. I assumed that any other Were I met would be about the same size. My sister Kate loves petting me in my wolf form. She cooed about how beautiful I was. Vanities aren’t a particularly wolfish trait, though. Fitness, and the fact that I was healthy, those were important to me. Whether I was pretty or not? I couldn’t have cared less.

I could scent a rabbit nearby. There was a slight shift in its odor as it went from concerned to nervous. Rabbits are a massive pest here, so I felt no concern about immediately giving chase. This was part of the reason I’d come out here, after all.

I started by stalking closer, as I was downwind of it. My odor wouldn’t travel cleanly to it. By carefully zigzagging as the breeze shifted, I managed to get within ten meters of it. That was more than pushing my luck, but I was doing this as much for practice as out of hunger. Shifting did leave me hungry, but it’s not the sort of ravenous hunger that you hear of in books and from movies.

The rabbit had calmed down briefly, so I took my chance and made a lightning lunge. My jaws slammed around its neck, and I shook it, snapping its neck quickly. There was no reason to cause unnecessary pain or harm. The sweet, hot taste of its blood filled my mouth, and I started getting down to eating it. I didn’t mind eating the fur and the offal, but I still balked at eating the brains and skull. I could easily have crushed it, but there was just something about it that disgusted the more human side of me. Even in wolf form.

After eating the rabbit, I started spiraling out from where my tent was. The eucalyptus smell through a wolf’s nose is so much more intense and so relaxing. I had to be careful it didn’t lull me into complacency. There could be a human out here hunting feral dogs for all I knew. I’d never camped in this place before.

 

A Simple Trip – snipet

This snippet of A Simple Trip comes to you before it’s final edit. The anthology it will first be released in hasn’t been named yet, but should be out before the end of the month. More news to follow.

Chapter 1

It had taken me months to convince the twins to come to school early, so we could go into the strange shop that was on the way from our homes. I like the twins, they are an interesting pair. They’re both Russian, but not what you’d typically think of as Russian. They are about five foot four, with dark hair and olive skin. Although they come from a family that claims Cossack Heritage they don’t look like the traditional blonde haired, blue-eyed, tall, muscular Cossacks. They looked closer to the Romani, both in features and in the quirky temperament.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Asked Katya nervously.

“What makes you so sure he will even be open this early?” Tatiana asked grumpily. Tatiana was not a morning person. One of the major differences between the twins.

“It will be open. I’ve got a good feeling about this.” I said confidently.

The twins looked at each other, as if they knew something I didn’t. If I’d been paying more attention I have noticed the deep sadness and the edge of timorousness to their faces. But I was too wrapped up in my own excitement at getting a chance to see what was in the store. Secondhand stores like this one had some of the best stuff you can find, and for prices a teenager like me could afford.

We left early enough to give ourselves at least half an hour in the shop. Probably longer, as in my excited anticipation I’d hurried. With my long legged gait they’d had to jog to keep up. When we arrived I could hear their heavy breathing, and feel the slight burn of their angry stares at the back of my head. I ignored it. They had agreed to come along, after all. I just hoped Tatiana, the more volatile twin, wasn’t actually mad at me. She could be terrifying.

As we entered the store I barely noticed the elderly cat cleaning itself next the register. What hit me was the overwhelming odor of old books. The kind of smell that only the best bookstores that sell new books have,  but secondhand bookstores all seem to have it permeating them. Used paper and ink, with a hint of another, sort of musty odor. A smell that is one of the simple pleasures of life, in my opinion.

It surprised me because from the front of the store, all you could see was furniture and knick knacks. As the bell above the door tinkled, I heard the shuffling of the store owner. I’d never met him before, for some reason he always closed the shop between three and four. He probably didn’t want the younger kids pawing through his shop and damaging things.

When I spotted him, he seemed to tense up at the sight of us. There was some apprehension, and the flicker of fear crossed his expression. I bowed deeply and said “Good storekeeper, we merely wish to peruse your wares. I swear there will be no damage done to them.”