Happy new year everybody. I meant to write this post before Christmas but was occupied by a spot of family upheaval resulting in an hitherto unexpected arrival at my house, namely Satchmo – an overweight nine year old border collie whose hobbies are howling and making camouflage shit. Thankfully though, he is house-trained and keeps an eye out for the robins who are plotting to distract me so that the bears can tinker with my miscellanea.
I’ve discovered dog-walking presents new opportunities to enrage other members of the human race, which is nice. I saw a woman get pulled over into a big patch of thick mud by a dog she clearly had no control over. What made this even more hilarious was that her dog was going for Satchmo, who just stood there minding his own camouflage business. I don’t understand why anyone would get a dog that can overpower them and then fail to teach it any manners. Needless to say, she went down like a sack of shit, star-shaped on her stupid face in the mud. Not only that, but she had the gall to grimace at ME when I informed her she was lucky it was winter and the ground was nice and soft. Do you know what she said? She said “have you ever been called an arse hole?”. I told her it was only the second time that day.
New year’s eve in Amsterdam left me in a near catatonic state for several days. Amsterdam is a bit mad on on new year’s eve. People just roam the streets letting of fireworks at random, the place was a mess the next day. The highlight was seeing a man getting sworn at by a prostitute for taking a photo of her, she called him “stupido”. Brilliant. Needless to say, my recovery from the debauchery was protracted and harrowing. Coming home late the day after new year’s day to find my loping, organ abusing younger brother, Jub, and the illustrious Satchmo going through my bins did not help matters.
My brain seems to have reassembled now so its back to business. The fourth in the fantasy series called Sorrow is now available from Musa Publishing and can also be purchased on Amazon for just 77p. You can also see it in all the usual places – Smashwords, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble etc. Below is an excerpt for your perusal. If you like fantasy, you will like this!
“The power struggle becomes ever more vicious, and the wolves smell blood.”
“Going for a spot of fresh air, Bracket?” said Felipe.
The innkeeper squeaked and the keys slipped out of his fingers, landing with a muffled thud on one of the foul wolfskin rugs.
“You should be asleep!” he yelped as Felipe’s massive form unfolded out of the darkness. A light flared as the Templar struck a tinder from the box he carried and used it to light one of the dormant tallow candles.
“Should be, but I am not,” said Felipe, raising the candle so his scarred face appeared pale and grim in the shadows, “unlike my comrades, who I have never known to sleep so sweetly, or with such military precision. They all passed out at the same time. What drug did you put in their ale?”
The innkeeper backed away until his back was pressed up against the door. Felipe could only see his outline in the gloom, and there was something odd about it. He raised the candle higher to get a better look.
“What the Hells are you wearing?” he demanded, “is that a wolfskin you have draped over your shoulders? My dear Bracket, you make a very unconvincing wolf.”
“Shut up, fool!” Bracket hissed, bending to retrieve his keys. Now Felipe could see why he had dropped them: long strips of sharpened iron were tied to the tops of his fingers, giving them the appearance of claws.
Bracket was indeed wearing a wolfskin, and not only that. The dead wolf’s head adorned the innkeeper’s, strapped in place on top of his skull, its rotting eyes staring glassily into whatever afterlife was reserved for the spirits of wolves.
Felipe was too astonished to move, allowing Bracket time to scoop up the keys and wrestle with the locks.
“I forgot you don’t drink, curse you,” he snarled, turning one key after another, “not that it matters. I will give you the same choice.”
“What choice? Come away from that door, man.”
The innkeeper ignored him, and there was the hiss of steel on leather as Felipe put the candle down and drew his sword. He advanced towards Bracket, who spun to face him.
“The choice I give everyone who comes here!” rasped the innkeeper, his red-rimmed eyes seeming to glow with a fearful light, “join The Sons of the Wolf, or die. You and your comrades, when they wake up—never fear, I have just sent them to sleep, not poisoned them—will be told to choose.”
Felipe was baffled rather than afraid. “What nonsense is this? Your wits are cracked.”
“You think so? I overheard you talking of kings earlier, and how a strong man is needed to unify the realm. I am a poor man, Felipe de Gascur, and it seems to me that the Great Houses have ruled this land for too long. The next King will not come from the nobility, but from the people, and he will be blessed by the Wolf!”