Marshland Mixology

For Collins, the humidity was the worst part. He’d dealt with hot before—you’d be surprised just how sweltering it could get at sea—but at sea there’s a breeze and salty spray. Sure, this truly wretched swampland was crawling with shade, but that didn’t matter when the air was practically dripping with body-temperature water. Keeping his […]

Relocation (TSWL Ch.12)

Back in the library’s grand entrance hall, dozens of people bustled to and fro, just as before.  Collins, unfazed as ever, strode easily into the crowd, greeting people briskly as he went.  They’d left the cart out in the clear daylight; Collins had said someone would see to their things. “This way.  Don’t worry: your […]

Tossing and Turning (TSWL Ch.11)

Kari’s bed creaked softly as she turned in her sleep.  Tomas couldn’t see her with the curtains drawn so tightly, but he knew she was there.  Just as he knew there was some…thing else there with them. He’d had moments like this before—several, recently, as he’d wandered the stone streets at night.  Moments of feeling […]

A Montage (TSWL Ch.10)

It actually took Tomas a couple of evenings to write so much down.  He was able to catch up, though, because the days following their introduction to Collins were largely uneventful.  They each helped out around the tavern: Kari doing handiwork like changing kegs or washing dishes, Tomas learning to serve the people in the […]

Back on the Streets (TSWL Ch.9)

[Out on the streets of Vacen, darkness had fallen by the time Collins and our Northerners began the trek back to Jolene’s.] “It’s a pity the sky’s so low tonight.  I don’t get to take walks like this often enough anymore.”  Collins struck an easy pace, neither rushed nor sluggish.  Tomas didn’t feel he needed […]

Trust (TSWL Ch.8)

After returning to the entry hall, seeds in hand, Jolene and Sasha were fretting about making it back before the beginning of the evening rush.  [Kari and Tomas, however, still had questions.] “Really.  I can find our way back.  All I have to do is keep the Lake on my left.” Jolene looked unconvinced but […]