Hey y’all, here’s Chapter Fourteen of our epic switchblade-and-sorcery e-novel, Those Who Create and Destroy. The novel’s almost finished and expected to come in at around 250,000 words. While we’re putting finishing touches on Parts 2 and 3, we’ll continue releasing Part 1 in weekly installments on Wednesdays, with audiobook and e-reader formats coming soon.
—Mabel & Cass
“Blood Clots and Black Holes”
story by Mabel Harper & Cassidy Webb
written by Cassidy Webb
Content Warning: MILD GORE
Jules stirred at the sound of a whispered, “Honey, wake up,” and found Healer Wade—Prefect Weyland’s husband—hovering over him with a solicitous look in his big brown eyes.
He blinked, glanced around, wondered what he was doing on the floor slumped forward onto the edge of a Medicinal Magic cot.
The answer came as he glimpsed Rory in the bed asleep, a panchrest poultice stretched over the hollow that had been his shoulder. He was still clenching Jules’s hand pretty tightly, considering he was unconscious. When he’d still been awake, before the cocktail of pain elixirs had kicked in, Jules had thought his old friend’s grip might literally break his hand.
You’re okay, Jules remembered babbling, over the sound of Rory’s hissing and bleating while the mediciners cleaned his wound; while slowly, painstakingly, they scraped away the pieces of his t-shirt that had melted to his flesh. Keep your eyes on me. I’ve got you. Just breathe.
Rory looked almost peaceful now, though a little knot in his brow signaled he was still in pain. Brimstone burns were notoriously cruel. Jules didn’t know how to begin to deal with the fact that he himself, however indirectly, had been responsible for Rory experiencing one. He certainly wasn’t going to let himself think about the how he’d possibly killed, at minimum horrifically mangled another human being by the same brutal means.
Jules worked his hand free of Rory’s, gripped his cane as it was pressed into his palm, and moved with shuffling steps as Healer Wade led him to a nearby exam area. He had no idea when or how he’d passed out, but he couldn’t have been asleep for long. His mana reserves still felt drained, his body like it was running on exhaust.
“Dare I ask what on God’s green Earth happened to you two?” said DeShay, as he tended Jules’s battered face.
“Martial Magus business,” mumbled Jules. He felt like a child, the way his long legs dangled off the exam table.
“Is that other boy a Martial Magus?” asked DeShay, pointedly.
“No.” Jules felt a stab of guilt. “I’m … supposed to be keeping him out of trouble.”
The healer, mercifully, didn’t comment. He did raise one long eyebrow, which seemed like statement enough. “So.” He held Jules’s face still as he sewed up the split on his cheek with aether thread. “You’re saying Devisha knows all about whatever you were up to tonight?”
Jules eyed him.