Hey y’all, here’s Chapter Sixteen 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
“Wolves Make Great Actors”
story by Mabel Harper & Cassidy Webb
written by Cassidy Webb
“How about we keep it to a nice game of checkers today?” grunted Elisha as he settled into his usual chair in front of Noman’s desk.
Noman smiled knowingly. The checkers box floated over from his board game shelf and alighted gently on the desk between them. “Tough week, my friend?”
“Oh, you know.” Elisha gave a dismissive little wave of his hand. “Every man comes to that time in his life when he finds out his protégé murdered fifty-two people. No big.”
“Oh—of course.” A frown clouded Noman’s usually serene expression. The checkerboard drifted out of the box and laid itself open on the table, as a pair of empty Mountain Dew cans zipped out of its path and into the nearby recycling bin. “Duncan’s like a son to you, isn’t he? I really can’t imagine what you’re going through.”
You truly have no idea. “Yeah, well.” Elisha pursed his lips, gave a slight shrug. “What’s a boy to do? Life’s a bitch.”
Noman gave a small, sympathetic smile. “Black or red?”
Elisha thought for a moment. “Black.”
“I hope you at least get to relax and enjoy your birthday bash tomorrow,” said Noman. “Try to put it all behind you, even if it’s just for a few hours.”
Elisha blinked. “Is that stupid thing tomorrow? Fuck.”
He tensed suddenly and patted his chest, thinking he might have felt his pocket watch buzz—but it turned out to be a false alarm. The watch, as it happened, was more than a watch; or, more accurately, it wasn’t a watch at all. It was one of a dozen identical communication devices he’d enchanted and distributed among Caliban’s hired mercenaries, so that any of them could alert him discreetly the instant they picked up Amelia’s trail. When contacted, Elisha’s own watch would vibrate silently in his pocket, and a glance at its face would reveal, by the direction of the hour hand, which of his hirelings was paging, allowing him to get back to that individual as soon as he got a moment to himself, and access to a secure enough method of two-way communication.
“You sure you don’t want to just relax and talk today?” asked Noman. The checkers aligned themselves neatly on the board. “You seem pretty distracted.”
“What’s to talk about?” Elisha gave a lazy flick of his fingers. His first checker inched forward clumsily on the board. “None of us know anything yet. Why he did it. Who he was working for.”