We’re back with a brand-new episode of our Philly-based switchblade-and-sorcery web novel, The Dread Eclipse, with new updates published weekly on Thursdays! Enjoy the preview below, along with a link to the full episode. As always, it’s free to read.
Please bear with us these next couple of weeks as we work on some site updates—including a design overhaul, new art, and detailed character profiles!
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Ash did not like any of this one bit.
Not having to cooperate with the hex-slinging man-child.
Not riding in the tiny back seat of this absurdly impractical vehicle with whiny music blaring from a speaker mounted right behind his head, even his short legs so crammed up against the passenger seat in front of him that the aforementioned man-child’s gesticulations jostled him nonstop.
Not being blindfolded, unable to see a thing that was happening around him.
And especially not having dampening bracers on his wrists. Not just for the obvious reason that, with the adamantine-alloy rings disrupting his mana channels, he wouldn’t be able to use magic to defend himself if needed. (And in this, of all situations, he felt like it might be needed.) But also because, without being able to perceive the microscopic world through his tattoos, he couldn’t access his habitual escape from sensory overload—or from the jumbled voices and flashing images that kept looping in his head: audio/visual vestiges of old, ugly, unmentionable things…things that must have waited ages to catch him alone in the dark.
Even his connection to Creuch in the Aether was severed. Never in his life had Ash imagined he’d actually miss the little dickbag crowing Burn, boy, burn! in the back of his head.
He was aware of Navarrete on his left, making some small violent repetitive movement that kept vibrating the seat. Punching her thigh, he guessed—he’d observed it to be a nervous habit of hers. But she was also singing along with Betancourt’s music, the 2000s pop punk or emo or whatever it was currently assaulting Ash’s right eardrum. Ash wondered how she could be so good at putting up a careless front. The best Ash could ever manage was a blank face. Though at least with that, he never had to try. The freeze response came naturally.