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
This wasn’t the first time Caren had worn dampening bracers—though by now it had actually been years. Heavy goddamned things, she was remembering, and freezing fucking cold. Even in her fleece-lined leather jacket, sitting in a cramped, heated car with three other warm bodies, the ratcatcher was covered head to toe in goosebumps.
“Caren Paige Balarao Navarrete.”
“Yo.” Caren sat sprawled against the damp wall of her cell with one knee propped up, rubbing the cold-iron bracers on her wrists against each other over and over to make them click.
Her eyebrows shot up at the sound of a key in the lock. “Word? Am I free to go?”
The two Ordinators marched into the cell, hauled her to her feet.
“Fuck…is this it? Y’all ’bout to scramble my eggs?”
They gave her no explanation. Just led her to a waiting room—a pretty nice one, with a leather couch—and left her sitting there while they stood guard over the exit.
Eventually, the door to one of the offices opened, and possibly the hottest girl Caren had ever seen appeared. “Okay, Dad. I’ll see you tonight,” she called back into the office behind her, then turned around with a toss of her long, maple-hued mane. Caren could have sworn the girl looked her over head to toe before walking out.
Caren sat gawking after her—and almost jumped out of her skin when a booming baritone spoke her name from the office doorway. “Caren Navarrete?”
It was a big, fancy office with fancy-ass furniture. Caren sat down in the big fancy chair across the big fancy desk from the bald white man in the fancy suit and robe who, after shutting the door behind him, settled into an even bigger, fancier chair behind the desk. A gilded name plate in front of him read, MASTER-GEN. ABRAM SAUVAGE, in a fancy, hard-to-read script.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
Caren wondered if it was a trick question. Pointed at the name plate. “Going way out on a limb here, I’d guess you’re ‘Master-Gen Abram Sausage.’”
Master-Gen Abram Sausage folded his hands on the desk front of him, fixed her with an inscrutable stare.
“Ms. Navarrete,” he said, “how would you like to have those adamantine bracers taken off your wrists for good?”