We’re back with a brand-new episode of our queer, Philly-based switchblade-and-sorcery web novel, The Dread Eclipse, with new updates published weekly on Thursdays!
In “Pet Play,” Caren, Ash, Nathaniel, and Sicko Mode face down their first vampire—with bloody consequences.
Enjoy the preview below, along with a link to the full episode and a free downloadable EPUB and PDF of all episodes to date. ✨
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Caren routed mana through her super-speed agimat—it wouldn’t make her as fast as the apparently indestructible bloodsucker, and she wasn’t about to get her own ass killed trying to save fucking Sicko Mode. Her best idea by a long shot was that she, Ash, and Nathaniel should let him take one for the team and make a run for it.
She groaned inwardly as two quavering voices rang out at once, making it clear her associates were not on the same page she was:
“Get off him!” Nathaniel fumbled a pistol out of his jacket, almost dropping it, and pointed it at the vamp with a trembling fist.
Ash displayed his Martial Magus badge. “Stop, by order of the Auctoritas Magicae!”
Caren had to wonder if Nathaniel had ever actually pointed a fucking gun at someone before.
At the same time, she remembered what Ash had told them all at FUEL: I’ll end up in deep shit with the A.M. if I try to help you.
Kid…you’re risking your biscuit for fucking Sicko Mode? she thought.
As for Caren herself, her muscles were coiled, ready to launch her the fuck out of that alley the second that thing came at her.
But the vampire froze with the tips of her fangs grazing Sicko Mode’s throat, her weird milky eyes taking in her pair of distinctly unintimidating challengers.
When her gaze fell on Nathaniel, she just let out a bright, girlish laugh.
When it switched to Ash, she spoke, in a soft, sweet voice: “The Auctoritas Magicae…really? Since when does it extend its protection to dangerous apostates?”
“That’s my partner you’re about to bite into,” said Ash, almost convincingly.
It was all Caren could do not to facepalm.
The vampire laughed, turned a loving gaze on Sicko Mode. “Oh, nonsense…this”—she dragged talons down the side of his face, leaving several long, tiny cuts, from which blood droplets bubbled like beads on a string—“is a factionless rat who deals out pain, torment, and death to other mortals…and likes it. Don’t you, pussycat?”
Sicko Mode stared into her eyes, his own heavy-lidded, and let out the tiniest meow.