NEW RELEASE: Those Who Create and Destroy CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR – “The World Is a Stage, but the Play Is Badly Cast”

Part Two of our queer epic switchblade-and-sorcery novel, Those Who Create and Destroy, is here, with a new chapter free to read every Monday and Friday! ✨

In today’s new chapter, “The World Is a Stage, but the Play Is Badly Cast,” Elisha, disguised as Caliban, crosses paths with Jules, who’s also incognito, and the two combine forces as their investigations veer into dangerous territory.

Read Chapter 24 free.

Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up!


“The World Is a Stage, but the Play Is Badly Cast

story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb

Elisha tugged a polo shirt over his head, tucked his wallet in his back jeans pocket. Paused in his bedroom doorway, peered back through the darkness at the familiar shape under the bedclothes, at the perfectly smooth brown pate poking over the top of the sheets. “Hey, doll—you asleep?” he whispered.

The silence that followed stretched on for so long that he thought the answer was yes.

But as he was turning to leave—

“What do you think?” came his husband’s drawl.

DeShay sat up slowly, switched on the bedside lamp. He slouched forward, elbows on knees, passed a hand over his scalp, blinked at Elisha with bleary eyes. “You know perfectly well I can’t get a wink of sleep when I know you’re about to be out there running around doing Lord knows what.”

Elisha sighed. “I thought we said you were gonna pick yourself up a sleeping draught from work.”

“Your bossy ass said that. I said you’d be up Shit Creek without a paddle if I did that. What if you needed a healer, Elisha, and here I am dead to the world while the phone goes ringing off the hook? Some other little friend of yours gets hurt, or you yourself, God forbid, and you’ve got nobody else you can turn to but me, ’cause you’re out there doing shit that would get a stone mask slapped on your big stubborn head if anybody found out?”

“I’d figure it out on my own, babe. I never wanted you involved in the first place.”

“Well, you better get over it, Lish, ’cause I am involved.” DeShay’s eyes glistened in the dark. “I got a good, close-up look at the kind of places you go, the kind of things you do when you leave this condo at night. I’m up to here in it.” He gestured with a flat hand, palm down, toward his chest. “And nothing you do now can change that. You walk out that door at eleven o’ clock in the P.M., like you’re getting ready to do right now, you better believe I’m gonna be sitting right here till you walk back in, staring at the damn phone like I’m sixteen years old, my name’s Sally, and I got no date to the prom yet. That’s just the way it is.”

Elisha sighed again, stood with his eyes downcast.

After a beat, paced over to the bed, clambered across it to DeShay. Planted his forehead on his husband’s shoulder.

“Don’t you go trying to be cute right now.” DeShay’s vocal chords rumbled against the top of Elisha’s head. Elisha could hear a little wobble in his husband’s voice.

“My worst regret in all this is what I’m putting you through,” mumbled Elisha.

DeShay let out a sigh through his nose. “Can you not at least talk to me about it? I wouldn’t feel half as crazy if I at least knew what the hell you were up to. Maybe I could even help.”

Elisha shook his head. “I tell you what I’m doing, that makes you complicit. Then you’re in as much legal danger as I am.”

“Would that really be so bad? It used to be me and you against the world, Lish. We used to raise hell together when we were kids. You going off like this, getting in trouble without me…it just feels wrong.”

read the full chapter

go to Chapter One of Those Who Create and Destroy

download the full Part One (Ch. 1-18, EPUB & PDF)

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