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, “I Never Told You What I Do for a Living,” Jules and Caliban move the investigation forward, and evidence appears to confirm Leshayva’s suspicions of her father.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up!
“I Never Told You What I Do for a Living”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Jules pulled his Volvo up to the curb near the Bethel Lutheran Church in West Garfield Park and turned off the engine, then rolled down the windows and sat back in the driver’s seat with a sigh, watching children scream and tear around on the playground at the nearby community center. He checked his phone—no word from Caliban yet—and absently rolled up his left sleeve, traced the scars from his recently-repaired tattoos. When the late afternoon sunlight hit his arm at just the right angle, you could still make out the word TRAITOR etched into the flesh. Thanks to this and the other, even more embarrassing brand on his right arm, Jules had started wearing sweatshirts to bed lately with Max, giving the excuse that he was cold. Max had accepted this explanation without too much questioning, assuming it was because of the rift, which she herself always wore a t-shirt to hide. But her disappointment at never getting to see or touch parts of Jules’s body was palpable, and Jules couldn’t help but think he owed it to her to suck it up and just show her what he’d done to himself—explain how it had happened and why. She already knew his sob story, after all.
It was somehow a hell of a lot easier, though, to open up about his past when he could say, But all those things happened to poor Juliana, and she’s dead now. Jules, the new and improved, was supposed to be invincible.
Caliban’s Challenger rolled up beside the Volvo, purring like a wildcat.
Jules climbed out of the driver’s seat. The merc strolled over, clapped him on the back. “How ya holdin’ up, kid?”
Caliban seemed to study him, though it was always hard to be sure what his eyes were doing behind those mirror-lens glasses. “Fine, fine. The usual.”
“Is this the place?”
Caliban looked around. “Looks like the same church.” He wandered around the back. Jules followed. “Lotta new graffiti by now, but…” The merc stood back, squinted at the wall. “Yup, there it is.” He approached the wall, pointed. “Half-painted over, but there’s the Playboy Bunny. And here’s Air Jordan doin’ his Jumpman pose. This is definitely the place. Good fuckin’ call, kid.”
Jules nodded acknowledgment. “In that case, I have a few things to show you.”