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, “Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck,” Jules receives new intel from Draven, gets into a charged debate with his father’s campaign manager, and finds out Max has been sleeping with Rory.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up!
“Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Another fruitless day in the lab.
Another day of burning through his mana, his brainpower, his energy, only to watch the nulla materia gash grow—this time to such a size and density that both the alchemical array and the containment field generator that enclosed it would have to be enlarged and reinforced.
Which would be yet another time drain. Another setback Max maybe couldn’t afford.
Some pernicious little voice in Jules’s head had started to suggest that what he was trying to do was simply beyond the realm of the possible. That a wound in reality could never decrease in size—only grow.
That, in fact, attempts to eliminate it were exactly what it fed on.
Jules refused to hear it. There has to be a way.
“Grand Archivist.” He knocked gently on her open office door, leaned on the doorframe to relieve his bad leg. “I was just on my way to my dad’s campaign meeting. Thought I’d stop in, see if you’ve had any luck with the code.”
“See for yourself.” Draven gestured to the map of Northern Illinois spread out on her desk. “I was planning to send for you in the morning so I could show you what I’ve found.”
Jules felt himself rally, limped over to join her at the desk. Eyed the eight Xs etched on the map in red graphite. “These locations were encoded in the ledgers?”
Draven nodded. “And one of them’s the church you mentioned.”
“Looks like they form a compass rose.”
“Indeed.” Draven picked up her red pencil and a ruler, drew crisscrossing lines through the Xs with flourishing strokes. “North, South, East, West—and then the four intercardinal directions as well. And all eight of these sites are precisely equidistant from this location”—she circled the spot where the lines intersected—“at the center.”