Part Two of our queer dark 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, “No Hardcore Dancing in the Living Room,” Max, possessed by the void entity, attacks Jules, and Rory starts to advocate for turning her over to the Enclave.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up.
“No Hardcore Dancing in the Living Room”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Jules arrived home to the suite well after dark to the sound of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Nick at Nite and the smell of bacon, which he’d learned by now meant Rory must be up and about by himself. Max never watched anything but cartoons. And she never, ever cooked.
The alchemist hung up his coat, glanced at the empty couch, wandered into the kitchen. He found Rory in a t-shirt and tattered sweatpants, hovering over a skillet, poking at four sizzling, thick-cut bacon slices. A bowl sat on the counter nearby, filled almost to the brim with white rice, three glistening sunny-side-up eggs resting on top.
“For you and Max?” Jules asked.
Rory jumped. “Jesus fucking fuck. You’re like a cat. I didn’t hear you come in. Uh—no, this is just for me. Max went out like a light about an hour ago. You eat yet?” He hefted the bacon from the skillet, laid it gently overtop of the eggs, drowned the whole mound of food in sriracha, noisily tucked in.
Jules absently shook his head.
“Want me to make you some?” Rory asked around a giant mouthful.
This moment felt like a dream, Jules realized—the kind where everything seemed weirdly, comfortingly normal, when reality was anything but. Rory in his bare feet, eating standing up, like he’d always done at his house when they were kids. The smell of breakfast food. The canned laughter of a sitcom bubbling in the background.
Maybe the other stuff was the dream. Jules felt a pang in his chest. Maybe this, right now, is the only thing that’s real.