Hey, looky here! We have cover art!
And to celebrate, we also have fiction!
The forming of the story that is now Changelings: Rise of Kings was fraught with many a darling, plot-hole, continuity error, and time-travel migraine. Great swaths of story were cut, re-fashioned, and re-purposed, but my favorite was the story of D’s time in England, 1944.
When he revealed to Maureen and Sean in Into the Mist (which is still FREE today if you haven’t picked up your copy) that he had known their fathers – indeed, had grown to care for them as brothers and was there the night they died – I wanted to tell the whole story. I wrote it, but try as I might (and I tried. I really really tried), it didn’t have a place in Rise of Kings – nor does it in the as-yet-untitled Book 3. I’ve teased bits of it throughout the life of this blog, but I’ve decided to release it over the course of the next few weeks – if anything, just to give it a cohesive finale.
Hunted: A Changelings Short
I heard a wild cry echo through the mists, as though hounds howled against the night.
The Plain, Mag Mell, was empty – stripped of all lore, all magic and life – and Niamh Golden Hair’s curses still rang in my ears.
I would rue the day I had turned from her cause, she had said.
As the sound caused dread to prickle my skin, a part of me laughed. There is a reason Niamh is the Fae’s greatest spell weaver and seer, though not many risk the king’s ire to say so.
The mists pressed down upon me. They started to dance. So wrapped up in my own misery – my own heated denial of her visions – was I, that I did not see their grasping fingers twine ‘round my legs.
And then that cry. That hideous, desperate cry.
The king – Nuada Silver Arm. It had to be.
I carried a sword, gifted to me by that same king for wining his war, but it’s blade mattered little. Nothing crafted by man can harm the Fae. Once it was said they could be killed – that the Fae feared man’s iron – but I knew that to be a fairy tale.
The cry which rent the air told me I was hunted. It is always so for those who travel between the worlds. Why did I think I would be any different? The war I won for Nuada Silver Arm had been over for an age – man had already forgotten it as they sped beyond us.
I was a man outside of time, beyond the help of kindred, and I had just turned my back on the last of those who cared.
A haunting wail pierced the air, adding anguish to that wild cry of terror. We sang in tune, my hunter and I, and when he ripped the world from beneath my feet, I nearly wept with relief.
* * *
“What do you remember?”
I gazed at the red-haired man who towered over me. He looked smart in his pilot’s uniform. He was young, yet his green eyes spoke of many battles.
Every day it was the same question.
Every day I said the same thing.
It was a lie.
To be Continued…