Short Stories

the dusk guard

The duskhaze.

That was what they called it. The fog that rolled in from the hills some nights and sent everyone to sleep. When the sun rose, so too did the citizens of Glothe. Under the shroud of retreating mists, they picked themselves up off the street or wherever they landed and carried on with life as though it had never been so rudely interrupted. But there were some who never woke.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter one

– 1 –

‘There was another one last night.’

Rei-Hai Shaw stirred extra honey into his lumpy porridge as Lylen and Elles leant in to hear the morning’s gossip. Norvar set down his breakfast tray and slipped into a chair before continuing his story.

‘Thirty-seventh floor,’ the dark Qhoraakese man continued, cracking open his bread roll. ‘Right into a snow drift. Heard they had to dig him out of a fifteen foot hole.’

‘Third jumper this month,’ Elles mused. She tucked her straw-yellow hair behind her ears before poking at her breakfast with a spoon. ‘Must have got a weak batch.’

Continue reading “the collector’s lost things: chapter one”
Gardens of War & Wasteland

welcome to whyt’hallen 04: character interview – rei-hai shaw

With last month’s release of the Gardens of War & Wasteland novella, The Collector’s Lost Things, this edition of WELCOME TO WHYT’HALLEN features a Q&A with the prequel’s central character, Rei-Hai Shaw.

Unfortunately, Rei isn’t the most forthcoming when answering questions about himself so this could be interesting … Well, let’s see how we go! But first, a mood board:

THE COLLECTOR: After leaving the Holanian capital of Adria without so much as a goodbye to the royal siblings, Rei-Hai Shaw made a name for himself as one of the most successful Collectors the Tower had ever seen. Images via canva.com
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Short Stories

the forest at the edge of the world

She’d been walking for hours. The ground was a soft, fine powder of crushed crystal. Before her rose a dark stretch of unexplored forest; behind, the high walls of the Colony shrank in the distance.

Kassa pushed up her goggles and crouched in the sand, looking for tracks. Nothing. The sand was rippled and ridged by the wind but otherwise undisturbed. She wasn’t quite sure what she was supposed to do and so did what she thought she should: Kassa removed one of her gloves, collected a pinch of sand between her thumb and forefinger and rubbed the grains together. Then, she stuck out her tongue.

It tasted salty, bitter, acrid—a defective meal pod with a maladjusted palate profile. Kassa spat the sand out in a wad of saliva. She gave a cautionary glance over her shoulder—no alarms had been raised—and scooted closer to the edge of the forest.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

release information: the collector’s lost things

COMING SOON: A new Gardens of War & Wasteland story available right here for free

Rei-Hai Shaw was a collector, and he was very good.

Since joining the mysterious brethren of the Tower at the age of thirteen, Rei has risen the ranks to become the youngest recruit ever to receive a band.

Favoured by the masters and distrusted by his peers, Rei plans to make the most of his lonely existence. But when he is chosen to take a second trial and claim another band, he soon doubts the price of success when the latest mission strikes a little too close to home.

Sent back to the world of his childhood, Rei is painfully reminded of everything he left behind—and what he can’t bear to lose again.


The Collector’s Lost Things takes place before the events of Gardens of War & Wasteland: The Ruptured Sky, and will be available for free from March 2020.

A sneak peek will be available to subscribers on January 31st. Sign up now to have the first chapter delivered ahead of time, straight to your inbox!

Gardens of War & Wasteland, Other

welcome to whyt’hallen 03: archive – the sickness

Before the mortal Second Born crossed the Azure Expanse and came to settle in Whyt’Hallen, they had an established civilisation of their own back on the continent of Mey.

For a thousand years the native Meytarans thrived, raising kingdoms and cities and culture. Their growth seemed limitless … until the Sickness came.

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Short Stories

at the stroke of midnight

It smelt like every other library, though it was certainly different after dark. The perfume from the books was stronger at night, sweeter and more pungent, made all the more noticeable by the lingering whiff of coffee.

Mila stumbled behind the others, torch in hand. Andrik led their little group through the shelves, all the while whispering in Tao’s ear. Tao let out a muffled laugh and Mila scoffed; her brother wasn’t that funny.

Continue reading “at the stroke of midnight”
Flash Fiction Friday

#flashfictionfriday 14

Sebastian set himself down on the window ledge and started to clean his face. His black hair had been preened to a lustrous sheen, his nails trimmed and tidy.

“The time?” He asked, looking towards Stephanie, where she reclined on the bed.

“11:56pm,” she said, a slight tremble in her voice.

“Almost time.” Sebastian glanced back out the window, at the moon partially hidden behind the clouds. His tail swished. “You know I’m naked when I turn, right?”

Stephanie’s grin was coy. “As if you have need for clothes!”

Sebastian purred. “Well, with only 24 hours to be human, we had best make the most of it.”

Flash Fiction Friday

#flashfictionfriday 13

“You selfish bitch,” she managed, jaw still gripped in rigor mortis.

Natalie stood, shocked, silent and shaking, as she regarded the mud-covered figure in her dining room. Charlize had returned to her.

She took two quick steps forward, tears in her eyes and joy in her heart; Charlize backed away.

“Why did you do this to me?” Charlize choked. “Why did you bring me back?”

“I wasn’t ready, Charlie,” Natalie whimpered. “I couldn’t—”

“But I was!” Charlie reached for the steak knife laid out beside Natalie’s dinner. She tightened her death-stiff fingers around the handle. “I was done! At peace. Resting.”

“Charlie, please.” Natalie’s tears soured, no longer revelling in a miracle but drowning in shame. “I couldn’t live with you gone.”

“That’s why you’ve always been the selfish one.”

Charlie took the blade to her throat and slashed.

Flash Fiction Friday

#flashfictionfriday 12

Loretta Lynch spends her mornings grinding bones and it’s not to make her bread. She’s not a giant, or a witch, or any other of those silly creatures you might have read about in your fairy tales.

Loretta Lynch is an alchemist, and she knows how to live forever.

It hadn’t been easy, finding the recipe. A life time of work, quite literally. She’d poisoned herself once or twice and quit much more often. But just days before her fifty-third birthday, Loretta tried one last formula. She clutched the phial to her chest and said a prayer to the nameless gods.

Down her throat it went.

That was many years ago now. I was but a boy then, you see. And you were likely not even born.

Yes, you can buy her panacea, if she happens to like your face. But visit her store with care, good child: she charges more than coin.