Dragon Stone
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Dragon Stone; the Madness Within

 

 

The Black watched on as, through the debris of ancient battle, the Smith walked between life and death. Two worlds, two paths; one outcome.


Wayland, having been thrown from the arms of his inamorata by an unseen force, has awoken in a dying body drifting between two plains of concious. Taunted in one by, The Black, and haunted in another, locked inside a dead body.

If, by any chance, you are new here then it might serve plot purposes to begin at the beginning; in chronological order…

Dragon Stone

Dragon Stone; The Awakening

Dragon Stone; Schism

 


Six

Wayland took stock. It was pitch black and he was back inside the broken body. He smelt cut wood, oak if he was not mistaken. There was thicker blood nearby; horses. He could feel their pulses and smell their damp coats.

Raining here too, he thought; although quite where else it was raining escaped him now.

The two worlds were separating and, with that, his conscious and unconscious minds were no longer in unison.

There was a man in front of the horses. His blood was sweeter. It was still dark, but now he could sense bumps and jolts. He was on a cart, and it was moving. Pulled by the horses no doubt, and worked by the man.

His mind went back to his last waking thoughts. The priest declaring him dead and the blanket over his face. Now he was in the dark on a cart filled with the scent of wood. That could only mean one thing. He was boxed and ready for the cemetery.

Devoid of chemistry, his mind could only scream into the darkness. Unheard by anything of this world; entirely alone with his cataclysmic despair, with just the aroma of wood and the sounds of the cart rumbling over uneven tracks to keep him company. That and the incessant poundings of muscles pumping blood through arteries and veins in both horses and their teamster. Anger replaced the terror and he called on the God of the priest.

Why have you abandoned me?

A pointless question he knew; they had abandoned the old pagan Gods during the Roman occupation. The priest was given rights to the the village church if he converted. A turncoat from one to another forced upon them by invasion. Wayland did not hold much faith. Not now. His question was met by silence. The anger became rage.

We were to be wed in your building. To live our lives and raise children and you have forsaken us. Is this how you bind your flock?

He could not even shed a tear. There was no life processes working. He was locked inside a dead body, in a box and soon that too would be entombed in the earth. This was no way to end things.

Fire burned in his head. Frustration igniting as his mind imploded into emptiness once more

Seven

The rain had stopped back in the world where mind and body were whole again. Here the other place seemed like some deviant nightmare that was fading like a bad dream.

Hell of a way to end up, trapped inside your own head slowly going insane.

The two were separating now. Memories from one slowly bleeding away. Even Tara seemed distant here. It was strange though. He knew nothing about this place, other than he must get to whatever the dragons died trying to protect. Food and water were unimportant. He could not remember consuming anything here either. Odd, but not a growing concern. Something nagged on this. It should be a concern, for they are life.

As is the blood. Where that thought sprang from he knew not.

Looking back, toward the forest, he noticed it seemed much further away. Conversely, the mountain was less than half a days walk.

How did that happen? He shrugged it off.

The balance of man to dragon,on the battlefield, was less favourable on dragon. Their remains were growing in number. The first encountered were vast humongous beasts, this was diminishing, and the relics were, whilst still large, less massive.

Skeletons dressed in rotting armour showed the cost to men was high. Ground had not been given lightly, even here. His gaze wandered over the plain before meeting the rock face ahead. Lifeless and black. Leafless trees reaching toward the greyed clouds raging above; charcoaled and petrified in time.

Underfoot something crunched, dismantling into dust, leaving half a skull fragment. Wayland noticed a silver chain and knelt to untangle it from the bones. He wiped ash and dirt from the surface of a pendant. A band of silver lay around highly polished obsidian. Set in the centre lay a small ruby; infused into the stone seamlessly.

It reminded Wayland of the eyes of The Black; cold, dark and insane. He blinked and considered it might be staring right back at him. Imagination the curse of fear. Briefly, the stone warmed before turning ice cold; or was that subliminal too? Without thinking he placed the chain around his own neck and offered token words of prayer to the remains below. False words he knew, as the Gods had left him somewhere. How he knew that had left his memory in this world.

Standing, his eyes wandered the horizon. Briefly, the hackles on his neck stirred and there was an overwhelming feeling he was being watched. Nothing moved save dust and ash. The dead were dead and unlikely to rise after so long on the killing fields. He moved forwards, and almost tripped on the rotted armour of the bones that gave up the pendant. Parts of it disintegrated revealing further treasures. Wayland’s eyes fell upon the jewelled hilt of an obsidian sword. Again he stooped to pick it up; not quite a two handed weapon, but balanced and sharp as the day it was imbibed with sorcery to hue it into a blade that held strength like steel, but edged in a way no metal could be.

The blacksmith in him had heard of such, in days long ago, but never had he seen one in the real. Dragon blades they were called, although in his time there were no wyverns left to slay and the dark arts of forging had been lost in antiquity.

My time, Wayland chewed this over.

This was not his place or time and yet all he knew of his past was smithing; and a night where he lost the world. Although, that was more like some distant dream getting further and further away. He kicked the remnants below, watching metal dust crumble exposing bones, and a scabbard still fresh. Enchanted sheath for enchanted blade. This he collected also, strapping it against his left hip where the sword was reacquainted with it’s home. Not that it would do him much good in a fight, but it matched the pendant and was no longer needed by the previous owner; not that it did him much good at the end.

He marched onwards, eyes fixed on the mountain ahead. Soon he would reach the foothills and then,maybe, an answer would be become clearer.

***

Atop a cliff, some leagues away, The Black saw the man crouch down and stare into the Dragon’s Eye. In that moment it saw more of the mind inside the flesh. Haunted and split in two worlds. Locked doors hid memories the Smith was no longer seeing. The dragon knew the man was dead in the other place and walking this one with purpose, and yet not knowing why. Muscles flexed along it’s spine and stygian wings unfurled accompanied by the rise of head as its maw moved side to side tasting the winds.

Death and silence still reigned in the lands this side of the forest barrier, even now after so very long. The beast knew where Wayland was travelling; he had the Eye after all. Picked up off his slain rider at the end of days when dragon kind was swept from the world. None but The Black remained and he was as dead as the Smith in the other world. A shadow lingering in the wastelands haunting those that bled through in death. Lonely in vigil over a once sacred place that now housed the remains of the past. Ethereal white fire filled the sky in rage and anger. The Smith was safe as long as he bore the Eye of the Black.

Eight

The cart hit a rut and Waylands conscious leapt back into his earthly body, now locked inside a coffin on the way to eternal unrest. Briefly, he saw a black dragon light the darkening sky and the echo of madness filling the airs where only crows flew now.

Smith are you there?

Waylands mind stepped back inside itself and away from thoughts of despair at being alive in what must be death. The blood of beasts pulling the wagon, and man driving them, was intense and hot. Heartbeats pulsing in his thoughts creating a thirst like nothing in living memory.

Speak with your mind Boy or are you struck dumb as well as dead?

He knew the guttural voice. Somewhere in time it had come to him before, when Tara had told him to run. Here he remembered her well, so beautiful and intoxicating. Almost a wife until death, except death had claimed him somehow and stolen her to some other place. She had found him though, once, and saved him from something. Told him to run, but from what? That was now gone from his memory.

Who are you?

There was madness in the throated laugh.

I am the last of my kind in a world that massacred thousands to extinct us. I am Keeper of the Stones where the dying rest their bones until the end of time. I am the one who drew first blood on the last day. Soul brother to the bearer of the Dragons Eye until he was slain by magic as the younglings were butchered.

Wayland smelt the dead now. The journey was over and the horses were steaming in the rain. He heard the tailgate drop and the box began moving. Dragged over the wood and dropped to the ground.

What do you want with me?

You wield the Eye now Boy. What you see I see and if you are half the Soul Brother lost in time then soon you will understand.

The coffin was being dragged down a slope. The body within pressing against the wood. Unceremoniously rattling silently inside the darkness. The smell of damp oak filled his nostrils, and soon so did the aroma of fresh dug wet earth. His mind raged and struggled to move non responsive limbs. Silent “No’s” screaming into the void. Heard only by The Black, and a dreaming girl in another time. He could not move, sweat, thump, punch or speak. However, he could feel and smell and hear, as soil thumped down repeatedly on top of the box his body lay lifeless within. At first it was loud but soon it went from muffled to a distant thud and eventually a silence so absolute that it locked him in even deeper.

In his head words shrieked out in an abyss of despair.

I have no Eye, I am dead and not dead. The Gods can rot in their halls for all I care. Leave me be. I have nothing left…nothing.

Nothing and everything Boy. Walk the insanity and come back in your dreams but remember the Eye of the Dragon.

Wayland felt the beast leave and for an age he was truly alone. Rocking in his thoughts in darkness absolute, unable to move, unable to escape, unable to sleep; the haunting madness was begun.


 

Here lies chapters end. Wayland lying interred, changing, waiting for 300 years before the gnarled hand of the Necromancer stirs from afar.

His connection to The Black is unquestionable. Alive in one world and dead, but dreaming in madness, in another. Wayland wields the Dragon Eye now, unaware of its hold on the beast that guards the relics of what was. It too is bitter and living in two existences.

More there is not on this tale, not yet. The rest is panning out, but the direction is tied to the journey of a wizard and a girl in a coma. She has been met before in the manuscript under wraps and seeking a publisher. It is ready to go now…the where is uncertain.

As with the characters here, the girl in the coma is linked to another manuscript. One in which our world turns under the hands of a Necromancer. That book is also written and waiting for an edit.

Thank you all for reading up to here. 

 


 

© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

This entry was posted in: Dragon Stone

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Former research scientist the became the primary stay at home Dad for two children. Writing has always been factual in the previous life but always had a fascination with fiction but never been brave enough to develop it further. A comfort zone thing. Science writing is familiar, fiction is not. Hopefully the blog will provide more confidence and lead to a change in career writing from home around children!

96 Comments

  1. Unbound Roots says

    Gary, you are so talented. Your words gave me chills the entire time I read today. I look forward to reading more about this journey of yours and of Waylan’s. Gosh, experiencing everything inside a coffin, but not being able to move – a nightmare, and so chilling. Wonderful work, and I do hope you move to publish this exciting series. x

  2. Losing the Plot says

    Fascinating- that must have been hard work plotting all that out.

    • That’s a very interesting point. Planning is not something I do initially. I tend to write off the bat and see what develops. Obviously the deeper it goes the more work is necessary to ensure it holds together. A few people have asked me to blog about my writing process.

      With Wayland, his end game became clear quite early on…well to chapter one that is.

      Many thanks for reading and taking time to comment.

  3. The haunting madness was begun…..come on, Gary! More, please! I went back and read all the parts again from the start earlier today (why I’m a bit late commenting) and you have to get this out there on one of the publishing platforms!! You have plenty of proof readers and reviewers here!! C x

    • I have an excerpt from another chapter somewhere that I intended to put up here Claire. Might do that this week. But I have to admit to shelving this to finish another project. Not out of disinterest, more out of respect for this story. It’s one I’m actually loving so it needs full concentration. I’m aiming to start over summer, NaNoWriMo at the latest. Should then take around three months at the outside to get to first draft. Fingers crossed my other projects draft will be sorted over Easter.

      I’m actually quite shy at asking fellow bloggers to proof and review!

      Thank you so much too. I do need to get my stuff published. X

      • Please don’t be shy….I am always very happy to read, and don’t have to write reviews to publish as they can be for your eyes only! I spend a fair bit of time reading when I have pain/symptom flares….so please ak if I can help!! C x

        • Thanks Claire and I imagine pain flares are terrible things to live with. It’s one aspect of early onset osteoarthritis in my thumb that’s potentially going to flare at some point. Not quite the same I know. I could test you with Black Marsh. One chapter on here is one thing, an actual first draft manuscript is an entirely different beast x

  4. Hi Gary, I have beed recouperating for a few months, but as I read it came back to me and I was in for the ride. You had me standing by Wayland in the coffin, you made me be in your work. Then swinging like a forlorn hanger on a clothes rail, in limbo you left the reader. *sniff sniff*

    • Hi Ellen, I thought I’d not seen you in a while around blog land. That said I’ve been slack since NaNo although that was to complete Black Marsh so not a total waste! Really hope you are feeling better too.

      Waylands tale is my next project. It’s sat idle too long and me going back to it has found I’m still in love with this one. Just has something I can’t not finish now. Question that keeps popping up in my head is which way will Wayland turn? Loads want him to find Tara…my original concept was way more sinister lol

      Thanks for reading it x

  5. Heres the test of good writing for you: It’s Ben awhile since I read the previous adventures (and I may have missed one). And, I’m reading while my son is at his swimming lesson and i’m Continually being splashed by little feet flailing about. BUT, I read every word of Wayland’s current predicament and found myself completely enthralled. Gary, that is something.

    • That is a very generous comment Angela…more so given swimming lessons…I remember those days very well with mine! It’s not often I’ve bern able to hold attention during that particular test of reading! I’m really hoping to get back into this one over summer. I’ve been reading my notes this week and can feel his madness subsiding….I guess that means I’m in The Blacks head lol

  6. Gary, your character descriptions are so vivid and really bring them to life- you have the most interesting characters. I find that so many authors overuse descriptors but you strike that perfect balance of bringing the story and characters to life without overwhelming the reader with details!!

    • Description balance is a fine line in my opinion. I’d rather throw that at atmosphere and situation. Character over description is something I try and avoid. I prefer to read things where my own imagination fills things in through what’s happening. For me that helps me identify with them more. Rakes of blue jeans, white shirt and so on is rather blah IMO. Time and place for that. Obviously I can’t comment on whether I achieve that while writing lol.

      Really appreciate that comment though, it is what I’m trying to achieve 😊

  7. Wow! I’m glad you got some good mojo and have picked the story back up. I look forward to going back to the earlier links. Well written; I could imagine being there.

    • Thank you! I have lulls between writing where mojo seems to evaporate. Especially after NaNoWriMo. The last one took me through to February completing another manuscript. Often takes two months to get back up and running. Bloggers have been fantastic in helping with that! Although….not sure I’d actually want to be Wayland right now lol.

      Really appreciate you taking the time to read this too. There are three other sections that lead up to this one and form a full chapter 😊

    • Thanks Phil, it was one of those ideas that started small and gathered momentum. I’m hoping to tackle it over summer.

  8. Finally ! I finished the eight chapters 🙂 Definitely a story I hope you will finish (if you haven’t already). Not sure, if I want a happy ending (Wayland coming back to life, freed from the coffin and eventually finding and rescuing Tara) or a version you proposed; he waiting 300 years…
    The girl in me wants a sweet fairy-tale, the artist/writer in me wants a different sequel, haha
    And if you haven’t finished this book..I hope you also tell what happened with Tara.

    • Most kind of you to actually read it Patty 😊 No, it’s not progressed beyond that yet, but it ties in with another bit where a Mage is walking on similar grounds with another Dragon Stone. It was a test chapter for a sequel I’ve got in mind for something that has never appeared on my blog at all.

      I fully intend to progress this one too and elements do cross link in other books, including the one I’m doing now which is integrating the paranormal brothers short stories on here. Again that’s a sequel too.

      The proposed 300 years is written in, Tara is integral to his character devlopment too. Question is what have they become under th auspices of the darkness floating around them 😳

      Thank you so much for reading it and once I’ve done with NaNo (target met and exceeded at 60k and still going) I’ll be over to your blogs to see about this comment business. Must get that sorted!! X

      • This inpatient woman will patiently wait, haha
        Congratulations on your progress with NaNo !
        Yes, you should…because so far you are the only one who has that issue. Till soon, dear Gary. XxX

        • Lol, almost the end of NaNo no! Although the story isn’t…do I continue at the same pace or pause and catch up on here?? Decisions, decisions. Ought to finish the two books really!

          I am? That’s interesting, might have been a glitch on the day or this iPad not responding properly. I will test it on my new one as soon as normal living outside my head returns. Speak soon Patty x

    • Thanks Lorna…the full chapter is on here mind. The links to it should be in this post. Really a test chapter for a series I’m thinking about as my next project.

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  10. Great line: “Imagination the curse of fear” How true is this of all of us in real life? When afraid our fear ramps up and sharpens our imagination. And we.don’t usually imagine good outcomes. I’m so impressed with your prolific writing!

    • Ha, yes; it could be used as a mindfulness tag for those procrastinating rather than doing… hmm, that’s me there too!! I’m glad you recognised the implication too. Fight or flight really does focus the mind. Imagination, however, can be the villain for the very reasons you say.
      Thank you again for such a generous comment. I’m hoping to have some new writing up soon too 🙂

    • Thank you, this has played on my mind for about a year now. I have a book that few have seen which sits waiting for editing. That one is part of a bigger series and this is me exploring the source of something. I have another piece that I’m going to repost soon that is based in The Blacks world, but in a different time and place. Once I’ve got my current one sorted then I will go back to this 😊

      • Sounds wonderful, I am very curious about it all and how they are trapped (the Black and the young man) yet dead. It is all vey mysterious but exciting to read!

        • I aim to muddy the water a bit more with another journey as I mentioned. To date Wayland remains entombed in his madness. There is a link in that into my other two books where it’s picked up. Anyone reading my books (if they get published) will find cross links if they are observant enough. How this tale continues is yet to be uncovered though sadly. I’ve not had time to pick it back up apart from the other tester with a wizard who also has a Dragon Stone.

  11. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You can’t leave us hanging like this! *foot stomp*

    Seriously, excellent, and evocative writing – I was right there in that coffin with poor Wayland (and have racing heart to prove it! LOL!). I hope you’re able to revisit this story in the very near future – sounds like an awesome premise for a novel/series!

    • Oddly he’s a bit annoyed too….in that way a character sits in your head tapping a foot saying get in with it. I can’t really explain how this particular buried alive theme happened…I’m one of the pantser types…set off and see where it leads…makes me an autobiographer rather than a story teller lol…this is actually one of my favourite stories. I know it has more and it’s part of a series, or will be, that already has one book through to first draft. Well, it was done two years ago, but only ended up in my manuscript template two weeks ago. I was toying with this and a couple of other excerpts in here (which I might link on the blog share) as potential plots within book two. I have about five planned for it in my mind.

      If it really got your heart racing then that’s about the best accolade one can give too. Thank you so much. I could hug you for this !!!

      • LOL! You’re very welcome, Gary – t’is only the truth. I have a few characters doing the toe tapping thing in my brain these days (and I’m a pantser too, so I have no idea what to tell them when they ask, “What’s next for me?” Here’s to hoping we can both appease our MCs in the very near future! *hugs*

        • I am indeed humbled then! Good to see they talk to you too…makes me feel far less insane 😜 Actually, the never ask me that…I just open up the file, enter the mind paradise and translate what goes on. If I drift away from their objectives I don’t half get told off though !!! Agreed though…I hope we both can too 😱

  12. noellekelly says

    I’m going to come back to this tomorrow and read the whole series!

    • Eeek, I hope you enjoy it after that generous comment!!! I posted this chapter in parts to test how it was received before deciding on progressing it or not! Thank you too 🙂

    • Most people aren’t too keen on the ending as it is at present due to claustrophobic tendencies and the great what if…buried alive !

    • Thank you Marje, it’s a while since I explored this one as its part of a series that’s getting complex. Book one was written bout two years ago and left awaiting an edit. Since then I’ve written two stand alone ones in different genre tones, but they all link into the original concept. I keep going back to this one with mixed feelings as its part of book two in the series and blowing that out across a huge timeline in parallel worlds. Feedback like yours keeps me thinking once my finished book is away in the publishing run and my other one is up to proofed then I really need to go back to this! Thank you so much X

      • You’re welcome Gary, my pleasure. You do sound a bit like me – lots of different writing projects begging for your attention and not enough time!! My hubby just got back in and is complaining that I haven’t filled the dishwasher!! My domestic goddess act is suffering for my art! Not that I was ever much of a domestic goddess you understand…

        • Definitely, I’ve got quite a few at various stages and am terrible at opening up new ideas. Then it’s gets to a dice roll as to which one to tackle. Last week I decided I need to stop and create a list of everything that needs doing and start the process of actually finishing stuff lol….as for domestic goddess…it’s chores…who likes chores when there’s imaginary world’s to explore 😊

          • Ha ha!! not me that’s for certain. I have had to discipline myself so much (in terms of writing,) as I am a definite writing butterfly. I flit from one thing to another quite happily, not finishing what I’ve started and being distracted oh so easily. So I am quite proud of myself that I am finally getting somewhere. Colleen Chesebro has helped me enormously, we are nearly there. Can see an end in sight – at long last. Can hardly believe it. 🙂

            • It’s a good feeling when one of those projects finally starts to look like getting finished! I’m the same with distractions, I’m no longer sure if I seek them out or not to avoid finishing something!!! Really excited for you too Marje. You must ensure I know when publication day is 😊

  13. It’s terrifying…worst kind of claustrophobic landscapes where demons of the unconscious stalk your very soul…like the obsidian touches too, very apt as obsidian spheres can be used for scrying..great writing! 🙂

    • Very quickly of that post once more! Did it end in the way you were thinking from before? I’m guessing claustrophobic people might have trouble with this one.

      Possibly having a break for November owing to rashly signing up for NaNoMoWri….nor sure that was wise !!

      Thanks for you continuing support on my rambles and thoughts on material. Really appreciate it 😊

      • It did..and didn’t..I could see where you were going with it , but I didn’t expect to be quite so shocked! Very graphic description..I found that bone chilling-I am also claustrophobic as you may have guessed!
        What is this NaNoMoWri…must Google it…I hope it’s successful for you anyway 🙂 and I thoroughly enjoy your writing too x

        • I take that as a most generous compliment. I try and balance description with moving things on. It’s easy to get bogged down in the former. My ponderance now is how insane out blacksmith will be by the end of his subterranean imprisonment.

          NaNoMoWri is national novel month. Google it and have a look. It starts this week. 50,000 words in a month, although I’d be happy getting 30,000 in truth. You should sign up and have a bash 👻

          • That’s really scary….yes, I like description, both writing and reading but I struggle with transition scenes..lol!
            Thank you for explaining the National Novel month, I’ll have a look 🙂

            • Part of me thinks struggling with them is a good thing, because from Waylands point of view so is he. I think it’s clearer reading it all together rather than as these extracts. Obviously it’s easier here as I’ve got it as a full chapter.

              Yes do have a look and if you decide to do it then look me up. There is a buddying up system that helps motivation. Even if it’s next year, it gives you time to work out the dashboard and figure it all out ready for then 😊

              • It looks quite good fun! I would be quite interested for next year..I appreciate that 🙂
                Yes..I am definitely enjoying this excursion into the dark world… Thank you very much 🙂

                • Next year…that sounds excellent. If it goes well here then I’m most certainly up for buddying up next time if you are interested. By that it means going into it with friends so that you can watch progress and share motivation…not that you all work on the same thing !!

                  You say the latter bit as though the dark world is not necessarily you main reading genre….I do hope I’ve not turned you to the dark side….hmm…that’s Star Wars isn’t it 🤔

                  • Lol..that would be an amusing read..cross between dark lit and crystal witterings! Yes please, then, and I hope it goes well for you 🙂
                    And no, I don’t read horror or dark stuff at all usually, but there is something about your characters that makes them very easy to engage with..,

                    • Someone said I should have a bash at comedic writing now you mention it 🤔
                      Thank you re my characters, there’s a few in my NaNo project that you might like too. In fact a few there seem like they will be fascinating to explore further. Seems to me you are a secret horror fiend in waiting 😊

                    • Lol! I get scared though! I read “Salem’s Lot”…it must have taken me about a month, I kept having to put it down in fright, go and do something nice, then come back to it when I was feeling braver..!
                      I think you should try comedic writing…go on, you know you want to! 🙂

                    • Good book that. Did you know the priest Callaghan from that appears in The Dark Tower? That series is not horror by the way and one of my favourite reads 😊

                      I might try it…or should my answer have been oh no I don’t 😁

                    • You should…The Gunslinger is the first one and they are currently making the first Dark Tower film with Idris Elba as Roland…although that’s split people’s stance on whether it will work as perception is Roland was not coloured and the racial tension was between Eddie and Odetta…brilliantly worked in the books as they ended up very close friends in the katet.

                      I have to write one for The Assent of Rose Marie Gray. That’s the finished manuscript btw. Might do it for her…

                    • Idris Elba is a great actor, but I know what you mean…Tom Hanks is brilliant but I thought he was all wrong for the hero of Dan Brown’s books.
                      Were you going to post the blurb…just being nosey/crazed stalker fan..!!!

                    • He is, which is why I have reasonable confidence he will do it well. My only reservations are the interplay after The Drawing of the Three. I guess that’s the trouble reading books and then seeing films lol.
                      I am going to post book blurbs at some point yes, although not while NaNo is on 😱

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