Excerpts from current or upcoming works
A Touch of Cold
from Tales in Time
a short story collection
The sun streaks through the dirty pane as the new day finally starts. The light exposes the blue and white cigarette smoke hanging in the stale air. I rub my eyes as the light intrudes. The four walls are beginning to close in on me. I’ve been here too long.
I reach for another ‘Lucky’, the pack lying in the glass tray on my desk within easy reach. I twirl it in my hand wondering if I really want another. What the hell, I thought. I swipe the match across the well-worn spot on my desk as the head flares to life and lights the end. The smoke slides into my mouth easily. I pull it down into my lungs and let it slip out through my nose. It feels good, my nose open again as my head cold had finally passed.
I lean back, my old wooden chair creaking beneath me. The wooden slats dig into my button-down in the same place they always have. Twenty years I’ve spent sitting in this rickety old thing. I’m not sure why it never has crashed beneath my fat butt. As I lay my arms down, the leather armrests hit in just the right spot. That’s why I love this chair so much. I spin and look through the streaky grime on the glass and out into the new day. All I can see is the last two floors of the brick building across the street. That, and another gray sky in this crappy town. It doesn’t feel like the first day of spring in Chicago. Too cold.
from White Staff
a fantasy novel
The morning light entered his cell and faded quickly as the sun rose above the landscape leaving the gray, sooty, stone walls dark and oppressive once again. Hafram lay still in his cot, his mind haunted with the words Aethan had spoken the night before. Something was nagging at him and he could not quite put his finger on it. What was it Aethan had said? "Are you simply going to walk away?" The words echoed in his thoughts. Hafram put his arms back over his head and lay his head in his hands on the pillow. A smile came to him. Could it be that simple? Could his three hundred years of imprisonment have been unnecessary? He chuckled at the thought. The shield that imprisoned him had kept him from using his magic. Perhaps magic was not the key. He had never thought of that before. Could he simply slip out under the cover of darkness? Just walk away? He became giddy at the thought of it. All the long years wasted just because he had never tried not to use his magic.
A calm settled in over the aging wizard as he lay still and stared at the dungeon walls. He would try tonight. He had nothing to lose and time was short. He knew the patterns of the guards and the late-night habits of Dreash. It should be easy. The Dark Mystics had headed off probably to the north in search of Aethan. He would not have to deal with them, at least for the moment. He could do it, he was sure of that. He simply had to wait for the day to end.