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"For fun" is the best reason to do anything. "The best" is the best way to do everything.

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  • 51 weeks
    The Heart's Promise - Released into the Wild

    I normally announce new stories with a good old fashioned blog post, and I neglected to this time. No longer. We must maintain the traditions of old.

    For all of those who missed the debut... Behold!

    The Heart's Promise

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    1 comments · 221 views
  • 56 weeks
    Coming Soon: The Heart's Promise - Info and Preview!

    Yo guys, just wanted to update you on the situation on the new story. I'm still working on that opening. I'm not sure that it'll be out this year, but for sure you'll be able to read it sometime January.

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    1 comments · 250 views
  • 102 weeks
    Edit: In the Absence of Twilight Sparkle Chapter

    Just wanted to let you know I made a mistake on the most recent chapter of ItAoTS. I erroneously described Dr. Twilight's lab as being on the ground floor of the Magic School, while its actual location is the second floor. This is kinda a big detail to just switch around. It's fixed

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    4 comments · 278 views
  • 112 weeks
    I Made an A.I. Re-Write Scenes from my Fanfics

    This is partially to make up for National Not Writing Month, which I participated in by not even writing a single thing last month. November is always waaaaay too busy for me to make much progress (I'm busy doing my part for wildlife conservation), and it turns out the current state of the world did not change a dippy-trippy thing.

    But anyway! :pinkiecrazy: A.I. writing fanfic!

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    2 comments · 274 views
  • 140 weeks
    A War Among the Stars: Top Five Favorite Star Wars Novels

    Yo, remember that Star Wars Podcast I'm part of? We've got 11 episodes now!

    I wanted to bring special attention to episode 11 itself, where my friend and I discuss our top five favorite Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. Our main focus is on Star Wars before Disney bought it, that bygone time now known only as Legends.

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    5 comments · 250 views
Dec
27th
2021

Coming Soon: The Heart's Promise - Info and Preview! · 3:19am Dec 27th, 2021

Yo guys, just wanted to update you on the situation on the new story. I'm still working on that opening. I'm not sure that it'll be out this year, but for sure you'll be able to read it sometime January.

What is The Heart's Promise? It's the grand finale for the Heart's Promise Continuity, my series that's been going on since 2014. It's set to be a 250,000+ word epic, set to wrap up at least most of the storylines left dangling in the series. Caution Tape's daughter, the three Sirens, King Andean and the sun device, Spike and Apple Bloom's relationship troubles, the Unseelie Court, and MORE. Our tags will be Adventure, Romance, and Alternate Universe, while the rating will be Teen for Violence (and Muchas Smoochas).



Since I don't really expect you all to re-read three-quarters of a million words to refresh yourselves, I do have an alternative. You see, every long story in the series has a final chapter that serves as an epilogue, "The Aftermath." Each one acts as a signpost for the plot of the series up to that point, and generally sets up for the stories coming after it.

So, if you wanna be up-to-date on The Heart's Promise, I recommend you read:

Lord Mayor Applejack, The Aftermath

Scootaloo Will Fly!, The Aftermath

DayBreak, The Aftermath

Lightning Struck Home, The Aftermath

In the Absence of Sunset Shimmer, The Aftermath

If You Weren't Afraid, The Aftermath

Rhythm and Rhyme, The Aftermath

In the Absence of Twilight Sparkle, The Aftermath

Maybe also read the one-shots because they're important, too. :twilightsmile:

I also remember that I promised to update the timeline. I'll be working on that once I've gotten the ball rolling with the story.

Also also, because I said you'd be able to see The Heart's Promise before the end of the year, a short snippet:


Palace of the Royal Pony Sisters
Ft. Everfree, Equestrian Capitol
Summer Solstice, Year 0 CE (Celestial Era)

Even a blind mare could tell when the world was ending.

Clover the Clever awoke to the thunderous crash of magic rending stone. Thunderclaps shook the air, but the sky itself was clear of clouds. This was worse than any storm. This was more devastating than a famine and more deadly than a plague.

After seventy years of resentment, Celestia and Luna were finally at war.

Clover had been blind most of her life, but there was no question who was fighting. The echoes of the Royal Voice screaming insults and injuries mingled with enough magical power to blow Canter Mountain into the ocean. Her horn itched as the forces of nature raged between the two alicorns.

She reached out with her own—comparatively feeble—magic and called a cloak to her. Its fibers were enchanted to channel magic to her eyes, allowing her a form of sight. She could see the magic within others, each as unique as a face or cutie mark. She could see the ties between people as they went about their day together. She could see friendship and harmony at work.

So she had also seen the lack between the sisters. But…

“Clover!”

Clover the Clever’s eyes illuminated as she pulled the hood over her head. She saw a vision of color gallop into her room that gradually came into focus as the hood’s enchantment took hold. It was a dear friend. A lifelong companion. One of the few she had left.

Smart Cookie helped Clover get to her hooves. Now that the hood had been fully activated, her friend’s face came into a soft focus. Not quite as the eye would have seen it, but distinct nonetheless, as if she were a painting come to life. She was a strong, lovely earth pony, with laugh lines around her mouth and eyes. Her mane had faded over the years, but still held a hint of healthy color, like molasses topped with frosting.

As beautiful as the aged mare was, it could not hide how distraught she was. “Luna has gone mad! She attacked the Day Court. We don’t know how many are wounded. None of the soldiers could stand against her. Only Celestia—” Smart Cookie winced as a tower crumbled away from the town’s defensive wall. “And those two could bring the entire kingdom to ruin.”

“They will bring the kingdom to ruin.” Clover wrapped her body in her cloak and trotted to the door to her room. She pushed it open and felt a wave of heat wash over her. The castle itself was aflame. “Their control over the heavenlies will see to that. It means that it is up to us to see that… whomever remains when the dust settles can rebuild.”

Smart Cookie furrowed her brow. A touch of anger built up in her breast. “You prepared for this? You knew it would happen?”

“I knew it could happen, but I foolishly believed that those two would reconcile.” Clover spun, her cloak dancing around her hooves. She felt her muzzle twist into a worried frown of its own accord, though she wished to favor her friend with something a little more confident. “Now that they sisters are no longer friends, now that they are unable to wield the power of the Elements of Harmony, we must safeguard the relics for the day when someone else can.”

Smart Cookie sucked in a sharp breath, but held on to her anger. She, too, knew that there was no time to argue. “What is it you seek to do?”

“Quickly. My laboratory.” With that said, Clover the Clever rushed through what was left of the castle, towards the lower levels. She could hear screams of panic rise above the thunder of magic and the crackle of flames. Ponies rushed to and fro, running nowhere and everywhere at once. There wasn’t enough consensus to form a stampede, because the alicorn duel had shattered any sense of reason, even what was ingrained into their genetic material.

A chill in the air caused her neck hair to stand on end. “Cookie… what time is it? I just stepped in for my nap.”

“It’s still noon, Clover,” Smart Cookie whispered. “Luna has refused to lower the moon.”

As if to answer even more clearly, a shout of laughter echoed across the entire town of Fort Everfree. Clover gaped out a window and saw Luna flying through what seemed to be a night sky. The full moon fell behind her, revealing that she wore a full suit of armor. And yet, she was changed. Her glistening blue coat was now swallowed up in darkness. Her gently-swaying mane was whipped by the powers she opposed her sister with. Fangs flashed as spittle flew from her mouth.

“Equestria bows before the Noontide Moon!” she screeched. “We have come to claim the heavens for Our own! The night shall last forever!”

Celestia responded with a wordless scream as she barreled into her sister’s chest. The resultant shockwave fanned the flames and rustled Clover’s cloak.

Clover the Clever gritted her teeth. “We must work quickly.”

A winged, soot-covered form soared through the window from the smoke-filled sky. He had the look of a griffon to him, save for the hooves that made up his hind legs and the blue color that filled his feathers. He rushed up to Smart Cookie and wrapped her in a winged hug. “Mother! You’re safe!”

“Moshe!” Smart Cookie nuzzled the hippogriff’s neck. “Where’s your father?”

“He’s helping Prince Periwinkle gather the able-bodied.” Moshe looked to Clover for only a moment before returning his attention to Cookie. “You need to join them, Mother. The castle’s falling apart. It won’t be long before Luna sets her sights on you. Both of you.”

“You are right, of course.” Clover the Clever peered into the billowing smoke for any sign of her and Smart Cookie’s husbands. She saw nothing but devastation. “See to it that wagons and carts are procured to transport the wounded. Gather all the hay you can for cushions—everything that hasn’t been burned by the fire.”

“Yes, Lady Clover.” Moshe bowed his head dutifully, if a little frustratedly. “Preparations are already underway.” He reached out a talon to take his mother’s foreleg. “But we need to get you two to safety. The future of Equestria rides on you as well.”

Clover touched a hoof to his talon and gently lowered it to the floor. “You have your duty, just as we have ours. We’ll rendezvous at the city gates. Assuming they still stand.”

Moshe looked to his mother, who gave him a soft nod. He clicked his beak and turned back to the window. “By your leave, Archmage.”

The rest of the walk to the laboratory was swift and harrowing. Once Clover and Smart Cookie entered, she went to work gathering her research material. Drawers were locked, their contents sealed away. Active tests were sterilized, rendered inert, and stowed where they would harm no one. Her library vanished behind a trick wall, along with the years of knowledge stored within.

“Smart Cookie, I need to entrust you with this.” Clover pulled a particularly thick book from the library just before the rest vanished. She handed it to her friend with a tremor in her hooves. The cover of the book read Grimoire Alicorn. “This book was King Sombra’s life’s work. And… and also mine. It is extremely dangerous. If something happens to me, see to it that it does not fall into the wrong hands.”

She walked to the center of her laboratory, to a wooden pedestal. On it she had placed a book that had taken her years to write. Not merely because of the amount of research that filled it, but because she had lived it day by day.

“But even the Grimoire,” she said quietly, “is not as dangerous as this.”

“Your diary?”

“Journal, Cookie.”

Smart Cookie stood beside her friend and looked down at the simple hoof-bound book. “What then? What secrets does this hold?”

Clover opened to the middle of the book, looking over the detailed maps and notes she had taken. Every few pages lay a color sketch of a particular gemstone containing endless power. “I detailed where Celestia and Luna found the six Elements of Harmony. Together, these relics are the only thing that can stop a rampaging alicorn. Luna knows this.”

Cookie held the Grimoire close to her chest. “You think she will destroy the Elements?”

“It would be wise for her to do so. I do not believe Celestia can win this fight. With both threats removed, nothing will stand between Luna and sole control of the kingdom.” Clover the Clever held the journal in her forelegs. She shook her head softly as her ears drooped at the sides of her head. “If they are destroyed, they will no doubt return to their points of origin, as they did in ancient times. We must preserve this information for the next generation of heroes. If the forces of darkness were to learn where they would materialize—”

A jittery voice spoke out of the shadows. “The Elements would never be found again.”

Clover and Cookie both spun towards the entrance to the laboratory to face the intruder. Soft hoofsteps clattered down the stairwell into the lab’s main room. A small figure became visible in the light of Clover’s candles.

He had the appearance of a small earth pony, grey of coat and black of mane. His face was bland and unremarkable, the sort you would forget the instant you looked away. He wore long robes, which ended just above his horseshoes. A black hat sat between his ears, with a brim that reached to the end of his nose. A red scarf lay wrapped around his neck, and served as the only shock of color on his entire body.

The strangest part to Clover was that he appeared in her eyes without assistance from the cloak. He was in sharp contrast, lacking the feathering and brushstrokes that represented her view of the rest of the world. It was as if, out of everything in the room, he alone was real.

To her, that meant that he was not of this world. “Who are you? What do you want?”

His eyebrows rose as a smile split his face. “Ah. How rude of me.” He bowed deeply, his muzzle nearly reaching the floor. “A visiting prince should greet the Archmage of Equestria with more care.” He removed his hat with a flourish and looked up at the two of them. “Please, you may call me Jeuk.”

Clover took a step back as several more stallions—appearing murky and undefined in her enchanted sight—joined Jeuk at the bottom of the spiral staircase. These stallions were all strong, with well-toned muscles and legs, familiar with cruelty and violence.

She gestured for Smart Cookie to stand behind her. “You are Yolk… A prince of eggs, perhaps?”

“No, no, no. You misunderstand.” Jeuk took a step forward to match the distance between them. “I am Jeuk, Princeling of the Unseelie Court of Fae. I am the ruler of the land you call… Equestria.”

Fae. A fairy creature. Something she had only heard of in legends. Something she was not sure actually existed. In fact, she had personally discarded the possibility that they were real, finding it unproductive to investigate such beings. At first, she thought it a plain, bald-faced lie. But as she considered how he could appear to her despite her disability… “Jeuk, then. Of the Unseelie Court, you said? It is said that the Unseelie Court has not been kind to the mortals who encounter them. In fact, legend has it that you are our bitter enemies.”

She gripped the book all the tighter, attempting to hide it beneath her cloak. She noted with a growing tension in her back that the other stallions had spread out around her laboratory. Thankfully, most of the dangerous relics and equipment she had were hidden away.

“Ah, yes. So you have heard of us.” Jeuk rubbed his chin as he regarded the unicorn mare and her earth pony friend. “Allow me to dispel any worries you might have. We are very bitter enemies, dear Clover. I want a great many things, you see, and one of them is to leave your Equestria broken and bleeding at my feet. The second is that book you hold in your hooves.” He gestured to Smart Cookie dismissively. “The both of them.”

The castle trembled as arcane magicks, the power of the sun and moon, clashed in a battle that would destroy all that Clover had worked to build. Jeuk smiled upwards towards the surface. “And most of all, I would like to see your Royal Pony Sisters, the precious heroes, the hopes of Equestria, the mighty saviors themselves, destroy each other in a fit of rage.”

He looked to the brutish stallions and jerked his head towards the mares. The stallions charged as one.

Clover sent a spell into the ground to heat the rocks until they’d nearly ignited. The stallions didn’t stop. They didn’t even feel their horseshoes melting. The magic that existed inside all living things was weak in them, as if they’d been drained of their vitality. As if their minds and souls had been dimmed in order to make their bodies all the stronger. Their expressions were blank. Their gait was rigid and mechanical. As they grew closer, she saw the haze around their heads—these stallions had been willfully subjected to mind-altering magic until there was nothing left but focus.

She raised a bubble of magic as a shield and brushed the six stallions aside. “Cookie! The exit!”

Smart Cookie knew better than to argue. The book she had was too dangerous. She bolted past Jeuk and tromped up the stairs two at a time. Impressive for a mare pushing ninety.

Clover’s next spell surrounded the closest stallion with a cord made from pure magic. When his skin contacted it, it burned. The stallion didn’t seem to care. His mind was gone in a way that could only result from a purposeful release of free will; to have been so dedicated to a cause that he lost his very sense of self. There was no individuality to the six stallions surrounding her, only a mindless murk of oozing shadowy magic.

She whipped the cord around and around, striking each stallion several times. Before a minute had passed, they were all lying dead on the floor around her.

“Amusing,” Jeuk said as he walked towards her. He let out a giggling little laugh as he stepped over a fallen stallion. “Most very, very amusing.”

Clover slashed at the fairy creature with the magic cord. It burned a hole clear through his clothes, but the fairy himself seemed unharmed. He reached out and touched her cheek, and she found herself unable to pull away. He matched each hoofstep with one of his own.

“You have ultimately always been blind, dear Clover,” he said with a stuttering laugh. “No, I don’t mean physically, that’s such a minor thing which only lasts so long as you take breath. No, I mean blind to what’s happening around you. Blind to the pain that Luna experienced every day living in her sister’s shadow. Blind to how Hurricane poisoned her with anger which only festered all the deeper under your magic tutelage. And my how it festered, drawing the Unseelie Court closer and closer until today. Today!”

Clover pushed past him, her legs aching as her age caught up with the frenzied movement of the day. She climbed the stairs with shaking knees as Jeuk followed, his laughter ricocheting up the stairwell like an arrow rebounding off a shield. When she reached the surface, the castle proper, she looked up the see Fort Everfree in ruins. Luna had made certain to overturn nearly every stone and cart in the town. Though the wounded had not been attacked directly, the alicorns’ power was so great that mere proximity to the great duel had left their subjects beaten nearly lifeless.

There would be friends to bury, at the end of the day.

And there, in the throne room of the castle, lay a battered and bleeding Princess Celestia. Blood leaked from the alicorn’s nose as labored breathing wracked her bruised ribs. Her wings were missing feathers. Her coat was matted and patchwork. Her mane had lost its luster by several orders of magnitude.

Soaring high in the sky, laughing with the sort of cackle that only deep-seated hatred can bring, was the Princess of the Night.

Jeuk spoke from just beside Clover’s ear. Close enough to tickle her with his breath, if fairies had any. “I wish I could take credit for Luna—that is, Nightmare Moon—but alas, I cannot. All of the truths we told her, all of Shadowfright’s nightmares and dreams of the future, all of the daily grind that led her to this point, that was you. That was you, and Hurricane, and Celestia. So thank you. Thank you ever so much for this marvelous gift you’ve given the Unseelie Court.”

Clover bowed her head, her twin braids sliding across her chest. She had to face facts. Equestria was dead. The dream was over. There was only sorrow and fear as a maddened alicorn took control.

Celestia stirred.

Clover watched with held breath as the Princess of the Day rose on shaking hooves. She took painful steps forward, her wings limp at her sides. She glared forward, not looking up, not looking to the side. She touched a particular stone on the floor in front of the throne. A pedestal rose, on which sat the six glistening emblems known as the Elements of Harmony.

The glimmering pink of Kindness. The blazing red of Loyalty. The noble purple of Generosity. The steadfast orange of Honesty. The passionate blue of Laughter. The vibrant shine of the sixth and most fragile among them. Celestia took them all in a wave of magic and arranged them around her body.

Clover stepped forward, one hoof raised. “Celestia, stop! The Elements are too powerful! Only a group of ponies in unity can hope to activate them!”

Celestia turned to her, and Clover saw her full in the face. Her eyes screamed with unshed tears, as if her heart had already perished from weariness. But something held the tears back. Something pushed her onward and upward, when all hope seemed lost.

The princess winced as a breath brushed against damaged ribs. She shut her eyes tight as she spread her wings. “Then stand by me!”

She launched herself upward to meet her sister.

Clover could only watch in silence as Celestia flew higher and higher, her wings dropping feathers with each flap. The alicorn princess poured magic into the Elements of Harmony as she drew near Luna, who looked down on her with a disdain bordering on disgust. The mare calling herself Nightmare Moon launched spell after spell, drawing power from the moon, but Celestia sidestepped them all.

The Princess of the Day flew eye-to-eye with her sister. “Please, Luna. Please listen to me. You have to stand down.”

“Never!” The words spoken came at her like a shower of knives. “Never in a thousand years, Celestia! I will have what is mine! I will have the Eternal Night, the Noontide Moon!”

“Luna, please!” Celestia lifted the Elements between her and her sister. She poured more and more magic into them as blood poured freely from a gash in her side. “Do not make me do this. Not to you!”

“You foal!” Nightmare Moon spat. “You cannot use the Elements alone! One person cannot achieve harmony!”

“I’m not alone, Luna.” Celestia looked her sister right in her wild, draconic eyes. “I am here. I am right beside my best friend in the whole world.”

For one moment, Luna’s expression weakened. The solid iron became soft and regretful. A touch of light returned to a heart shrouded in darkness. Then, she refocused, hardening her face and her heart, gnashing her teeth and lighting her horn with a spell that would have burned a hole through a mountain.

The Elements of Harmony blazed with unknowable power. The spell shot forward, speeding unimpeded towards the moon. The light was blinding to the naked eye. The magic was indecipherable to even the most learned of minds. The shriek of Nightmare Moon faded moment by moment as she was dragged away, left powerless and imprisoned in the depths of the night sky.

The sixth Element of Harmony crumbled to dust. The other five lost their color and luster, fading to a dull gray in Celestia’s grip. The Princess of the Day released her hold and allowed the relics to sink to the floor, reduced to powerless stones. Then, Celestia lit her horn and commanded the moon to sink below the horizon, its surface now scarred with the visage of the horrific Nightmare Moon.

At long last, Celestia collapsed, weeping and shaking as the reality of what she’d just done came crashing down on her shoulders.

Clover looked on in awe. Absolute dumbstruck awe. What she had just witnessed was beyond unprecedented; it was impossible. No person, in the history of the world, had ever used the six Elements of Harmony single-handedly. Even when other Bearers had attempted to seize the power for themselves, the Elements had simply refused to function.

Smart Cookie ran up to the collapsed Celestia and threw her arms around her neck. “Celestia! Can you hear me? Please, say something.”

Celestia said nothing. Her throat was constricting with sobs and cries that cut Clover to the core.

Clover the Clever walked up to the Elements of Harmony and their podium. She set the five remaining stones in their assigned places and peered closely at them. She sensed no magic in the Elements any more. They still retained the etched pathways and complex workings within their crystalline bodies, but the power, the soul, had been drained away.

She looked to the horizon. Perhaps the magic was sealing Luna in the moon? She shook her head; it was not time to consider the usability of the Elements, it was time to decide what to do in the wake of the battle. The town of Fort Everfree lay in ruins. More than that, the Everfree Forest that surrounded the ruined walls had soaked up the residual energy of the fight. The already-dangerous forest was growing, morphing, changing into something unfamiliar.

They needed to flee.

“Celestia,” she whispered to herself, sending the powerless Elements back into their hiding place in the floor, “Equestria needs you now more than ever.” She held her head high and tucked her journal into the dark folds of her robe. She spoke in a louder voice to be heard over the aftershocks of Celestia’s weeping. “We need to get our little ponies to safety. There is a small mining village on Canter Mountain called Canterlot. They will have food and shelter if we ask for it.”

Smart Cookie looked up from rubbing Celestia’s back. Her face looked like death itself. “What happened to the Elements? Were they destroyed?”

“No. They are sleeping. Until the day when Equestria needs them once again.” Clover bit her lip. She wasn’t sure if she was telling the truth, but Cookie didn’t need to know that. “Until the day friendship conquers all.” She lowered her head and rested a hoof on Celestia’s shoulder. “Princess… you are our guiding light. The ponies will look to a strong leader to show them the way forward.”

Smart Cookie lowered her eyebrows, squinting in that shrewd, calculating way of hers. Clover’s deception was noticed. Still, she must have decided to let it slide, by the way she returned her attention to Celestia. “Come, Princess. We shall get you to a doctor.”

Celestia slowly, achingly got to her hooves. “There is no time. Help me lead the people to the mountain.” She clasped a wing tight against the wound in her side. “Please. Hurry.”

Clover the Clever took a moment to survey the castle while Cookie and Celestia headed for the town square. Fire consumed wood and cloth as the town itself fell to ruin before her eyes. Equestria would be forever changed after this day. It would survive, but it would never again be the peaceful kingdom guided by two princesses and their loyal advisors. The ties between them had been tested, and shown to be frayed.

Moshe the Hippogriff landed in a bundle of feathers and excitement. He bowed before Celestia as a touch of hope entered his voice. “The people saw what you did, Princess! They saw you save us all!”

Clover the Clever held her tongue. It would be argued, many times in the future, that Celestia had caused much of the damage just by fighting back. And yet, how much destruction would Luna have wrecked across the entire world? Simply by preventing the sunrise? Perhaps it was more fruitful to focus on that one success than the failure they all shared.

She lingered in the throne room as the other three ran to their next task. She held her Journal of the Elements close to her body, hidden in the folds of her cloak. There would be no need for a search; the Elements of Harmony would reside at the castle until the next generation of heroes was called.

Despite everything, Celestia had saved Equestria. Their kingdom had held on to that last thread of existence, that last chance at life. The Tree of Harmony had not been destroyed, and the Elements had been sealed away. There would be no tyrannical reign of Nightmare Moon. There would be no mad scramble for a small remnant to retrieve the reborn Elements. There would only be… life.

Clover’s ear twitched as she saw the Unseelie Prince Jeuk out of the corner of her eye. He gazed up at the sky, his expression somewhat forlorn.

“It seems, Jeuk,” Clover said slowly, “that despite everything, you lose. Celestia yet lives. Equestria yet lives. And your champion has been banished by the very Elements you sought to grasp.”

The vague wistfulness in his face melted to a chilling, seething frown. “So it would seem, to the blind mare’s eye.” He offered her a falsified smile and favored her with a mocking salute. “See you in Hell, dear Clover.”

With that, he vanished into smoke.


I hope you all have a very merry end of the year, and here's to 2022 not being quite so bad as you might worry it will be.

Comments ( 1 )

Dude - that snippet.

I am so looking forward to reading this when you start publishing.

Happy Holidays!

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