Right now, as I’m typing this, my manager is meeting with a producer about turning one of my novels into a TV show.
This isn’t some indie producer looking to make an art house film that fifteen people see, either. This guy is the real deal, and he works for a company that one-hundred percent of you would know, if I told you the name.
This meeting might be one of the most important things to ever happen in my life, and it’s happening on the other side of the country, where everything is completely beyond my control.
That’s not why I’m worried, though. I mean sure, I’m afraid that my manager will come back with a “no.” But I’m more afraid that he’ll come back with a “yes.”
Which is stupid. This is one of the biggest opportunities I’ve ever had. It could completely change my life.
And that’s why I’m afraid. I’m an engineer, and I’m trained to work with systems, with algorithms. Right now, I have a very neat algorithm running my life. I wake up, I work out, I go to the office, I come home. I’ll be completely debt-free, no school loans, no credit card, no car payments, no mortgage, in about five years. I have a nice little IRA going, and I’m on schedule to retire when I’m fifty, with enough money to live forever.
If this deal goes through, I’d be debt-free the moment the check clears. And then everything would change.
I don’t know where I’d live. I don’t know what my schedule would be. Instead of cashing a paycheck twice a month, I’d have to set up my LLC to pay myself a salary. I like to think I’m better at math and money than the people who win the lottery and go bankrupt three years later, but I can’t prove that I am.
There are a hundred different things that would change, and I’m not even aware of most of them.
And then there’s the risk. Nothing in television is a guarantee. This show might go on to become a cult hit. It might go on to become a regular old six-seasons-and-a-movie hit. Or it might get canned after three episodes. There’s no way to tell. I’d be betting my future on a maybe, and as an engineer, that’s just not acceptable.
But I’d do it anyway.
Because this is the chance of a lifetime, and fear can go fuck itself.
A controversial new story from a former believer.
Caden Lyndsey was a Man of God. He battled demons, saw visions of the future, and wielded the fire of Heaven.
He lost his faith, but not his power.
Now, his visions drive him toward rural Washington. A madman seeks to summon the Norse god Wotan and unleash the Wild Hunt on an unsuspecting populace. If he succeeds, hundreds will die. Caden must battle witches, monsters, and ancient deities in order to stop him.
The Wild Hunt is the first chapter in the thrilling new Godless Saint™ series.
A shotgun barked, and the wall in front of me sprayed shards.
Demons aren’t supposed to use shotguns.
Burning sulfur summoned from the Dark Below? Sure. Barbed chains and rusty hooks? Classic. Hell, even a big ass kitchen knife? It worked for that guy in the Shatner mask in Halloween.
But they don’t use guns. Guns are too modern, too Michael Bay. What’s the point of being a spirit of darkness and hate if you’re just gonna pull a gun and shoot your enemy?
No one respects tradition anymore.
I was crouched behind my Jeep, at the dead end of an alley. It had snowed earlier and the pavement was still wet, which meant my jeans were soaked. Next to me, huddled in a ball, rocking slowly and whispering “It’s only a dream” to herself, was a twenty-something Pakistani girl named Aseelah. We’d met twelve hours ago.
So far, it had been the worst day of her life.
The demon’s shotgun barked again, and the window over my head shattered. Pieces of glass showered down on us. “Come on!” I shouted. “I just had this thing fixed!” I shook bits of glass out of my shirt.
The shotgun fired again, and the rear passenger tire exploded. The Jeep rattled and lurched toward the ground.
The demon had fired three times.
Five shots. The demon should be out of ammo.
I jumped to my feet. Aseelah grabbed for me, but I pulled out of her grasp. “All right,” I said as I came around the Jeep, “I’ve–”
Boom! The demon fired, right at my face.
It must have been a tactical shotgun. Eight, nine rounds, not five. Damn it.
The shotgun pellets met some invisible resistance, and the air around me rippled like a stone had been dropped into a pond. The lead balls stopped a quarter of an inch from my face, hung in the air for a moment, and fell to the ground.
The demon stared at me. She was attractive, or at least the body she’d hijacked was. Blonde, miniskirt, letterman jacket. But I had learned to see through illusion, to protect my mind from the glamours and veils of the spirit world. I opened my senses to the Æther, let the magic whisper to me, and I saw her for what she really was. Her hair was brittle, broken. Her teeth were rotted, cracked. Her skin was leathery and covered in sores. Her eyes were empty black pools.
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Damon Salvatore: Hi Elena! I know that for very logical and totally valid plot reasons you don’t remember how much you love me, but I think we should have tons of sex anyway!
Elena Gilbert: Sorry, I’m sleeping with some guy named Liam now!
Damon Salvatore: Excellent! Why don’t you just give me his photo and let me know where I can find him, and I’ll start my destructive spiral of murderous hate!
Biblically speaking, the jawbone of a donkey is basically the Master Sword mixed with a sniper rifle and carrying a small nuke. Samson laid waste to a thousand men with one (Judges 15:16), and Supernatural has revealed that Cain, too, used a jawbone to commit the world’s first murder.
Now, that blade can be yours, courtesy of enterprising Etsy seller AlterEgoProductions:
£77.54, which is about $125 US, if anyone’s looking for a Christmas gift for me.