Excerpt from upcoming story, “The Shadow Lady of Docktown”

I am pleased to have a short story in the forthcoming anthology Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2 from Crazy 8 Press. It’s a collection of pulp-inspired stories from some seriously talented authors. The Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Below is an excerpt from my fantasy noir story to whet your appetite (and hopefully convince you to back the book if you have not yet!) Enjoy. 🙂

Tish flits back, fluttering silently in agitation. I check the scan data he’s forwarding to my wristlet and see why: eight people are huddled on the floor inside that cube, including the two that were just dragged in. The passenger cars for Bridge transport are hanging high above us at the transit station. These containers are meant for Cendra company cargo only. What the hell is going on?

The Cobalt Reef hired me to get in, gather intel, and get out without being spotted. That’s what shadow pullers are good at, and I’m the best puller in Docktown. I have the data they want—I’m free to skedaddle and let the Reef address whatever rotten scheme is brewing here. But abandoning people in boxes surrounded by shady cops doesn’t sit right with me, so I decide to inspect the situation up-close. I’m already shined, making me invisible to all but the trained eye, so when Tish docks on my sleeve, he disappears too.

Luckily, sight is pretty simple to hack. Any half-decent photon-painter knows you mix light with shadow and you get a hazy glare. They cancel each other out, like a bright light shined in your eyes in a dark room. You see everything, and nothing. Too much, and therefore not at all. When I pull shadow from my surroundings and weave it into my body, I become the spark in the corner of your eye, the movement that’s not really there. But it’s a heck of a lot easier to do when I’m fresh. Forso’s shine goggles will only reveal my form if he looks straight at me, so I’ll have to be quick. 


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