By jrpotter January2017
Greetings, Society Members!
We are brimming with excitement like an over-filled mortuary to announce that our Patreon campaign has reached 10 backers! What a wonderful milestone. Thank you for helping spread the word about this ghoulishly delightful series. The closer we get to the magic number of 200 (that is 200 people pledging 1$ a month for production) the sooner we can deliver the “goods” to you…and goods there are in abundance on Patreon! That’s what’s so wonderful about the way the process is designed: even small pledges of 1$ per month get you incredible behind-the-scenes access to look over our virtual shoulders as we develop and hone some pretty frightening and fun story arcs.
To that end, as a thank you to our fans, here is a little Glimmer Short, a vignette, if you will. Since Plaid Klaus and I started developing the series in 2013, the characters of Max and Valentine have become anchors in each new storyline. We can’t give everything away here, but I will suggest that Valentine, a dark wicken, a child born of a demon and a witch, can’t exactly fulfill the usual teenage urges without doing something…well, pretty devastating. That poses a problem for Max and Valentine as they try to knock down the walls between them. But there is always a “glimmer” of hope…
Thanks again to you great people out there in the digital realms! Leave us a comment, find us on Facebook, even if it’s just to let us know you are alive and well. You never know what’s lurking out there.
“Lucky”: A Glimmer Short by J.R. Potter
Max and Valentine, a hacker par excellence and a teenage witch who puts the wicked in wicken, meet beneath the old stones and rotting earth underneath Bradford Preparatory’s memorial chapel. Their task? To test Valentine’s newfound powers in a training ground of sorts known to members of the Glimmer Society as “Death’s Alley.” Is it an easy spell? Will he get hurt? Max has no idea what he’s in for…
His head exploded and the fragments of his skull blitzkrieged around the room in lightning bursts that echoed off the dank cavern walls.
At least he thought his head had exploded…The boom faded away and the purple smoke filled the damp hovel filled with arcane objects and sigils carved by countless unknown fingers into the slippery mud floor. Max felt around for his face. It was there. All of it, actually. It must have been a trickster spell…But why would she have wanted to mess with him? Didn’t she know he was trying to help her?
“You suck at this, by the way,” said a voice as cool as a glacial stream. “It’s fine. You don’t have to practice with me if it’s too much for you.”
“I want to,” said Max. The lie sounded almost convincing.
Valentine LaFitte laughed—because everyone knows it’s a cliché that witches cackle. In the circle of candles placed around the room the sixteen-year-old dark wicken looked older and wilder, the wavering, yellow light warping her slim face, accentuating her teeth and eyes, making her look like something feral you caught by accident in broad daylight. Max had heard about the “witch light” before, how a witch’s true inner nature could be caught momentarily by waxed flame…
“Really,” said Valentine drawing a spark out of thin air. The spark became a flickering purple flame hovering on the tip of her pointer finger. “It’s fine. You don’t have to try to impress me. The fact that you even wanted to come down to Death’s Alley at all-”
“Go again,” said Max. He stood stiff at attention like a soldier. “Turn my head into a flaming skull. Go ahead. I won’t flinch. I-”
Before he could say another word, she reached out with her other hand and touched his forehead. The touch was surprising cold…colder than the crypts at Carnasie Catacombs Ridgewood had taken them to see over the summer for his “research project” on Mistakenly Buried Corpses at the Turn of the Century (working title).
“Yikes, DJ Max-a-Million. That’s gonna be a goose egg.”
He touched his forehead. He must have run into the wall when she cast the spell. Oh God…had he really run into the wall like an idiot? That was why his head felt like it had exploded! He could just hear Ridgewood calling him a “total shit-wit” if he were here.
“Now don’t move this time. ‘Kay?”
He nodded. He could already see the purple flames starting to stretch across her fingers. He swallowed hard into his chest. A second later the boom came, louder than before. It shook something loose in his stomach, rattling one of those Hot Pocket-sized bladdery things he always forgot was there.
When he opened his eyes again he was in her hands…literally.
“Not bad,” she said, peering down at him. She laughed again, this time bordering on a total gauche cackle.
Max looked out through a wall of purple flames. He was a weightless ball of fire! He could see his severed body frozen at attention on the other side of the cave, hands still held up in the final attempt to ward off the spell. But the head was missing. She had done it! She had achieved Total Occult Sub-Cortex Separation!
“I could send you all around campus like this,” said Valentine, tilting her head as if she was examining a gerbil in a cage. “Would you like that? No? Doesn’t every boy have some dream of flying right before they go into nocturnal emission?”
“Please…Val…put me back, please…” he mumbled. He was like the frickin’ Headless Horseman! It looked cool in the cartoons. But it didn’t feel cool. It felt like being inside a fishbowl that was also a pizza oven.
“Fine,” Valentine sighed. “I was going to launch you up into the girls’ dorm. I think Amy Beech models in front of the window about this time of night…naked.”
Before he could gurgle for her to stop, he was back at attention. He looked down in wonder at his hands and then back into the circle of candles, at the powerful teenage wicken grinning at him, the one he happened to share European History class with.
“Well, that was lucky.”
“Yep,” said Valentine, zipping up the long zipper on her Slayer leather jacket. She leaned down, picked a candle from the ground, then extinguished the rest with a sweep of her other hand.
In the flickering candlelight her eyes glowed wild and not entirely with good will.
“You’re the first one I was able to put back together correctly.”