I’m doing a push to get more support on my Patreon, specifically to get to 60 supporters, and to that end, I’m running a sample from each of the six support tiers I have.
One of my favorite things that I do in this Patreon are the vignettes. It’s been tremendous fun to do little scenes and bits and pieces involving my various original characters, including the epic fantasy setting of Dragon Precinct, the modern city filled with superheroes of the Super City Cops stories, present-day New York full of supernatural creatures in the adventures of Bram Gold as well as a more mundane New York occupied by Shirley Holmes and Jack Watson, and the Key West of the tales of Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet.
If you support at $10 per month, you get a new vignette every month, along with monthly movie reviews (sample here), regular cat photos (samples here), one to six TV reviews a month (sample here), and weekly excerpts from my works in progress (samples here).
Here’s one of the many vignettes I’ve done, this one focusing on Torin ban Wyvald from the Dragon Precinct series.
Lieutenant Torin ban Wyvald of the Cliff’s End Castle Guard had requested this day off, as he had this day every year since he joined the Castle Guard a decade previous.
He hiked out into the Forest of Nimvale, eventually finding a clearing near a large oak tree. The carving he’d made on this day nine years ago was still on it. It had eroded somewhat, but he could still make out the symbol that was also on the cover of his favorite book.
And under it, written in the language Myverine, the name “Mardeth val Tianni.”
He gathered branches and rocks and then started a small fire. Once the fire caught, he fell more than sat against the large oak.
And he remembered…
“How was your day, Torin?”
“Fine, Mother. The professor assigned us a reading.”
“She gave us a choice of any book we wish—but once we have read it, we must compose an essay explaining what meaning the book has for us.”
“There’s only one problem.”
“What is that, my son?”
“What if the book has no meaning for me?”
“Well, then, we must make sure the book has meaning, won’t we?”
“Good evening, my love.”
“Good evening, my darling, how was your day as Chief Artisan?”
“Tiresome—the sculptors’ proposal went on for hours. How was your day as Council Chef?”
“Uneventful—there were no arcane requests for once, though I am sure that will change as we approach harvest.”
“Where is Torin?”
“Is he still reading that ridiculous book?”
“If you mean Tales of Flingaria, then yes. It’s for an assignment.”
“That explains it, then. I wish he’d hurry up and finish it.”
“Why is that?”
“Because it’s full of nonsense.”
“Mother, this book is amazing!”
“I knew you’d like it.”
“Are these stories true?”
“I honestly could not say. I can say that they were told by people from all over Flingaria who have visited the Council of Myverin.”
“I had no idea there was so much beyond our walls.”
“There’s an entire world, my son.”
“Excuse me, Chief Artisan?”
“I’m afraid I have some bad news. Council Chef Mardeth has taken ill.”
“What happened? She was home!”
“Yes, but the injury she sustained has become infected. She’s with a healer and your son now.”
“All right. I must finish my work here, but I will be by shortly.”
“I’m here, Torin.”
“I—I finished the book this morning, Mother. I was coming to tell you that when I found you on the floor.”
“I was coming to tell you—to tell you that I wanted us to leave Myverin. I want to explore the rest of Flingaria, and see all the sites the book mentions! I want to traipse through the Forest of Orven, sail the Garamin Sea, walk the streets of Cliff’s End, explore the caves beneath the Zignat Mountains, view the Nemerian Wastes—there’s just so much! And I want you to come with me!”
“I cannot, my son. My duties keep me here.”
“They can find another chef to serve the Council. Father could come too—after all, there is no need for a Chief Artisan in these modern times. It’s a purely ceremonial duty.”
“That’s not fair to your father’s work—or yours, as it will be one day.”
“Not if I leave Myverin.”
“Is that your wish, my sweet child?”
“It is, Mother. And I wish you to come with me!”
“When I am well, we will discuss it further.”
“I’m sorry, Chief Artisan, Torin—but I’m afraid that Mardeth val Tianni has died.”
“What!? But it cannot be! It was a simple infection!”
“There is nothing simple about an infection, Chief Artisan Wyvald. We were unable to control it, and it spread. I’m sorry.”
“Father, where are Mother’s books?”
“Hm? Oh, I donated them to the collegium library. I saw no reason to keep them around, they simply served as a reminder.”
“But I wanted to keep—”
“Do not argue with me, Torin! I did not wish to keep those reminders of her! The books are at the collegium, and if you wish to read them, you may borrow them from there.”
“But there was one book that I wished—”
“I asked you not to argue with me, Torin! I will not ask again!”
“Ah, yes, you’re ban Wyvald, are you not?”
“Yes, Chief Archivist, and I would like to borrow one of the books. Tales of Flingaria.”
“I’m afraid that one is already out. But I will copy down your name and alert you when Solvier val Lorel returns it.”
“Thank you, Chief Archivist.”
Torin sat at the oak tree for hours, watching the fire, which eventually died down and cooled to simple embers.
Just like the fire that claimed Solvier val Lorel’s home.
While Solvier herself managed to escape the fire, all her possessions were consumed by the flames that resulted from the lightning strike on her house.
In all the years he’d travelled Flingaria—from his time serving in the elven wars to his current job as a lieutenant in the Castle Guard, he had sought out Tales of Flingaria, but never found it. Not in his many travels as a soldier, not in Cliff’s End, and not in Velessa during his visits there during Lord Blayk’s trial.
I lost Mother, and then I lost the book. But I never lost the desire to escape the walls of Myverin.
I just wish I could have taken you with me.
The fire died. Torin stood up.
“Goodbye, Mother. I miss you.”
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