The Book Assassin

This week’s challenge over at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog is to randomly choose three things from three different lists and create a 1,000 word story with them.

I got a library, an assassin, and a bomb. It’s nice when things work out.

The Book Assassin

Some books were never meant to be written.

Quarto reflected on this as he tightened his cloak around his shoulders. The rain was steady, but his hat and cloak were thick and waterproof. Rainwater filled the gaps in the cobblestone streets, and darkened the facades of the ancient buildings which grew ever more ancient as Quarto made his way deeper into the narrow alleyways. Finally he stood before a door. He knocked firmly with a gloved hand.

The man who answered appeared elderly, but opened the heavy door with little effort. He regarded Quarto for only a moment, then stepped back to allow him to pass through the doorway.

“Greetings,” said Quarto. “A pleasant evening.”

“Indeed,” said the man who had opened the door. “May I take your things?”

Quarto removed his dripping hat and cloak, and handed them to the man.

“Your boots and bag as well,” he said.

“My boots?” said Quarto.

“Our collections here are quite precious,” said the man. “Priceless, and irreplaceable, and quite delicate. We do what we can to keep out the mud and rain.”

“I understand,” said Quarto. He placed his boots by the entrance and, removing his notebook from his leather satchel, handed that over as well. The man took them, then disappeared into an adjoining cloakroom. As he turned Quarto noted the brief flash of steel beneath his formal jacket.

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‘A Change in the Summer Sun’

Here’s another story that I wrote quite some time ago, although it wasn’t published until 2010, in the first issue of Dark Fountain Journal.

A Change in the Summer Sun.’

Every time I look at something I wrote a while ago I keep thinking about what I do differently. But I guess a writer has to accept that what they wrote was finished at the time they wrote it. Time to move on to something new.

‘Cycles’ – New (old) story

I’m going to start posting some of my older, previously-published (or not) stories – a kind of library of my writing.

The first story I’m posting is called ‘Cycles.’ I wrote it around 2006 and it was published in the The Puritan Magazine No. 3, Summer 2007.

Fun fact: the original draft of this story was almost 3,000 words. The published version is considerably shorter. It was a great exercise in editing.

You can read ‘Cycles’ here.