We’ve got a new release called Hidden Magic.
Hidden Magic chock full of magical mayhem with 20 stories by 20 fantasy authors. Hidden Magic is the first anthology in a trilogy of fantasy anthologies that follows twenty heroes on the adventure of a lifetime. I’m excited to share their stories with you, especially “Spell of Wings & Glass,” which stars Nulthir before he was the captain of the Guards at Mount Eredren and his creature friend, Thing, from the Curse Breaker series.
Spell of Wings & Glass
By Melinda Kucsera
Nulthir sloshed through the puddles under the weeping stalactites while the keys clipped to his utility belt jingled. Behind him, men arrested on a variety of felonies slept the night away inside their cells, snoring loudly. There was no escaping that racket either, not down here where everything was made of gray stone or metal, creating a perfect echo chamber. Those snores chased Nulthir through the tunnel, connecting the cellblock he’d just checked with the next one on his rounds. He couldn’t even stop up his ears while he guarded the snoring prisoners in case a fight broke out or a lock gave in to a pick.
Nulthir shook his head. It was just another night of guard duty. Or it was until the echoes faded, and a soft ‘neep neep’ pierced the silence that fell.
Oh no. Nulthir stopped and glanced around for the source of those ‘neeps,’ but there was only him and a hell of a lot of rocks in this part of the subterranean complex. He must have hallucinated them. Green Block wasn’t going to check itself, so he’d better secure it before his superiors caught him lollygagging, or they might dock his pay again. Nulthir ducked under a long stalactite, and there it was again.
“Neep. Neep, neep.”
What the hell? Nulthir turned on his heel. He regarded the wispy mist weaving through the cells under the dim blue glow of a lumir crystal that lit the cell-filled cavern behind him until a loud snort echoed through the tunnel.
“Neep. Neep, neep!”
Those insistent ‘neeps’ were loud enough now to cut through the snores. Damn, he wasn’t imagining them. “This can’t be happening,” Nulthir said and received a series of happy neeps in reply.
Nulthir groaned. Only one creature made that sound. Or rather, only one he knew of, and that creature had better not be somewhere in this prison. “Furball?” he whispered still unable to believe his ears. That little ball of fur and innocence couldn’t be somewhere in this prison.
“Neep!” Furball confirmed, but that was impossible. Furball couldn’t be making that excited racket because…
“You’re supposed to be asleep in my flat, not wandering around a damp prison.” Nulthir turned toward the fading echo of that imperious neep. He probably shouldn’t have said that last bit aloud, but Furball was sawing on his last nerve.
“Neep neep?” Furball asked as if he didn’t understand. Nice try.
“Don’t you pull that with me. I know you understand me.” Nulthir looked behind another stalagmite. Damn it. There was nothing but shadows back there. “How did you get down here all by yourself?”
“Neeeeeep?” Furball stretched the word out.
Nulthir scrubbed both hands over his face. “Why me?” His best creature-friend, Thing, would be crazy with worry when Thing realized Furball was missing.
Maybe Thing wouldn’t notice until Nulthir could return the little guy to his flat. Please, Fate, you owe me one.
“Neeeep?” Furball asked in genuine confusion.
“Never mind, just stay where you are. I’ll find you.” It was safer that way. Furball was small and easily squashed. The little critter also blended into the shadows because of his dark coloring, which made him hard to spot in the ever-present gloom down here. “Alright, where are you, you little puff ball?”
“Neep. Neep,” Furball complained, not liking that ‘puff ball’ comment even though it was an accurate description.
But those aggrieved sounds gave Nulthir a direction, right, toward the next cave of cells, the one he hadn’t checked on his rounds yet or secured. Just great, Furball would show up near the most violent offenders. That was just his luck. Fate had no sense of proportion.
Will Nulthir find Furball in time?
Magic might be illegal, but in the maze under Mount Eredren anything could be hiding. So, one warlock on the run turned prison Guard is no big deal, until a baby owl-monkey-cat shows up. Even cuddly monsters deserve a safe haven, and this prison isn’t it.
But Nulthir is in for the fight of his life to get that fluffy baby—something—to safety when it attracts trouble. Someone’s lurking in the shadows of the prison, and that person just might be hunting the very creature he’s trying to save. Or it might be hunting him. Magic is illegal, after all, and spellcasting has deadly consequences for them both. But it’ll take more than magic to survive what’s coming their way.
Thank you ♥️
We’ll be back to our regular newsletter adventure next week. This is Ran, son of Sarn, writing on behalf of my Scribe, Melinda Kucsera, signing off.
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