Puddles: a short excerpt

I’m still calling this Puddles until I think of something better. The story is set in Victorian London at the end of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. A well-demon has been turned loose from his underground prison with one mission: to collect victims for the torturous games of an idle, immortal duke and the nobility he blackmails through his dastardly book of wagers.

When a single victim from each game is allowed to return to their own world, word spreads of a deadly wolf who speaks with the voice of God, striking a new fear into the heart of London.

Uriel and Bel investigate when a distraught lady’s fiancé goes missing. But Lady Emilia Sauvage is not what she seems.

***

Uriel said, “You were telling us what happened to your fiancé, Lady Emilia.”

Her eyes snapped to Uriel’s. She relaxed her aggressive stance and looked demurely at her feet. “My fiancé, Halston, was inside with me when the carriage veered wildly from side to side. I thought it would tip over … Hal climbed out to see if Wilbur needed help. Between them they calmed the horses. Then he was calling to me, telling me to open the door so he could swing back inside from the roof.” Her breathing sped up, and she raised her handkerchief to her mouth. “I have seen so many things … so many impossible things …”

Wilbur leant forward and squeezed her shoulder. “Go on, my lady.”

“He fell from the roof … into a puddle.”

Uriel and Bel looked at one another, then back at their guest.

“And then what?” said Uriel.

Lady Emilia’s eyebrows drew together in a frown. “He disappeared.”

“Disappeared?” said Bel, leaning forward in his chair.

“He fell into the puddle … and never came out.”

***

Ribbet collage

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