Abracadabra by K. Stevens Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Magic and mayhem are his middle names. Figuratively. Not literally. He's not sure he even has a middle name, let alone two.
Rod's a trickster by trade, magician by hobby, and thief by night. But when an old friend hunts him down and asks a favor, he can't refuse. Mostly because she'll likely try to kill him before asking again. But also because it presents a very interesting puzzle: to hunt down what a half-elf, magic weapons, and a killer-led cult of shapeshifters have to do with each other.
Lucky for him, Rod has the ability to be in three places at once. The problem? Even he can't always tell which him is the real him.
“I had a couple debts hanging over my head at the time,” I lied. “She promised to wipe the slate clean for me. Eliminate all my Keeper records, settle my debts, things like that. Anything that could make trouble for a thief like me.”
Miles gave in with a slight humming grunt, not trusting my words. Couldn’t blame him; I probably wouldn’t have trusted them either.
“So, she wanted blood in exchange for freedom,” Miles continued, changing the subject. He drew out the vials I gave him earlier and tipped them, watching the dark red liquid slosh around for a moment. “The question is…why?”
“Don’t play dumb,” he sighed, switching his eyes to me. “Did she ever tell you why she wanted the blood?”
I gave a half-hearted shrug and stood, walking back to the dash. “Something about genetics. She’s doing some sort of experiment with marwolaeth genes and needs a wide pool to draw from. To be honest, I stopped listening about five seconds into her theory.”
From an early age, K. Stevens devoured all things magical and mystical. To this day, she hesitantly struggles to keep one foot in reality while the rest of her remains firmly rooted in the fantastic and insane. In 2015, she finally worked up enough courage to share her stories with more than just her family, and was encouraged by the fact that she wasn’t eaten alive for it. She may be the crazy lady that talks to bugs and stares incessantly into the sky, but don’t mind her. She’s just thinking.
At the time of writing this, I have no idea what's happening. I don't know if we've flattened the curve, or if things have increased. I don't know the nation is on lockdown or if we're coming out of the fog. I just don't know. Hopefully, things have come right and this post is recently outdated. A late call, if you will. I'm known for those, lol.
But a call for hope is never outdated, in my book. Hope, peace, and balance. While we can always see the things that are missing, the things that can rob us of the positive, it gets harder and harder to see the things that remain to give us stability; a roof that doesn't leak, enough food for the day, and the thing that's started to prevail the most right now: options.
At the time I write this, several businesses are down. Closed their doors. Several people are on lockdown, either self or forced isolation and practicing social distancing. What this has done, however, has provided the luxury of options; businesses that can't close are finding ways to keep going through options; you can still have things delivered, can still do online transactions, can still find entertainment digitally. A local restaurant started selling bread, meat, and cheese alongside their sandwich delivery. Parents are giving kids options on how to continue learning with quarantine schedules, creative tasks, and at-home projects. And despite distancing, meet-up groups are flocking to digital platforms to keep in touch and are more intentional about following up with each other.
I suppose my encouragement, coming to you from the latter-half of March is this: there's hope in options, and there are always options. Options on how to see something, options on how to respond, options on how to act. You can't control the world, but you can control your world.
Seek out the options. Find the hope.
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