Just wait until closing and you need to sign everything.William
Ha! Who do you think signed thousands of collector editions you have in your hands or the fifteen hundred bookplates that went out during the last two book releases? My signing game is strong.
Here is a tiny snippet for you. We really enjoyed how you were terribly confused by the last one, so this is a curveball. Where is this from?
The night was thick with magic. It drowned the world, deep and potent. Its currents swirled through the woods and fields and flooded the town, rushing through the paved streets, winding around the deserted gas stations, and colliding inside the buildings. She watched their violent clash from the safety of her bed. Her bedroom was dark. The door was shut, and the eerie glow of magic-powered fey lanterns in the hallway made a shimmering blue outline around it.
The house was loud. People ran back and forth, the sounds of their steps thudding on the wooden floor. She heard her grandmother’s voice, shrill and urgent, then her mother’s, brisk commands issued in a cold voice. She knew that tone. It meant the end of all arguments. It didn’t matter what she said or how much she begged, that tone meant it was time to close her mouth and obey. If she didn’t, she would be punished.
Outside the window people spilled into the streets, carrying torches. A herd of cows entered the town in a long line, each animal led by a man, their dark flanks covered with pale symbols. Father led the first cow. She caught a glimpse of his face, lit by the torch in his other hand: his teeth gritted together, his mouth skewed, his eyes mad… It scared her. She shied away from the window and hugged her big stuffed dog to her.
The magic was getting thicker. The light bulbs in the chandelier above crunched, hairline cracks splitting the glass. She cringed and hugged the doggie harder.
A flare was coming. Magic ebbed and flowed through the world, unpredictable, here one minute, gone the next. When it was up, guns and cars didn’t work, and when it was down, spells and potions were useless. The flare was a magic wave that came every seven years. If a normal wave was like the tide, the flare was like a hurricane. It surged through the world, lasting for days. Her grandmother had told her it was the time gods and monsters walked the land. At the time, she didn’t understand it, but now, with the arcane power suffusing her small body, she understood and she was scared.
Brisk steps approached the door. It flew open, and her mother marched in. She was tall, with a stern face and pale skin, and her light brown hair, usually put away in a bun, streamed loose around her shoulders. She wore a long linen dress. Red sigils marked the light fabric. They shimmered with power and she knew they were drawn in blood.
“It’s time,” her mother said.
Behind her mother, her two aunts strode into the room, the same severe expression stamping their faces. She shrank away from it, trying to wedge herself into the furthest corner of the bed, wishing desperately for the wall to open and swallow her whole.
“Come,” Mother ordered.
She shook her head.
Mother leaned forward, her gaze sharp. “What is this?”
Her voice came out weak. “I’m scared.”
Aunt Brooklyn smiled. It was that fake adult smile that didn’t mean anything.
“This is why you were born,” Mother said, “This is why I let your dimwit father climb on me for six months and why I raised you for nine years. I’ve made countless sacrifices for this moment. It’s your purpose in life. We don’t have time for you to be weak right now. Come.”
She shook her head, clutching on to the dog.
Mother’s voice cracked like a whip. “Bring her.”