Havok Publishing

Tag - A. C. Williams

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A Warrior’s Death

The creature snarled in the darkness, a thunderous sound in the humid, alien forest.
Kosuke pressed his back against the rough bark of the towering tree and drew a slow, deep breath, releasing it softly. The air smelled like wet dirt and pine, moist and dank, along with a vague coppery scent like blood.

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Churchwarden

“What a perfectly splendid location to attempt new and exciting crime!” Finneas Churchwarden—private investigator—straightened his blue argyle bow-tie. “Don’t you agree, Leon?”
“It’s Lionel, sir.”
“That’s what I meant.” Churchwarden jabbed his clay pipe between his teeth, chewing on the stem as he spoke. “Come, beloved colleague. Let us do the work

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The Purple Produce Predicament

I have never seen a vegetable like this in all my days. Is it a vegetable? A fruit? So purple! Oblong with a fibrous green stem. And there’s a crate of them on the tavern’s loading dock.
Tobias probably traded for them. He always does this—trades junk to some tinker out of

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The Frost Iris

I’ve spent too much time in the underworld.
Atticus scowled at his reflection in one of The Drake’s shiny hull plates. Dark shadows drooped beneath his eyes, and his skin had taken on a bluish tint. Too many months breathing the fog in the netherwoods.
He hitched the burlap sack higher on his should

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The Skinwalker

The Veil between worlds smells like overripe fruit, a deep purple scent. Cloying. Decaying. Bruised.
The sanitized atmospheres of living worlds lack the depth and complexity of abandoned realms. They never smell like the Veil, suffused with the scintillating aroma of death.
I breathe it deeply.
Invigorating.
Its heavens, ever-clouded. Its ground

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Ashes to Trade

Florence’s knuckles creaked as she clutched the bottle of phoenix ash.
What if it’s not enough? She bit her lip. The medicine is almost as rare as the ash.
Threadbare skirts rustled around her legs as she ducked through the rough-hewn doorframe of the Emberstone Tavern. Her stomach clenched in hunger as the rich

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Phoenix Feathers and Chicken Pot Pie

Captain Tiberius Q. Overton sneered in disgust. The tavern smelled like the inside of a whiskey barrel—the cheap kind of whiskey the deckhands drank. He shouldered through the flock of nattering peasants, who warmed themselves at the meteor smoldering in the central hearth.
The tawny, glowing emberstone put out a remarkable amount

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Mama Louise’s One-Eyed Gumbo

Minotaurs are dangerous enough when they ain’t toting semi-automatics. These young bulls are looking to cause trouble, and I just want lunch.

“My gumbo’s getting cold, Quigley.”

“I don’t care about your stupid gumbo, LaFaye.”

My partner has no soul. He’s crouching behind a wooden shed with me, both of us surrounded

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Quilted

Two years ago, people would have said the old farmer was paranoid, putting electrified razor wire around the whole perimeter of his property.
Today is a different story.
The line of hunched-over shoulders shuffles toward the fence line. One by one, the men ahead of me approach the gate and speak to the warden,

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