For your delectation, and to provide a trail of poisonous little breadcrumbs leading towards the candy house with the smiling little old lady that is Midnight Echo #4, my authors and I have decided to give you a little snippet of each of their works in the lead-up to the release of the issue.
First up, an aperitif: something elegant, graceful, with just a hint of blood in the aftertaste–
Cromwell laughed and clapped him on the back. “Beautiful, graceful, intelligent enough to make pleasant conversation, she represents all that is good about England.”
“She lives in America,” Father Ignatius pointed out.
Cromwell flapped his words away with a small wave of his hand. “A small colony in Virginia struggling to do nothing more than survive on corn and tobacco. One season in my court and she won’t think twice about what she’s left behind. Did you see the wolf?”
“Not really. It was too dark.” He felt her presence, though, even in the safety of the palace.
“I’ve housed it on the lower floor. The lady insisted, saying if her companion was to spend its nights outside with the common animals, then that’s where she’d stay too. I’ve heard it’s a large beast, so large it makes our forest wolves seem like puppies in comparison.”
“It howled once, at the beginning of our journey. The sound put me in mind of those banshees the Irish are always going on about.”
“Terrifying,” Cromwell said.
— Cromwell’s Beast, by Steven J Stegbar.