An ominous presence awakens in the small town of Gamin.
Fairies murdered by crazed monsters. Magic that makes immortals lose their minds and their heads (literally). Whispers of a vendetta against the fairy crime lords who own the infamous Kraken Club.
One ace siren detective, Lili, is dragged back into defending her turf… and hopefully, she doesn’t die this time around.
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“Oh look,” Patty grumbles, getting shakily to her feet. “Legolas got an undercut.”
Excellent hearing, wonderful. We love eavesdropping elves.
He smirks, nodding. “Ah, a full frame and gorgeous curves. I like a woman who’s unapologetically herself.”
Patty shakes his hand, brief as possible. “Thanks, I like women too.”
“Ah.” He shakes the detective’s hand and Toothpick’s next, leaving me for last. “And you are?”
“I’m not giving my name in a Fae establishment.” My voice is so cold, it should be a carrier for frostbite.
“I’m Ljósálfar, not Fae. Nordic mythology, I’m afraid, darling.” He nods. “And we all know who you are, Lili, after you…unleashed, as it were. Though you have many names, don’t you? Too many to count. Tsk, tsk…” He smiles, though it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Clever way to avoid the Fae. But they’re so petty, they might just try to find another way to get to you.” The warning dissipates as he focuses on a flourishing, courtly bow like I saw back in the Elizabethan courts. “I just run the bar here at this wonderful establishment. Babysit the working pretty young things, tasks like that. You may call me Pelle”—he smiles wider at me—“or anything you’d like.”
“Demisexual, and I’m taken,” I bite back, turning away from him. “You can try Toothpick, if you’d like,though. He’s single.”
“Hey now!” Toothpick squeaks. “I’m on the job.”
Pelle’s eyes widen at that, his eyebrows raising in a wrinkle-free forehead. “On the job?” He looks to Ikiaq, and his demeanor instantly snaps to all-business. “Ah, not customers then, but here as detectives. Wondrous, I loved reading about Sherlock. He was asexual too, you know.” He winks at me. “So, I suppose you’ll want to see the body.”
“We’ll need to see the girl who was found with him too,” the detective says as we follow him down a dankhallway to where the bathrooms are located, most of the stall doors missing from their hinges.
“Woman, not girl,” Patty interjects. “I’m assuming she’s over eighteen. Or eighteen thousand with how immortals are.”
“Yes, my bad. The woman,” the detective remarks. Pelle still faces front and away from us, fixing his brows in the mirror. “Oh, is she guilty until proven innocent?”
“We’re immortals, but we don’t work that way,” Detective Ikiaq informs him.
“Don’t get me wrong, the Ljósálfar are of your stock, detective. We began since mortal imagination could fathom us. But the Fae, on the other hand…” He laughs, pressing his hand to the silver chain at his neck. “My employers run by Fae rules. Fae time. They will want revenge for the murder. Besides, I can’t help you there. She skipped town as soon as we found her with the body.” He glances down at his faux-leather shoes, tapping his toe against the sink’s edge. “The Fae will bring her to justice soon enough.”
We look around the bathroom, empty, if a little grungy. “And where is the body?” My words echo off the walls, bouncing off words and graffiti with anti-mortal sentiment. Sigils and renditions of sexual anatomy, human and otherwise. He pauses for a moment before going into the only stall with a locked door.
He opens this with a skeleton key. He pinches the air over the toilet, revealing a shimmering curtain so thin that it reflects all light around it. A decapitated Fae man with his head sewn clumsily back on his shoulders sits on the closed porcelain seat, skin the sickly gray-green of a willow tree. Blood like rot and damp dirt of the forest. His eyes are tinged with gold veins, starkly standing out against the lotus color. “Not good for business,” Pelle tells us.
“So, you just put glamour over a corpse.”
Pelle shrugs. “The Fae have hidden worse.”
“But you’re not Fae,” I reply.
He raises an eyebrow at me, irritated now, voice short and snappy. “Wondrous memory recall.”
“You aren’t one of the Fae.” I tell him. “Which means you can lie.”
Sophie Whittemore is a Dartmouth Film/Digital Arts major with a mom from Indonesia and a dad from Minnesota. They’re known for their Gamin Immortal series (Catch Lili Too) and Legends of Rahasia series, specifically, the viral publication Priestess for the Blind God. Their writing career kicked off with the whimsical Impetus Rising collection, published at age 17.
They grew up in Chicago and live a life of thoroughly unexpected adventures and a dash of mayhem: whether that’s making video games or short films, scripting for a webcomic, or writing about all the punk-rock antiheroes we should give another chance (and subsequently blogging about them).
Sophie’s been featured as a Standout in the Daily Herald and makes animated-live action films on the side. Their queer-gamer film “IRL – In Real Life” won in the Freedom & Unity Young Filmmaker Contest (JAMIE KANZLER AWARDS Second Prize; ADULT: Personal Stories, Third Prize) and was a Semifinalist at the NYC Rainbow Cinema Film Festival.
Their prior works include “A Clock’s Work” in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, a Staff Writer for AsAm News (covering the comic book convention was a dream), and numerous articles as an HXCampus Dartmouth Correspondent. Ultimately, Sophie lives life with these ideas: 1) live your truth unapologetically and 2) don’t make bets with supernatural creatures.
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