November 27

Hi all. In my last podcast I noted that I was doing RAWR Write-a-Thon. I had intended to give weekly updates but I realized that I needed to pair that with real episode content. I didn’t want those releases to turn into “what I’m doing” and not much else.

We’ve only got a few days left on the Write-a-Thon so if you’d like to donate, please feel free to visit or use the Paypal donate button on the right side of this webpage.

In addition, I wanted to share with you a little excerpt of one of the things I’ve been working on. It’s set in my Veils universe, which is a magical dark Victorian setting. I’ve been reading on family history a little recently and in doing so I had come across a lot of anti-Irish bigotry. So fair warning, this incorporates that very strongly, as my main character in this story is an Irish hare. This is also only a first draft, before I’ve really had a chance to find period authentic insults to substitute in. But as a content warning, it contains explicit bigotry and violence, so if those things bother you in the context of a story, then I recommend skipping this excerpt. I’ll try to put something a little friendlier out sometime soon.

“Get up, Paddy O’Fairy. We ain’t done with ya yet!”

Seamus blinked up at the silhouettes of the pack of canines—wolves probably—that towered over him. The halo around them in his vision wobbled and shook, and Seamus had to fight back the urge to retch. He couldn’t make them out.

He rubbed his jaw, feeling the pain of the blows he’d already taken shoot through him. He’d be feeling this tomorrow. But nothing moved irregularly, so they hadn’t broken anything yet.

Placing his paws on the damp dirt of the alley, the hare shoved at the ground and wobbled unsteadily to his feet.

“Is that the hardest you can hit? I’ve fucked fennec boys in the arse harder’n ‘at,” Seamus spat. He felt himself wobbling, but forced himself to remain steady and upright, fists raised.

He wolf—he could now tell it was in fact a wolf—at the head of the group snarled. The light from the street lamps caught at a trio of old claw-scars on his muzzle. The other two silhouettes grumbled something under their breath about degenerate lagomorphs that Seamus’s ears, though still better than your average canid despite the damage, couldn’t quite make out.

“You wanna shut that degenerate mouth up, rabbit. ‘Less you want me to put something in it to shut you up.”

“Oh, please. Something that tiny wouldn’t even cause me to speak with a lisp,” the hare scoffed. All trace of his native brogue had vanished from his speech.

“You little—“

The wolf took a swing at him, but this time Seamus was prepared. He fell back on his rear foot and spun, driving the full force of his powerful leg through a kick to the wolf’s chest. Sensitive ears picked up the crunch of ribs snapping as the attacker was hurled backward into his henchmen. He let out a loud yelp as he slammed into the ground.

Seamus gingerly set his foot back on the ground and shifted his weight. Nausea flitted at the edges of his awareness. He wiped his nose, and felt the telltale dampness of blood come away on his paw. Hopefully he didn’t get it on his shirt. It was already going to have to be laundered.

The wolf didn’t get up. He lay on the dirty ground moaning and clutching his torso. Seamus figured he’d hit him hard enough to crack a few ribs, but not outright break them, so he wouldn’t be permanently damaged. He might have to see a doctor, but he’d live. Seamus didn’t want a murder, even in self defense, on his conscience. And as an Irishman, he’d not be granted the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt if it came to court.

The two others had knelt down to check on their glorious leader, but when it became clear that he was down for the count, they rose to their feet again, teeth glinting in the faint lamplight. One was a smaller wolf or some such canid, the other a large cat, Seamus could now make out.

“Boys, I think you’d best turn around and drag your friend there out o’the alley and to a doctor. He’s gonna need patched up and probably a good bottle o’ whiskey to dull the pain.”

“You ain’t gettin’ off that easy, rabbit,” the canid growled.

“It’s hare, friend, and if you don’t back off you’ll be gettin’ the same.”

Seamus raised his fists again, bouncing a bit on his feet. The nausea tickled at his awareness, still, but it wasn’t safe to relax yet.

The wolf took a step forward, tentatively, but a groan from the leader on the ground caused him to falter.

“Ya got lucky this time. If I see you again, you’ll wish you’d never left that potato growin’ dirt farm.”

The hare made no reply, and did not move as the cat and wolf carried their leader away into the London night. Only when the sounds of their footsteps on the cobblestones had died away did Seamus relax his fighting stance. As he did, the nervous energy which had held him upright this whole time drained from his body, and he slumped, catching himself on his knees before he could slump totally to the ground.

The dizziness had faded at least, though the feeling that he needed to regurgitate his meager dinner hadn’t. Not that it mattered much. It was only a bowl of dish-watery soup and a few nuggets of what was supposedly dried mushrooms but tasted suspiciously like remnants of chicken.

And there it went. The thought of meat sent his stomach roiling, and its contents splattering onto the ground and the brick wall he now leaned against. The smell caused Seamus to heave a few more times before his body adjusted.

Leaving the alley by the opposite side his assailants had departed, he found himself on a deserted street. The shops stood dark and empty, having closed hours ago. No taverns or cafes remained open in this particular stretch of road. Too dangerous and too disreputable. Some of the street lamps had been broken out and their empty, dark frames hung loosely, like some poor bastard convicted of treason.

One of the shop windows that stood next to a working street lamp served Seamus as a mirror. The blood from his nose had stopped flowing and it didn’t look like any of it had gotten onto the fabric of his clothes. He did his best to swat away as much of the dirt from the alley as he could, but his waistcoat was still going to require some time in the washtub, as was the grey work shirt beneath it.

The hare straightened himself up as best he could in the dark, warped reflection of the shop glass and limped off into the night. Cleveland Street’s owner would already be ready to bawl him out for being late as it was, and Seamus didn’t want things to get worse.