Brent Hayward’s fiction has appeared in several publications and anthologies, including Horizons SF, On Spec, ChiZine, the Tesseracts series, and Chilling Tales. In 2006, his story “Phallex Comes Out” was nominated for the StorySouth Million Writers Award as best online story of that year; it received an honourable mention. Filaria, his first novel, was published by ChiZine Publications in 2008 and has since garnered solid acclaim. Born in London, England, raised in Montreal, he currently lives in Toronto. He can be reached through his LiveJournal at: brenth.livejournal.com.
Teltö Phuul, Necromancer and Library Clerk, likes his days safe and predictable. Not for him the intrigues of the Viiminian Empire, a gothic monstrosity held together by sheer force of will.
Until the Empire's dreaded secret police come knocking. Caught in a web of schemes in the diseased heart of Kuolinako, the underground Imperial capital, Teltö can trust no-one. Not the Northern theocrats who abhor Necromancy, and certainly not the Grand Chancellor, whose iron-fisted rule has kept the old order alive that little bit longer.
When one false step means torture and disappearance, this journey will change our Necromancer forever.
After the murder of his mentor, he returns to New Orleans to catch the killer. But more is at stake when Malcolm finds himself betrayed, and his holy blade stolen. Now Malcolm's only hope to save his soul and to recover Hounacier, is the Valducan knight sent to kill him, Matt Hollis, the wielder of the holy revolver Dämoren.
Jeremy looks at the woman again. There's a few flies dipping in and out of the back of her skull.
"What happened to her?"
I feel a little uncomfortable. I wasn't really planning to lay it all out like this.
"Well, I hate to say this but I killed her."
Jeremy nods slowly. He's starting to take this in and I'm relieved.
"Don't ask me why. Anything I say is just gonna sound ridiculous."
I rub my hand in my hair. I want to appear frustrated.
"Things just got out of control."
Bob Clark owns the Self Serve in Cashtown Corners. It's the only business there and Bob is the only resident. He's never been comfortable around other people. Until he starts to kill them. And murder, Bob soon discovers, is magic. People Live Still in Cashtown Corners is Bob's account of a tragedy we all thought was senseless.
The payment can't be settled with money or favors. He only wants one thing. Me.
Every action gets a reward. A button. Once I fill his jar with three hundred and sixty-five buttons, he'll let me go. He'll let me walk away.
But I have to earn every single one. By submitting to the darkest, cruelest, and most beautiful man I've ever known.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** There are some dark and disturbing scenes of abuse and punishment.