The cafe had emptied except for a few patrons, and Merlin was hardly through his second coffee. He listened to Arthur reading out some of the more outlandish things from the paper when his friend’s voice was interrupted by a sharp tingle running up his back. Slowly placing his cup on the table he cocked …

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Daegal saw Jelena hesitate in front of the chest. Her rapid breathing and white knuckles on  the dark wood of their escape tugged at his heart, and at his memory. Anton had told him of a time in their training when some of the younger men, fed up with being beaten by Jelena, had taken …

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Through the glass she saw the children. Monitors lay overturned and Matt and Lily raged around the small ward, smashing equipment and throwing supplies on the ground. They were the ones screaming, raw guttural cries that didn’t belong in such young bodies. Jenny and Xiyu Chang, Lily’s mother, were outside the glass. Xiyu was shouting …

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Years ago after I wrote my Master’s Thesis on women criminals in Auckland in the late 19th Century, I wrote a couple of starters of stories based around some of the cases. This is one of the pages I discovered the other day – it was written maybe 16 years ago? The dialogue is based …

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Malinda ran to the top of the hill overlooking the battlefield, her long stole and the tails of her tunic whipping in the wind. Her foot slipped in the gravel but she pushed herself off and scrambled onwards.   Alex’s face was all she could see. She would do this for him, and for her …

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