Category Archives: First Chapters

The first chapter of the story

Death’s Muse


Art Has Its Price

In Bellhamshire the price of artistic inspiration can be more than most can afford. This is a tale of the price of art and Reverant Brown’s machinations.

After many years some began practicing the old ways.

Chapter 1 – Return To The Old Ways


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Filed under Annals Of Bellhamshire, Artists, Bellham University, Bellhamcester, Bellhamshire, creative writing, First Chapters, Mystery, Short Story

Today we start another tale of Bellhamshire. Come Into My Parlour is the tale of a Tattooist who new a little magic and his victim.

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January 26, 2013 · 2:52 pm

Need a Doppelgänger to watch my back

Now for a change of story type, this one is sort of Science Fantasy/Transhuman/Biopunk in nature. It is the first story in a very different setting, that may become the Justice Journals


The night was coming to an end with the surface outside the domes well able to freeze boiling water in seconds. No air there to keep creature alive. Within the domes the temperature was comfortable, to some maybe too warm for nighttime. Day and night different too. Outside a day took four weeks of earth time. Inside the dome just a standard earth day. Within the domes the gravity field gravity being that of earth, but without the field it was exactly right for the moon. Tranquillity was not tranquil as dawn was about to break. The Dome’s shutters would rise two hours after Luna dawn, at dome dawn.

That which had caused Tranquillity’s peace to be disturbed was the finding of a body. Accredited Arcane Investigator Samuel Arthur Western had been called to the scene, as it was the latest member of The Lunar Development Corporation’s staff to be killed. After the third death, Samuel had been offered the contract to investigate the deaths. On taking the contract, Samuel became a Lunar Deputy. Before he reached the moon though there was another death. On the moon or within the Luna Council’s jurisdiction corporate security officers and corporate investigators were granted the status of being Luna Deputy Sheriffs.

Samuel was not a native or long-term resident of the moon, but was far too familiar with the moon for his liking. Too familiar with place’s that were not within earth’s atmosphere. Inside Lovell Dome, of the Tranquillity Domes Complex (TDC), Samuel despaired over what passed for a police force on the moon. Those who were members of the Luna Police Service (LPS) were either youngsters who had few if any skills to get them the ride up to the moon or those who other police services wished they had never recruited who had gained promotion by transferring to LPS. In the whole of the LPS there were maybe three competent police offices, or so Samuel believed. Those at the site of the body dump were typical of the force, being barely able to find the scene let alone process it or even secure it. Sargent Shaunessy was in charge and more interested in his coffee than his job. Deputy Derek Almond though was trying to arrange a cranial crew to preserve the head. Before taking charge himself, Samuel scanned the area for the Provincial Magistrate, Taj Rei. Of those who were officially investigative officers on the moon, only the Provincial  Magistrates were considered truly professional by any but the LPS. It was the Provincial Magistrates task to have other’s gather the evidence for them and then themselves judge the evidence and determine the guilt or innocence of those associated with the crime. In many ways Samuel preferred Investigative Magistrates to other more adversarial systems for considering the evidence. Back in the British Territories, Samuel had had to deal with adversarial courts and the jury system.

He had served his mandatory minimum term, of Investigative Service, with the National Sacred Sites Protection Force (NSSPF), having been trained as an Arcane Investigator to NSSPF’s bursary. Accredited Arcane Investigators possessed many police powers even after leaving a formal police service and going private or commercial. Having been on the series winning University Challenge Team for Hecate College, Henges University, his birth shell was occasionally recognised. Henges University being the most prestigious and oldest of the Liberal Sciences Universities, With Hecate College being the oldest college. Between his powers as an Accredited Arcane Investigator (AAI) and the additional powers from being a deputy sheriff, He had full police powers and additional powers to gather evidence and rights to use arcane abilities and magic to gather evidence and apprehend suspects.

Awaiting Samuel was a corpse with much of its head destroyed, as had the previous victims. That there was massive damage to the brain meant the victims memories and skills were not salvageable. The smell of burnt flesh, bone and brain hung sweetly on the air despite the victim being hours dead and having been murdered elsewhere and if the past bodies were anything to go by striped of any physical evidence. The hot plasma of what were, commonly, known as broiler rounds had seared and cooked the hair, flesh, bone and brain of the victim. Several of the Luna deputies were bent over emptying their stomachs, some distance away, having approached the body too closely. Samuel knew there were more wound than just those to the head. That there were other wounds was a characteristic of the earlier crimes and also evidenced by other scents that made up the smell that sent the deputies retching.

Eventually Taj’s rover arrived and Samuel strolled over, “Morning hope you haven’t had your breakfast.”

“So you’re what a Hunter7? Are you Samuel Western?” Taj held out his pocket ID Scanner that did a simplified scan of a shell’s brainwaves, to establish the shell’s spirit’s identity. Samuel smiled at the naivety of the required process. Personally he could convince the machine he was any of about a dozen spirits easily and if he worked at it many more. Just a simple mental rote had identified Taj to him and he had done that as the rover arrived.

The formal scan complied with Samuel Looked down on Taj, “We will supervise the use of nanites to gather any evidence that survives. I expect none given the previous crimes. Once that is over we will kneel by the body and you place your hands on my anointed temples whilst I rest my fingers over the victim’s eyes. That way we should both see the last hours of his life. If I can I will sense what he heard and you will be able to hear it too.”

“They said you would be all business.” Taj smiled, “Till it’s over. Why the Hunter7?”

“The Genebridge’s Hunter7 is the best bloodhound shell for the Luna environment. Compromises my power’s somewhat but the superior speed and coordination as-well-as enhanced mundane senses more than make up for that up here. Henge Biologicals’ Homodeus is my choice on Earth.” Just to show off he with superior speed and masterful sleight of hand he palmed Taj’s scanner and made it appear afront of Taj.

Before using magical investigation, Samuel released an Archaeoswarm of the scene of the dump. The  Archaeoswarm being a swarm of naniets that would gather whatever evidence there was in the area and excavate down to buried items of changes in subsoil.

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Filed under creative writing, Detective Fiction, First Chapters, Justice Journals, Short Story

In Search Of A Master (Part 1)


The day was exceptionally hot, even for July, which was, just over, a week away. The sun was nearing its zenith, in a cloudless sky, as a black VW van turned into the drive, of a large, old house. There was not even a discernible shadow being cast, by the properties tall boundary hedge. Despite the brightness, of the day, the three occupants, of the van’s cab, were in deep shadow and only discernible as three female shapes. The van slowed, to a stop, close to the house’s front door. Before the van had stopped moving, the cab’s passenger door was open and Jo stepped out, running up to the front door of the house. Di, the other, front seat, passenger, and Al, the driver, disembarked once the van had stopped moving. They went to the van’s sliding side door. Jo was, by then, knelt before the house’s front door. Di gestured with her hands and muttered, as Al slowly opened, the van’s side door, a few inches. With her left hand, Di reached into the van, then smiled at Al; the signal received, with exceptionally speed, the van’s door slid back, though it only softly slid, into its retainer. As it did so, the only sound it made was the click of the mechanism, that held the door open. A man in a heavy overcoat, gloves and a hood, which had no eye holes — all of which were made of leather — exited from the van. Taking him by the hand, Di led him up to the house. Having lifted a bulging kit bag, out of the van, Al closed the door, to the van, and strode passed Di and the man.

Al entered the house, where Jo held the door open, for then. Jo smiled, as the man approached, the front door, “James Redfern, please enter this house and be welcome.”

Di glared at Jo, “Shut it changeling! We’ve got…”

Jo closed the door, behind them; “It is always safest to obey the lore.”

James moved quickly, to a shadowy corner of the hall, where he slumped, against a wall. As Di shot a concerned glance, towards him, Al pulled a pistol and an ammo belt from the kit bag, throwing them to Jo as she softly, almost inaudibly, said Jo’s name. Jo caught them, without looking towards Al. On reaching James, Di removed his gloves and coat, then slowly and tenderly removed his hood. Once it was removed, it revealed that James’s face showed signs of sunburn. Seeing this, Di closed her eyes and stoked his temples, with her fingertips as Jo asked, “Is he all right?”

Before Di could answer, Al passed her a crossbow and a quiver of bolts. Di took them, “Thanks Al. He’s better than we could have hoped, for him to be. We will just have to find a better hood, for days like today.” Continue reading

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Filed under Annals Of Bellhamshire, First Chapters, paranormal, Short Story, Vampires

Fool’s Bubbles

How Honeymoons Came To An End

Dionysus sought a new following for his revels and the vine, so he took on a new form, that would allowed him to travel, far and wide, with great speed. Across those lands, where the vine held sway, his shape journeyed, after which he flew on over the sea, unto his destination, which was a group of islands, where the vine was unknown. As he sawed over there, he looked down upon them and saw revels, but no sign of reverence, for him or his beloved vines. After an age of watching, he landed in a wood and took on a human form. Upon landing, he sensed that the islands were hostile to him, even to their bedrock — he and his were an unwelcome visitor to those shores.

There was, in the wood, a revel that rivalled the wildest that he had ever attended. Despite the joyousness of the revel, his mood was dark, for there were none of his wines or vines within his divine perceptions. After having observed the festivities for a time, Dionysus moved towards where they were held. Entering the revellers’ clearing, Dionysus was uncertain of the reception he would receive. As soon as he entered, a skin of liquid was passed to him, only form him to doubt his perceptions, once he had smelt the contents, of the skin. The drink reminded him of the nectar, of Olympus, but he was not in the presence of his father, and the other Olympians. When eventually he tasted it, his mood became darker still, for the drink tasted even finer than the best Olympian Nectar. A voice echoed, in his mind, “Yes! Vine Lord! True nectar. Not your low wine, fruit of the vine. Where do you think old Bright Eyes gets his…”

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Filed under Annals Of Bellhamshire, First Chapters, Mythology, Short Story

Doing Business (Part 1)

( The Price Of Everything, Is In The Small Print )


Along a busy Motorway, a red streak darted between cars. Two Police officers, in a patrol car, beheld it, but the canteen beckoned to them, so they gave into temptation, that had been offered to them, allowing the car to speed on its way. As the car’s radio concluded the weather forecast, which was for a fine day, the announcer gave out an emergency traffic bulletin; “Reports are just coming in of a major accident, on the M40. The Police advise drivers to avoid the M40, as the accident has blocked both carriage ways, of the Motorway.”

Just as the bulletin came to an end, rain started to fall, so the driver turned on the wipers. Speeding in the rain, the driver turned off the radio, and made a phone call. As soon as the phone was answered, he ordered, “Put the Contracts Manager on.” Interrupting the manager’s greeting, the driver informed, “I will be closing the Tyler account, later today. Release the file. Have you found any new candidates for an account?”

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Up, Up And Away

That Which Is New Is Older Than The Hills

Tall tale, or no, Samuel had a hard time under The Table one night

The four labourers sat nursing their pints, in a dark corner, of the tavern. Despite the darkness, Samuel’s eyen showed that he had had a rough time. Gazing down, at his tankard, Rupert demanded, “Well? What happened to you? Where did you get to…”

Samuel shook his head; “You’d never believe me, even if I were t’ tell you.”

Hal took a swig, then stared at Samuel, “Of course we’ll. Just spit it out and stop playing t’ coy little virgin.”

Samuel slammed his empty pint down hard on the table; “Fill it and I might. Remember the night of the big storm and lights in t’ sky.” That had been nearly a month earlier and the night before it, was the last time they had seen Samuel, in The Man In The Red Hat.

Euria signalled, to a victualler; “It’ll be here in a trice.”

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Filed under Annals Of Bellhamshire, Elves Table, First Chapters, Short Story

Reminiscences (Part 1)

Extracts from the memoirs of Chief Superintendent Drake Verdier, (1848-13/09/1927).

(Chapter 6)

The Unquiet Grave

Drake’s First Case

Just after I had been made an Inspector, I became entangled in a most unusual case at Nucaman Cemetery. There had been many small incidents at the cemetery, over the previous few months. The cemetery’s watch man had been assaulted at least three times, as well as him being attacked by dogs and also several tombs had been violated. The heinous incident, that resulted in my being called in, was when the gates of the Howard family’s tomb had been forced and a newly entombed body had been defiled. Christina Howard — the daughter in law of the young alderman Howard — had been entombed there only the previous day. The events at Nucaman Cemetery had become a priority investigation, after what had happened the previous night, at The Howard Tomb. The Howard family’s influence and prestige ensured that the constabulary’s finest officers were assigned, to the investigation.

I travelled to the cemetery with little hope, of solving the case — back then there was little hope of resolving cases, unless the person responsible confessed or was caught in the act. When I arrived on the scene, several of my subordinates were seated, in absolute silence, and looked rather pale. Not far away from them, there were the watchman and the caretaker, who were talking to a local clergyman. Just, as I went to enter the tomb, Constable Jenkins warned, “You dan’t wan t’ go int’ thar’.” I agree with him now, but back then I just gave him a look, that said you are on report. At my folly, he just shook his head. Only seconds after I had entered the tomb, I was back out side it once again and my breakfast joined those my colleagues had deposited earlier. It was the first time my stomach had had problems, retaining its contents, at a crime scene, since I first encounter a dead body.

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