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Half Dead Chapter One

 

 

Hey y’all! So here is the first chapter in a cool newsletter series that Linsey Hall and I are doing. We are giving you one chapter a week for the entirely of book one for free! We wanted to make our newsletters fun and engaging and thought this would be a cool way to do it. If you haven’t already signed up, you need to sign up for BOTH of our newsletters because it will be one chapter every week from me, then her, then me etc. This is RAW unedited writing. You will find mistakes and continuity issues. That’s just what happens when you do something like this. So please over look those. <3 enjoy! 

 

Half Dead

Adventures of a Mediocre Magical Thief

Linsey Hall and Leia Stone

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

The night I died didn’t exactly go as planned. I’m not sure what a twenty two year old plans for their death but I didn’t expect to be taken out by a fae, and I definitely didn’t expect my vampire boyfriend to drop my cat off at the pound within hours of my passing.

Dick.

Now I was sitting with the grim reaper who looked as confused as I felt.

“What now?” I asked, looking out over downtown Portland as rain fell onto the cars driving below. I was sitting on top of a billboard. I could do that now… because I was dead.

Dead.

Damn fae bitch.

At least, I thought it had been a fae bitch. All I remembered was a blast of light, and fae often used light magic. It’s like I’d repressed everything from my murder.

The grim reaper shrugged under his cloak, only a hint of the boney face he wore showed underneath. “You seem to have unfinished business.”

I did. I freaking did! How dare Silas give away my precious Nimsy. That cat was the only thing in this world that truly loved me. I couldn’t bear to think of him at the pound, in a cage…

“My cat.” I choked on a sob. “My life.”

I didn’t want to be dead. I was only twenty two.

The grim reaper shrugged again. “Well Cleo, the way I see it, you’ve got two options.”

I stood, teetering on the edge of the billboard. “Really? Like freewill or some shit?”

I looked down at my spectral form. I could walk through walls, so maybe I could go bust Nimsy out of the pound and give Silas a piece of my mind.

Ex-boyfriends who gave away your cat deserved a damn good haunting.

“You said I have two options. What are they?”

“You can come with me,” the reaper said. “The afterlife ain’t so bad. Not the best, not the worst.”

“That’s a ringing endorsement.”

The reaper shrugged. “Or you can stay here and try to finish your business. But there’s a catch.”

Everything had a catch. Story of my life. “What is it?”

“You’ve got three days to finish your business. If you don’t, you disappear. Gone. Finito. No afterlife, no nothing. Just gone.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah, I don’t recommend it.”

But Nimsy.

I couldn’t leave him in the pound. A lot of animals never made it out of there. What if they euthanized him? Oh God.

And I really didn’t want to be dead. I’d been mediocre my whole life. Always thought I was meant for more, but I’d never really gotten there. If you looked up “meh” in the dictionary, my face would be under it. That’s not how I wanted to go out, I needed to do something great before I died.

And now I was supposed to go spend eternity in a place that was as mediocre as I was?

No thanks.

The reaper waved his hand. “Look kid, I’m busy. You coming or not?”

I didn’t see a tunnel of light or anything like that, so I just shrugged. “Not.”

“Here’s the deal, then. Decide right now what your business is, then go do it. If you don’t finish in three days, I come back and chop your head off with this thing.” He held up his scythe. “No afterlife, no nothing.”

I swallowed hard. Jesus. Three days. That wasn’t enough time. But I didn’t want to die, and I didn’t want to ditch my cat in the pound.

And I definitely wanted to haunt the hell out of my ex.

“Okay. I’ll see you in three days with my unfinished business finished.” I played along, hoping to think of something brilliant to make myself undead before my seventy two hours was up.

He reached into his cloak and pulled out a card.

 

Reaper ut me ad vallem mortuos in perpetuum.

 

I frowned at the Latin on the card. I had a little witch blood in my family line but nothing that would make this sentence make sense.

“Speak the incantation to summon me. Happy haunting.” His monotone voice carried over to me before he turned to leave.

“Wait!” I cried out. “Do you know where Silas took my cat?” The past several hours had been hazy. It took the reaper awhile to convince me that I was dead and I’d lost focus on Nimsy when I watched Silas pick up the phone to call the pound.

He sighed, cocked his head to the side and then nodded. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out another card.

Nimsy

Freak Ink Circus

569 Aurora Ave

Portland, Oregon

I frowned. A circus? What the hell?

“Hey do you have a printer in there?” I eyed his pocket with disbelief.

“See you in three days kid.” He turned to go, then stopped and looked back at me. “Oh, and there’s one more way to die. Forever die. Beware the soul suckers. If one of them gets to you, you just cease to exist.”

I shivered. Not existing was just about the only thing worse than being dead. I opened my mouth to ask him another question, when he poofed out of existence.

Shit. I had more questions than answers but I couldn’t focus on that right now.

Operation rescue Nimsy was in full effect. After that I’d haunt the hell out of Silas and then figure out a way to become undead before this reaper cut my damn ghostly head off.

Jumping down from the billboard, I floated onto the sidewalk with ease. Freak Ink Circus, of course Nimsy couldn’t do anything normal. He had to up and join a circus the second I died? At least he was out of the pound, that’s all that mattered.

I knew where this area of town was and so I started my journey that way. When I stepped out onto the street a car passed right through me, it tickled but nothing more than that.

Weird.

After a while, I realized I could float which was kind of like flying and I’d reached the entrance to the circus in no time. I was in a questionable part of town but considering no one could see me, I guessed it was okay that I was alone at 3AM at a circus of all places. Passing through the entrance, I started to look around at the different tents.

“Nim!” I shouted. If a ghost screamed loud enough, could they be heard by the living?

No response. If these circus freak bastards had shaved and tattooed my beloved cat I would go poltergeist on their ass.

Walking through the tents, I was starting to feel depressed when I heard a horse neigh.

Turning in the direction of the sound, I saw a few stables at the far end of the lot.

“Nimsy!!!” I broke into a run, which turned into a creepy ghost float but I didn’t give a fuck.

My cat was here. I could feel him. That sounded weird, but I’d always been connected to this animal and I swear I could sense him close by.

I slammed through the stable wall, elated I’d never have to worry about a door again, and came face to face with a pig wearing bright red lipstick. A tattoo of Winnie the pooh smiled up from its butt.

“What the hell?” I shrieked.

The pig looked up at me. “You lost?” He asked in a husky smoker’s voice.

My eyes widened as I stumbled backwards.

Talking pig. Lipstick wearing… talking pig.

“Me?” I touched my chest.

The pig snorted, “No the other ghost whose just woken me up in the middle of the night.”

Oh.

“Sorry. I’m looking for my cat. Nimsy. A big black tomcat. Kinda scruffy.”

I was talking to a freaking pig. Maybe it was a dead people thing.

The pig jerked his head. “New kid, two stalls over.”

I nodded, still in shock. “Thanks.”

Maybe the grim reaper gave me acid or something…

“Well look who decided to finally show up.” Nimsy strutted into the hallway and pinned me with a glare.

My hand went to my chest in shock. “Nimsy! You can talk!”

The cat blinked. “Apparently. You’re dead? You look dead. All pale and shit.”

My chest pinched with emotion. My sweet tattered black tomcat was kind of an asshole, but so was I, which explained why we got along so well. “Yeah. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”

I scanned his attire. I once tried to put a Halloween costume on him and he’d nearly taken a chunk off of my earlobe with his razor sharp claws. Now he was wearing a bowtie and it looked like his hair had been gelled into a mohawk.

Actually, the mohawk was kinda cool.

“Are you wearing a bowtie?” I grinned. It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mess with him a little. I mean, I was talking to my cat for Christ sake, how many people get that opportunity?

His fur ruffled. “I’d appreciate if you wouldn’t comment on the greatest indignity of my life.”

 “Fantastic. Then I gotta ask. Is this more embarrassing than the time you ate tinsel off the Christmas tree and it dangled out of your butt? Because that was pretty bad.”

He looked offended, whiskers twitching. “It was festive. Festive!”

I chuckled. Damn, this cat was even cooler now that we could talk.

“Whatever, take it off me!” He lifted his chin.

“Sorry pal.” I held up my hands and shrugged. “Can’t manipulate objects. Too ghosty.”

“Damn it.” He scowled.

“We’ll get it off you, somehow. Now let’s get the hell out of here.” I pointed to the animals snoozing on cushions. If there was an actual pig wearing lipstick, who the hell knew what else I would find if I stayed any longer. “Any of the rest of these guys need saving?”

“No, these crazies seem to like it here, but I’m not drinking that cool aid. You saw the bowtie. Let’s get the hell out. What’s our plan?”

“We gotta get revenge on Silas for taking you to the pound and I need to fix this little half dead problem I’ve got going on. I’ve got a magical artifact that I that I think might help with that.” I frowned. “Oh and we have only seventy hours to do it, so everything had better go according to plan.”

He meowed. “Great. There better be tuna involved because I had a light dinner and you know how my blood sugar gets.”

I grinned. “I know. Nimsy. I know.”

Payback was a bitch and Silas was about to rue the day he gave up my cat.

Let the haunting begin.

 

*****

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