Corrupted Magic is the second book in the Grimoire Society of Dark Acts series. Episode 22 is up on my Patreon—it’s pay-what-you-like—and it’ll go up three days later on Kindle Vella. Here’s an excerpt from this latest episode.
The remaining members of Dark Acts and two additional magicals try to get into Grimoire Assassins’ house, and things go sideways fast.
What Corrupted Magic is about:
Grimoire Society of Dark Acts’s hard-won defeat of the brutal Harpe brothers should have been a relief… But through a forced double blood-binding, Gertrude disappears right in front of their eyes. The Ruin Rats, a vicious magical street gang, is out for Dark Acts’s blood. Knox calls on the deadly gang from his past for help, but is the physical cost too high to pay? As if that’s not enough, a new corrupt form of magic is throwing the entire magical universe off balance.
Episode 22: The Missing Piece
Finnegan heard a quickly stifled shout followed by the sharp sound of metal scraping against metal. It sounded like Humphrey’s voice and Morton’s swords.
Almost as if in coordination, Finnegan and Nigel both rushed closer to the wall of the house, flattening their backs against it.
Finnegan’s heart raced as he raised his scalping knife to the side, ready to swipe at anything that came. As much as he wanted to run to his comrades’ aid, if there was one thing he’d learned during his time with Dark Acts, it was not to run blindly into a fight.
“Esaeler!” they heard Carmichael whisper-shout.
Realization lit Nigel’s eyes. “Traps, magical traps. They must be around the house, or perhaps Grimoire Assassins already knows we’re here.” He stared over Finnegan’s head, although they could see nothing from their position.
A loud chopping sound echoed through the air, something like splitting wood.
“We cannot get caught in the same traps or reveal ourselves to whatever is attacking them,” Nigel said. “We must make an attempt to save Miss Oakley. Now.”
Finnegan looked at him sharply. “Leave them?”
“It doesn’t sound good over there,” Nigel said. “Chances are we’ll end up in the same position.” He looked to Finnegan for agreement.
Zzzt! The sound of Humphrey’s crystal ball attacking. Which meant they were still fending off the threat.
Carmichael isn’t pulling out. I knew this would happen.
Finnegan’s lips thinned with frustration at Carmichael’s stubbornness. “All right,” he answered evenly, even though his insides bubbled with irritation at Carmichael and nervousness for his society.
Nigel waved his hand first toward Finnegan, then himself, then raised his hand to aim above the house. “Sreyal neewteb levart.”
After a brief moment of weightlessness with no ground beneath his feet, air suddenly rushed down so hard against Finnegan’s head and shoulders, he felt his neck muscles weaken. His vision blurred, and as if in a storm, he was battered from all sides, spinning around and flipping up side down, thrown around like a doll. His eyes could focus on nothing, his stomach clenched with nausea. Clinging to his scalping knife, desperate not to be without a weapon, his teeth clenched.
The storm threw Finnegan hard against something solid, and his breath erupted from his lungs in a loud wheeze.
The rushing air was gone as suddenly as it had attacked, and Finnegan’s head was left spinning, his eyes unable to see straight no matter how much he blinked. A solid wall that looked like wood spun far above him, and he could just make out two sides of that wood slanted upward like a roof, meeting in the middle. What just happened? Am I on the floor inside?
Someone grabbed him by his jacket and lifted his whole body roughly, but he could see no one, fight no one. With force he couldn’t understand, his back slammed against the wall, forcing him to cough out more air, and the distinct feeling of malevolence scuttled up his spine. Something wet yet solid covered his mouth, keeping him from shouting for help, and held his head back against the wall. He looked down, only his eyes able to move. Whatever it was holding him in place was black. Something clasped his chest, wrists, and ankles to the wall, his feet far above the ground. The scalping knife flew from his hand as if grabbed away from him—but nothing visible was there. Cold fear bolted through his body.
As the spinning in his head slowed, Finnegan squinted across the dimly lit room to see Nigel pinned against the dark-stained, chipped wooden wall, strapped well above the floor by a shiny slime-like blackness across his mouth, his chest, his wrists, and his ankles. Nigel’s eyes were wide with shock as his miniature Book of Blessings was torn from his hand. He struggled to no avail.
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© Christie Stratos 2022