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Prohibited Magic is the third book in the Grimoire Society of Dark Acts series. Episode 23 is up on my Patreon—it’s pay-what-you-like—and it’ll go up later on Kindle Vella.

Episode 23: Carmichael meets with Phineas Fenn and attempts to secure a meeting with the headhood to find out who he is.

In my Patreon post, you’ll always get exclusive content, like why most apples available to us today are red.

What Prohibited Magic is about:

With Grimoire Society of Dark Acts’s magic book and crystal ball in the hands of the parasitic Ruin Rats, Carmichael’s decision to take the Book of Blessings and infiltrate the magical gang has left Dark Acts magically crippled. Gertrude is trapped in Grimoire Assassins’s magical realm; only the never-before-seen Grimoire of Blood can save her. Dark Acts and its allies split up to stop the worsening imbalance in the Magic Societal Universe, an unprecedented state with unfathomable consequences.Prohibited Magic Vella book cover

Episode 23: Uneven Equals


Carmichael woke with a start, the shame and pain of his childhood memories still burning in his mind. Panting lightly, he sat up in the bunked bed and removed his handkerchief from his inner jacket pocket, then dabbed at his face, which was covered in sweat. Pulling his collar and cravat away from his neck, he patted there too.

It was like I was there again. I never wanted to return to that so vividly.

Lavender still seemed to waft through the air, and when Carmichael drew in the scent deeply, it was as if he’d drawn in all that was left behind of his mother’s memory; his next breath held nothing but the stale smell of the Ruin Rats’s closed-in lair.

Throat tight, Carmichael tucked his handkerchief away and then sat in silence a moment longer. He needed to be strong again, strong for Grace and toward the Ruin Rats. There could be no signs of weakness.

I have to face facts. If I don’t find out who the leader of this gang is soon, I’ll need to abandon that goal. There can be no more incidents like that employee of Grace’s who was injured so badly.

He could kick himself for what had happened to that man. A brave soul, of course, but a botch Carmichael couldn’t forget. Even though it wasn’t directly his fault—he couldn’t help that man’s sacrifice to try to save Grace, nor Bill’s action against him—it still sat on his conscience.

No more innocents hurt. Not one.

But that wasn’t actually possible in a gang like this. Which was why he’d need to leave soon if he didn’t get the information he wanted. At least Morton now knew where Carmichael was. Perhaps that meant Knox would come… But Carmichael couldn’t depend on that. He had to do this on his own under the assumption that no one would come for him.

He climbed down from the bunked bed and then straightened his jacket and ran his hands through his slicked-back hair. Turning toward the open door, he stood tall. Hard, unyielding. That’s what I must be right now, and nothing less. Carmichael exited the barracks-like room only to be met by Snap in the next one.

“You’re up,” he said. “Good. Fenn’s upstairs. Come on.”

Enjoyed this excerpt? Please join my Patreon to continue the story—it’s pay-what-you-like, and Patreon gets all episodes first before any other platform, plus exclusive details no one else will ever know about! 

Prohibited Magic Episode 23

© Christie Stratos 2023

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