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Prohibited Magic is the third book in the Grimoire Society of Dark Acts series. Episode 27 is up on my Patreon—it’s pay-what-you-like—and it’ll go up later on Kindle Vella.

Episode 27: Morton, Patrick, and Sean debate who will get the Ruin Rats’s cipher tattoo. The tattoo turns out to be a brutal endeavor.

In my Patreon post, you’ll always get exclusive content, like how an important moment between Patrick and Morton ended up being written into the episode.

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 27: The Tattooist


Sean and Patrick looked between each other, then leveled their gazes at Morton. Neither looked very happy about his suggestion to take the Ruin Rats’s cipher tattoo.

“I already got my affiliation,” Sean said, sounding a little offended. “Dead Rabbits, and no other. I won’t take a tattoo of some other gang.”

Patrick shook his head. “Get the Ruin Rats’s tattoo? Yeh gone mad? I wouldn’t join an English gang if yeh handed me a treasure chest full o’ jewels.” He spat at the dead body next to him. “Filth, the lot of ’em.”

Suddenly Patrick’s strong Irish accent seemed almost exaggerated; how could Morton forget it was there so quickly? Of course he couldn’t join a nationalist gang with that clear Irish tie, and it made sense neither of them would want to anyway.

Sean’s glare was piercing. “Only background here who’d be willin’ and able to join is you, Morty.”

Morton’s mind stopped working for a moment. When he’d made the suggestion that one of them get the tattoo, he’d assumed it would be either Sean or Patrick. After all, from head to toe, they both looked the part.

He looked down at his suit, too good for a Ruin Rat’s and missing the red shirt. Even his shoes were not their kind.

Sean raised an eyebrow. “Got the gall to do it and bloody that perfect gentleman’s skin of yours? Or do we try to talk to this tattooist and see what he’ll tell us?”

There was a good chance the tattooist would already know Morton by reputation alone; the healer, Amelia Day, had, and she lived in this area. Though she hadn’t known him on sight, only by name. Perhaps there was a chance this could work.

Morton swiped his hands down his jacket. “My clothing is a problem.”

Patrick picked up the jacket he’d stripped from the Ruin Rat and held it up to Morton’s torso, blood soaking the collar from where the man had bled to death. “Looks like it’d fit yeh.”

“You can’t be serious.” Morton was appalled. The very idea of wearing a dead man’s clothing right after it happened was abhorrent and disrespectful, but the blood on it…he’d caused that blood to flow, and now he’d have to feel the cold dampness of it on his skin. “I can’t.”

Sean lifted his head. “How come?” He gestured at the attacker’s body. “Ya got a whole costume right here.”

A costume? It’s a dead man’s clothes…

“Sounded sure about it before,” Sean continued. “’Nother of those things that’s fine fer us but not fine fer you?”

Morton knew he was being tested again. If one thing was becoming very clear to him, it was that Sean and Patrick didn’t like to be seen as any lower than the rest of the population. They didn’t consider themselves to be less than, and they didn’t like anyone else thinking of them that way.

“You aren’t being fair.” Morton couldn’t give in to Sean, or neither man would respect him. He felt himself slipping in their esteem and had to earn his place as the one in charge, or at least as their equal. It was the opposite of everything he’d ever experienced in daily life. “I’ve never killed anyone before, and now I’d have to wear something bloodstained from… Just give me a moment to get used to the idea.” And in addition, a tattoo? Never in my life did I think I’d get a tattoo.

Frowning at the jacket, Morton took it gingerly from Patrick, immediately repulsed by the coppery smell of blood that wafted off it. He tossed it back to Patrick, who reacted quickly to catch it.

“Help me dress,” Morton said.

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 27 The Tattooist

© Christie Stratos 2024

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