The Things Without Faces introduction and drawing #2

The following is an ‘excerpt’ from an in-universe book Johann reads about the Things Without Faces, called Lordwood Signs.


The Things Without Faces are an ancient group of entities who have enormous power. They’re not quite gods, but they certainly aren’t mortals, and they’re not related to God or Satan. They’re more like gaps in the creation that those two fight over, like cosmic glitches that will exist as long as normal reality does. It’s assumed that they simply willed themselves into existence, and inserted themselves into creation just like that.

Some people think that the supposed everlasting battle in the heavens might not really be between God and Satan, but between them and God, who creates a reality, only to have it eaten by the Things, over and over again. 

Either way, the Things are outside of normal reality. They obey no laws. They have no collective motives other than hunger and want. They might all have different wants, but that’s their only defining characteristic – they all want, and what they want they will eventually get. However, they’re imprisoned beyond death, which keeps them out and away from those things for as long as possible. In a worse case scenario where they do break out, the faeries are supposed to keep them at bay until God can imprison them again, but the chance of the faeries actually doing that is extremely slim.

However, even imprisoned, the Things have agents on Earth. These are immortal beings who have tremendous power that makes them essentially gods in human form, except for a selection of weaknesses that makes them distinctly not Things or mortals, but something in between. These beings are called vampires. There are also corrupted, besital faeries who have many of the same powers as the vampires, but without immortality. They’re called werewolves, and they’re not as powerful as vampires, but they can be just as dangerous.

The Things have a very loose structure, because they are overall a bundle of barely restrained chaos. It’s unknown how many there really are, since the Things are all technically undefined entities without anything close to a real material form, but most scholars consider there to be eleven:

  • The Thing in the Well 
  • The Queen of the Birds
  • The Hanged Man 
  • The Thing With No Mouth
  • The Thing in the Cave
  • The Things in the Wall
  • The Thing Forgotten
  • The Thing That Is Not
  • The Thing That Decays
  • The Mother Over All
  • The Thing That Watches

 There are also a few others whose status as Things is debated. They are:

  • The Man in Red
  • The Changeling
  • The Thing in the Room

Each of these is explained in detail below, including the ones of debatable status.

(further posts will include the rest of the ‘excerpt’)

Also behold this drawing:

From left to right: Sylvia, Leonard, and Delta.

Huge shout-out to my IRL friend who will henceforth be known by their initials AB for coming up with the “chad reunion” joke in reaction to this photoshopped Enlightenment salon:

That’s Thomas Paine on the left and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the right, two Enlightenment philosophers, if you don’t recognize them.

And, if you’re realizing that you don’t recognize the name ‘Delta,’ that’s because they are the new narrator for part 3 of Pact. I’ve already started writing about them, which is why they’re in the drawing, but haven’t published anything with them in it yet, which is why no one on here is going to recognize their name.

If you didn’t know, this is a reminder that hiatus posts come out on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Thank you for reading!

Monica – 2.10.2

Monica was eating breakfast with Howard and Angelica when a servant ran up to her with a calling card. 

Lady Clarissa Janson

Woman of the gentry and unicorn of the Seelie court

Monica handed the card back to the servant. “See her in. I’ll meet her in the front parlor.”

“Janson?” Howard asked. “I know that name.”

“He’s an important duke from England,” said Angelica.

He was also the demon Mephastophilis, which put Monica on edge. However, Clarissa Janson claimed to be a faerie, and no faerie who was allowed to refer to themself as such would align themself with anyone who worshipped or honored any kind of superior force. That was sometimes the only way to tell faerie from werewolf: the werewolves honored the Things. The faeries honored nothing and held nothing sacred.

So, hopefully, Mrs Clarissa Janson wouldn’t be serving Satan now. Hopefully.

Monica went to the front parlor, a small room with two sofas facing each other and a fireplace on the back wall, and sat down on the sofa facing the window that looked out onto the street. Caro wandered in a few minutes later and sat down on the sofa next to her. She had her doll Catherine, and was busily sticking pins into its arms.

“Aren’t you hurting her?”  Monica said.

Caro shrugged. “Wanna see something funny, Mama?”


Catherine the doll had a hard head made of plaster and wood. Caro threw the doll across the room and laughed gleefully when its head thwocked on the hard wooden floor.

“Caro!” Monica said.


“That wasn’t very nice to poor Catherine.”

“She’s only a doll.”

“But you threw her across the room!”


“You wouldn’t like it if someone threw you across the room.”

“My head doesn’t make as funny a sound when it hits the floor.”

That was a relief to hear, at least. 

A servant opened the door. “Mrs Janson here to see you, ma’am.”

“Thank you, please let her in.”

“Do I have to leave, Mama?” Caro asked.

“No, you can stay, dear.”

The door opened again, and a young woman with platinum blonde hair came in. She was a handsome young woman, with a round face, button nose, and sparkling eyes. She wore a red dress in the latest fashion, which contrasted against her pale skin and hair.

“Mrs Carter,” Mrs Janson said. “Good morning to you, and to your… daughter?”

“Yes, Caro is my adopted daughter. Say good morning to Mrs Janson, Caro.”

“Good morning, Mrs Janson!”

Mrs Janson smiled. “Good morning, Caro. How are you today?”

“Very good! Do you want to see something funny?”


Monica knew exactly what she was going to do, but Mrs Janson presumably didn’t, which was probably why she had such a horrified look on her face when Caro threw her doll across the room again.

“You mustn’t be so cruel to your doll,” Mrs Janson said. “They have eyes and ears, you know. You should be careful or it might just take you away while you’re sleeping.”

What kind of a comment was that? ‘Be careful with your doll, little girl, or it might abduct you while you’re sleeping.’ Monica stood up and led Caro out of the room. “You go play with your siblings, alright? Go see what Charlotte is doing.”

Charlotte was her second youngest daughter, and Caro’s constant companion, especially during the summer months. Caro bounced off, and Monica went back into the room with Mrs Janson. “Sorry about that. Caro is a bit of a wild child.”

“Oh, no, it’s just alright. You’re Monica Carter, right?”

Monica sat down on the sofa, unsure why this Englishwoman would be so interested in who she was. “Yes, that’s my name.”

“Well, Mrs Carter, you see, I… erm…”

“If you’re about to say something related to the Seelie court, know that I, as an angel, am ready to believe you.”

Mrs Janson looked shocked, but relieved. “Oh. That’s good.”

“What did you want to tell me?”

“I was raised by King Oberon and Queen Titania on the border of the Unseelie court, but I am not their biological child.”


“No. In fact, I am told that I belong to this family.”

That was unsurprising, given the faeries had a history of stealing babies from their cradles. Monica went and got the family Bible, with the family tree in it. It took her a moment to find anything promising, but then she spotted a baby girl named Clarissa who had ‘died’ just after being born in 1814. Monica handed the book to Mrs Janson and pointed to the child. “I think that this might be you.”

“Yes, that looks right.” Mrs Janson craned her neck to get a better view. “Oberon said that my father is Percy Carter Sr.”

“That’s my grandfather,” said Monica. He was also possibly the father of her adopted daughter, but she didn’t say that.

“It’s nice to meet you. Are any of my brothers and sisters still alive?”

“Yes, there’s my uncle Joseph and his wife Josephine, and my aunt Emily, and her husband my uncle Robert, but he’s bedridden and likely won’t be with us much longer.”

“I want to meet Robert before he goes,” Mrs Janson said.

“You will.” Monica stood up and rang for a servant. “Why don’t you come with me and I’ll get a bed prepared for you and your husband to sleep in tonight? It’ll be a lot better than a hotel.”

“I would like that.”

Monica led her upstairs. There was an empty bedroom with a double bed right by the staircase up to the third floor, which she didn’t have any plans for in the near future. It was a good sized room, with an adjoining closet and bathroom, that she figured Mr and Mrs Janson would find quite adequate for their needs.

“Thank you, Mrs Carter,” Mrs Janson said. 

“You’re very welcome, Mrs Janson.”

“Please… I know I’m older than you, but I still feel younger. Please call me Clara.”

She wasn’t older than her, since Monica was an angel who had existed since time itself was created, but it would have been rude to correct her there, so she didn’t. “Alright, Clara, I can call you whatever you want.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Would you and your husband like to dine with us tonight?”

“We would love to.”

Monica smiled at her. “Very good.” She took Clara’s hand and led her upstairs to the room where Addison lay abed. “Addi?”

He looked up from the whale book he was reading. “Mama?”

“This is Mrs Janson. Say hello to Mrs Janson, Addison.”

Addison smiled politely. “Hullo, Mrs Janson.”

“Hullo, Addison,” Clara said. She shook Addison’s hand. “What’s that you’re reading, there?”

“It’s a book about cetology.”

“Do you like cetology?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“What’s your favorite whale?”

“The right whale. It has all the right things.”

“That’s a good choice.”

“Thank you, Mrs Janson.”

 Monica felt Addison’s head to check for a fever. Luckily, he seemed like he was just fine. She kissed his forehead and led Clara down to James and Joseph’s room. 

Joseph was fiddling with something small and wooden rather than doing his schoolwork. Monica gently took the thing out of his hands and put it in her pocket. “Joseph, darling, you need to focus.”

He was obviously angry. “I’m sorry!”


He glared at her and pointed to the door. “Close it!”

“Say hullo to Mrs Janson first, Joseph.”

“Hullo, Mrs Janson.”

Monica closed the door and went downstairs. “There’s also James and Mildred, my eldest, and Charlotte, Joseph’s twin sister. They’ll be there at dinner tonight.”

“That’s nice to hear. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of your family.”

Monica smiled. “I’m glad to hear it. I was going to go take a little nap. Do you mind if I do that?”

“Of course not.”

Monica left Clara with Angelica, and went upstairs to her bedroom. She slipped out of her dress and undid her hair, then climbed into bed and shut her eyes.

She wasn’t physically in her home in Heaven, but she could have information from there given to her when she dreamed. She saw an ancient library with a well that contained something terrible, watched over by a figure in a red monk’s outfit who had served as sentinel for ages beyond counting. He was reading when she arrived, but he was quick to talk.

“I would assume you know what the antichrist is?” the Man in Red asked.

“Yes, I know what that is.” 

“And you know what the Things Without Faces are?”


The Man in Red bookmarked what he was reading and closed the book. “Gods will have their prophets.”

“They are not gods.”

The Man in Red shrugged. “They might be.”

“They aren’t.”

“They have a prophet all the same.”

“Who is it?”

“Someone visited by one of them regularly.”

“That’s too vague.”

“Someone baptized by death in liquid. Seawater, maybe, or blood.”

“Does the person know?”

“They might. They might be a person who does and says odd things because they know. They might be someone who represses memories of their death in liquid. They might not have returned yet.” The Man in Red lit a candle. “They might be dissatisfied with their lot in life, or they may have a reason to live. In any case, they’ll be ready for change, and even if they don’t know it, they’re doing that by heralding the Things in.”

“It’s not Doctor Faust, is it?” Monica knew about that. Everyone who was anyone knew about that, and the ripples it had created. 

“It’s not. He’s still on his first life.”

“You’d love to see your kin back,” Monica said.

“Alas, I admit it.”

“I’ll bet you created the prophet yourself.”


Monica stood up. “You’re giving your enemy an advantage.”

The Man in Red laughed in a low voice. “Ah, angel. Don’t count your eggs before they hatch.”

Deirdre – 2.7.5

Content warning: Implied abuse and cannibalism

They arrived in Nantucket on the Fifteenth of October – four months before they had left the harbor in Hell. Deirdre asked Duchess Mephisto about it, but was advised not to think about it too deeply.

Monty was there as they coasted into the harbor with a myriad of information about his birthplace.

“Nantucket, looked at from an aerial view, is in the shape of a whale, which is fitting considering its history. The harbor of Nantucket is worn out in curves, like the top of a scallop’s shell, and in this harbor is Great Point Lighthouse, which is the second oldest lighthouse in America. Think of that! Second-oldest! Built in 1769!

“Once upon a time, Nantucket was the booming center of the whaling industry. Once, it was a thriving gem, and a person hailing from it could conquer most of the world – or, at least the part where the whales were. Trust me, I was there. But, having been ravaged by a fire in 1846, and thanks to the gradual buildup of sandbars, it’s in decline. This talk of war seems like it’ll lead to the final blow on whaling in Nantucket, at least by my reckoning.”

“That’s very interesting, Monty,” Duke Mephisto said. “What’s all this smoke?”

“Whale oil refineries and candle factories. Whaling ain’t dead yet.”

“You were born here, right?”

“In 1793.”

“Right, right. How old are you, Monty?”

“Twenty, when I died.”

“You were born in 1840, then.”

“Impossible. I was born in 1793.”

“I’m not arguing with you about this.”

“That’s just alright, because you’re wrong.”

Deirdre stifled a laugh, and fortunately, Duke Mephisto chuckled.

Sylvia had been seasick for most of the voyage, but she was up on the deck now. She was much better than she had been, since she wasn’t throwing up anymore, but she maintained that she still felt ill most of the time and would spontaneously get much better when she set foot on land.

Monty pointed to a whaling ship in the harbor, the presence of which seemed to contradict what he’d been saying earlier. “I’ve whaled on that ship. She’s been retooled.”

“Why did you go whaling, Monty, if you have such a hatred of the sea?” Serana Mephisto asked. Deirdre rolled her eyes. They all knew much about Monty’s hatred of the sea.

“Precisely because I hate whales, and I wanted there to be less of them on this planet.”

“Are you being serious?”

“I am.”


The ship grated to a stop, and a sailor threw down the gangplank. It was cold, and the island seemed very desolate with the freezing fall wind blowing across it, stealing peoples’ hats and making skeletons of the trees lining the cobblestone streets. Deirdre shivered, and pulled the thick blanket she’d been carrying around her shoulders. 

The Shaw-Captain, a tall shadowy figure wrapped in scraps of black fabric, came up from below deck to bid them all farewell. This was the first they’d seen of the Shaw-Captain, which did not bother Deirdre because of how much she’d been seeing the thing at the end of the bed, since setting off.

The ghostly sailors unloaded their luggage. Those Deirdre was afraid of, because of something deep in her memory that told her that she could have ended up like them, had she not been able to do something that she wasn’t able to consciously remember. She took her small bag when it was handed to her and then got away from them as fast as possible.

Duke Mephisto handed Johann a wad of money. “Get a hotel, or something like that.”

“Why can’t we stay with you?”

“You find a Carter who invites you, you can stay with Janson. You find an important person who invites you, you can stay with me.”

“Oh- alright.”

Monty hooked his arm around both Johann and Deirdre’s, putting himself between them. “I’ve got a house to my name somewhere around here. We can go stay there!”

Deirdre was nervous about going to a new house on this island, but maybe the sea all around would keep the thing that haunted her away. She put on a brave face, and followed Monty, Sylvia, Johann, Jean, Richard, and Alice down the street, hopefully to a warm house.

The house was not warm. It was furnished, but that was the only thing it had going for it: it had probably been a farm, once, but now vegetation covered the front, vines climbed the cobblestones of the house, and the fields had been overgrown with tall grasses and sharp, curling thorns. There were two fields, a large one off the side of the house, and a smaller one behind it. Both were overgrown into thorny nightmares. There was also a field of grass  in front of the house that was not used for planting, and at its center was an oak tree that looked like it had been there since before the birth of Jesus. There was also a forest in the back, behind a back field and small lake, and the darkness of its trees unsettled Deirdre greatly. 

The house itself was made of stone and brick, with two stories. The house was mainly a simple rectangle, but there was also an extension to the right side that was only on the first story, and a mirror one on the left that was exactly the same from the outside except for the fact that it went up to the second floor as well. The house and all the land around it gave off a general aura of great age, so that when Deirdre stepped onto the property she was immediately aware that this house had been there long before her and would be here long after her, too. It was unsettling, and made her uncomfortable even before she went inside.

Obviously, it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time, but all the furniture was there. The first room was a simple entryway, with doors going off to the cellar, the hallway to the kitchen in the right extension, the dining room, and the parlour, which was at the back of the first floor. Off the kitchen hallway was a room with a toilet and bathtub. There was also a set of stairs in the entryway, which had a door to the master bedroom at the top, another door to another bedroom at the right, and a hallway to the left. There were two more bedrooms along that hallway, another bathroom, and a last, larger bedroom at the end of it.

Last but not least, the house had a ladder to a widow’s walk. Deirdre and Johann climbed up there to survey the land, and realized they could see the sea from there.

Deirdre enjoyed herself up there until she saw a dripping figure in a tricorn hat standing in the back field. Then she started to sweat, and hurried down the ladder before she had a full-on panic attack.

“What did you see?” Johann asked.

“Someone standing out back.”

“I didn’t see it.”

“You can’t. Only I can.”

The back door slammed. “I fell in the damn lake!”

Oh, it was just Monty. Better safe than sorry.

Despite the fact that she and Johann got a beautiful front-facing bedroom with a double bed pressed up against a wall of windows, the house was still bad to be in because it was freezing cold. Jean lit a fire downstairs, and they dug up blankets to sit huddled in on the sofa, but it was still cold. 

Sylvia was drinking laudanum to keep herself warm.

“Amen to that,” Monty said, accepting a bottle from her.

“Our host should not be getting high,” said Richard.

“Oh, I’m the host?”

“This is your house.”

“…Oh, right. I kind of thought you might continue with that role”

Richard looked annoyed for a moment, then he smiled. “Alright, I can do that, if it makes you feel better. I just think you should-”


“Drugs are trouble.”
“Well, sorry.”

Richard had a copy of the Bible, and Johann The Iliad, written in Ancient Greek. Deirdre couldn’t read that, so she read The Canterbury Tales instead, which she had found on a shelf upstairs. Sylvia and Monty were both too high to do anything else, but they seemed happy.

Monty broke the silence after it had gotten dark. “I’m a prophet, I think.”

“No one’s a prophet any more,” Richard said.

“But I think I am one.”

“You’re wrong.”

“But I talked to God once.”

“No you didn’t.”

“I did.”

“What did he say to you, then?”

“‘Can a man curse and deny a god?’”

“As if that makes sense out of context.”

“I’m a prophet.”

“Fine, then, you are. What do you say, O mighty prophet?”

“Whales are evil and we should avoid them at all costs.”

“I’m hungry,” Jean said.

“Starving,” said Deirdre. “Yet unwilling to move.”

“I’ll eat a bird, but not a whale,” Monty said. 

“You’re in luck,” said Richard. “We haven’t got any whales.”

“Do you know my favorite food, Richard?”

“I don’t, but my curiosity is aroused.”

“Wigs. I mean eggs.”

“Wigs are really good, to be fair,” Sylvia said. “I eat wax.”

“Actually, I used to do that, too,” said Monty

“You what?” Richard asked.

“When I would find molten wax I would just… stick my hand in it and eat it.”

“Are you being serious?”

“Deadly so.”

Richard shook his head and laughed. “You’re really strange, you know that?”

“In a good or bad way?”

Richard paused for a moment. “A good way, I think.”

“That’s good.”

“I do think you should slow down on the drugs.”

“Shut up.”

Jean stood up. “I can’t take it any more. I’m going out for food.”

Everyone else went back to reading, even though Deirdre was more on edge without the biggest, strongest person there. She tried to settle down and read her book or listen to Monty and Richard’s quiet conversations, but it wasn’t easy. She imagined she heard someone tapping on the window. Deirdre buried her head under the blankets and closed her eyes.

When she awoke, it was late at night, but Jean was giving out plates of meat. The meat looked like beef, but when Deirdre bit into it it tasted like pork. It was delicious all the same, and she ate it all up.

“I know what this is,” Monty said.

“Yeah, it’s pork,” said Jean.

“No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is.”

“No, it isn’t, this is human meat.”

Jean laughed. “You have quite the imagination while on drugs, my friend.”

“I highly doubt this is human meat,” Sylvia said.

Monty held his stance a moment more, but then shrugged and bit back into his steak. Deirdre hadn’t stopped eating even for a moment. Even if it was human meat, it was delicious all the same.

Deirdre managed to fall asleep almost immediately once her and Johann were in bed. Her dreams were strange, vivid visions of an endless sea, so mindbendingly incomprehensible that they woke her up on their own. Either that, or she’d been woken by the thing that sat at the end of her bed.

“Johann,” Deirdre whispered.

He groaned. The thing didn’t move.

“Johann, wake up.”

Johann sat up. “What?”

“Look there.”


“At the end of the bed.”


“Do you see it?”

“The thing.”



“There’s nothing there.”

“There is. It’s a monster.”

“I can’t see it.”

“You can’t?”

“No, I can’t.”

“You might be lying.”

“I swear I’m not. I just can’t see it.”

Deirdre was silent. Was she out of her mind? Probably so. Her father had convinced her that most of the things that she thought had happened in Ireland hadn’t really happened, so why should this be any more real? She was just crazy.

“Why don’t you go get some water?” Johann asked. “Come back and we can talk about this more. Maybe it’s just the light. Or maybe I can’t see it because it doesn’t want me to.”

That reassured Deirdre a little. She went downstairs and drank a cup of water, ate a slab of bread, and sat on the counter waiting for it to be alright to walk up the stairs again.

The Man in Red walked into the kitchen. “I don’t like the milk here.”

“Shut up,” said Deirdre. She didn’t know how or when he’d gotten in, but she decided to accept it.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.”

“Are you alright?”

“Johann says that he can’t see it.” In fact, she was glad he was there. The Man in Red would know exactly what she was talking about.

“He can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Too rational.”


“It’s a gap in reality, Deirdre. You have to be a little disconnected in some way to be able to see it. Johann has his head all full of science and math and heaven and hell. He’s too rational to see something right in front of his face because it doesn’t match up with any of that.”

Deirdre was silent for a moment. “You mean I’m too irrational to not see it?”

“No, you… um… Deirdre, how much do you remember about Ireland?”

“I don’t want to talk about that.”

“Then I can’t answer your question.”

She took a deep breath. Talking about it was good. Talking about it was healthy. She needed answers. “Fine. I want to know why. Why can I see these things?”

“Your father. Do you remember him?”

He had been tall, with iron muscles and flaming hair. “Yes.”

“Do you remember what he was like?”


“Right. Do you remember how he kept a room that you were never to go in?”


“Do you remember going into that room?”


“You did.”

Deirdre swallowed and tried to focus on where she was. “And after that?”

“You ran. He followed you. Him and his wife, the woman who wasn’t your mother.”

“Did they- did they catch me?”

“Yes, Deirdre, they caught you.”

“And they hurt me?”

“They didn’t just hurt you, Deirdre.”

“What else did they do?”

“They killed you, Deirdre.”

“Killed me?”

“Yes. They drowned you in the sea.”

Deirdre looked down at her hands, not fazed in the slightest. They were dead hands. Dead dead dead. “I knew that.”

“You did?”

“Yes, I knew that.”

“So I suppose you know that you’re alive because I stole your soul and put it back into your body? But, it took me a long time to find it so you were trapped in your gravestone for several hundred years?”

Deirdre sighed. “You’re the reason I can see them, are you?”

“I’m sorry.”

“But I saw them as a child.”

The Man in Red frowned. “I can’t explain that.”

“Didn’t think so.”

“I can explain everything else, though.”

“Is Monty a madman or a prophet?”

“Ishmael Carter is… hm… a very strange personage, I should say.”

“A prophet.”

“Maybe in another life, a mad prophet.”

Deirdre stood up. “I want to see how bad this milk is.”

“You do that. Goodnight, Deirdre.”



Fun fact: the thing about the lighthouse is true, and if you go to Nantucket today and happen to go past the lighthouse at all, people will tell you. Every single time, they will tell you. Every. Single. Time.

Whaling was also in steep decline in Nantucket even in the 1850s, (though it was stronger in New Bedford) which means that by the time Herman Melville published Moby-Dick in 1851, the height of whaling on Nantucket had more or less passed. It’s still a cool place, though, so expect for a few notes with random facts – like the thing about the lighthouse – over the next few weeks.

Johann – 1.10.2

Content warning: Drug use

Johann paced back and forth. The girl who had come to see him earlier, Deirdre, had left him in a peculiar state. It might have been infatuation – it certainly wasn’t love, not yet – but he didn’t like it. He couldn’t tell if it was her or her behaviour towards him that drove him into such a state, but in any case it unsettled him deeply, and it interrupted his work.

He was going to bring back Dominic Sapping tonight, but before he did that he was going to do something he had been repeatedly told not to do. Something new, something bold, something that had not even been conceived of before. 

At first, Johann had considered going to the realm of the dead. That was something he could do not with his body, but with his mind, and it was dangerous. He could get permanently severed from his body if he went too far, or tried something he wasn’t ready for. That was all well and good, but he already knew what he would find there. Dead people. And while shaking the hand of Isaac Newton would have been enjoyable to say the least, it wasn’t what he really wanted to accomplish. He wanted to go somewhere no mortal soul, not even a dead one, had gone before. 

Deirdre had given him the idea. Some of his stranger books, the ones that could be considered actual grimoires, mentioned that there was a place beyond the afterlife, where no one went. It could supposedly be reached in a roundabout way through using a certain concoction to go to the realm of faeries, which didn’t sound real but apparently was completely real, then somehow reaching the outer place through there.

Normally, Johann would have laughed, but he had the powers of Hell at his fingertips now. He could do anything. 

He stopped at the table and opened a small wooden box that had been placed on it. Inside was a single syringe. He had mixed the drug inside himself, in accordance with the things he had found in certain books, and didn’t know if it would work or if it was even safe. He was still determined to try it, however, and nothing in the world could have dissuaded him. 

Johann took a deep breath as he pressed the cold metal of the needle to his skin. He had disinfected both his arm and the needle earlier, something he had learned to do from Duke Mephisto. He bit his lip and injected the thick black liquid into his vein.

At first, it seemed nothing had changed. A few minutes later, his head was a little clouded, his fingers felt slightly numb, but otherwise there was nothing amiss. Then he blinked, and suddenly was in a different place. 

The new room was made completely out of wood planks, with two small windows on one wall and a table and chair in the middle. It was dim, the only light coming from the fogged windows and single candle burning down to nothing on the table. He couldn’t tell the time, only that it was still dark out, and that the moon wasn’t yet sinking on the horizon. So, the drug hadn’t been fake or deadly after all. It had actually taken him somewhere new – or induced violent hallucinations, he couldn’t tell just yet. Johann sat down at the table and patted the chair beneath him. It seemed solid enough, and there certainly wasn’t a chair or anything for him to sit on in his room that could have mimicked it. 

On the table sat a series of objects. The first was an opaque wine bottle, still corked. Something in the back of Johann’s mind told him that he wouldn’t find wine when he opened it. The next object was a simple cup, as tall as Johann’s hand and made of unfired clay. The third was a piece of blunt metal, presumably for opening the bottle. Johann ran it against his hand and realized that there was nothing sharp in the room, and no cord. Nothing that would act as a weapon.  

“You want me to drink this, huh?” Johann asked it in German, though the chance that anyone understood or heard him was slim. There was silence in answer, so he uncorked the bottle and held it up to his nose to smell it.

It felt solid and real. Whatever was inside was completely odorless. It filled only half the bottle, and when he poured it into the cup he discovered there was only enough to fill the cup to the brim once.

Johann’s stomach turned. The cup was now full of purple sludge that was more like a gel than a drink. He dipped his finger in it, stuck it in his mouth, and immediately gagged. It tasted like smoke and rot, and had a bitter tone. He brought the cup to his lips, and, before he could lose his nerve, poured as much as he could into his mouth. It burned like fire as it went down, and left him coughing, spraying bits of the vile stuff across the room. Johann forced the next bit into his mouth, barely able to swallow it for his coughing and gagging. He was bent over on the floor, clutching his stomach and clenching his jaw. He wasn’t going to vomit it up, it was plain that he had to get all of it down to pass this strange test.

His breathing was ragged, and he felt a strange cold seeping through his body. Johann’s vision swam, and he keeled over, nearly vomiting onto the cold wooden floor. When he looked up, a small faerie was buzzing above his head.

Confused, Johann reached up to touch it, but the floor disappeared beneath him before his fingers could make contact. He fell, screaming, into a sea of something wet and cold, which turned solid almost immediately and put him lying on his back in the middle of a flat gray plane that ran on forever. He stood up, his head aching and his hair standing on end. The spot where he had injected himself was throbbing, and the pain slowly spread, bleeding the color from his body as it did, until he was as gray as the plane around him. Johann saw the bottle of purple sludge sitting on the ground next to him, refilled, with the cup next to it. 

He didn’t bother with the cup this time, instead lifting the bottle straight to his lips and choking down as much as he could. 

Nothing seemed to change this time, so, with no color left on his entire body, he chugged the rest of the bottle, smashed it on the ground, and started walking.

Johann wasn’t entirely sure where he was going, but walking seemed like a good bet. He kept his eyes cast down, not wanting to look at the stars of blighting yellow that hung above. 

He became aware of someone walking beside him. Johann looked up, and saw one of his brothers, Wilhelm, the one who had become a Catholic priest.

“Hey, if it isn’t Johann Godless,” he said. 

Johann glared. It was a stupid childhood nickname. He’d been called that for a particular incident where he declared his atheism in front of his then seminarian brother, at the grand age of thirteen. He had called himself ‘godless,’ which was probably part of the reason he’d been packed off to seminary himself only two years later, when his father drowned. “Go away,” he said. 

Wilhelm shrugged, and vanished into a puff of smoke.

“There’s no need to cry,” a voice Johann recognized said from behind him. He turned to see Albert Janson standing there. How odd that he should be here, since Johann had only ever met him once. 

“I’m not crying,” he said.

“Well, you should be,” he said. “This is getting worse, and it’s your fault. You bastard. If you knew what you were doing, like you think you do, you would turn right back around and walk straight into a church.” Albert Janson winced. “Father doesn’t like me to talk this way, you know? Tells me to bottle it all up. To not let anyone know that I’m sick, or that I really do have feelings. Anger, you know? Well, let me tell you right now, you selfish excuse for a doctor, that I’m angry at you. I hate you and everything you’ve done, but I don’t have to punish you because if you don’t stop worse things are going to happen than I could ever do. I mean, you’re here now, that should be enough warning.”

Johann was incensed. “I’m not going to stop. What have I done that can’t be undone? That isn’t good?”

“Everything,” Albert said sadly. “You’ve done everything.” 

As Johann glared at him, his face shifted into Deirdre’s.

“Johann!” She said. “Johann, wake up. Come on, wake up!”

“No!” He shouted back. “I’m not stopping, and nothing you people can say will make me.”

His vision distorted. There was no color anywhere now, it was being leached away by the blinding pain in his arm and the shadow figure Deirdre had dissolved into. When he blinked, Johann saw snatches of thick forest, open meadows, laughing figures dancing in a circle around a fire. A woman held out a peach to him, but when he reached out to take it he saw how unnatural and fae her face was, and he dared not. The woman crushed the peach in her hand, causing violet liquid to seep out of her fist and onto the grass, where it looked remarkably like blood.
Suddenly, his eyes snapped open and he found himself lying on the slate ground, sweating and breathing hard. He felt shaky and weak, but better than he had before. His arm hurt no longer, but the world was still in shades of gray.

In front of him was a stone well, and inside of it was an open void. Johann had a coin in his pocket, which he tossed off into the void. It fell down, down, down, until he couldn’t see it anymore. Though he listened for a long time, he never heard it hit anything.

Well. He wasn’t going to see anything from up here, that was for sure. Johann drew back, and, before he could lose his nerve, climbed onto the well’s side and threw himself into the void.

He fell for a long time, long enough that he became bored and started to plan out his grocery list for the next day. Eventually he thought he heard a dull buzzing, far away from him. It grew louder and louder as he fell, until he slammed his hands over his ears. It did nothing. The buzzing was inside his head, it was outside of his head, it was everywhere. His reality. 

At last, he heard water, and saw a vast black ocean beneath him. The buzzing wouldn’t stop, it surrounded him, it drowned him. He slammed into the water, and sank down until his lungs screamed and his fingers brushed something metal in the water next to him. He curled his hand around it, and swam for the surface.

Johann gasped for air. He opened his hand to see what the metal thing he’d found was, and discovered that it was the coin he’d thrown earlier. At least that made vague sense. He looked up  and saw someone dressed in red looking down at him from the mouth of the well, which was far too close given the amount of time he’d fallen.

The person in red watched him treading water for what must have been an hour or more, not once moving. Johann grew bored again, and lifted his arm up to check the spot where he’d injected himself. There was no visible puncture wound.

He was vaguely aware that in the next hour or so he had a conversation with this figure, and he saw something that was so horrible he mind blocked it out. The memories disappeared as soon as they formed, blowing away like smoke at the tips of his fingers. Whatever was said or done, he couldn’t remember, and it seemed like he was just trying to tread water at the bottom of the well, with a massive chunk of missing time in the middle.

He looked up, and saw the person in red holding something circular over their head. The top to the well. The person watched him for a moment more, and he felt pity radiating off of them, and anger. Had he said or done something to enrage them? He couldn’t remember. They slid the cover over the top of the well, plunging Johann into total darkness.

Very slowly, his room faded back into view. It was black and white at first, until he blinked, and the color returned. 

Johann immediately went to a full length mirror that he’d bought from a pawn shop. Outwardly, he was still the same: light brown skin, short, messy, dark brown hair, black eyes, thin, spindly frame, angular features. He was breathing hard, and his hand clutched the coin so hard it hurt. The puncture wound from the syringe was bleeding, and something was amiss with the blood. For one thing, it was cold against his skin, despite having just been inside his body. For another, it didn’t look quite right in the mirror. In fact, it – 

Oh no. 

His blood was slate gray. 

Johann smiled at first, and wiped it away. Maybe it was some kind of ink, or part of the drug? That was disproven a moment later when he pricked his other arm with a needle and found that blood to be gray, too. He had bitten his tongue at some point, and when he opened his mouth to spit out blood it was also gray.

Well, that wasn’t necessarily bad. Johann had never seen anything to suggest that gray blood was unhealthy. He would just have to sleep on it and see if his blood was the same tomorrow. He tried his best to calm his mind, and turned to his bed.

His instruments for bringing back people were underneath it, and they only took a few moments to fully assemble. He’d had plenty of practice, since he’d brought back upwards of twenty people by now. Dominic Sapping would be the fourth he’d done in London, and, if his records were correct, the twenty-fifth in all the world. 

The actual task of bringing Sapping back took him less than five minutes, and when he was done he sat down to think. His hallucinations at the hands of the drug had troubled him greatly, especially the part where his brother and Deirdre had told him to wake him up. Albert Janson’s rant was disturbing, too, and the fact that three people he didn’t particularly care for would show up in his dreams to warn him was the worst of all. Why were they there? Were they connected to what he’d tried to do somehow? Johann took out a piece of paper, and drafted a letter to his mother, asking if Wilhelm was doing alright.

A buzzing sound filled his ears, and Johann’s heart skipped a beat. Maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. For a split second, he wanted to run.

Then that split second passed, and he rooted his feet in the ground. Running away from someone he’d just brought back on account of a mildly spooky noise was not something he was going to do. Ever. 

Dominic Sapping twitched on the table. Johann went over to him and sat down at the table. Sapping was handsome, in a way, with a solid jawline, wide shoulders, and thick muscles. His hair was a graying brown, cut short and thinning, and there was a bit of stubble on his chin. There were suture lines all over his chest, and one arm had been sewn back on after detaching. His face was largely untouched, though, and still looked like it had in his first life.

Sapping twitched again, and his mouth opened. He began to breathe, raggedly at first, but slowly his breath became more regular. This was by far the most exciting part of bringing someone back, when they actually started to breathe, and live. The moment when they at last opened their eyes was a close second, and their first word in their new life easily the third. Johann shifted excitedly in his chair, grinning. His twenty-fifth! That had to be a significant number. It was auspicious!

Suddenly, the breathing stopped. Johann was confused, and reached out to touch him. What had gone wrong? Where had he messed up? 

Sapping’s breathing did not resume for several minutes, and his pulse had stopped, so Johann stood and went to fetch something to hopefully shock his heart back into motion. He didn’t find it immediately, and had to dig around for it. Dammit, where was it? He could have sworn it was right on top.

Something thumped to the ground behind him. He turned to see Dominic Sapping standing on two feet, staring at him with a vacant, unseeing gaze. One of the suture lines had reopened, and gray blood dripped to the floor. 

That had never happened before. Johann felt a dull sense of panic, but it was smothered by a spreading emptiness, something close to sadness but so far away, simply a complete absence of feeling. Sapping’s eyes were yellow, and when he opened his mouth to speak flies poured out. 

“You need to stop this,” Sapping said. His voice had a whispery quality behind it, as if someone else were speaking on top of him.

“Are you a demon?” Johann asked. “These powers are mine, and hell-given. You cannot-”

Sapping closed the distance between them in a matter of seconds, and loomed far over Johann. He bared his teeth, showing the insects crawling between them. 

“These powers are not hell-given. You have gone too far. Stop now, and perhaps be saved.”

“But a demon gave them to me!” Johann would have been afraid, but he was too empty to even consider it.

“But you took them away from that. You went out, and now here you stand.”

“I won’t stop this. Besides, if Heaven and Hell do not exist, then nothing beyond them exists, and neither can you. See, it’s just an aftereffect of the drugs I’ve injected. Just an aftereffect!”

Sapping laughed, and coughed up thick gray liquid that spatted on Johann’s shirt. “No. Really, I would think that even you can tell fact from fiction.”

“Exactly, I can, and this is fiction.”

“You really won’t ever learn, will you? I would have thought that going beyond death itself would have been enough for you, and seeing your unholy creation possessed by an abomination from the void would have finished the task.”

Johann shook his head. “Never.”

Sapping – or, rather, the thing inside Sapping – gave a rattling sigh. “I suppose if I can’t convince you now, you’ll have to learn from someone else.” 

The world went black and white, but this time he did not allow himself to fall. Instead, he surged forward, grabbed at two sides of Sapping’s suture lines, and pulled as hard as he could. The effect was instantaneous. Sapping came apart like paper, and when Johann kicked him in the chest he went flying backwards, out the door and down the stairs. He slid backwards on gray blood, tried to stand, slipped, and fell down the next set of the stairs. Something that might have been a dog came flying out of Deirdre’s apartment after him, chased by a half-dressed man shouting in French. Chaos reigned downstairs for a few minutes, until the entire building went suddenly and ominously silent.

His rational mind knew these events were impossible, because he wasn’t that strong, but the rest of him wasn’t about to question his good luck, and his apartment was full of flies now. He was still colorblind, but his regular vision was starting to come back. He walked down the stairs, and went into Deirdre’s apartment, where he found her sitting at the table.

“Want to get a drink?” Johann asked.

He was immensely relieved when she nodded.

Deirdre – 1.8.2

Content warning: PTSD type flashbacks and implied abuse

Deirdre had watched the redheaded aristocrat, who she was certain she had met before, come and go, and had heard snatches of his argument with Johann. She walked to the other side of the hall and into a vacant flat, where there was a window facing onto the street. The aristocrat – Duke Leonard Mephisto, she now realized – hooked his arm around that of a woman with black hair and light brown skin. They had a quick conversation, before marching off laughing. That was mildly interesting, though Deirdre mostly cared for the revelation that Leonard was not, in fact, Johann’s lover. That put what she’d heard in better context.

Sylvia was away doing God knew what, Jean had gone out to tour the city and try to find work, so Deirdre was alone for the day. Alone, at least, until their second new roommate arrived, someone else who Sylvia knew. When they arrived it would be Deirdre, Sylvia, Jean, and them, four people in two rooms, which would be cramped but not too bad. The Murphys had nearly three times as many, and they got along alright.

Deirdre went back into their flat, and got out the bread Richard had given her. She made sure no one was in the hallway, then went up the stairs and knocked on Johann’s door.

He answered within the minute. His skin was light brown, his hair was several shades darker, and his eyes were two pools of inky abyss ringed in white. Deirdre blushed, embarrassed that she’d used those exact words to describe Johann’s eyes to Sylvia last night.

She had only run into him twice before: once at the train station, and once afterwards, when she was coming home from Richard’s house. He had tipped his hat to her then, and she’d seen his eyes, which were so strangely intriguing, knowing and utterly soulless.

“Yes?” Johann asked.

“I- I’m sorry- but you’re Johann Faust, right?”


“I saw you yesterday at the train station. Remember, right before the crash?”
Johann smiled, though it did not reach his eyes. “Yes, I remember. You lived with Do- the railroad

worker who died the night before last.”
“Yes!” Deirdre held up the bread. “I was wondering if you wanted to talk a little bit. I brought something for us to eat, if you do.”

Johann paused, then smiled, for real this time, and nodded. “I’d like that.” He opened the door, and she stepped inside his flat.

He lived in the attic of the building, in a small space that was perhaps as big as their flat but not divided into rooms or properly furnished. He had a bed with a dresser at its foot and a pair of living chairs beneath a window that overlooked the street. There was a desk and a bookcase that were pressed up under the other window, and a long table in the middle of the room. The table was covered in chemicals and strange tools and something big under a sheet which Deirdre did not inquire after, mostly because Johann walked straight past it. His luggage was piled in one corner, including one small canvas bag splattered with blood.

“Is that the one Dom saved?” Deirdre asked

“Dom? Oh, yes.” Johann picked it up and brought it over to her. “This one. It holds several vials of important chemicals I require to mix a substance dearly required for my work. Your father was very brave to sacrifice himself for it.”

“He wasn’t my father.” She knew that Dominic Sapping had been more of a father to her than her true father, but Deirdre did not say that. She pressed down the thoughts of her life before, and smiled at Johann to hide it.

“No? Oh, that’s right, he’s from the continent, and you’re Irish.”

“How do you know that?”

“I read it in the paper, how else?

For some reason, Deirdre laughed, which made him look at her strangely. Johann beckoned her forward, and the two of them went to sit in the armchairs under the front window.

“You have food?” Johann asked.

Deirdre unwrapped the loaf of bread, and broke it in half. Johann eagerly took his half, though he didn’t stuff it all down right there and then. Instead he broke it into bits, and leaned his head back so that he could toss them into his mouth.

“The paper said you live with your friend Sylvia,” Johann said.
Deirdre nodded. She thought for a moment that she could hear far-off tapping, the sound of someone leafing through pages, and drunken laughter, but when she smiled and blinked the sounds vanished. “Yes, I came to Sylvia and her father after…” She remembered a man tapping at the window. A book that cursed anyone who read it. Blood dripping down an open neck. “… After I left Ireland. They have been very kind to me.”

Johann nodded and tossed another piece of bread into his mouth. “Why’d you leave Ireland?”

“I…” Her mind went unbidden to memories of home. Pages flipping back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The man in red had eyes that were blots of yellow. He said it was a medical condition. Her new stepmother was deathly pale. She said she was from Russia. “… I don’t remember why I left.”

Johann nodded again, as if he understood. As if he knew exactly what she meant. “Psychological trauma, perhaps?”

Scattered memories came back to her without context. Her father said that she must never open the doors or windows when it was dark. The man in red took her brother away. He said he was sick. Her new stepmother never went to church. She said she preferred the darkness. “Maybe so.” Deirdre’s head swam. She felt sick to her stomach. “Do you have any water?”

Johann stood to fetch it, and the light coming from the window seemed to put emphasis on the flies buzzing about his room. Time stopped for a split second, and Deirdre could hear nothing but the buzzing and see nothing but the man in red’s yellow eyes reflected in Johann. All of the sudden, she could hear his voice, speaking inside her head.

Knowledge is the curse of man.

Deirdre took deep breaths.

It should not be given to the unworthy.

Johann was shaking her.

Nor should it be misused.

He wanted to know if she was alright.

Especially if it concerns another.

He wanted to know if it was his fault.

Deirdre looked up, and she thought for a moment that his eyes had gone the same blighting yellow as the man in red’s. It was a trick of the light, though, and in an instant all the sensations of her body and the room came rushing back to her. She smiled up at him and took the water from his hand.

After a long drink she settled back against the chair. He probably thought her either mad or exceedingly strange now, too strange to associate with. For some reason that made her laugh. To hell with trying to make him like her! What was the point of it, anyway? Why had she even come here

Johann, for his part, took it with remarkable calm. He smiled shyly at Deirdre, and put his hand out for her to hold while she finished the cup of water.

“Thank you for the bread,” Johann said once she’d finished.

Deirdre grinned at him. “It doesn’t matter.”

Johann nodded. “I’ve always felt that very little in life mattered, but can we say that making a new friend is one occasion that does?”

Deirdre shrugged and stuffed some of the bread into her mouth. “It doesn’t matter.”

“Who told you that?”

“Someone with eyes.” That was the main thing she remembered about him. Blighting yellow eyes.

“Well, I suppose that narrows it down a little. Was it someone in Ireland?”

“He was from the place I was never to go.” Deirdre’s hands trembled badly as she lifted bread to her mouth. “He sometimes came up the stairs to the basement.”

“Had he gone down them?”

“No, he would just come up.”

“Do you need medication?” Johann asked. “For your body, I mean. For your hands.”

“I might need it for my mind, as well. I never wanted to go to a doctor, even though my father told me that if I ever told anyone what happened at our house I would have to.”

“I can understand that. The doctors of today are less than helpful.”

“How would you know?”

“I know.”

They sat there not speaking for a few minutes, both of their minds a thousand miles away. Deirdre could not say where Johann was, but she was thinking of the man in red, and how he wanted her to return to him and his books. She wondered if Richard knew about the man in red, or the inhuman creatures that followed him. Did Richard know that his friend, Leonard, was inhuman as well? Was Richard inhuman himself?

“Have you ever met a man named Richard Golson?” Deirdre asked.

“Yes, he delivers bodies to me for my work.”

Deirdre sighed. ‘Government job.’ “He’s my friend.”


“Yes, one of my very best friends in the entire world.” Not that she had many. Deirdre could count the friends she had on one hand. “Do you know Duke Mephisto?” What a stupid question. Duke Mephisto had just been there.

“Yes, he’s Golson’s fence. And… and he’s my patron. I suppose.” He scowled.

Deirdre sighed. ‘I work for Duke Mephisto.’

Johann looked out the window. “There’s someone out there, Deirdre.”

“What does he look like?”

“He has a red cape and frock coat on. Oh, and black pants. That’s all I can see from here.”

The man in red. Deirdre stood, and said, “I have to go see him. He’s here to talk with me.”

“How do you-“

“He’s here to talk. Goodbye, Johann Faust, it was good seeing you.”

She turned on her heel and went to the door, opened it, and rushed down the stairs. The man in red was coming up the stairs, she could hear him walking, and she had to be ready for him when he came. She had to-

Jean came out the door of their flat and grabbed her shoulder. “Did you see the man who just arrived?”

“The man in red?”

“Hm? Oh, I suppose he is wearing red. No, this is the new man who is coming to live with us.”

“A man?

Jean shrugged. “His name is Johnson and he’s an American.”

Deirdre pulled away from him. Should she be happy at not having to face the man in red, or unhappy that a new man would be moving in with them? She didn’t know him, didn’t know his family or his name, or where he came from. What if he was like her father? Like her family?

The man – Johnson – had come up the stairs, and stood on the landing. He looked up, and smiled at them. “Good morning, my friends.”

Oh God. Yellow eyes, sallow skin, teeth that pointed just a little too much. There was hunger behind those eyes. His hair was shale gray. Deirdre bit back rising panic.

“Good morning, Mr Johnson,” Jean said.

“I would assume that you have my room ready?”

“You’ll need to share with me.”

“Fantastic. Show me where I can put down my bags.” Johnson smiled at Deirdre as he walked up the stairs. “The mad girl you told me about, I presume?”

Not mad. Simply aware, more so than most people. “I would not consider myself a mad girl, Mr Johnson.” Deirdre smiled. “Unless you should give me cause to be angry.”

Johnson laughed. All his teeth were pointed, and he had far too many of them.

“Perhaps you will be so kind as to grace us with your first name?” Jean said.

“My given name is Tate.”

Deirdre smiled again and gave an awkward curtsy. “Deirdre.”

Jean stuck out his hand. “Jean Gévaudan.”

Tate’s smile was too wide. He unclasped his golden cloak, threw it over his arm, and held out his hand. “My name is Tate Johnson.” All of his fingers were the same length.

It was raining outside, though Tate was bone dry. Was it raining? She was certain that it had previously been sunny. Deirdre smiled. It was the only response

Tate’s frock coat and undershirt were gray, devoid of any color. “I come from Virginia. I am escaping the war.”

“There’s a war?” Deirdre asked.

“There will be. The decade has only now begun, but mark my words, there will be blood before it ends.” Tate smiled. “I was a slave trader.”

“And now you’re destitute in London,” Jean said. “And it is August of 1860, and there is no war in the United States of America yet.”

“Yes, I suppose it is.” His yellow eyes bored into Deirdre. Her breathing was tight.

She curtsied again and said, “I’ll be going now. I have to meet a friend.”

“Have fun,” Tate said.

She would have to find someone to meet. It was dangerous with someone like him around. Deirdre brushed past him, and heard tap-tap-tap coming from behind her as she walked down the stairs.


First of all, I’ve been having some computer problems lately, so if there’s any punctuation mistakes/typos I overlooked, please let me know so that I can fix them.

Secondly, this story will from now on update on Mondays and Thursdays for sure, and possibly Saturdays if I’ve written especially quickly that week, or if there’s something I want to share about the story in general.

Thank you for reading!