Bloodsticks - Chapter 12
“I need…” I start to say, but the words bind up in my throat. My chest heaves. “I need,” but the words won’t come out like I want them to. Someone kill me now!
This is the second award-winning work of Höbin Luckyfeller, and the second book in his Field Guide series. The script is hot and fresh and we also have a new cover for the book!
When Höbin is contracted to research the popular game of chance, he quickly learns the truth surrounding its history is anything but. Circumstances unfold faster than he can anticipate, pulling Höbin from his assignment and thrusting him into the shadows of intrigue, magic…and murder.
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Chapter 12 — Day Nine
It takes a considerable amount of time to get back into the Black Market. It’s important I get inside without drawing undue attention to myself, mostly because I’ve become quite fond of my skin. Unfortunately, it requires a bribe to keep Horst from complaining and causing a loud scene. I definitely don’t want a scene. There’s no way of knowing if any of the Sentry are on Keeley’s payroll.
I promise to get him any item he wants, within reason…and I’m willing to call in favors to get it. Food, antiques, herbs, even drugs — though seeing his reaction to that last offer, I won’t suggest it again. Just need to slip into the Market without a sound.
Turns out to be easier than I thought.
Horst has a fetish for women’s sandals.
Just when you think you know someone.
Lucky for me, the streets are crowded with patrons and vendors. Unless someone’s specifically looking for an old gnome, no one’s gonna notice me.
Taking an immediate right turn outside the entrance, I hobble as fast as I can along the upper path, behind the first row of buildings. These are mostly homes of local merchants. At the end of the row, a wide open space and a small patch of soil where käärunä is grown can be found. There’s no other path I can take without being seen, so I wait for a crowd to exit Leilani’s clothing store. When they turn their attention elsewhere, I tag along in their wake. A few seconds later, I’m able to dash between the buildings.
My heart is beating so hard, I’m afraid it’s going to burst from my chest. Don’t know what’s worse — being caught and skinned by Keeley…or having to deal with Dodie, the owner of Inimitable Essentials. I grit my teeth and swallow hard, then slip around the corner and through the door, closing it quickly behind me.
Out of the frying pan and into the fiery succubus pit of hell.
Inimitable Essentials is the only place I know of where you can ask for any component your mind can conceive, for science and magic…so long as it’s hard to find and very expensive. You’d never guess Dodie McGlynn was one of the wealthiest residents of the Market, from all the vials, jars and who-knows-what hanging from ropes and hooks behind the counter. The narrow building is deceptive, as is its capacity to store her inventory.
The key lies within the drawers. Thousands of them behind the counter, each one three inches wide by three inches high — with a label and an oxidized copper knob to pull on. Petrified goat's horn to pickled vallen liver, powdered dragon testicles to the filtered bile of a deep sea cavern serpent…she has it all in those tiny drawers. Magically enchanted and protected so only she can touch them, only she can open them to access their priceless contents.