Tag: Jim Butcher

White Night – Jim Butcher

Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are. I pulled my battle-scarred, multicolored old Volkswagen Beetle up in front of a run-down Chicago apartment building, not five blocks from my own rented basement apartment. Usually, by the time the cops call me, things are pretty frantic; there’s at least […]

Turn Coat – Jim Butcher

The summer sun was busy broiling the asphalt from Chicago’s streets, the agony in my head had kept me horizontal for half a day, and some idiot was pounding on my apartment door. I answered it and Morgan, half his face covered in blood, gasped, “The Wardens are coming. Hide me. Please.” His eyes rolled […]

Summer Knight – Jim Butcher

It rained toads the day the White Council came to town. I got out of the Blue Beetle, my beat-up old Volkswagen bug, and squinted against the midsummer sunlight. Lake Meadow Park lies a bit south of Chicago’s Loop, a long sprint from Lake Michigan’s shores. Even in heat like we’d had lately, the park […]

Storm Front – Jim Butcher

I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual. He didn’t sound right. His footsteps fell more heavily, jauntily, and he whistled. A new guy. He whistled his way to my office door, then fell silent for a moment. Then he laughed. Then he knocked. I winced. My mail comes […]

Small Favor – Jim Butcher

W inter came early that year; it should have been a tip-off. A snowball soared through the evening air and smacked into my apprentice’s mouth. Since she was muttering a mantra-style chant when it hit her, she wound up with a mouthful of frozen cheer— which may or may not have been more startling for […]

Skin Game – Jim Butcher

There was a ticking time bomb inside my head and the one person I trusted to go in and get it out hadn’t shown up or spoken to me for more than a year. That’s a lot of time to start asking yourself questions. Who am I? What have I done with my life? Who […]

Proven Guilty – Jim Butcher

Blood leaves no stain on a Warden’s grey cloak. I didn’t know that until the day I watched Morgan, second in command of the White Council’s Wardens, lift his sword over the kneeling form of a young man guilty of the practice of black magic. The boy, sixteen years old at the most, screamed and […]

Grave Peril – Jim Butcher

There are reasons I hate to drive fast. For one, the Blue Beetle, the mismatched Volkswagen bug that I putter around in, rattles and groans dangerously at anything above sixty miles an hour. For another, I don’t get along so well with technology. Anything manufactured after about World War II seems to be susceptible to […]

Ghost Story – Jim Butcher

Life is hard. Dying’s easy. So many things must align in order to create life. It has to happen in a place that supports life, something approximately as rare as hen’s teeth, from the perspective of the universe. Parents, in whatever form, have to come together for it to begin. From conception to birth, any […]

Fool Moon – Jim Butcher

I never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon. So I didn’t know that it was one night shy of being full when a young woman sat down across from me in McAnally’s pub and asked me to tell her all about something that could get her killed. “No,” I said. […]

Death Masks – Jim Butcher

Some things just aren’t meant to go together. Things like oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. Wizards and television. Spotlights glared into my eyes. The heat of them threatened to make me sweat streaks through the pancake makeup some harried stagehand had slapped on me a few minutes before. Lights on top of cameras […]

Dead Beat – Jim Butcher

On On the whole, we’re a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, the very first child born to mortal parents, Cain, snapped and popped the […]

Cold Days – Jim Butcher

Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, has unique ideas regarding physical therapy. I woke up in softness. What I probably should say was that I woke up in a soft bed. But . . . that just doesn’t convey how soft this bed was. You know […]

Changes – Jim Butcher

I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, “They’ve taken our daughter.” I sat there for a long five count, swallowed, and said, “Um. What?” “You heard me, Harry,” Susan said gently. “Oh,” I said. “Um.” “The line isn’t secure,” she said. “I’ll be in town tonight. We can talk then.” “Yeah,” I said. “Okay.” […]

Brief Cases – Jim Butcher

Some stories happen because a writer gets inspired by some wild idea that needs expression. Some stories are carefully put together as part of a greater whole. And some stories you write because a professional friend asks you if you want to contribute to an anthology, and it sounds like a really fun idea. This […]

Blood Rites – Jim Butcher

The building was on fire, and it wasn’t my fault. My boots slipped and slid on the tile floor as I sprinted around a corner and toward the exit doors to the abandoned school building on the southwest edge of Chicagoland. Distant streetlights provided the only light in the dusty hall, and left huge swaths […]

Furies of Calderon – Jim Butcher

Amara rode atop the swaying back of the towering old gargant bull, going over the plan in her head. The morning sun shone down on her, taking the chill out of the misty air and warming the dark wool of her skirts. Behind her, the axles of the cart squeaked and groaned beneath their loads. […]

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