To celebrate the release of The Violent Fae, the closing chapter of the Ordshaw series’ The Sunken City Trilogy, Phil Williams is sharing twelve short stories from the city of Ordshaw. The Ordshaw Vignettes are tiny insights into life in the UK’s worst-behaved city, each presenting a self-contained mystery.
You can read today’s story below. For the full collection, visit all the wonderful blogs in the tour.
Ordshaw and The Violent Fae
The Ordshaw series are urban fantasy
thrillers set in a modern UK city with more than a few terrible secrets. The Violent Fae completes a story that
began with Under Ordshaw and its
sequel Blue Angel – following poker
player Pax Kuranes’ journey into the Ordshaw underworld. Over the space of one
week, Pax unravels mysteries that warp reality and threaten the entire city.
The Violent Fae will be available from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback from November 5th2019.
James, Miles and Ray raced a straight mile if it was a
metre, no cars, no one in the old factory buildings. James finished first,
Miles just behind and Ray last, out of breath. They skidded their bikes in
half-circles, churning dust.
full length of Manland Road stretched back between huge buildings and tall
walls. Longer than you could see to the end of, with no one to tell them to put
on their helmets or slow down. Ray’s mum would kill them if she knew.
fair, I got grit in my eye,” Ray panted, hunched over his handlebars.
again?” Miles repeated. James was looking the other way.
all looked, and they were all dead quiet.
gone faster and further than ever before – right to the end, where Manland hit
a narrow street with a burnt brick wall creating a barrier the other side. They
were supposed to stop at the Give Way sign, to be safe. Their parents forbid
riding on Manland Road, or anywhere in the warehouse district, but everyone
knew this was where it really got
the far curb sat a broken bit of machinery. Miles asked, “Is that a fridge?”
look,” James said.
Miles warned. They all stared at the appliance. It had wires and pipes and
stuff twisting out of one side and a bent, half-open panel on the other.
you to run up and touch it,” James said.
Miles said. “I dare you.”
heard a guy stepped off Manland Road,” Ray said, “and a spike went right
through his shoe. He got a disease and died two weeks later.”
heard bank robbers drove through to get away from the police, and their tyres
burst, and the car crashed. No one survived.”
way,” James said. “But I heard a drunk accidentally walked this way and no one
ever saw him again.”
Ray said. “From here to Kilbert Avenue, people see dead animals. Pinned to
telegraph posts, lying in the gutter.”
all knew all the stories; last time it was James who believed in bank robbers.
But standing there, the street ahead looked almost normal. James said, “Bet we
could run and touch it. Last one back has to kiss Miles’ mum.”
all laughed, eww, and then the bikes
were on the ground and they were shoulder to shoulder, itching to go. Each put
one foot forward, toeing the line where Manland Road met No Man’s Land. Each
put an arm out, testing the air. Grins hid their fear.
plunged clumsily ahead with the final count. Miles and James pushed each other,
quickly overtaking him. Heads down, laughter turning to shrieks. Eyes ahead –
no looking aside or you’d see what was coming – the killer evil who owned this
territory! They hit the metal box – one, two, three palms slapping it and a
scrape of shoe on gravel, turning back, screaming – the evil surrounding them,
about to snatch them!
crossed the line first, head forward and arms back, squealing over the finish
line. Miles was right behind him, shouting he almost had it. And Ray blundered
up beside them, out of breath again, face red and relieved.
Miles and Ray looked back at the appliance they’d triumphed over and laughed at
it – take that,No Man’s Land. Their joy slowly wound down and they relaxed,
mission complete. They turned away, dinner well-earned today.
bikes!” Ray gasped.
all looked, and they were all dead quiet. They’d only been gone a second. Only
ran across a road and touched that old appliance. What happened? Broken glass?
was a mile if it was a metre, back down Manland Road.
Adam is a Pennsylvania resident and has been reviewing and blogging SFF since 2017. When he's not reading or working his day job as a pharma consultant, he enjoys writing reviews, beta reading, and story editing. He loves hockey, his family, and his ridiculously adorable kittens. Hit him up at @swiff