Coup Chapter 1

Part one

Panel 1: general chaos happening around Brandan
Panel 2: more general chaos happening around Brandan
Panel 3: Close up on Brandan’s face, very angry
Panel 4: Close up on Brandan’s face, eye twitch.

Part two

“And then, of course, the final chapter will be a gratuitous sex scene to keep Macy’s readers happy,” B.S.Roberts stated, dropping the golden quill pen onto the desk. He leaned back, finding relief in the popping in his spine. “Outline, done.”

“Outline done,” Poe mimicked from the window.

Apparently, it was just in time, too, because the door opened, revealing the silhouette of Macy Blush in the light.

“Damn it! Damn it,” the raven shrieked.

Macy ignored the bird, having long ago grown used to the corvid. With her attention fully on the ghostwriter she’d summoned several years prior, she put her hands on her hips. “Are you done with the outline yet?”

“Just finished,” B.S.Roberts said, motioning to the parchment on the ink-stained desk.

Her brows furrowed as she scowled at the sight. “One page?”

“Your stories are pretty straightforward,” the ghostwriter conceded.

“Regardless, it took you a week to write it?” When B.S.Roberts wasn’t forthcoming, Macy’s eyes widened in understanding. “You wrote something else.”

“What? No—”

“Put it on the table,” she snapped.

“But I didn’t—”

“Don’t make me use the summoning bindings on you,” she cooed, her voice almost sympathetic. “We both know how much you hate it when I have to use those.”

With a groan, B.S.Roberts opened the top drawer, pulled out several parchments, and placed them on the desktop next to the outline.

“Now go to the other side of the circle. You know how this works.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

As soon as the ghostwriter was safely on the other side of the room against the barrier created by the summoning circle, Macy Blush reached through the threshold of the magic and pulled all the parchments off the table. She examined the title of the short story. “Writers Block, hm? How apt.”

B.S.Roberts gave her a shrug, but the adventuring author didn’t see it because she was already in the story.

“Damn it,” Poe called, earning himself a shush from Macy.

After an eternity, B.S.Roberts’s captor looked up, opened her mouth, and froze. A glazed look crossed her features, and she froze in place.

Several long seconds passed, and the ghostwriter shifted his weight nervously. “Uh, are you okay?”

Whatever had befallen Macy Blush snapped. As if nothing had happened, she said, “This is rubbish. And I can’t use it anyway; I could be liable for libel—Astrolabe Abbey’s lawyers would have a field day with this!”

“But…I made them up for the story,” he muttered.

“You likely heard me talking about them at some point, and the name stuck,” the adventurer said, waving her hand dismissively.

B.S.Roberts shifted his weight. “Oh, probably.”

“Now, let’s see this outline.” She scanned the outline and raised a sculpted eyebrow. “The title A Taste of the Downunder feels a bit—”

“It’s just a working title,” the ghostwriter interjected. “It can be changed.”


In a timeframe that seemed to equal her reading Writers Block, the ghostwriter shifted his weight back and forth between his legs several times. At last, she looked up. “Toss it.”


“Don’t continue with it. It’s too similar to The Wizard’s Staff. Cross it off the list and work on the next listed title. Warding Bond, I think it was?”

“Uh, yeah. Probably. That’s the one that’s supposed to be about an artificer with a harem of ghosts?”

Macy Blush, who had been in the process of leaving, paused and looked over her shoulder, her shoulder-length graying hair pulling off one of those moves that film directors like to capture. God did he miss movies.  “It’ll say on the parchment I gave you.”

“Okay, but I don’t really know much about ghosts and stuff on Faewalk… Could you get me some references on the undead and supernatural?”

She thought over the request and nodded. “I’ll have my agent drop them off tomorrow. I have a new quest over in the Nickelback Mountains.” Then, she was out of the room, closing the door behind her.

“A reverse harem, huh? This should be interesting.”

He returned to the desk, crumbled up the outline he’d just finished, and began brainstorming.

A phantom of prose, my presence unknown,
countless words and stories have I sown.
Silent companion to authors of fame,
I lend them my skill, but never receive acclaim.

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