Over the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing additional excerpts from the novella Hood & Fae, the first of my new urban fantasy series Daughters of Little Red Riding Hood. Hood & Fae is currently available in the fantasy bundle Faery Realms: Ten Magical Titles on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords or Google Play.
All around, the once beautiful forest had been transformed, as if it had been ravaged by a forest fire then turned into a dump yard. The Douglas firs were blackened skeletons, surrounded by tattered skirts of plastic grunge. Trash blew everywhere: empty bags of chips, crumpled spit wads of aluminum foil, newspaper (really? who even reads those anymore?) plastic bottles, glass bottles, beer cans, whole subdivisions of cigarette butts.
“It’s like all the delinquents of all the high schools in the country snuck to this very spot to have a smoke,” I marveled.
“Why do you think the trees are all burned? A lot of pyromaniacs end up in echelons like this. But not a lot of firefighters.”
“I don’t know. She can’t be far, but we don’t dare rush. This may the juvie hall of Hell, but it’s still a dangerous place.”
“Is it… did we really go anywhere? Everything looks the same, but warped.”
“Every echelon is like a mirror earth. A funhouse mirror.”
“But some are less fun than others.”
“I don’t know which one we’re in yet, but I can tell it’s one of the Ghoulie earths. If it were an echelon of Hades, it would be much worse.”
Ghoulie: the opposite of Faerie. “But it’s still part of Hell.”
“Yeah. So watch your back.”
“Can Bryn see all this without a Talisman?”
“She can now. She’s here in her human body, same as we are.”
We heard a scream.
“I’d say we found her,” Cormac remarked.
WARNING: This novel is only appropriate for older teens and adults, because it contains #$%*&@ words. Spelled out for real, though. Even that one that starts with “F.” Yeah, it’s in there, in a couple places. Also, “dumbkof,” but that’s in another language, so it won’t bother you.