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Monday, November 4, 2019

The Ordshaw Vignettes Blog Tour: The Homeless by Phil Williams


To celebrate the release of The Violent Fae, the closing chapter of the Ordshaw seriesThe 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. .

We at FBC are proud to be a part of Phil William’s Ordshaw Vignettes blog tour. You can read today’s story THE HOMELESS below. For the full dozen, visit all the previous wonderful blogs in the tour which are hyperlinked at the end.....

(Noir City art courtesy of Eddie Mendoza)

The Homeless 

Horace came round the concrete column under the ring road and gave the foreigner a no-nonsense stare. The gypsy was smiling stupidly at the crumpled beer can in his hand, sitting amongst weeds in the overpass shadows.

“She was laughing, don’t tell me you weren’t sharing some joke,” Horace said. The guy looked up with bright eyes behind long straggly hair, grin just visible within his birds’ nest beard.

“What’s that?”

“I heard her bloody laughing, I ain’t crazy.”

“So you heard her, I never said you were crazy.”

“What – don’t play smart – Big Clive heard it too, tell him.” Big Clive grunted at Horace’s shoulder, warning the foreigner to stop pissing about. He was great mass of filth, Clive, wrapped in blanket scraps because it was hard scavenging clothes that fit. That’s why Horace did the talking, in his dinner jacket, never mind the holes – better than the gypsy’s shaggy leathers. Horace said, “You got a girl over here, when we’re sharing this space – only polite for you to share and all.”

“Didn’t realise this was yours to share.” The gypsy stood, a kind of cheer-filled madness in his eyes. High on something. He was bigger than Horace but not up to Clive’s shoulder. Thick around the middle, too, well fed. The girl wasn’t all he was keeping to himself.

“Got a lot to learn, you do,” Horace said. He tried to spot the girl’s hiding place. Lot of dark shadows here, but not much space, unless she dug off under the fence. He eyeballed the foreigner. “No god-damned manners, you know that?”

“Friend, I’ve only sat here enjoying my own company.”

“And a girl’s,” Big Clive said.

“And a girl,” Horace agreed.

“Gentlemen, please.” The gypsy turned on the spot, almost like a dance move, one hand swinging about the grotty lair. “Say there was talking, and that your eyes don’t trick you, then this woman must be quite hard to see. That don’t worry you?”

“The hell is he talking about?” Horace demanded. Clive looked like he’d lost this train three stops ago.

“This city!” the gypsy said brightly, a finger suddenly pointing Horace’s way. “I’ve seen such strange, almost beautiful, ever-terrifying things. Do you want to see them? Are you sure?”

“Bloody mad.” Horace shook his head. Brains fried on whatever powder was putting people in the gutter this month. “You gonna tell us we imagined the boy, too? Where’s he at, now? Maybe we share him, instead.” The stranger’s smile finally failed. Yeah, carefree till you’re not. Horace showed his remaining teeth in a mocking grin. “Girl, boy, don’t matter none to us.”

“Don’t talk about my son,” the gypsy spat.

“Your son?” Horace laughed. “Hey, Clive, he has a son. One he’s not even looking after, now, what’s that say? Left him digging through trash while you’re with the lady?”

The guy’s fists were clenched. Tough looking hands, must’ve scrapped some, same as all of them. But he was a joker. An out-of-towner. What the hell did he know? Horace took out the blade. Not something you could call a knife, broken off an old toaster, but sharp enough to damage. It surprised the gypsy – too fool to expect a tool. Horace assured, “Welcome to Ordshaw, moron. Not gonna give us the lady? We’ll have the boots. And the jacket.”

But the gypsy relaxed. Hands loose. “Ah. You’ve done it now.”

“Huh?”

“She would’ve allowed a fight, but won’t stand for weapons.”

“What the bleeding hell are you –”

There was a firecracker bang, making Clive leap a foot off the ground, and a clang as the blade hit the dirt. Horace rotated his empty hand, stunned. A little bead of blood swelled to the surface. On both sides. Something had gone right through. It took a second for the pain to register.

“Next one’s in your fucking head,” a small woman’s voice said.

Horace screamed.

Clive was away, thumping off in useless fear. Horace clamped his good hand over the injured one with pained gasps. He looked desperately to the gypsy. “What was that – what you do – shit –”

The man shrugged. “I apologise. They mostly stay out of the way, but they are a violent people. It’s best I go – I am very sorry.”

Rooted to the spot, unable to comprehend the wound that gripped him, Horace whimpered at the stranger’s back. The gypsy strolled away, slipping back into conversation with his unseen companion: “You didn’t have to shoot him.”

“A bit of Fae wisdom, beardo: when we can, we do.”

                                          *---------------*---------------*---------------*

Previous Blog Tour Spots:

Lynn’s Books - 22-Oct -The Banker

Space and Sorcery - 23-Oct - The Troubled Child

Bookshine & Readbows - 24-Oct - The Concierge

Brainfluff - 25-Oct - The Crane Driver

The BiblioSanctum - 28-Oct - The Chemist

Paper Plane Reviews - 29-Oct - The Neighbours

Out of this World SFF Reviews - 30-Oct - The Artist

RockStarlit Book Asylum - 31-Oct - The Family

Jon Auerbach - 01-Nov - The Composer

Fantasy Book Review - 02-Nov - The Gang

Whispers & Wonder - 03-Nov - The Fixer

Fantasy Book Critic 04-Nov The Homeless

About 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 5th 2019.



Order The Violent Fae over HERE (US) & HERE (UK)

Official Book Blurb: They hid among us, until she exposed them.

They'll destroy everything to be hidden again.

Pax is discovering that the smallest mistakes can have the deadliest impact. To protect her city, she's uncovered monstrous truths and involved terrible people. The consequences are coming for her.

The Sunken City is unstable. The Fae are armed for war.

Can Pax stop the coming disaster?

In this closing chapter of the Sunken City trilogy, Williams weaves the complex strands of Pax's misadventure into a truly thrilling conclusion.



Official Author Website

Official Author Information: Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle.

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