London pale, p.1
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           JA Laflin
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London Pale


  London Pale

  (Revised Edition)

  -A Prequel-

  by

  JA Laflin

  Published by Agnec Press

  Revised Edition Copyright ©2014 by JA Laflin. All Rights Reserved.

  Cover design and art by JA Laflin.

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

  London Pale and demiGod are works of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.

  Preface

  This is, in a roundabout way, sort of an odd prequel. It is really just a short story about our always reluctant hero Aiden ending up on an adventure. An adventure in which the long-term consequences flow into the series which I am currently writing.

  This story, along with the full length novels which follow, is a result of nearly a decade of story development, trials and fails, and writing, writing, and more writing... More ironically, this particular incarnation actually began as a webcomic, but in the long run, I knew I needed another medium to really tell the story I had discovered. It is with Aiden that the story works so well, and I hope you'll enjoy following his story as much as I enjoy writing it.

  At the end of this short, I have also included the Prologue and the First Chapter of demiGod : Part I, for your reading pleasure. If you like what you read, please tell a friend and read on to demiGod Parts I and II. The story only gets better from there. Enjoy.

  -JA Laflin

  Table of Contents

  London Pale

  (Extras)

  Prologue - The Burning

  Chapter 1 - Of Agnecs and Amblers

  Author's Note

  London Pale

  There was a darkness, a void. Aiden somehow felt at home there, but only for the strange sense of solitude. In the distance he saw a myriad of tiny lights, each moving and glowing independently, like an array of fireflies he'd seen many nights ago. Numerous voices joined in song, causing him to stir. The hair on his neck stood up while the voices—the unearthly voices—grew louder.

  “Give forth your song and let us make them as we are,” the voices proclaimed in unison.

  Aiden made to stand, but realized he could no longer move. Had he been able to move in the first place? He couldn't remember. Now he was forced to watch the events unfold.

  A dread crept into him that forced his bones to try and shake free, but something was keeping him in the darkness, frozen. An intense glow arose from somewhere deep in the abyss. The distant song grew louder. The glow intensified, turning shades of red as it took on a life of its own and crawled upward.

  A massive shadow filled the expanse, made visible by a crimson glow that somehow illuminated the silhouette.

  Aiden could smell soil. And water.

  He was terrified as the massive shadow moved, writhed, and then sprouted wings. It was on fire, but never burning.

  The beast turned, revealing a massive beak and piercing eyes. Each feather was a tuft of flame.

  From the beak, a wind blew Aiden onto his back. A pain gripped him, but he could only lay there, paralyzed by the darkness.

  ***

  As usual, Aiden's ears were ringing slightly when he awoke. He wrestled with the sheets, wondering why they weren't cooperating, but soon he realized his eyes were still closed. Things came easier once he could pry his eyes open. Bright strips of sunlight bled through the blinds on his window, bringing heat to every place they landed. He sat up and began to pull his clothes on. He noticed that the room was in particular disrepair, and D'Natis was gone.

  Aiden stood up finally and walked to the door, trying not to trip over haphazardly strewn clothing, his old television set, and his bicycling equipment. He stopped to look at himself in the mirror on the back of the door, running a hand through his dark hair and noticing the rings around his eyes. He looked pale and gaunt.

  "If you don't take better care of yourself, the Amblers are gonna think you're a vampire..." he thought aloud, smirking.

  He had almost looked away from the mirror when something large and black entered into view behind him. He spun around to face it. The raven was staring at him knowingly, perched on the windowsill at the far corner of the room, feathers ruffled from a breeze entering the open window. It was D'Natis. Aiden smiled.

  "Wondered where you went," Aiden said, approaching the bird.

  "Just patrolling as usual," the raven said, his voice having always reminded Aiden of a mix between a hiss and a croak. "But I do have a message for you."

  Surprised, Aiden stepped forward and took a seat on his bed.

  "Master Menlir has a mission-" D'Natis began.

  "Menlir?" Aiden stood up again, his arms out in a gesture of disbelief. "Menlir? What could that guy possibly want? He's always playing jokes, taking bets..."

  "If you'd control yourself, I'll tell you," D'Natis said, his tone firm.

  Aiden was silenced.

  "He has a mission for you," the raven continued. "I would take it if I were you. And before you whine and moan about it, you must know that he's willing to pay you, in whatever currency you desire."

  Aiden stopped and thought for a moment. "Hmm..." he feigned deep thought. "Well, whatever it is, I'm sure he has good reasons..."

  "I thought you'd say something like that," D'Natis said, his head cocked, glaring at Aiden with his dark liquid eye. "At any rate, he wants to meet with you at the Gryphon Claw to discuss particulars."
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