My name is Jonah Carrow, and it’s been 300 days since I laid a hex.
OK, Jonah Carrow isn’t actually an alcoholic. But there’s no support group of lapsed hex-slingers in Jerusalem, so he’s got to make do. He goes for the bad coffee and the reminder that he just has to take normal one day at a time.
Unfortunately, his past isn’t willing to go down without a fight.
A chance encounter with a desperate Deborah Seddon, and a warning that ‘they’re watching’, pulls Jonah back into the world he’d tried to leave behind. Now he has to navigate ghosts, curses, and the hottest bad idea warlock he’s ever met…all without a single hex to his name.
But nobody ever said normal was easy. Not to Jonah anyhow.
Publisher: Rogue Firebird Press
Release: 23 November
Hi! Can you believe it’s November already? I feel entirely adrift in the calendar these days. It’s 1934th of March! One thing I have managed to keep on track for, more or less, is the whole publication schedule for Hex Work…more or less!
Hex Work is NOT the book I was meant to be writing, but it’s the one that wanted to come out of my head. So I hope people like it in order to make the absolute shambles it made of my writing schedule worth it. I like it, so I guess that’s a good start!
Thanks for having me and I hope you enjoy the exclusive short story prequel to the Hex Work novella!
Read the rest of the story at TAMooreWrites.com
Stories of Babylon – Chapter Three
Wife growled at him. Jonah reached down to gently tug her ears and settle her down.
“That’s what I want to know,” he said. “Sorry about this.”
John opened his mouth to ask why and Jonah stuck his finger in his mouth. It felt like a corpse, clammy and dry and slack. Before John could react Jonah dug his finger down into the stiff flesh of the tongue.
“A nail, a thorn, and a splinter,” Jonah rattled off. “Fear not, the Lord take us home before winter.”
He pulled his hand back and absently wiped it on his coat. Ghosts didn’t have spit, or germs, but hags could be another story. Cut the last threads that kept this one tied to John’s identity—his name, his life, his favourite food—and that’s what John would be. Or already was, even if he didn’t remember just yet.
John stood there, his chalky face slack and almost peaceful. The way he’d look in the coffin, once his face had been rebuilt by the mortician.
“Time to go home, Johnny,” Jonah said. “Your dad is waiting. Come on. I’ll give you a lift.”
Johnny stroked Lot’s head as they drove. Lot leaned into the hex-reinforced touch and panted happily, while Wife disapproved from the back seat. She was a one ghost sort of dog.
Home wasn’t the neat, ranch-style house on the outskirts of town, with a basketball hoop mounted on the garage that already felt poignant. It wasn’t the undertakers either, where John’s body was laid out in a suit his parents had bought just to bury him in.
Those were for the living.
Home, now, was the caster who’d made John.
John and the Woman in White hag who’d killed him, and maimed five other teenagers dumb enough to answer a knock at the door after dark. Three boys, two girls – too young, dumb, and horny to know better. It had been bad enough that someone came to the Carrow house to pay far, far too much for a basket of odd eggs from Gran’s hobby chickens.
It was bad luck to ask for money to cast a hex, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a price. People in Babylon knew that. It was a lot cheaper to pay a grand for a basket of eggs than let Esther Carrow decide what she was owed.
Of course, once the money was in her pocket Gran was free to solve the problem how she saw fit. Which at the moment, while she was hobbled by gout, meant she subcontracted it to Jonah.
On your left, on your left, Johnny whispered suddenly. He had thinned out as they got further away from the site of the accident, just an outline of chalk and shreds of smoke.
Jonah was going to have to have the Plymouth cleaned when this was over.
He turned left onto the hard-packed, dirt Zoba Road and slowed down. Just in case he flicked the headlights off and rolled along in the dark. Lot whined, a thin noise, and lifted his head from John’s lap. There was a patch of chalk dust white on his chin and when he pricked his ears they passed through John’s fingers.
I don’t like scary movies, John said. His voice was strained and brittle as the hexes pulled at him. The faded imprints of the original conversations he was cannibalizing for this plea painted the edges of the words, reluctance and impatience and a general good nature. I’ll do it later.
Jonah thought about it for a second, but he had what he needed from John. He reached into the inner pocket of his coat with one hand, the other braced against the steering wheel to keep the car steady. The spool of thread he pulled out was almost finished. He made a mental note to rewind it from Gran’s sewing box when he got home.
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.
Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.