A new story: No Man’s Dawn

You’ve probably spotted me squeaking about No Man’s Land, my post-apocalyptic grimdark urban fantasy (someone invent a name for the genre that’s less of a mouthful, please!) and I’ve been scribbling away at two sequels, No Man’s Sky and No Man’s Stars. And now I think I’ve got an idea for a prequel…No Man’s Dawn. (They’re working titles, yes.)

It’s set during the Apocalypse, but doesn’t necessarily require knowledge of No Man’s Land to read. I originally had the idea to set it in Stonehouse, but it’s now transferred to Salisbury; I lose some of the places, but I gain some characters. It might transfer back but at the moment I’m rather liking it.

That said…it’s going slowly. No Man’s Land was relatively easy because Ghost is such a good character; her relationship was easy to write, and her voice was clear in my head. Dee, so far, isn’t so easy. I’m not sure who she is, and that’s making it hard. I don’t really want to write first-person because I’m worried that she’ll be whiny, but at the same time, I love the focus that first-person narratives bring. Sooooo…I may end up rewriting. At the moment I’m just pondering plot and motives in addition to writing snippets!

Then Mari’s twitching body crumpled, revealing the urbane form of Jim standing behind her with his usual three-piece tweed suit, combed hair, and a scowl on his face. His eyes followed the body down, and then he looked up. “Are you hurt?”

Dee shook her head numbly.

“Good. Excuse me, I need to tidy up.”

His clothing didn’t look rumpled at all. Dee decided that she would scream once he’d left.

But instead, Jim held his hand out over Mari and muttered something. The body burst into flame.

Dee did scream.

A second later, no sound was coming out. Dee felt her throat burn but she wasn’t screaming.

Jim just gave her an irritated glance, and then nodded as the body at their feet crumpled into ash and then vanished into smoke. “There. Done with screaming?”

His matter-of-fact tone made Dee’s mouth shut abruptly. She nodded.

“Are you ok?” the older man asked in a softer tone, suddenly looking concerned. “I know she was your friend.”

“You. You killed her.” It somehow came out flatter than she’d intended.

“She was about to eat you.”

“Eat me.”

This time the look was frustrated. “She was a vampire, Dee. That’s what they do, particularly if they’ve forgotten who their friends are.”

Vampire. Dee felt too numb to take it in.

Jim’s frustrated look turned into a scowl. “We’re going to see your parents. Now.”