With Dead Letter Office complete, my attention has turned to my latest short story — this one featuring Nathaniel, the hero (anti-hero?) from the renamed novel Curse of the Black Swan. This short story transpires five years before that novel, and only three after the ‘events’ that forced him to leave Cresek-Tawn.

The problem is that Nathaniel doesn’t want to be contained in only 7,000 words. He’s more a 12,000, or novel length, type of guy. I thought my idea was a good one…but I don’t know if it’s possible.

Here it is:

Nathaniel is hired by a rich merchant named Bartimus Glenn. Bartimus is quite the philanthropist — he is paying good coin to have Nathaniel break into the Palace of the Crucifixion and ‘put out of his misery’ a man that the Crucifiers are in the process of ‘purifying’ (torture).

But when he finds this man, he discovers the torture is worse than even he has ever experienced before. Someone has cut off his hands and his face, leaving him alive, living a life of torment, while also removing the man’s identity and destroying any type of communication this victim may possess.

Nathaniel, still raw from the events of Cresek-Tawn, takes it upon himself to exact a form of revenge upon the Crucifiers. After killing his way to the top, he discovers the truth — the Crucifiers FOUND him this way and have actually devoted themselves to finding the monster that did this — the Butcher of Turin.

Nathaniel realizes that Bartimus didn’t send him on a mission of mercy…he sent him on a mission of murder….

I was even thinking that this could become serialized (why did Bartimus not want this man to communicate)…and eventually become a novel.

I also wanted to incorporate Amber (a chick from the Curse of the Black Swan who was only briefly mentioned) into this…

But I don’t know if I can cut these ideas into 15 – 7000 word blocks.