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Bone Shop is a free, serialized online novella by T.A. Pratt, supported by donations from readers. Pay whatever you like.

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Notes for Chapter Four

So, when I wrote the line "And the world changed" at the end of Chapter 3.... I actually had no idea how the world changed. I knew Artie would have to do something dramatic to prove the existence of magic to Marla, but I had time to figure it out.

Then life went crazy. I got to work last Monday and found out my boss (and friend) had passed away the day before. Work was something of a madhouse as a result, and my mind was pretty disordered for the next few days. I had to skip my usual day off so I could work on my boss's obituary, and that's the day I usually write fiction. My son, who has glaucoma, had an appointment at the hospital for an examination under anesthesia on Friday (which went well, by the way -- his eye pressures are good, and his optic nerve looks great, and we don't need another checkup until January 2010). I was seriously thinking I might be late with this chapter.

But Friday night -- feeling a bit better about life on Earth since my kid's checkup went well -- I sat down and tried to come up with something. I gave myself permission to be wacky, and, thus, had the idea of writing about Artie's London. I love that place. I wouldn't write an extended story set there, because it would be too much like a Holodeck episode of Star Trek, and because then all my little homages to the weird Londons of Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) and Alan Moore (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and K.W. Jeter (Infernal Devices) -- all apparently people Artie enjoys reading for inspiration! -- would stop being homages and start being theft. But it's a neat place to drop into for a little visit, and answers a nagging question I've had about where sorcerers would go to discreetly practice Earth-shaking magics of amazing obviousness.

I considered ending this chapter with Artie putting his crotch in Marla's face and unbuttoning his pants, saving the revelation of his sexlessness for the start of the next chapter, but decided I'd rather end on a note of weirdness than pervy creepiness. I think it was the right decision. Weirdness usually is.

Back to Chapter 4

T.A. Pratt lives in Oakland, CA, and works as an editor for a trade publishing magazine.