“Maitre Martin,” she said, “you have still not told me where you are from.” She shifted to her knees and inched a bit forward, studying my face.

Oh, what the hell. It was all going to have to come out sometime, right?

“It’s not so much where,” I said, “as—”

And then I froze. There had been another sound, under that rising thrum of the rain. I had ignored it at first, but suddenly it caught up with me. Roos was shifting in the pen, a hoof pawing the earth. I shot a glance her way and saw an ear flicker in the darkness.

I turned and glanced out the door. A set of night-vision goggles would have been helpful. Barring that, there was nothing to see but various closely-related shades of black.

Roos shifted again. I looked back her way. No, I wasn’t imagining it. The animals were definitely stirring.

Celestine followed my gaze, drawing back ever so slightly. She opened her mouth to speak, but I held up a hand.

“I think someone is here,” I whispered. She nodded, eyes wide.

Shit. Here I was, in Old Man Spooky’s spooky cottage, in a forest crawling with murderous Satanic cultists, and what am I doing? Chatting up a teenager. Madeleine had trusted me. Scooby Doo, where are you?

As promised, here’s the next segment of The Mason of New Orleans: The complete Chapter 7.


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If you’re one of the many people who downloaded and read the first six chapters, my thanks to you. Even more so if you commented, and especially if you recommended it to your friends. I dedicate this chapter to you! For what that’s worth.

If you haven’t read it, don’t start with this chapter—start here instead. And enjoy!

I’m really pleased with how this chapter is paced and with the pickup in the action—not just in this chapter but the next. What do you think—did I get it right, or is the tension not really working? As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

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