There were voices. People jostling me. A blue sky overhead.

“I’m OK,” I said. I lifted a hand to fend them off, struggling to sit up. “I’m OK.” Nobody listened.

Willem DaFoe leaned over and gripped my arm. Except it wasn’t Willem DaFoe, it was that other guy. Hugh. I was getting to my feet; he was helping me. I tried to push him away.

“I’m all right.” He had a puzzled expression.

A woman pushed forward. She lifted my other arm, the one with the bandage, and looked at my fingers. Then she put her hand against my forehead.

“I’m all right,” I said again, in French this time. I took a step forward, but nobody got out of my way.

I didn’t know where I was going. To the house, to gather my things. No, I didn’t own anything; I might as well just set out from here. There was a bit of money in my purse—did I need to return that to Madeleine?

A horse was making its way through the crowd. Why would a horse want to see me off? It was Boos. Shit. I didn’t want to get bitten. Cyril appeared; he was leading Boos.

“Leave me alone!” I said, trying to push myself away. Everyone was talking, a constant babble, but nobody was talking to me. There were hands on me now; lots of hands. I was stage diving. And then I was on a horse.

Sorry about my delinquency over the past couple of weeks—I seriously overcommitted on work in March (as far as problems for a consultant/freelancer to have, it beats the alternative, I guess) and had to set aside a lot of the things I’d like to be doing. Look at my poor writing graph over there to the right: It hasn’t been updated since early March. And that’s not because I’ve been lazy about updating it. In any event, my March work is complete and I hope to be caught up by the end of April. And writing again.

So, here’s a new chunk of a chapter. But before we get on that, I’m going to give everyone one more week to help me come up with a name for a horse. What the heck am I talking about? Well, in Chapter 17 Martin gets a new horse—and he gets to name him. But I haven’t settled on the name Martin gives the animal, and that’s where you come in. Suggest a name in the comments, and if I choose yours you’ll not only get an acknowledgment in the book, you’ll also win a one-year subscription to Dungeon a Day! That’s the equivalent of roughly 30 published adventures, chock full of fascinating and creative encounters penned by some of the most creative designers in the industry (plus I wrote some of them, too!). Full details on what I’m looking for here. So get namin’!

And in the mean time, here’s the first part of Chapter 13. (If you’re new to this, you can find the first ten chapters here.) Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

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