Monday, 18 August 2014

The Jester Prince: Lou

For another night, they all stayed in the prop truck. Marley, at least, had been put into the false back this time. Another joined their numbers, a man in a dark cloak. A silver clasp in the shape of the crescent moon sat in the middle of his chest, holding the fabric closed. He sat straight in front of Tobias. Under his cowl, the bright red light shining from his eyes cast deep shadows across his face, exaggerating his features. "What you staring at, boy?" A southern drawl dripping with rage.


"Don't fucking lie to me." He lowered his hood. Sharp features and dark skin, so dark it was almost purple. Every part of his face was large: a wide nose, thick lips, huge eyes with a broad space between them, and a forehead that was half again the size of Toby's. Thick dreadlocks, tied at the back, flowed down from his head. "You were staring at me. Go on and admit it."
-Zirkua Fantastic

I don't like werewolves all that much. I think they're overrated. Now if we were talking about were-orcas, okay. I can get behind that. But everyone does werewolves and wolf shifters and… dull.

But I played around when it came to my books. I stuck a werewolf in. But I wanted to play it a little differently. I knew he would be an immortal. The answer came to me when I was reading an article. It was some news article about Marie Laveau. I don't remember the contents all that well because that's where it started. Marie Laveau. Louisiana. Werewolves. Loup-Garou. Since he was the spirit of fear, I knew he had to be pretty old. That put the actual Creole (Rougarou) out the window. So I used the French Loup-Garou, which inevitably ended up shortened down to Lou. It's not his first name, of course. Few immortals go by their original names. But when the legends of the werewolf started, he took the mantle of the great, terrifying beast.

How terrifying? Find out in The Jester Prince, Book Two of the King Jester Trilogy.

With the destruction of Zirkua Fantastic, King Jester, the spirit of discord, has been unleashed once more upon the Earth. Only Toby, a fresh, untrained immortal, and the other former members of Zirkua Fantastic dare to stand against his chaos. But their hold is tenuous, and they are only truly safe from his power within the bounds of their camp. King Jester grows more powerful and more dangerous with each passing day. But he's made one mistake. That mistake could be his undoing. He's stolen Toby's soul mate, Marley. When he discovers Marley's location, Toby knows what he has to do. He will rescue Marley, even if it means he has to face King Jester alone.

But the others don't let him go at it alone. Marley has information about the resistance. They can't afford to let him stay in King Jester's control. In desperation, the immortals raise an army to storm the compound. But will it be enough to challenge the embodiment of chaos himself? All they can do is hope. Hope and put their faith in love.

He snuffed out the fire with a quick fist and headed back out, ready to join Harlan and Zerga. But a dark figure slid into his path. Red eyes glowed down at him, sharp and narrow. He gasped and crouched, ready to push past, if he got the chance.

Two dark hands lifted and lowered a black hood. "Calm down, boy." Lou glided into the tent and started the fire again. "You'd better sit. I feel like gabbing a little bit."

Toby took his seat again. "You heard."

"That you're planning to rescue that blond boy? Yeah, I heard." He leaned over, the fire millimeters from his dark face. "But you should tell your parents. This ain't the kind of thing you can handle on your lonesome."

"They know." What the hell am I doing? "You can't go telling them I told you any of this, all right?"


The dishonesty poured from his mouth, sat bitter against his tongue. But it poured, uncontrollable, unstoppable. "Coyote was here."

Lou sat up straighter, shoulders tight and high. "Coyote?"

"Yes. And no one's supposed to mention this. I shouldn't tell you." Something true, at least -- I shouldn't tell anyone this story. "I'm going to rescue Marley. They think he'll be valuable. For information. But the fewer people that know, the better." Toby closed his eyes, taking in a few breaths of chill air. "No one can say anything after tonight. Not until it's time to go."

Lou nodded, but didn't reply. He trailed his hand up to his chest, undid the silver clasp. He shrugged the black cloak off into a pool around his waist. A black leather shirt hugged his dark chest. Not muscular, but it looked like he had muscles once, before they deteriorated. A bracelet of spiraling beads clung to his left forearm. A few beads on the bottom were gone, exposing bare string that had been knotted together.

Lou rubbed his eyes. "You know, we pair off. The immortals. It's in our nature, something we can't help. I don't know why. Doesn't really matter, when we get down to it." He raised his arm, pulled on the bracelet a little. "Did anyone tell you about the Others?"

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