The second best way to know what I’m up to (after being a patron). Sign up to the bulletin now and stay up to date on new chapter releases, book publishing schedules, online reading events, sneak peaks, and the occasional piece of bonus content.
Note: The J.M. Coombs bulletin does NOT include updates about the author’s fan-fiction work. If you also want to be kept up to date with that, you’re better off with the Gray Mailing List
To call what greeted Richard around that corner shocking to him would be like saying that the gods of the mages liked a bit of a joke. He stood there with his mouth hanging open. When he’d left the dig-site the previous day, it had been messy, yes, what with all the pottery pieces they’d left scattered around, but Silver had told him not to worry!
This looked very much worthy of worry.
Richard let out the breath he’d been holding. “You frightened the hell out of me, stupid bird!”
The seagull cocked its head at him, and changed.
Richard winced. “Is it too much to ask that something around here not be a whisperer?”
The goat turned its head and started watching Richard, all the while still chewing the grass in its mouth.
Carefully, making sure not to be seen through any of the half-shuttered windows of the house, he made his way over to it. Now, what was it he’d once read about goats? Sheep need to be driven, but goats need to be led. Richard carefully untied the string holding the goat to the post and tugged it gently to get it moving in the direction he needed it to go. In this case, towards the gate leading back out, which could only be opened from the inside.
A minute later, he was standing in front of Jake, holding the goat on the string.
“Good job,” Jake said, quietly. “Keep it away from me while I get this thing done.”
“Richard Struggle,” the first one said as a statement rather than a question. “May we have some of your time? I think you’ll be interested in what we have to say.”
Richard nodded and gestured to the seats around him. He couldn’t say he wasn’t interested to know what this was all about. The men all sat, Lucio catching his eye with a nod as they all made themselves comfortable.
“Name’s Jack,” the apparent leader said. He was a well-built man, a few years older than Richard, with a growth of stubble, and a big, open, honest face — the kind of face that, after a night at the bar, rarely went home alone.
If the gods were going to give him an omen, there could be no omen as omeny as this one. It was the mark of Coincidence that he had discovered by coincidence.