First though, here's a little more information about the books that comprise the Ordshaw series including this latest release:
The Ordshaw series are urban fantasy thrillers set in a modern UK city with more than a few terrible secrets. The Violent Fae completes a story that began with Under Ordshaw and its sequel Blue Angel - following poker player Pax Kuranes' journey into the Ordshaw underworld. Over the space of one week, Pax unravels mysteries that warp reality and threaten the entire city.
And if you are looking for another reason to begin this brilliantly inventive series, the first book Under Ordshaw is currently on sale in the Amazon Kindle Store for $0.99US/£0.99UK until November 1st!
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Now without further delay, here is the vignette that Phil has prepared for us today on this stop of the tour, I happily bring you.......
Mr. Arnstrum strolled through Hanton stiff and straight in fine-cut trousers and a cardigan frayed in a deliberate way. By day, he dominated children, looming with threats of detention, bad grades and severe looks. His bitter questions never warranted answers: what were they thinking, painting like that, that's not how it's done. In his free time, he drove fear into shop clerks, waitresses and quiet park attendants. He could always spot room for improvement.
Perfect art technique had earned him a one-bed flat with sash windows that stuck. No one would ever pick out an Arnstrum from a gallery of watercolours, but he was molding the hopeless artists of the future to be realistic. He held his head high.
That's why he never saw it coming, the day Arnstrum fell.
Two blocks from his flat, between a house stoop and a thick tree, Arnstrum tripped. His arms windmilled and for the briefest moment his narrow eyes were plates of panic, mouth open in a yelp. It came so unexpectedly, snapping against his shin, that he swung forward like a plank, barely getting his hands up.
Arnstrum's nose struck the pavement first.
He bounced and rolled onto his rear. Kicking away from whatever had tripped him, he scrambled to jump upright. He quickly checked no one had seen, before scanning the tree and the pavement and the malicious element that had cut him down. Hearing his own worried breath, he clamped his mouth shut and forced his wide eyes narrow. He straightened out his cardigan and cleared his throat, pretending to cover a cough. He checked again. No one watching. He'd got away with it.
Got away with what?
There was no obstacle to have tripped on. The roots of the tree were off to one side. The paving slabs were flat - he knew this because he had insisted the council replace them five months ago. And besides, something hit his shin.
Arnstrum touched his nose and flinched at the sharp pain. His hands were grazed and - no! - the knee of his corduroys torn. He squeezed his lips together and strode back, raising a finger, ready to admonish, ready to scold.
But there was no one. Nothing.
His breath trembled. he had tripped on something, hadn't he? Not over his own feet, for sure. He would never. A sudden panic overtook him and he hurried away. Best get home and figure it out behind closed curtains, unwatched - why did he feel like someone was watching?
At his building entrance, he fumbled for his keys.
That was when he realised his wallet was missing. Dropped when he tripped. He would race back to search around the tree, in the gutter, up the street. He would argue with the police that he had been tripped, distracted, and his wallet had been taken - not merely misplaced. He would dismiss the children's sniggers with snaps that they pay more attention to their work than his damaged nose. And, in time, he would develop doubts.
But in that moment, when his hand felt the pocket empty, he knew a truth that would forever niggle. He had not been alone. He was the victim of a crime he could not explain - someone used fishing wire, perhaps? - but a crime, nonetheless. And he kept his eyes down, then. He walked slowly and minded what he said. Never quite sure who was watching. Who was listening. Who stole his wallet.
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And there you have it, the wonderful vignette The Artist by Phill Williams! If you are interested in reading the complete collection of 12 short-stories, please visit all of the amazing blogs listed in the tour at the beginning of this post.
In addition, if you enjoyed what you just read and are eager to begin the Ordshaw series, you can find out more and/or purchase all of the books in this series by clicking on the following links:
Thank you so much for stopping by Out of This World SFF Reviews for Day 7 of the tour and to discover more about mysterious and magical Ordshaw. Before I leave I'd just like to share a quick bio of author Phil Williams.
Phil Williams was born in the commuter-belt of Hertfordshire, where he learnt to escape a comfortable life through sinister fantasy fiction. His erratic career has variously involved the study of language and relationships - and took him to such locations as Prague, Moscow, and Abu Dhabi. He finally settled on the quiet Sussex seaside, where he lives in Worthing with his wife and his fluffy dog, Herbert. He divides his time between writing educational books that help people better understand English and fantasy books that help people better escape reality. So he tells himself. His novels include the interconnected Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers, the post-apocalyptic Estalia saga and the action-packed Faergrowe series.
Thanks again and HAPPY READING!