Trifles and Folly
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
by Gail Z. Martin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
A collection of nine adventures: Buttons, The Restless Dead, Retribution, Coffin Box, Wicked Dreams, Collector, Bad Memories, Shadow Garden, and Spook House.
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats. An extension of the Deadly Curiosities book series.
Revised Edition 2, 2018. Includes an updated cover, minor edits and the BONUS section with three stories chronicling Sorren’s early days: Vanities, The Wild Hunt, and Dark Legacy.
“I don’t know why, but I’ve really got a bad feeling about that house.” I sat in the car parked at the curb near the big house on the Battery.
“Bad feeling like they won’t pay their bill, or bad feeling like there’s a hungry demon inside?” Teag Logan asked.
I shook my head. “Not sure, but if I had to put money on it, I’d go with the demon.”
Most people would be kidding. Teag knew I wasn’t. I’m Cassidy Kincaide, owner of Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, SC. Neither Teag nor I are entirely what we seem, and that holds true for the shop as well.
I’m a psychometric, which means I can often read the history of objects by touching them. Teag has Weaver magic, an ability to weave spells into cloth and to weave data streams—like the Internet—making him an awesome hacker. He’s my best friend, sometime bodyguard and assistant store manager. I’m the latest in a very long line of relatives to manage Trifles and Folly in the 350 years the store has existed, but we’ve all had the same silent partner, a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire named Sorren, and the same mission: to get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands. Most of the time, we succeed. When we fail, people die and really bad things happen.
“How do you want to handle this?” Teag asked.
I drew a deep breath. “We go in, and see what’s what. Then we figure it out from there.” My magic is touch-psychic, not clairvoyance, so I can’t see the future, much as I would sometimes like to.
The house was large, old, and expensive. Most of the homes on the Battery hailed from before the Civil War. Many of the houses are painted in the muted pastels most people associate with places like Bermuda and Nassau. Some of the families who owned these homes had been here since the mansions were built. The houses are beautiful, and tourists flock to see them. But as much as I admire their beauty, I try not to spend a lot of time down at the Battery for the simple reason that it creeps me out.
Trifles and Folly 2
A Deadly Curiosities Collection
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and together with Teag (a hacker and weaver witch) and Sorren, a 600 year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
An extension of the Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy novel series, this collection contains three full novellas and four short stories: The Final Death, Predator, Fair Game, Fatal Invitation, Redcap, Bloodlines, plus three bonus stories: Among the Shoals Forever, The Low Road, and Steer a Pale Course.
I reached into the shipping crate. My hand closed around a newspaper-wrapped piece from a china dish set, probably a gravy boat from its contours. The warning tingle from my psychic gift was too little, too late. By the time I realized the danger, I was already immersed in a vision of tragedy and terror.
Images strobed in my mind, searingly clear for an instant and then suddenly dark. A dining room table set with holiday finery for a Thanksgiving feast. Eight people—no, nine—but the one person’s face was hidden. Dinner began with high spirits. The person whose memories I was experiencing was a man, the father of the family gathered for the feast, happy that he was surrounded by loved ones—and a guest.
Despite the high spirits, a warning tingled at the edge of my host’s senses. It had been a mistake to invite the stranger, he was thinking. They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
The stranger didn’t say much as the meal began. Everyone else laughed and talked as silverware rattled and food was passed around the table. His son, the youngest at the table, was the first one affected. He complained about his stomach, folded his arms across his midsection, and fell forward onto his plate. I saw the man’s hand set the gravy boat down on the table as he stood.
Everyone rose in alarm—everyone except the stranger. I couldn’t get a clear look at the guest’s face. The others were in sharp focus, but the one I knew was the stranger had blurred features, and the baggy clothing made it impossible to tell gender. The stranger stepped back as everyone rushed to the boy, who fell back, eyes staring blankly, unresponsive, into his mother’s arms as she screamed.
The others began to stagger, hands going to their heads or abdomens, faces frightened and worried. The boy’s mother collapsed across his body. Others crumpled to the floor or sagged from their chairs.
The person whose memories I shared tried to go to them, but his legs failed him. His heart raced but it was hard to breathe, and his mouth had gone dry. Vision blurred, and despite his panic, he was so utterly tired. Still, he dragged himself toward his family, but halfway across the room, his body no longer responded to his mind’s commands. He reached out to the stranger, one hand raised in a plea for help. The stranger only smiled.
Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wroteat age fivewas about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three children, a Himalayan cat, a Maltese and a golden retriever.
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