The Scent of a Monster

The twin suns did little to pierce the dense smog as it drifted in sheaths across the rooftops. Twyford Trowbridge stared out through the dirty windowpane. He drummed his fingers against the thick parchment lying unopened on his desk. The missive was addressed to him in elegant black copperplate. A royal seal embossed the paper.

In all the kingdoms, every Ironmonger with muscle and heft, every Woodworker with a chisel and saw, every Fisherman with a spear were called by decree from the most high and resplendent majesties.

Even Twyford, founder of Trowbridge & Co, Agency Of Universal Information For Commerce and Domestic Issues; He, who had worked so hard to accomplish respectability, a calling card, a purse full of golden harls and an invitation to everywhere that mattered, was directed to answer the call—most explicitly and unequivocally, he suspected, in the document lying unopened in his hands. He stood and straightened his silk waistcoat and crisp white necktie.

Some would jump at the chance to show their worth, to be recognized by all those who mattered. To reap advantage, honor even, in carrying out a dangerous business. Many would be too fearful to refuse, knowing in these times that retribution could be as commodious as their majesties’ magnanimity.

And he? Did Twyford Trowbridge seek winnings? Perhaps at one time. It was what his life’s business had been about. Long ago. A time of voracious, unending seeking. Ruthless determination. Slaughter. To the younger man he was, it had been worth it for the accolades, and fortune that followed.

And Alvina.

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Emma Smith

Emma lives in Hollywood, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, surrounded by fields and mountains, heather and gorse. She loves heading outdoors with her crazy and excitable dog, and being in the midst of whatever nature and the Irish weather throws at her. She is also easily distracted by pets, kids, a new job, a decrepit caravan, and the odd Netflix series. Emma belongs to Dunlavin Writers’ Group which meets for long rambling discussions about life, and beyond. It's like therapy, but cheaper, with lots of coffee and great stories to be shared. She writes a blog,, and won a travel short story competition through Ouen Press. Emma’s also been editing and redrafting a novel for some time. This can drive a person quite barmy, so she’s taking a break. However, some of the characters want their stories told. She’s written some short stories about them. More may follow. Along the way, she has gathered two Master of Arts Degrees, helped along by her ability to write. But after many years of business writing and online editing, she now writes her own stuff, (fiction, nonfiction, and some poetry). Creative writing is the most challenging thing she’s done.It keeps her sane. Mostly.

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