This story is set within the world of Caller of Lightning by Peter J. Wacks and Eytann Kollin. The novel is an entry in the Arcane America series, which includes Dragon Award winner Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt, and Council of Fire, by Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt. Caller of Lightning features American wizard Benjamin Franklin facing down the forces of evil both at home and abroad after the 1759 passage of Halley’s Comet brings magic to Earth and sunders the Old World from the New World for most people. Peter J. Wacks is a cross-genre writer who has worked in various capacities across the creative fields in fiction, gaming, television, film, and comics. When he isn't working on the next book, he can be found practicing martial arts, playing chess, drinking Scotch or IPA, or fighting with swords.
Fiction Short Story
Chasing Your Tail
The Franklin Home
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colony
December 22, 1758
Prrrrrrrrrrr . . .
Even asleep, Mouser’s rumble of a purr disrupted Sally. The infernal cat seemed to always get in the way. She smiled at the thought, then her eye drifted to the ledger and her smile vanished. She sighed—she knew what she ought to be doing . . .
She should be working on the books for her mother. Her father had gone to some trouble to make sure she was given lessons in accounting, which her mother had never had, and it was obligatoire that she apply those lessons to the family businesses during his lengthy absence.
She’d really rather be reading. Unconsciously, her hand drifted to the side, hovering near her new copy of Smollett’s The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle. . . . It would take her forever to get through the accounts and tote them properly.
Still staring at the ledgers, she let her hand wander aimlessly. She reached through the pocket slits in her gown into the pocket tied around her waist underneath to grab a feather she kept there. Flicking Mouser’s nose gently, she was rewarded with one eye opening. A few more swooshes, and she had Mouser chasing the feather all over the desk.