All Crombie wants for Christmas is to get home to his family. However, he's trapped in the Italian equivalent of the House of Usher. After picking a fight with the wrong cat, Crombie finds a poetic justice in having the very last word. This short story features DI Crombie. Bonus feature: Preview of Detective Inspector Crombie's latest murder/mystery, "Everybody Lies". Enjoy!
A short story to complement "The Griffin's Boy".
Samara's Salvation: I remember the sweet meadow grass skimming my thighs as I waded towards him. He clung onto his griffin as though scared I might steal it, and made a sign against evil. I have that effect on strangers; there's Pict blood on my mother's side, and I've heard the word 'Pictsie', and even 'pixie' muttered by the ignorant. But then his griffin gave a welcoming cluck and nuzzled at my hair. Lillian came skipping over to join us, we explained about Luke, and begged for his help. Now that I know him better, I know he'd risk his life for others.
On a dark country road a camper van collides with a car and there are no survivors. Now it’s up to newly qualified detective McKay to pass on a dying man’s last words to his loved ones. However, the dead man’s family react with horror to the cryptic message and do their best to obstruct McKay’s investigations into the crash.
That is, until Detective Inspector Crombie gets involved and discovers that nothing is as it seems. The fatal road traffic accident wasn’t entirely accidental and not everybody died in the crash. Now the innocent and guilty alike are ready to confess all … but to prevent the truth about the Ink Man being revealed, someone’s willing to commit murder … again.
Frankie has more problems than most teenage girls: Her brother's in a coma; her father has deserted them. School friends can't possibly understand, so she shuns their attempts to sympathise and becomes a loner.
One evening, while walking her brother's dog over the village common, she accidentally summons a griffin - and its rider - from another dimension. Chaos ensues. Griffin and dog flee the scene. Frankie is heartbroken; losing Michael’s dog is like losing Michael all over again. Then she receives a message with an offer she can’t refuse…
The Griffin's Rescue ... or how to train your griffin to snatch you from certain death.
"What happens if you fall off?"
"You pray your griffin catches you before you hit the ground," he replied.
(Conversation between Frankie and The Rider, taken from "The Griffin Cryer".)
This is a complete short story, but leads into a longer work in progress that's taking a little too long to progress.