“You’ll never guess what my surname is!” she declares, her eyes wide, her voice accented by that familiar Essex clip, painfully reminiscent of aunts and uncles and the bitter, hairdresser mother of your former girlfriend.

“It’s Strange!” she continues, and you try not to, but you smile anyway, “Ashley Strange!”

A frown crosses her face, the stitches drawn with lipstick on her cheek smudged and worn by the night’s festivities.

“But I’m not strange, you know!”

It is impossible not to smile, impossible not to warm to her as she stands there with the crowded bus stop at her back, the 205 bus ugly and packed with those escaping their Friday night in the city, costumed and garish each one.

“Actually, people say I’m a bit psychic, you know,” she continues, cigarette smoke a halo above her, “and I think, I mean, I know, I just know you’re going to be really famous. You’re just so nice.”

She gestures with her cigarette, hazel eyes gleaming, her smile impossibly friendly.

“You’re going to be like, who’s that woman that wrote Harry Potter?”

You smile, slightly abashed, slightly bemused.

“J.K. Rowling.”

She nods enthusiastically.

“That’s her! You’re going to be bigger than her, I can tell. I know these things.”

What must it be to have something to believe in, you wonder, to have a framework which you believe the universe must unshakably abide by?

What must it be like to be Leibniz, to believe that we all inhabit the best of all possible worlds?

The thought touches a spark of sadness within you, for if Leibniz believed this was the best of all possible worlds, then truly you have undertaken to make yourself the worst of all possible versions of yourself.

DO YOU WANT TO READ MORE? YOU CAN! Download for FREE at Smashwords

BIO: Upon scorched soil, a life-pod from an alternate universe is uncovered by Politruk Blinov. Inside, there is a man—a captain of sorts—bringing with him an ominous message that could sway the very future of the All-Union.

Meanwhile, another dimension away, Ayesha Swanson, freelance magician for the United Kingdom Xenobiology Division, finds herself embroiled in a plot to rob her of her magic—a plot that may lead her to ultimately discovering her true heritage!

Set within the Love Amongst Strangers universe, the new volume of our anthology series, Blackfriars Bestiary weighs in with nine unique stories, each detailing a unique corner of the vast series universe and featuring a diverse array of characters. Featuring authors such as Jack Buxton (Love Amongst Strangers: The Other Side), Bryn Fortey (Merry-Go-Round and Other Words), Joseph W. Patterson (Psychopomp), Jason S. Kenney (Love Amongst Strangers: Twisted) and Artifice Comics legends, Ed Ainsworth and Matthew James Pierce, Blackfriars Bestiary 2.1 serves as your jumping on point for the adventures of Ayesha Swanson and Mister Mo and the world in which they live.

Recommended for fans of Doctor Who, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and John Constantine, Hellblazer, Blackfriars Bestiary is your first port of call for all things action and supernatural!


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