Spell Blind, by David B. Coe (jacket art by Alan Pollock)Spell Blind, the first novel in my new series from Baen Books, The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will be released the day after tomorrow. And in the meantime, here, for your enjoyment, is another teaser.

By the time I headed for the Z-ster, night had fallen and the moon was up. It was well past a quarter full and bone white in a velvet sky. And though we were still several days away from the full, I could already feel it tugging at my mind, bending my thoughts, making me shiver in spite of the warm air.

Describing the phasings to someone who wasn’t a weremyste was like trying to describe color to someone who had been born blind. Words weren’t adequate. The closest I’d heard anyone come to getting it right was something my dad told me not long after my
mom died. We weren’t getting along at the time, and his grip on reality, which had already become tenuous before Mom’s death, was slipping fast. But what he told me then in anger still rang true to this day.

“It’s like somebody reaches a hand into your stinkin’ brain,” he said, “and swirls it around, making a mess of everything. The thoughts are still there—your sense of who you are and how the people around you fit into your life—but they’re scrambled. There’s no order, no time or space or story line. The boundaries disappear. Love and hate, rage and joy, fear and comfort—you can’t tell anymore where one ends and the next begins. And the worst part is, you know it’s happened—you know that it all made sense a short while before, and that now it’s gone. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.”

That was how it felt to me every time. You’d think after a couple of hundred phasings—three days a month for half a lifetime—I’d get used to it, or find some way to fight my way through. But each one feels like the first. I’ve tried to brace myself, waiting for moonrise the way I would a shot at a doctor’s office. It doesn’t do a damn bit of good. As soon as the full moon appears on the horizon, I feel those boundaries my dad talked about being sucked out of my mind.

That was the tug I felt now, with the moon shining down on me. It wouldn’t happen until the end of the week, but already it was reaching for me, testing my defenses and finding them as weak as ever.

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