Silas Ackleby is an 18-year-old airship sailor, currently sleeping in the woods as he waits for the airships to begin their spring hiring. He's had a run-in with a pickpocket, leaving him with barely enough coin to gamble for his breakfast. Fortunately, Silas rarely loses a card game. He's displeased, however, to find that the only game going involves a partner, chosen by random drawing. He's even more displeased when his partner turns out to be a wealthy student from the airship academy named Percival Bellwater. Silas is ready to strangle Percy within moments of meeting him, but Percy is less feckless than Silas originally assumes. He sweeps Silas up into a day of whirlwind plots that involve much higher stakes than breakfast. Their adventures and misadventures will change the course of Silas's life.
“Taking Tricks” is a prequel story for The Scarlet Albatross novel. You can enjoy this story even if you have not read Albatross, but the story will mean more if you’ve read or listened to that book. "Taking Tricks" is available as a text and audio bundle (MP3, Mobi, ePub, and PDF). The audio is about an hour long and narrated by Rish Outfield.
There are currently 2 ways to get this story. You can purchase the bundle for $2.99 from my online store. Or you can contribute to the Patreon.
Other stories available to Patreon donors include:
- "Dark Heart" (a story about Dakar's childhood with Morchella)
- "Quarantine" (the story of how Basil and Silveo met)
- "Harbor Wave" (the story of what Gerard was doing the day he met Thessalyn)
- "Fire From Heaven" (a story from Thesesus's cub-hood among the jagers)
- "Chimera" (this month's story about Glossy, available by the end of the month)
$1per month gets you all the stories in text and a vote on the next character. $3 per month gets the audio. Most of these stories will remain exclusive to Patreon until the end of the year. However, "Taking Tricks" makes such a good companion to The Scarlet Albatross that I decided to offer it separately. If you've enjoyed that book, you'll enjoy this story.