I’ll Be Back This Way

Messy brown curls fell over dark eyes. “You weren’t gonna leave without saying goodbye, right?”

Chelsea sighed. “I respect you too much to lie. I was trying to do that.” She wiped at her sudden tears. “Dammit, I hate goodbyes. And I already told you I was going.”

Chelsea Childling Pays a Debt

Chelsea fought to hide her worry. The pale-haired hedge doctor was young. Like maybe in high school young. The white-blonde hair and short stature didn’t do much to help him seem any older. Still, Jeff seemed quite competent as he cleaned and stitched Morgan’s arm. 

Chelsea and Morgan

In honor of returning to one of my favorite story settings, I want to introduce readers to my main source of Steel City inspiration, Dave Dicello. Dave takes amazing photographs and has been hit hard by the pandemic. He had to close his gallery this spring. However, his prints are available online for purchase. I’ll be adding them to story-links for this chapter.

Chelsea Hunts a Squonk

Bart squatted by the fire, greasy grey hair tucked behind his ears. “The squonk should be sleeping now, but it’ll be up in a few hours. It ain’t afraid of people or smoke, so we won’t bother it none. They eat hemlock though, and this grove is the biggest in the area.”

Chelsea Lends a Hand

Chelsea pulled out a chair. “Morgan?”
“Chelsea?”
“So what are we hunting?”
Morgan sighed as big brown eyes studied the table. “Melon-heads.”
Chelsea stopped and blinked. “You serious?”
Another sigh started the answer. “Yes. They come out of the woods every ten years or so and they’re back now.”

Someday, Chelsea Childling

“I love you. I wish we worked.”
“I love you, and we both know why we don’t.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Somehow, I really doubt that.”
Keegan laughed. “I’ll miss you, princess.”
“You are such an asshole.” She wiped at the sudden tears. “I already miss you.”