QSFer Rhys Ford has a new MM paranormal book out: “Wonderland City.”
When Xander Spade went through the Looking Glass, he wasn’t looking for salvation. He’d been running from the devil who took his soul, only to fall prey to the greatest monster in Wonderland City, the Queen of Hearts. Years later, the Queen is dead and Xander has a chance to go through the Looking Glass and back home where he belongs.
Xander’s devil wants him to find a little girl who escaped into Wonderland City, before her presence brings down an apocalypse of uncontrollable chaos to the already mad world. Along with Jean Michel, the former Knave of Hearts, Xander now is in a race against time to find the missing child before all Hell breaks loose and he loses his chance to go home.
FUNNY THING about Wonderland City—even after decades of living behind the looking glass, I’m still fucking surprised by how weird it gets.
Like how the hell does a five-foot-tall White Rabbit in cargo shorts and a fedora get his damned hairy paw to work a shotgun trigger?
“I am so fucking sick of chasing that damned rabbit,” I muttered at the knee-high hedgehog crouched into a quivering ball next to me. He didn’t look up, and I didn’t blame him. The dumpster we were hiding next to had already taken more than its share of damage from the sporadic wide-spray shots the rabbit was packing, and from the itch forming on my scalp, I knew I’d be picking pulverized brick grit out of my hair later.
If there was a later.
Back before I met the Devil and bled my soul out into his hands, I’d have thought chasing a cigar-munching white bunny with pink eyes was something I’d only run into after I chewed on a few peyote buttons.
Now it was a typical Tuesday.
Another blast struck the wall above our heads, and it let loose a storm of rubble. The hedgehog squeaked and impossibly seemed to roll into a tighter ball. His worn felt top hat was on the ground by his back feet, the brim soaking up a bit of the sewer water that dripped from the cracked metal dumpster. Its obviously hand-knitted pink scarf had become a rosary of sorts during the trouble we’d stumbled into. He methodically skimmed his tiny fingers over its tassels, from left to right.
“I just need a clear shot of the bastard,” I informed my bristly friend. “It’s just that he’s so damned fast.”
Mister Hedgehog lifted his head up just enough to give me a withering look and narrow his beady brown eyes with a clear judgment of my intelligence. “He’s a rabbit.”
Even if I had a snappy reply, I didn’t get to answer him, because my bounty, with his seemingly endless supply of shotgun shells, peppered the dumpster again and pushed me back from its edge.
The street had been teeming with people a few minutes before, but once the rabbit caught sight of me, he pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of God knew where and began to blast up the small open-air marketplace. The commotion sent everyone flying for cover. His aim was poor enough that his first victims were a seedless watermelon and a couple of cantaloupes, but it was enough of a juicy splash to serve notice of what would happen to someone’s head if the rabbit got it right.
There were a couple of women a few feet away who were hunkered down behind a fishmonger’s stall, and every once in a while I could see the stall owner’s tuft of feathers poke out as he moved around. The stall didn’t look very big—certainly not big enough for a griffin to fully hide from a rogue gunman. There were a few people on the ground covering their heads with their hands as they lay facedown on cobblestones. Occasionally one of them would draw the rabbit’s attention when they tried to skitter to the side.
Problem was, hiding behind the dumpster, I couldn’t see when the rabbit’s pink eyes were on someone else, so returning his fire with my revolver was hit-and-miss.
The Beckett Street Marketplace was set up at the end of a cul-de-sac, an old-style courtyard that once hosted tea parties and games of charades played for bored aristocrats and their long-suffering servants. Those days were long gone. The former palace gardens, with their labyrinth of walkways, were now city streets bristling with tenements and factories. But there were still signs of the deposed Queen of Hearts’ kingdom if you knew where to look.
I just tried not to look.
Rhys Ford is a firm believer in love and let love, short walks to a coffee shop and having a spare cat or two. Most days she can be found swearing at her laptop and trying to come up with new ways to kill off perfectly good random characters.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawaii then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur, a black Pomeranian puffball and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a purple Bella coffee maker.
RHYS FORD | DIRT AND SIN… WITH A SIDE OF COFFEE:http://http://rhysford.com/