The Autobiography of the Dark Prince (Print) - as Written by Elias Sutterby

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472 pages | Trade Paperback | 6x9"
Date of publication: 12/15/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-57-8
  • Model: 129700 words

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Heat Rating: 2 Flames

 

Elias Sutterby is quite content to live his life alone, focusing on nothing but his work. The Dark Prince, of course, has an entirely different idea of where Elias should focus his attentions.

Scholar Elias Sutterby has no time for anything or anyone outside of his studies, and he certainly refuses to waste a single thought on the visiting Dark Prince of the neighboring evil kingdom. Until Elias finds himself presented with an attractive offer--help the Prince pen an autobiography in exchange for rare, firsthand information about the mysterious Dark Kingdom of Mournhelm.

Spending time with the Dark Prince, however, may be more than Elias can bear.

The Prince is vain, arrogant, and interested in Elias in ways he definitely doesn't reciprocate. Though there are those odd, unidentifiable feelings, which grow stronger the more time they spend together. Feelings Elias is determined to identify. But first, Elias has to contend with jealous royalty, scheming nobles, and even murder. If he weathers his trials, he may stumble upon a life he never dared dream of...

Perhaps, Elias has use for love after all.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Strangely enough, many of the cultural practices of the Calvian Empire seemed to have survived the Great Collapse, with several being adopted by the fledgling kingdoms that rose to prominence after its fall. Even as far away as the White Kingdom of Ellington, there can be found several examples of Calvian culture that have survived to this day, including the Clockwise Tea Ceremony, the Anti-Clockwise Funeral, The Collision of the Great Beasts, and many fornicary practices as detailed in Kellan Collander's illuminating tome, Furniture Fellatio and Additional Assorted Abnormal Amorous Advances. It is a known fact in Ellington that one can actually see the most bizarre of said Advances being practiced in the dead of night in the Great Library by Scholar Elias Sutterby, whose deviant tastes--

With a small sigh of indeterminate emotion, Elias Sutterby paused in his reading. He blinked slowly, as if such an action would dissolve the offending words from the page in front of him, and when that didn't work he reached up and squeezed the bridge of his slightly pointed nose.

Dunbar.

He pulled at the page, but it was stuck firmly and refused to be removed. After one last, longing look at the tome he had hoped to be spending the rest of the afternoon reading, he gently closed it around his finger before pushing out of his chair and stalking over to the head librarian's desk. As he walked, his burnt red scholar's robes billowing behind him, he looked over the top of his rectangular, wire frame reading glasses and studied the other occupants of the Great Library. It was slightly more crowded than usual, but even with the long, evenly spaced mahogany tables of the Main Study Room more occupied than he'd seen since the last Belinda Beatrice Romantic Escapade had been published, it didn't take him long to spot the person he was looking for.

Scribe Dunbar was never hard to pick out of a room, at least for Elias. Even hunched over, Dunbar's short, stocky stature seemed to vibrate with barely contained mischievous malice. Elias could only see the back of Dunbar's head, but he didn't need to see the symmetrical and moderately handsome face to know his beady eyes were most likely leering down at a voluptuous illumination, instead of doing the menial copying work all scribes of meager intellect and drive were forced to endure. He realized, with a feeling of resigned dread, that Dunbar was completely engrossed in whatever he was gawking at and not, as usually happened in these situations, giggling into his hands like a girl and giving Elias suggestive hand gestures.

Wonderful.

After sidestepping several other scholars who were reading while walking--and after Elias made a mental note to finally start his study on how they could do that without constantly tripping over themselves and breaking their necks--he approached the tall, raised desk of the Head Librarian. He stood on his toes to place the book down on the desk, turning it around as he opened it, and pushed it towards the man sitting in his usual station. The Librarian, a tall, reed thin, grizzled old man with wispy white hair on either side of his otherwise bald head, glanced at the book, then down at Elias.

"Dunbar skiving off work again, eh, boy?" the Librarian asked.

His voice was harsh and aged, but it carried the unmistakable sharpness of someone used to having his every question answered and his every order obeyed. Strangely, said voice never carried except when he wanted it to, even in the large, silent library, so no one except the few people sitting at the desks closest to them looked up when he spoke.

"Yes," Elias answered, even though he thought the question redundant. Dunbar never worked. "And he wasn't staring at me and tittering like a milkmaid so I doubt his vandalism was recent."

After all, the only thing Dunbar liked more than staring at lewd illuminations was annoying Elias.

"Ahh. Hmm. Hem," the Librarian mumbled.

He read over said vandalism, then barked out a short laugh that had several more heads turning their way. Elias saw a few open their mouths, most likely to demand quiet, but they quickly abandoned their efforts when they realized it was the head librarian who had made the noise.

"'Fornicary practices'. Ha!"

"Very amusing," Elias said flatly.

The Librarian shot Elias a quelling glare. Elias stared back impassively over his glasses. The Librarian tried for a few more moments, then gave up. Unlike most people who Elias interacted with, he at least knew a lost cause when he ran into one.

"For the life of me, I'll never understand why Dunbar's the only one who ever gets to you."

"Because Dunbar is the only one who ever interrupts my work," Elias said, irritation slipping into his voice.

The Librarian grunted. "Has a knack for that, he does." He quickly read through the rest of the page, then skimmed through the next few. When he found several more suspect pages, he gave them a tug in much the same way as Elias had done. "Bound them in there."

"I'd noticed."

The Librarian shook his head as he read over the page again. "Boy's talented at something, at least. He writes in the exact same style and tone as the author. It's not easy to match Gellert's whimsical pompousness."

"Yes, I'm sure he has a wonderful career as a counterfeiter ahead of him when he finally gets himself thrown out of the castle," Elias said with impatience. "Is there any chance I'll be getting this book back today?"

The Librarian gave Elias another glare at his tone, mostly for form's sake. He flipped through the book quickly, then shook his head. "He spread them out. Gonna have to take 'em out and rebind the whole thing."

Elias held back a sigh. Of course Dunbar would somehow stumble across the one book he needed to complete his research into the Long Fallen Calvian Empire and decide to ruin it.

There wasn't much that upset Elias. In fact, there wasn't much that affected him at all. Elias was very much a self-contained person. Most of the things which mattered so much to other people meant absolutely nothing to him. If he had to choose a single word to describe himself, that word would be "indifferent". That wasn't to say he was callous or unfeeling or incapable of emotion, it was just that there were so few things that were worth an emotional investment and he refused to pretend to care about things just to make other people comfortable around him. Naturally, there were those who took exception to this and, since an alarming number of people in the castle had never matured emotionally past the age of ten, more than a few of them had attempted to "put him in his place".

The only problem, for them at least, was that Elias never reacted.

If he was tripped, he calmly got up and continued on his way. If he was cornered and mocked, he listened to the berating with a bored expression while he mentally reviewed his most recent studies of his current subject of interest. On the rare occasions someone got so frustrated with him that they turned to physical violence, he endured it and then promptly went to the nearest guard and reported everyone involved. Over the years, his behavior had earned him a reputation for being a tattletale and an emotional golem, incapable of even the most basic human feelings, but, more importantly, it had earned him his solitude. He was left alone to do one of the only things which actually interested him--studying.

It was only Dunbar, the irritating scribe who seemed to be allergic to work ethic, whoever managed to get any kind of reaction out of him, precisely because he interfered with that studying. And now, once again, Elias was left with his subject of study well and truly interfered with.

"Make Dunbar do it," Elias said.

The Librarian snorted. "How do you think it happened in the first place? Looks like I need to add 'repairing books' to the list of things Dunbar's banned from being involved with."

"It's unfair for anyone else to have to fix his childish vandalism. Can't you loom menacingly over him and growl threateningly while he works? Dunbar does seem to be one of the people who are terrified of you. You might even be able to scare him into giving me a few months of interrupted study time."

Elias wondered briefly if people would be surprised to learn that he did, in fact, have the occasional fantasy.

A malicious gleam shone in the Librarian's eyes. "Mayhap that wouldn't entirely be a bad idea."

Authors:

About Dan Wingreen:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Dan lives in Ohio (as people do) with his boyfriend, parents and two rapidly aging dogs. His favorite thing is Star Wars, and his least favorite thing is pizza. He dreams of one day owning two Netherland Dwarf Bunnies that frolic about his house.

Twitter: @Captain_Cy_kun

Reader eMail: danwritesthings(at)gmail(dot)com

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This book was added to our catalog on Thursday 03 December, 2015.

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