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Here’s a glimpse into my days away on a writer’s refuge in a former medieval nunnery. I got a little step closer to finishing up Zoe & the Demon Slayer. - Neel Kay

What the hell are you doing?” a man’s voice roared behind her. A sudden force pushed her to the side and she found herself crawling around in the snow, reaching frantically for her sanity.

Are you real?” He said, scoffing and

pushing her away from him. “How did you

get here? Who are you?” He looked her up and down, seemingly a bit baffled by her

floral print summer dress, the bright green cardigan and polka-dotted ballerina shoes.

Here, let me hold that if you insist on taking off your clothes in my room. Mind you, I’m getting ideas over the fact.

Zoe could feel herself enter full blast fangirling mode complete with shortness of breath and arms ready to start flailing. But then Matis suddenly stopped and turned around as if he could sense that she was about to start squealing and thus draw unnecessary attention towards herself and her travel companions, and his penetrating stare went straight past Adrian, Reni and Thora and struck Zoe with a force that knocked the urge right out of her.

Somewhere in the farthest corner of her mind there was a tiny memory flashing up in the dark, yelling with a voice so far away it was barely even audible: I remember him. I know him.


This was the beginning of her horrible demise. Killed and beheaded and handed over to the demon king for gold pieces.

She ran her fingers over the books that still stood neatly and untouched, picked up those she passed that had been flung through the air, caressing them and putting them back on the shelves after she’d read the titles and leafed through the pages. How anyone could hurt books like this was just beyond her. “She’s drooling,” Adrian said, glaring at her from afar. “I am not,” she retorted, but still wiped the corners of her mouth with her thumb and index finger.

He’s going to kill us, isn’t he?” Reni whispered to Zoe. She glared at her face. “You look terrible by the way.”

Out August 2014

Writer's refuge