The forest was quiet as the world seemed to hold its breath in anticipation of the coming dawn. Yet the lands were denied the sun’s full glory as the moon obstructed it, doggedly pursuing the same path across the twilit sky. A song rose from the trees and the moon slowed, fractionally falling behind the sun.
Dawn sang with her tribe, every breath misting the cold air. The ancient words chaffed her lips and bloodied her tongue, but it was necessary if she wanted to see her namesake. To witness the sun rise beyond the moon and climb above the horizon in dominance. To feel it’s nigh forgotten warmth kiss her skin. To be embraced by its golden light.
To banish the Long Night.
Howls pierced the air, shredding Dawn’s hope to tatters. If they had just a little more time, they could finish the ritual and end this nightmare. But the howls were close and were getting closer with each heartbeat. Dawn sang even louder, droplets of blood and saliva flying from her ragged lips. Tears trickled down her face as she stared unerringly into the glowing haze.
Voices she had known through a lifetime suddenly disappeared from the tapestry of voices. Wet gurgles, agonised screams and terrified whimpers replaced the notes of the sacred song. Dawn could feel the magick falter. She tried to pick up their burden, but it was too late.
The moon caught up with the sun before it could make its escape. Its burning countenance was hidden behind an all-encompassing cold whiteness. The sun’s fierce flames were stolen, leached away as it was supplanted by the moon’s bleak luminosity. Luna’s dominance over Sol continued.
Her voice broke into an uncontrollable sob as the howls and screams approached in a swelling wave. She sank to her knees, the spiralling runes inscribed into the standing stones around her now meaningless.
Throaty growls stalked from the trees. Nightmares clad in hulking forms of thick fur and vicious claws. Crimson droplets fell from ivory fangs. Yellow eyes glinted with predatory intent. The monsters had come to take Dawn’s life.
‘Kill me then,’ she sobbed. ‘I would rather die than spend another night as your slave.’
Scarhide and Nighttide stalked the girl who sat within the circle of menhirs. She was the last human alive in the forest. Mutilated bodies littered the surrounding woods in steaming piles of ravaged meat and crushed bones. The scent of the disembowelled remains made both Nightbounds salivate. They could hear others of their kind already gorging themselves on the remains.
‘We kill her and feast,’ Scarhide growled, running his tongue across his exposed fangs. Nighttide nipped his flank.
‘No. Not her. I can smell the wyrd lingering on her,’ Nighttide replied, but mere words could not stop her mate when he was hungry. Scarhide burst from the treeline with a mighty roar, powerful limbs propelling him towards his quarry. Nighttide spat a curse and rushed after him, snapping at Scarhide’s heels. Shrugging off the pain, Scarhide smashed aside a menhir as he exploded into the ritual circle. Rearing up, he made ready to pounce on the frightened human.
Nighttide let her momentum carry her as she used the toppled menhir as a springboard and bowled Scarhide over. His tumble was arrested by another standing stone, but as Scarhide rose, he found Nighttide standing protectively above the girl, lips pulled back as she growled menacingly. Scarhide snarled back, weighing his options.
‘Mine,’ he declared, eyes snapping between his breakfast and the Nightbound he slept with.
‘I’ll rip your throat out first,’ she barked in warning.
‘Why?’ Scarhide huffed in genuine bewilderment. Nighttide’s mate was extraordinary in so many ways, but the excruciating torture the humans had visited upon him before the Great Howl had broke his mind. Scarhide was more than happy to return the favour at any given opportunity. However, Nighttide wanted more than simple revenge.
‘If they break wyrd keeping Luna bound to Sol, daytime will return. Humans hunt us again. Don’t want that, do you?’. Scarhide’s slipping sanity mangled his words.
‘Scarhide,’ Nighttide snarled in warning, her hackles raised with barely restrained violence, but he wasn’t listening any more. Rationality gave way to baser instincts. She slapped his suddenly extended claws away before he could sink them into the girl’s supple flesh.
‘No!’ she roared and Scarhide flinched back with a surprised yelp, but his hesitation only lasted a heartbeat.
‘Don’t care. She dies. We EAT.’ snarled Scarhide as he finally pounced.
Nighttide yanked the girl out of the way. Scarhide’s jaws snapped shut, fangs tearing at the golden robes, but nothing else. Nighttide danced back, trying to put distance between Scarhide and his prey, but he came at her relentlessly. Ducking beneath wildly swinging claws, Nighttide kicked out and caught Scarhide in the midriff. He was knocked back and desparately gasped for breath. Nighttide must have hit his solar plexus, but she knew he’d be on her in a heartbeat. Scarhide was larger and stronger and she couldn’t hold out against him for too long. So she reached down into her core and drew forth her wyrd.
Scarhide’s features went slack, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head at Nighttide evocation. He tilted his head to the side as if listening to something only he could hear. His snout twitched as an imaginary smell tickled his nostrils. With tentative steps, Scarhide trotted back into the dark woods, but the bewylderment wouldn’t last long.
With her mate temporarily out of the picture, Nighttide looked down at the girl. Her moontouched face was wet with tears. An impossibly faint golden halo surrounded her, the bright yellow of her ceremonial robes emphasising the effect. Lowering herself on her haunches, Nighttide ran a claw down the girl’s throat and for a moment, almost losing herself to the hunger gnawing at her belly. With an iron will she clamped down on the urge and glanced around instead.
Strange runes were carved into the standing stones surrounding them. The sharp cuts and soft curves of the arcane symbols twisted and warped as the last vestiges of wyrd dissipated from them. They didn’t resemble anything she was familiar with. It was neither human, nor Nightbound.
Closing her eyes, she focused on her wyrd and inhaled deeply. The runes smelled of sunshine. Of wild flowers blooming in gentle pastures. Or verdant forests teeming with life. They kindled in her a longing Nighttide dream thought beyond her. She pushed the strange sensation aside and turned to the girl.
She was nowhere to be seen.
That she was still alive was a miracle to Dawn. The monsters had fought for her as if she was nothing more than a tasty meal to them. And perhaps that was the truth. Sitting there and watching them, Dawn decided she’d rather not make it any easier for these abominations. With the victorious beast distracted by the runes she painstakingly carved into the sunstones, Dawn scampered off into the lightless woods. Perhaps it was only delaying her inevitable demise at the claws and fangs of the monster, but she refused to give it the pleasure of her surrendering.
Dawn followed the route they had taken from the city, hoping to reach the safety of steel and concrete before the monster caught up. Ice-covered leaves crumpled between her feet and the permafrost. Desiccated branches reached down from the penumbral canopy, the skeletal fingers of the lifeless forest grasping at her robes. Ashen trunks of dead trees emerged from the darkness like so many tombstones, before swiftly vanishing back into the inky gloom of the unending night.
Maybe she could find others of her tribe who had escaped, Dawn thought. Yet each step through the lightless woods dashed that hope, as silence was the only companion that joined her. When beset on all sides by beasts that howl and roar and rend, silence rarely meant anything good.
Her tribe was dead, there was no doubt about that in Dawn’s mind. What intrigued her, despite her predicament, was that she was still alive. The onyx monster had stopped the scarred one from killing her, and had taken an interest in her runes. Perhaps there was something more devious to these hateful creatures than just insatiable hunger?
Out of the darkness appeared a sloping tree and Dawn ran straight into it. Her head thudded into its trunk painfully. She bit down a cry of pain as she fell on her back, sprawling out on the cold forest trail. Dizziness washed over her, followed by confusion. There wasn’t supposed to be a tree here. There hadn’t been one just two hours ago when they came to enact the ritual. So what was it doing in front of her now? She sat up with a groan and looked up and further up.
Between the grove of dead birches, a humongous shadow loomed. High atop the crowns of the trees, a single bale eye gleamed with ancient malice. The birches broke and twisted from the ground as it took a titanic step towards Dawn. Claws as long as a mammoth’s tusks reached for Dawn through the canopy. Splintered wood and broken branches showered her.
The primal horror towering above her was unlike anything she had ever witnessed. It evoked an elemental torrent of terror with its sheer presence. It was a nightmare out of humanity’s earliest memories.
Dawn let loose a bloodcurdling scream and fainted.
‘Grimwoe’ Nighttide whined as she recognised the gargantuan shape loomed over her quarry.
These ancient Nightbound were said to be older than the first human civilisations – the original monsters lurking beyond the fire-lit caves where the hairless monkeys huddled. As the last ice age faded and their primary prey had become extinct, the Forgotten retreated to the highest mountains and deepest oceans. The Great Howl not only brought about perpetual night, but it also awakened the Forgotten.
If fighting off Scarhide was a challenge, than going up against a Forgotten would be suicidal. Yet she couldn’t relinquish the opportunity to study the human girl that possessed the wyrd.
Cursing her own foolishness, Nighttide sprang forward and intervened between the pair, crouching protectively over the girl for the second time tonight.
The descending claws stopped and Grimwoe’s attention slowly turned to Nighttide. Jaws large enough to swallow both of them opened, and the Forgotten let loose a booming sound that reminded Nighttide of a foghorn. At its bellowing shriek, the very earth beneath her paws trembled. Tree trunks around her cracked down the middle, and blood oozed from her nostrils and onto her fangs, its coppery tang invading her tongue.
Few things could terrify a Nightbound. One, before the Great Howl, would have been a coterie of hunters storming her den at high noon. The other was the wrath of the Forgotten. Entire civilisations were strangled in their cradles having angered these primordial beings.
Terror rooted Nighttide’s paws. She couldn’t run even if she had wanted to. For the first time in her carnivorous life, she understood what a human felt at the naked might of a Nightbound. Grimwoe’s massive claws rose above her like an executioner’s blade.
A frenzied howl echoed through the endless night, brimming with hunger, madness and the familiar note of Scarhide. Nighttide’s ears perked up in alarm. The bewylderment had worn off and Scarhide was back on the chase. As if she didn’t have enough problems to deal with.
Grimwoe turned its horned head slowly, looking in the direction that howl had come from. Shaking the very earth beneath its frame, the Forgotten turned from Nighttide and answered the howl – its dominance would not be challenged.
Seizing the momentary distraction, Nighttide scooped up the girl’s limp body. Blood seeped from her nose and mouth, but she was still breathing. Throwing the lithe body over her shoulder, Nighttide turned tail and ran before Grimwoe noticed.
Dawn shivered, coming back to her senses with a jolt. She found herself sprawled out on wooden tiles in an alien place. Cold metal pressed against the skin, and looking down she glanced at chains wrapped around her wrists. Her gaze followed their length to an exposed steel girder above her head. This was not the work of her tribe, or any other, and escape would not be an option.
The onyx one, Dawn thought. Had it done this?
Collecting her thoughts, a series of terrifying realisations came to the mind of the young girl. Kidnapping was not the act of a bloodthirsty animal. If the onyx beast wanted her alive, why? If it was crafty enough to put her in chains, that meant it could plan – and if it could plan, it could think.
Through frost-covered high windows, Dawn glimpsed her city from above. The eclipsed sun’s meagre light played across a tapestry of broken buildings and yawning avenues. Dark, inhuman silhouettes flitted between the manmade structures, the unending night offering limitless hunting opportunities. The monsters hunted in different ways. Most gave in to their primal urges and consumed or mated wantonly. Others would descend into the sewers clad in deceptively human forms, supping on the look of betrayal as they ate their victims. It was a parade of nightmares Dawn was all too familiar with.
Her captor apparently resided in a skyscraper. She had never ventured so high in fear of the winged terrors that prowled the skies. The apartment she found herself in looked much as it probably had before Long Night had fallen. Its wasteful luxury was evident in the lavish furniture, with a once-pristine white leather of the massive couch taking centre stage in front of the windows. The pale glow seeping through the windows softly illuminated forgotten pieces of art hanging from the wall, unappreciated by their new owner.
The hideous amalgam of human and wolf watched her from the other side of the room, resting on its haunches.
‘What do you want of me?’ Dawn spat the question to hide her fear. She had never been to a monster’s hovel. Her twilights and nights had been spent hiding from the very things that now held her captive. From fleeing the safety of a police station, to hiding in abandoned subway tunnels until finally, she discovered a library hidden deep beneath the city. Harbouring dusty tomes and occult scrolls teeming with forgotten knowledge from a bygone age, the library offered Dawn and her tribe something she didn’t expect. Hope.
A low rumble in the werewolf’s chest swelled into a throaty growl. Dawn shrank back as far as the chains allowed. The beast shook its head and stood back on its hind legs, the tips of its canine ears brushing against the ceiling. Then it began to transform. Dawn frantically squeezed her eyes shut and pressed her palms against her ears, lest the sight drove her mad.
Dawn yelped when her hands were pulled from her ears and she looked up in terror at the woman standing in front of her, clad in nothing but Luna’s light.
‘Tal-,’ the woman started to say, coughed, then started again. ‘Talk. I want talk.’
‘There is nothing to talk about, monster!’
The woman laughed. The sound was not unpleasant, but Dawn knew how deceptive these abominations could be. There was nothing human beneath that charade of hairless skin.
‘Your spirit. Fierce. I admire it,’ she said, voice still coarse and halting, as if unused to human speech.
Dawn glared as angrily as she could.
‘Mock me as much as you like, it won’t make any difference!’
‘Yet you talk. Chirp-chirp. Like bird, in a cage,’ the woman said as she sat down on the edge of the couch, the cold leather creaking under her weight. Despite her human looks, her eyes shone wolf’s yellow. Dawn bit her lower lip to keep further words spilling from her sore lips. The pain of enunciating the incantations still lingered.
‘Good. You starting to listen. So hear what I say. This will take as long as needed. I have all night,’ the woman continued. Her speech became more fluid with each sentence. When Dawn didn’t answer, the woman reclined onto the couch and sat idly by, content with silence.
The chill permeating the room sapped at Dawn’s will and stamina. She blew on her cold fingers to no avail. Her torn robes offered scant protection against the cold creeping into her bones. She tugged on her chains, but they held firmly. Her captor didn’t stir, not fearing her escape. It seemed Dawn’s fate was already decided. It was probably better to just get this all over with before she froze to death.
‘What do you want?’ Dawn sighed in defeat. The woman sat up with alarming speed and her gaze nailed Dawn to the floor.
‘The runes. The words. Who taught you the wyrd?’ she asked with an intensity that surprised Dawn. And with it came the utter conviction that she mustn’t reveal anything.
‘Wyrd not human, yet you know it. Use it.’
‘What difference does that make?’
‘Humans want the night to end. To be kings again. To finish what they started and hunt us to extinction. But after aeons, we are the ones who hunt freely. Breed freely. Live freely,’ the woman purred contentedly.
‘The sun must rise again,’ Dawn said with absolute faith. Her captor’s inhuman growl made her shrink back.
‘We won’t allow it. You would be a fool to think otherwise.’
‘You have no other choice,’ Dawn whispered, surprised she could talk in the face of the rage boiling beneath the monstrous woman’s voice.
‘Is that so? Enlighten me,’ she mocked Dawn.
‘The world is dying without Sol’s light-’
‘That’s just the brightcraze talking,’ the woman interrupted. Dawn felt her own anger stoked by the words. She stepped to the windows and gestured to the umbral landscape outside with her chained hands.
‘How can you be so blind? Without light and warmth, nothing grows! No fruits, no vegetables, no crop, nothing! And the animals? We, your kind and mine, ate them all! There’s nothing left but bugs and mushrooms!’
‘And humans,’ the woman said, licking her lips at the thought of food. Dawn’s fury overwrote her common sense as she shouted back.
‘And what happens after you eat us all, huh? Who will you hunt? Each other?’
The debate with the girl – infuriatingly called Dawn – lasted the whole night, yet Nighttide could not figure out where Dawn gained her knowledge of wyrdcraft. For someone so young, Dawn possessed a strength of will that astounded Nighttide. She was stubborn, smart and worst of all, probably right.
Who will we hunt…
Nighttide had to clear her head. To try and outrun the girl’s words. Assuming her canid form once more, Nighttide’s clawed feet propelled her out of the skyscraper and down towards the moonlit forest bordering the city, wind ruffling her obsidian fur as she left the metropolis further and further behind. Her breath came in ragged gulps as even her Nightbound constitution couldn’t keep up with the exertion. Yet she pushed herself to go even faster.
A root snagged at her paw and tripped her up. The tree her body hit simply exploded into splinters and barely slowed her tumble. Nighttide crashed into another tree, breaking its trunk. As it slowly toppled and shattered to pieces, the words caught up with her.
The world is dying…
With a frustrated shake of her head, Nighttide howled at the sky. No one joined in. The forest was empty, save for her. Utter silence surrounded her, more profound than she had ever felt. The forest was indeed empty. No rodent stirred, no owl hooted, no fox stalked.
She stood on wobbly legs, steadying herself against a tree. The coldness of the wood came as a shock. There was no life beneath her paw. The tree was utterly dead. Nighttide tried to pluck a leaf, but it turned to dust the moment she touched it. She reached higher, looking for anything solid. The branches and twigs broke like cheap porcelain, brittle and lifeless.
There’s nothing left…
It was time to face the truth and it was terrible to behold. By saving themselves, the Nightbound have destroyed nature’s balance.
But she also glimpsed an opportunity. Enslave the girl. Control her. Use her to bring back the sun and an equilibrium, but without letting the Nightbound’s dominance falter. The thought gave her strength. Plans blossomed in her mind. She could almost see the beginning of a new world.
Having found her answer, it was time to return to Dawn. Leaving the forest behind, she passed through the sprawling suburbs. The open doors and broken windows of abandoned houses yawned at her from both sides. The once expensive neighbourhood had been reduced to empty wrecks as the owners who were too slow or too confident were consumed in their very homes. Nighttide fondly recalled those early nights after the Great Howl. The humans still thought they were the masters of the lands, but within the coming weeks, they had come to realise the error of that notion.
A familiar scent, still fresh, caught her attention.
With a sinking feeling, Nighttide realised that his tracks headed towards the glass and concrete towers at the city’s old centre. Where she had left Dawn, alone and in chains.
‘Scarhide – ’
The wolf-woman’s behaviour was something Dawn couldn’t fully comprehend. She didn’t know anyone who actually talked to a monster before, let alone survive the encounter to tell the tale. Her words had certainly planted the seed of doubt in her captor, but would that give Dawn enough time to find a way out?
The best course of action would be to escape from here and return to the sewers. There, she might find new allies. Teach them what she had learned in the old library. Share the secrets, so that even if she dies, there will be others to carry on the torch. The Long Night had to come to an end.
Of course, all of that was easier said than done. The chains around her wrists were solid despite the thin layer of rust covering the links. The girder was too high up, so she had to find a solution in her vicinity. The chain was just long enough that she could rummage through the kitchen drawers, but whoever was the previous occupant clearly never used the kitchen to actually cook. It was just a pretty set in an expensive home.
Without any tools to aid her, Dawn resorted to her wrenching her hands free. Cursing and wheezing, she struggled against the chains relentlessly, cold steel biting painfully into her skin the harder she pulled and yanked. Dawn didn’t know how much time passed before her strength ran out and she just collapsed, tears of effort and defeat rolling down her cheeks.
It was no use. The wolf-woman was going to come back and feed on her, little by little, until Dawn told her where she had learned her magick runes.
‘I’m so stupid,’ she muttered. The magick – it was the only thing that could help escape her predicament. She didn’t understand them perfectly, but maybe she could improvise.
Licking a finger, she used her own saliva to draw a rune on her own forehead. More followed and she began to chant the painful words. Her lips split and she tasted her own blood, but a warmth began to suffuse her. The cold of the apartment was banished as Sol’s grace coursed through her body.
The chains that bound her slowly expanded, and Dawn pulled her hands free from the loops with an exasperated grin on her face. Free at last, she staggered to her feet and fled from the tower-den, descending the long stairs to the ground floor.
Outside, the streets were deceptively empty, save for a howl that carried on the air in the distance. Wasting little time, Dawn broke from her cover and sprinted to the subway station, descending into its welcoming confines.
Nighttide heard Scarrhide’s howl and took the stairs five at a time. He was close by, which meant she couldn’t waste any time and had to get back to Dawn.
She first noticed something was amiss a dozen flights below her den. It was faint, but it was unmistakably the scent of roses in bloom. Her ascent quickened, and Nighttide burst through the flat’s door and looked around frantically, only to find it empty.
The chain hung from the girder, empty. Dawn had somehow managed to escape and judging by the buzzing of phantom bees, she was getting more adept at using the wyrd. As interesting as the thought was, Scarhide was close by and unless Nighttide wanted to miss the opportunity to use Dawn to bring back balance to this broken world, she would need to find her in a hurry.
The time for subtlety was over.
Nighttide grabbed the couch by its end and threw it through the reinforced windows with such force that they immediately shattered. Launching herself through the opening, Nighttide plummeted through the glittering shards of glass. The ground was fast approaching and she angled her body towards an abandoned car. At the last moment, she curled up and cannonballed through the vehicle’s roof. The impact burst the sedan apart. Nighttide sprang from the wreckage with barely a scratch, her snout to the ground as she hunted for Dawn’s scent.
Detecting a combination of the girl’s worldly fragrance and the otherworldly essence of her strange wyrd, Nighttide followed the scent to the stairs of a subway station and descended without hesitation. The subway station’s cracked tiles were covered with gnawed bones and inorganic detritus. A train stood by the platform, windows broken and the doors ripped from the hinges.
Dawn’s presence drew her on like a honeyed string, leading her down among the train tracks and into the lightless tunnel. Famished rats scurried into their holes, but Nighttide ignored them. All her senses focused on Dawn’s traces as they guided her onwards. A scattering of light heralded the next station, and Nighttide spotted the girl’s silhouette up ahead.
With a grunt of effort at the end of the tunnel, Dawn was prying open the lid of a reinforced service shaft. All she had to do was jump inside and she would escape, and Nighttide wouldn’t have the strength to muster it open.
Nighttide rapidly shifted her body into impostor shape – she hated doing so, for it stunted her senses and power, but it was the only way she could attempt to halt Dawn’s escape. Far short of her reach, Nighttide transformed and pleaded with her claw-palms outstretched.
‘Wait!’ the wolf-woman called out, then added, ‘please!’
‘Stop where you are!’ Dawn warned her, one foot into the service shaft. The creature surprisingly complied, ceasing its pursuit. It hesitated at the mouth of the tunnel, its elongated fingers raised in a display of pause.
‘Stay back-’ Dawn sneered, hand on the door.
‘What you said… it’s true,’ the wolf-woman whispered with halting reluctance. Her voice was still crackling between animal and human, but through it there was a tinge of sincerity.
‘The world is dying. Something must be done.’
Dawn blinked, her hand on the latch of the shaft. She would only need to close the door and she could leave this wretched thing behind, but the pleading brokered a barbed response.
‘And what do you suggest to do?’ Dawn barked.
‘I…,’ the wolf-woman stammered, appearing unsure of the answer. Dawn watched her eyes dart from side to side, looking for a solution.
‘Well, enlighten me!’
‘We… will do it.’
‘Nothing grows. You are right. We need to work together.’
Dawn looked through the disguise of the creature, who only hours ago was looking at her with capricious intent. Now, beneath the skin of woman and beast, it humbled itself with a truly human emotion on full display… desperation.
‘Together?’ Dawn questioned with a sceptical tone.
‘Together,’ it replied.
Filled with disbelief, Dawn stared back at the strange creature before her. It had betrayed assumptions about monsterkind’s bloodthirsty behaviour, but she knew she couldn’t trust it. Not fully. She thought about herself without her tribe, and this thing without a pack. Strange companions as the world falls apart around them.
‘Together’ Nighttide tapped her chest again. She needed the girl. She needed her strength. That new world was within reach. She would have to figure out the details later. Nighttide reached out to offer her palm in a peaceful gesture, the dark tunnel behind her a beckoning path back to this new beginning.
‘You were right. We will need to work toget–’
With a flash of sickled-fangs, Scarhide lunged like a lethal spectre from the umbral passage. Nighttide hadn’t noticed his presence in her impostor form, and was too slow to react; as was Dawn who, focused on Nighttide, grabbed the handle too late to close the shaft.
The ravenous predator’s jaws snapped shut around the girl’s neck with a wet crunch, and Dawn’s head broke from her spine and tumbled to Nighttide’s feet in a blast of crimson. The brash act of carnage left Nighttide stunned as the violence unfolded before her, Scarhide tumbling into the shaft atop the body.
With a dissociated gaze, Nighttide looked down at the girl’s face. Even in death, she looked hopeful. Hopeful that she might change the world and bring back the sun.
Nighttide sank to her knees as uncontrollable sobs wracked her body. She had never felt like this about the death of a human, but with Dawn’s death, her own salvation had been destroyed. She cradled the head in her arms, still looking at the girl’s face, while her body was loudly devoured by Scarhide.
Nighttide didn’t know how much time had passed when a hot, wet nose poked her shoulder. She looked up at the gore-drenched muzzle of Scarhide.
‘I left some for you’ Scarhide grinned.
About the Author
Daniel was born on a sunny, peaceful spring morning in Budapest, Hungary. He preferred watching television over reading books. Like, a lot. That changed when his school took him to the public library and everyone was forced to pick a book to read. He chose The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Despite his initial disdain, our hero devoured the book in a few days and hasn’t stopped reading since. If you got this far, please send help, his budget (and shelves) can’t handle more books! Oh, and he occasionally entertains the idea of being a writer. The fool.