Sunday, 26 June 2016

Shakespeare Sunday: Lovecraft's Labours Lost

Everyone who has backed the Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu Kickstarter at the Richard III reward level and above will be receiving a bonus short story, written by Tim Bayley, entitled Lovecraft's Labours Lost. And here's a taster...

They passed from grassy sun-blessed plain to the darkness of the wood, warm regardless with the heat of a summer’s night. A hare had accompanied them a ways, then a hound, a hog... there’d been an untended fire after, but Prosperus led them on. In between they’d been distracted as, one by one, they turned at the tap or pinch of another. But Prosperus showed no impatience at such undue frivolity, whoever was the culprit. By and by, up on a low tree branch ahead, a figure waited, hands clasped. By height he was a small man or a tall youth and seemed both hare-young and oak-ancient. His smile across was merry but in what measure between innocence or wickedness Will could not have said.  
‘Welcome wanderers.’  
‘You are the hobgoblin,’ said Prosperus, ‘the Goodfellow who is called Robin?’  
‘Thou speak’st aright,’ the figure approved in some gentle mocking of their speech and dropped to the ground.  
‘I thank you for coming, honest Puck, and would take time to offer such courtesies as befit you, yet time is the coin wanting in our purses, so I must just enquire: do you have it?’  
‘Indeed,’ this Robin replied, producing a package, ‘retained since ancient times for sport; yet such sport as would be in short supply should your purse run empty. A gift then, and freely given without obligation.’  
With thanks given and courtesies observed they took their leave; only Will once more addressed their benefactor: ‘That was you, was it not? On our way here. The hare, the hound, the hog... the prods and pinching.’  
Puck grinned. ‘A treasure I was to deliver, however necessary; I but took my taxes where I could in fair fee. Fare thee well, noble Prosperus, Faustus Rakehell, Groatsworth and upstart Crow; I would not follow if e’en now I could, but go with the good wishes of Summer and fare thee well.’

Tim Bayley has lived in the Big City for some 16 years and worked in the book trade throughout that time as a Bookseller and then a Sales Rep, more recently directing his efforts full time to writing, organising events and working on web projects. It was after finishing the penultimate draft of a young adults book that the urban fantasy character that had lurked at the back of Tim’s mind jumped up and said ‘My turn’, and he spent the last year discovering the seedy underbelly of London’s secret magical society in order to write the tales on this site and the first half of a full length novel of the same.

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