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The Witchhammer
by Genia Jones

Digital archivist Tanner Florin gets more than she bargained for when she travels to Italy to digitally archive a valuable illuminated manuscript collection. Instead, she stumbles into a ring of manuscript forgers, leading her to a 600-year-old manuscript that's been missing for 50 years. "Sounds interesting!"

Chapter 1

The dark figure seemed to materialize out of the fog. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me. Then again, I hadn’t had my morning coffee, and it was still early enough that it was dark out, the streets filled with a dense, wet fog that muffled sound and made it hard to see more than a few feet ahead. It was the time of day I loved best, if I could get myself out of bed to enjoy it. The streets quiet and not yet filled with delivery trucks and people rushing on their way to work, and that fam...

Chapter 2

I tend to wake up fast, a habit from the days of caring for my mother. I was out of bed and halfway to the bathroom before it hit me that this wasn’t my room, and that the door I’d just opened wasn’t for my familiar, pint-sized bathroom back in San Francisco, but to the dressing room that was attached to my bedroom in the Palazzo Santelli. That’s right, my new employer had an entire palazzo named after him. And even the dressing rooms in it were larger than my entire apartment.

Chapter 3

“Much better.”


The voice, I realized from my place on the ground, had an American accent. A split second later I realized the room was now flooded with light, and that the dog had stopped growling. Glancing up, I saw that the man was standing near the wall, his hand hovering near a light switch, the reason there was suddenly enough light to see. In his other hand, I belatedly saw, was a flashlight. Okay, so maybe I’d overreacted a bit. I sheepishly began to pull mysel...

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