#A2Z Challenge: N for November

During 2018’s A-Z Challenge, we wrote the first draft of “The November Deadline” and to celebrate that this is now (finally) out with beta readers, we’ll be producing a daily piece of micro-fiction linked to it – some prequel, some containing a detail not included in the story, some snippets from sequels currently being written.


The courtier made the quietest of polite coughs, the barest minimum to attract his queen’s attention to the supplicant lurking in the doorway.

“Approach.”  The fae wore the cloak of a senior boundary warden.  He’d been coached in the etiquette required of the Court, but clearly, he had no previous experience.  His bow was seven 16ths of an inch too high.  It was touch and go whether he’d be forgiven, the courtier thought.  Perhaps he would be lucky. 

“My liege, I bring tidings from the Edge.”

“Proceed.”

“There was a disturbance.  We sent word at the time, but we have been investigating further.”

“An incursion?”

“No, my liege. We investigated the residuum.  We believe an exile broke into Between, which created ripples in the quantum interface.”

“An exile?”

“Yes , my liege.  There are certain indications to suggest it was the Warlord, my liege.”

“Oh, my Cledwyn.” The warden, unused to his queen’s moods thought her bored with the news; the courtier marvelled at unheard of emotion in her voice. “And?”

“My liege?”

“What further news do you have for me?”

“Well my liege, we -”

“Spare me the tawdry details of your actions.  Tell me what you have learned.”

“The ephemerals have emerged from a period of war, my liege, and the Warlord appears to be involved in some way.”

“You mean he caused the war?” She frowned.  The courtier caught his breath.  This could be viewed as a problem with Cadwallader’s parole.  A terminal problem.

“Oh no my liege! As far as we can determine, the Warlord is only working with The Runward and under his direction. But we did intercept a message that he was trying to send to a colleague.  A date in November.”

“What is November? Wait I just remembered. I don’t care. You may go.”  The warden retreated to safety, in the approved fashion. The queen turned to the courtier.  “Promote him.  Ensure he knows the protocols in the future and that he knows that his ears are forfeit if he fails to learn to bow properly.  Oh, and send for the Hunters.  I have work for them.”


© 2021, David Jesson & Debra Carey

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business can be found on DebsCarey.com.

8 thoughts on “#A2Z Challenge: N for November”

    1. Canon! They’re referring to the events at the safehouse. Having written this, it occurred to me afterwards that this might work well as the prologue, together with an expansion of this new Echo segment…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So much to wonder about here. Two of my favorite details, because they reveal so much: the required precision of the bow, and the passage about the two different reactions to the tone of the queen’s voice. Little details that you let speak for themselves here. Great!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not at all, let alone gladly… there is a huge lot of Tink’s backstory that Debs and I discussed, that may or may not ever see the light of day, but that we felt was important for us to know and acknowledge. This speaks to that, a little.

      Liked by 3 people

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