I was looking through the archives and discovered that last week it had been five years since I started working on the world of Tradia. I think it’s just me who cares about the anniversary, but here’s a little bonus anyway.

The first Tradia story started with someone fighting a dragon, which sounds pretty strange if you’ve read anything I’ve written since then. I don’t think it made sense at the time either – it was just fun to write.

This is not that story, but I will dig it out and post it someday. This is actually a small scene I wrote back in November 2017 as an epilogue to Suggestion Box and never got round to posting. It’s not that exciting, and I’m kind of cringing at some of the dialogue, but I thought it was at least nice to expand on a couple of characters from that story.

Kylantil, Kylan, 14th Nivos 997.

It’s late at night. LAURA sits in a small room lit only by a dim lamp, despairing. MIKE enters to find her there.

MIKE: Laura! What are you doing in here? I thought you went home.

LAURA: (bitterly) What are you doing in here? I thought you were trying to get early nights now.

MIKE: Yeah, well… After the break-in yesterday, I kept worrying. I had to come here and check that we’d locked up.

LAURA: That was my fault. I left the door unlocked, I got distracted looking for evidence and forgot that everyone else had left already.

MIKE: For evidence? Are you still working on the Democracy Day case? Laura…

LAURA: I have to find something. We can’t just end this here. There has to be another lead, another way to find who did it…

MIKE: But we did end it here. We’ve moved on. The hijacker covered their tracks too well. There’s nothing we can do, Laura.

LAURA: How am I going to tell anyone that? No, there must be something. Some sort of hope.

MIKE: Why does there need to be? It’s just another failed case. We’ve got more important and more promising ones.

LAURA: This is more important.

MIKE: Because you said you were going to solve it half a year ago? Nobody cares about that.

LAURA: Mike, you don’t understand… I told the public – the citizens of Kylan – multiple times that I… that I was going to solve the case and find out who was responsible. What if it happens again? We don’t know how they managed it. We haven’t even fixed the broken glass. I have to do something. The people want answers. They want justice and I’m not giving them it.

MIKE: The people loved Democracy Day. Let it go.

LAURA: It should never have happened. Mike, I can’t just go out there and admit that we haven’t solved the case and- and- probably never will. I can’t just tell them that we spent eight months and all of our resources on nothing.

MIKE: You could make something up. Tell them you found out who it was but it had to be kept confidential.

LAURA: Mike, don’t be stupid. Maybe I should pick someone else, we need integrity. 

MIKE: It was just a suggestion. Hold on, pick someone else? What’s that mean?

LAURA: I’m resigning. That’s what a good person does.

MIKE: Please, Laura, we need you.

LAURA: You don’t need me at all. You’re running the force fine, solving cases fine, and I’m just sitting here finding nothing. You’re already doing the job, it’s past time it’s official. I’ll move up north, find something new, something I can do.

MIKE: This isn’t just about Democracy Day, is it?

LAURA: No, no. I don’t know. I just know I shouldn’t be here.

MIKE: That folder. You’re still trying to solve the Corsin case? That’s 14 years old, nobody’s holding you to it. That kid isn’t going to be alive now, wherever she went.

LAURA: Just go, Mike. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll sort this out.

Mike leaves, but doesn’t shut the door.

Next: “Minimal”.

Thank you to anyone who’s read any of the stories over the past five years! I’ve changed a lot in that time so it’s weird to think I’ve been developing the same world throughout all of that.

In some maybe more exciting news, I’ve got some brand new stories I’m working on that you’ll get to see soon. There’s gonna be a weird one, one that’s a very modern horror story, and something that’s maybe a little more traditional. Happy halloween 27th of September!