Reality Skimming

Excerpt from Without Bloodshed Part 3

Matthew Graybosch is a Romantic science fantasy novelist from New York who codes for a living. He’s also a gamer, a long-haired metalhead, and a geek who passes for normal by not talking about the nerdy stuff that excites him. He lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife, two cats, and a bicycle that nags him whenever he doesn’t meet his daily word count. He’s hard at work on the next Starbreaker novel. You can reach him by email or on Google+. His home page is at

Chapter 11, "Three Adversaries Walk into a Bar" (Scene 2) part 3

While almost all of the patrons wore the colors of the Fireclowns MC, most of them seemed too absorbed in their own conversations to notice her. "―I told my wife I didn't like this job any more than she did, but did she listen? Nah―"

"―Can you believe this shit? It's 2112 and my grandparents still think my being bi is just a phase―"

"Hey, isn't that the babe from Crowley's Thoth?"

She stopped and turned towards the booth containing the patron who recognized her. He seemed terribly young to be riding with a gang of mercenary bikers, and his reddish brown hair kept falling over his face. His companions were equally youthful. I guess it's a family business for some of them. "I never expected to be recognized in uniform. I'm helping Morgan; we'd like to resolve matters with Liebenthal in a peaceful manner."

One of the other youths nodded. "My dad was there last night. He couldn't believe you guys didn't just kill them all. The doctor told him to stay home and rest a few days."

"Morgan and I only got to Boston this morning, but I'm glad for our friends' restraint." She pointed to Sid. "I'm sure Adversary Schneider would appreciate hearing from you."

The biker with the absent father reddened as he brushed past Naomi to get out of the booth. She smiled as he passed; his blush even set the back of his neck aflame. By the time he caught up with Sid, he was too far away to be audible over the hum of conversation, but the sight of him shaking the giant's hand encouraged her. That's at least one man with no desire to fight.

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