The Book of Dyzod by Joseph Carney

“Let me start by saying Im sorry I had to get your involved in this,” Tish said. “If I could have thought of any other way, I would have.”
“Involved in what?” I asked.
“Ill get to that in a bit,” Tish said. “Let me tell you what you need to hear the way I want to tell you. If you keep asking questions it will take all day.”
I sat and watched her. She had very appealing eyes, eyes that could draw you in, make you do things you would regret in the morning. She had a way about her, a way to get what she wanted. She was a dangerous woman. As she spoke, her hands slowly dealt cards from the tarot deck, playing them in order around the Celtic cross.
“I need you to aquire something for me. I recently discovered the location of an ancient tome, a book, and I need that book.”
I didn’t say anything.  I waited for her to continue.
“When I knew you were going to be in a wreck, I thought I could convince you to help me. But I underestimated your healing abilities and you ran from the hospital before I could talk to you. There was nothing I could do to prevent the accident, that’s just not how things work.”
Tish finished dealing all the cards onto the Celtic Cross.
“According to the cards, you will accept my offer. Although I cannot see if you will succeed.  The future is not always clear, even to me.”
“You kept me locked up in a hospital, drugged so I could not escape and you stole all my memories from me. What makes you think I would help you do anything?”
“Fate is not ours to alter,” Tish said. She began picking up the tarot cards, in the reverse order that she had laid them in. “We can only ride the tides. I did not steal your memories. The accident you were in was very bad. You suffered severe damage and major head trauma; your brains resembled a scrambled egg on a sidewalk on a hot summer day. If it were not for the special treatment we gave you, you would have died. You are lucky to be alive, and you have me to thank for that.”
Tish’s word rang with the sound of hollow truth. I don’t think she was lying to me, but I don’t think she was telling me the entire truth either.
“So, you saved me and then hoped I would be so grateful for your help that I would steal something for you. Is that what youre asking me to believe?”
“I know it’s hard for you to believe, but what I want you to steal would be better in safe keeping than where it is now.  You would actually be doing good to steal it. It’s very dangerous and if it were to fall into the wrong hands, it could cause a lot of trouble.”

  • : Urban Fantasy


  1. gglotzer

    Hi Joseph. This looks like part of a continuing piece. But I liked the way you just dropped us into the action. I was able to get a feel for these two characters in the very short space we had. My real confusion came from the narrator saying he was kept “locked up” in the hospital. The only reasons I could think of for someone being locked up in a hospital are if they are psychiatric patients that pose a threat to themselves or others, or a criminal who was injured at the time of arrest. I may be wrong, but the narrator didn’t seem to be either. Maybe just say he was stuck in the hospital. Nice job overall.

  2. OtterSilver

    The arc of the story continues to be amazing. Tiff is guarded in her sharing, but she is the enemy, so there is not much sympathy for her. At the end of this, I am left wondering what she needs the book for and why she should not have it. Looking forward to the next installment. Good job.

  3. Riham Gharib

    Hello Joseph,

    I like jumping into the middle of a scene and watching how a highly dramatic situation unfolds. This is exactly how such a scene should be written, it’s totally rivetting, and you leave your readers wanting to know more about everything.

    It’s great as an episode from a larger ongoing work, but if it’s a stand-alone, I think a few clues here and there would be appropriate.

    I like this part a lot:

    “Fate is not ours to alter,” Tish said. She began picking up the tarot cards, in the reverse order that she had laid them in. “We can only ride the tides. I did not steal your memories …”

    Well done!

  4. Sue Maynes

    This feels like it is a part of a larger piece, but taking us straight into the action, having us conjure up our own version of what is happening, is a good way to involve the reader in the story and keep them reading.