News from the Cloak, June '17

Hello all and welcome to the June 2017 Edition of our newsletter. We hope that you will enjoy what we have to offer this month and share with your friends.

First Finalists for "Fall Into Fantasy" 2017

Our first couple of authors are confirmed for our "Fall Into Fantasy" 2017 Edition collection of short stories. David Pauly will be bringing us his high fantasy tale, "Boffin the Listener". Our own Andrew Sweetapple will be delighting us with his more urban/paranormal, "Today's Gift, Tomorrow's Curse". Our third contributor will be Molly Neely , with her story, "Six Degrees of Zombie Separation". More announcements will be coming next month as we make narrow down the stories and make contact with the authors.

Monthly Giveaway
As exciting as this time is for us, we need to award this month's Amazon gift card. This month's winner of the $5.00 Amazon gift card is, Kevin McAllion. Kevin, if you don't see the email from Amazon sometime today, please email AMF@cloakedpress.com to let us know.

Support us on Patreon
One last thing before we get to the story of the month. If you like what you read and would like to support our efforts here at Cloaked Press to bring you great stories, you can join us on Patreon . For the cost of a cheap latte, you can help us pay our authors more, as well as get unique prizes for yourself, such as: increased entries into our monthly giveaway, advance copies of our books, and special giveaways from our authors.


"Nights on the Edge" will feature journal entries and short flash fiction accounts from the residents of Red Rock, a lawless, Old West style town on the planet Ignis. Ignis is a mostly desert planet on the fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy. Join us as we meet the residents and get to know what life is like on the Edge.
 
Nights on the Edge 03
 
               Red Rock ain’t exactly the most exciting of towns. Sure, you got plenty going on with the mines but that’s hard work. Ten hour shifts, five days a week underground gets to you. It starts messing with your head. You start seeing things that ain’t there and wanting nothing more than to crawl out of the mines as fast as possible. Missing the sunshine on your face and the wind through your hair. That’s what drives so many of us to go buck wild in town when we’re off shift. You’ve got to make your own fun in the middle of nowhere. Gambling, drinking, dancing and eventually stumbling our way to the nearest brothel to burn the rest of our paycheck. So finally, when a decent music show comes through town, of course things go directly down the old pipes with no stops.
                The boys had gone to the Balehouse to see Luther Mobius the second we got off shift. We got there early in the afternoon, got some drinks and secured ourselves one of the best tables on the balcony for the show. For the next five hours, we played some friendly games of Three Card Star, smoked some tumblegrass to take the aches out of our shoulders and drank so much Balehouse Special we were making frequent trips to the stalls out back. The sun was setting and the crowd down below was getting packed together like salt fish. Even think we saw some of them researchers from that nearby station fighting their way towards the bar. Half the town must have been inside, waiting for the show. Only made it worse when the las-shots went off.
                Anybody who’s lived in Red Rock for longer than a month will tell you the golden rule of the town: duck and cover. When shots start going off, you best be down behind something solid whether you’re involved in the fighting or not. The boys did what came naturally to us as lifelong residents of our little slice of Ignis. We grabbed our drinks and any money still on the table and flipped that big piece of steelwood over onto its side towards the balcony. Taking a knee behind our improvised cover, three of us drew out our pieces. Two lead throwers, a laser pistol and a big old hunting knife. Glancing to the sides, we saw that the patrons to our left and right had done and same and armed up. Nobody would be taking any chances tonight. Some of us polished off our drinks and took a look down into the chaos below us.
                It had gotten messy to say the least of it. Tables and chairs were turned to splinters, people were brawling left and right as they tried to get out of the bar and somewhere safer. The Watchmen had a long night ahead of them to sort this whole mess out. Most of the people had cleared out, leaving those that had gotten themselves knocked out or too injured to go further behind, maybe thirty people in total. The bartenders were all ducked behind their bar, holding their own pieces for self-defense. It looked like some fool had the idea to try and steal from the bar in the chaos. He was laying on the floor, holding his stomach and groaning in pain. The boys debated heading back down there for another round but we shot that idea down for now. Once the Watchmen passed through and the all clear was given, we’d head to Jaundice’s place up the street to wet our whistles.
                Speaking of which, here they came. Four Watchmen holding long arm lead throwers and las-rifles stormed in through the front door and fanned out through the bar. One headed for the injured, pulling a doctor’s kit out that was hanging from their belt, another stood by the door to make sure nobody else left, the third jogged their way to the back and pushed through the backstage door. The last was just standing at the center of the room, underneath the chandelier, looking around and soaking it all in. We recognized the last Watchman for sure. Alexander Dubois, the Night Sheriff. Since things got so hectic all hours of the day and night and there was only so many hours a man could work, Red Rock had two sheriffs; one for the daylight hours and the other for the nights. They shared authority on everything and the only person they reported to was the mayor.
                “Anybody who’s still got two working legs,” He called out. “Come on down here so we can get your statements. Don’t make me walk over there and come to get you. I am in no mood to be dealing with this tonight.”
                We put away our weapons just like everybody else and came down to the main floor of the Balehouse with the rest. A rare orderly line of about thirty people was formed to give our statements while the sheriff recorded them on a wrist comp, asking each person just a few, quick questions before he let them go on their way. While he was asking questions, the Watchman who had gone into the back came out and whispered something into his ear. Sheriff Alexander nodded gravely before continuing to question people one by one.
                “State your name, loud and clear for the recording. Did you fire the shots or see who fired them? Did you partake in any of the violence down here on the main floor? Could you identify anybody that could?” The questions came rapid fire to each of us before Sheriff Alexander nodded and said. “Alright, you’re free to go. Don’t be causing any trouble tonight.”
                We were each questioned in turn before being set free. Right before we left though, Georgie had to go and open his big mouth to satisfy his endless curiosity.
                “What happened back there?” Georgie asked.
                Sheriff Alexander glared down at Georgie. I thought Georgie was going to sink into the floor under that gaze before Sheriff Alexander sighed and gave him his answer.
                “Luther Mobius was murdered backstage.”

-Taken from the witness statement of Quill Uther, mining supervisor of Ignis Mining Site #259
19th of Mire, local calendar, 2617