I sat on my new bed in the middle of the night, eyes wide open.

You have failed the quest, Go To Bed!

Grimacing, I flicked the box’s corner. Nenvari had totally lied about those boxes not showing up again. And they kept getting worse! I could, of course, call him on the compact he gave me but… My face burned. No, tempting as calling him was I wanted nothing to do with the Realm Under the Hill.

It had been months since I’d returned and I still couldn’t sleep unless I cast the Sleep spell on myself. Most nights I didn’t bother. Why sleep when I didn’t need to? Why dream about all the horrors and pain I went through to come back?

I sighed. Months, and I couldn’t repair the damage to my reputation that the doppelgangers had done in the little time they’d replaced me. I was forced to go to counseling. My friends all hated me now. And my grades were the worst!

And Harvard was definitely off the table. Although, maybe I could sell my diamond keys on the black market and... as if I knew anyone in the black market to sell them to.

The lights went out and turned back on. Something paper rested in my hand. I brought it to my face.

In an elegantly scripted letter said, “To the Honorable Kelly Knight of Earth.”

A chill ran down my spine. The envelope had a gold wax seal that looked like wheat. I put my nail under the wax and opened the letter. Inside I found paper made of a thick stock which I pulled out and opened. Something fell onto my chest, but I ignored it for now.

I read the note. Then reread it. It described my acceptance, and generous full scholarship into the Independent Collegium where I would study magic for Time, Life and Death.

I snorted. As if I’d ever go back.

I tossed the letter onto my battered nightstand and picked up the paper that had fallen out. In scratchy letters, the note said, “To save Mr. Black, do NOT reject their offer.”

My hands shook.


Kelly Knight will return in Reaper Studies

A note from DragonOfRochester

Thank you all for staying with me until the end! You are all awesome!!!!! Tonight I decided to just, finish editing it and get it complete rather than have you all wait 6 days.  <img src=">  You’re welcome!

So, you might be asking, what’s next? Well, first there is a D&D game Saturday. Then I think I’ll finally play FF15 because I finished a book and I promised myself I’d wait to play it until I finished something. Then I have ConDor Convention in San Diego where I might speak in some panels. Finally, I’m working on another book, tentatively called, Tome of Stealth. I plan to write the first draft of that and post the first chapter on April 1st. I promise that it won’t be an April Fool’s joke. 

If you have any thoughts or ideas on how I can improve this story, please go ahead and post them. I adore reading each of your comments, even if I don't reply to each one.


About the author


Bio: Artist and a retired game industry professional.

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