Someone Else’s Vengeance: A Visit to Superstition Bay

An urban fantasy by Benjamin LaMore

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Stirling, Superstition Bay\’s resident Immortal, has been murdered. And the only person in the world who could have done it, didn\’t.

Ian DeLong isn\’t surprised that he\’s blamed for the crime. Who else but someone immune to all magic could kill an Adept, someone schooled in the use of potent forms of sorcery? And after all, the Grey (the town\’s supernatural population) don\’t like him much anymore. But his protestations of innocence to both his old enemies in the Superstition Bay Police Department and the Grey community at large fall on deaf ears. And though they know Ian will never see the inside of a court room, the Grey have an older method of collecting justice: the vigilante method. Because while Ian might be immune to their powers, he’s as vulnerable as anyone to sheer numbers.

Now, to save his life, Ian must uncover Superstition Bay\’s most horrific secret, find who killed an unkillable man, and bring him out of the shadows and into the light. If he can\’t, he might find himself a victim of someone else\’s vengeance.


It should not be understated that the Grey in this town are clannish. The different flavors of supernaturals coexist well enough, but don\’t mistake that for friendship. A witch can shop at the same store as a werewolf and even say hello when their carts cross paths in a narrow aisle, and elves can sit at the next table over from golems in a restaurant and pass the salt when asked to, but that doesn\’t mean they love one another. Individual friendships might exist between the different breeds, but the lines between them are always clearly drawn. If a member of the Grey has a problem that he or she needs help with, they will seek the aid of their own kind. It\’s the kind of herd mentality that let their species survive down through the centuries. Threats to the group are normally handled by the group.

But when it\’s an outsider who levies the threat, they circle the wagons. Two summers ago a pair of young sisters from out of town spent a couple of days strolling up and down the boardwalk at Beadles, the family-friendly counterpart to the bar-and-club littered Crawl where Lisa and I had spent the evening. They’d brought along the ghost of their dead brother, and together the three of them had wrangled a couple of thousand dollars from the game booths, restaurants and attractions before anyone realized what was going on. Unfortunately for them, several of the businesses had Grey owners, and together they decided to handle the problem. The girl’s hair had fallen out, leaving them with shiny, bald pates. In compensation, a thick carpet of Wookie-like fur had sprouted out over the rest of their bodies. They’d apologized, returned their booty and fled. I never asked what happened to the brother. Probably better off not knowing.

Right now, I’m sympathizing with the brother.

The whole house goes silent after Gault finishes his sentence. I hadn\’t realized the amount of noise a house full of breath-taking, foot-shuffling, bundles of nervous energy made until it was gone. Now all that\’s left are the stares, cold eyes in hardened faces that just found something new to hate.

“Gault, that\’s crazy.” I\’m careful to keep my voice even. If even one of the cops down below follows his train of thought too closely and decides to scratch his itchy trigger finger, I\’d vanish quicker than you can say \’police cover-up\’.

“What\’s so crazy about it?” he challenges me. “You just led us through every step. You made it sound like we\’re looking for a magical tank, but that\’s not the case, is it? I don\’t think we\’re looking for someone who can take all that damage. I think we want someone who can literally walk right through it.”

“Think about it for a second. If I’d killed him, why would I tell you how I did it? Why would I even come here if I was the one who made this crime scene?”

“Didn\’t have much choice, did you? What were you going to do when Farelli rolled up on you? Run?”

My comeback is stifled by a small, sharp click, stunningly loud in the vast room. When I look down the stairs it\’s easy to see where it came from. One of the cops, another werewolf I\’ve met before named Blanchard, has popped the plastic hood of his holster and has his palm resting on the grip of his department-issued Glock. A quick glance around the room shows that the rest of the cops have gravitated towards the stairwell, and Blanchard isn\’t the only one who\’s brought a weapon to hand. A couple of them are fingering small trinkets or fetishes – a small knotted string, a notched segment of bone. They don\’t worry me, but suddenly more of them follow Blanchard\’s lead and start laying hands on their guns.

A booming voice breaks the tension in the air. “All right, that’s enough,” Adam shouts. “You all have jobs you should be doing. Get busy, and if you don\’t have something to do, just ask and I\’ll find something. Now move!”

The crowd drifts apart, obediently if not rapidly. I try to give Adam my thanks but he doesn\’t give me the chance. \”Outside,\” he snaps. Then he actually shoulders Van aside like a linebacker, taking the steps down with surprising speed and grace. I\’m more than a little shocked. That was the first uncivil thing Adam Farelli has ever said to me. He\’s always been my hole card in the SBPD. I wonder if that\’s changed. It takes me a second to regain my equilibrium, then I follow in his wake. Gault trails along, never more than claws-length away from me until we\’re outside.

At first I think Adam’s leading me back to my Jeep, and I see Lisa break away from Laura and start to angle her way there to meet us, but when he clears the last step he curves away from the gawkers in the street and walks down onto the sand. Lisa looks at me and I shrug, catching up to Adam. In a moment I hear rapid footsteps on the pavement give way to quick patters in the sand and then she’s by my side. She takes my hand in hers, drawing a snort from Gault. She flicks her eyes to his. He flinches, just by reflex, then remembers that she’s been in the company of other officers and there were no new statues decorating the Littoral House grounds, so he sneers and takes up his post a couple of feet behind me. When we’re out of sight of the crowd Adam stops short and turns to look at me.

“Did you do it?” he asks bluntly.

“Do what?” Lisa asks.

“Murder Stirling,” Gault helpfully interjects.

“What?” she almost chokes. She actually takes a step towards the werewolf, but I lay a pacifying hand on her shoulder.

“Oh, come on, Adam. That hurts. You really think I’m the kind of guy that would batter my way into a man’s home and kill him for no reason?”

“No reason? No. I don’t think you’d do that at all. But I know you would do that exact thing if you did have a reason. And I also know that you two have history. So if there’s anything you’d like to tell me, now’s the time.”

~Buy Someone Else’s Vengeance on Amazon

An Interview with Benjamin LaMore

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I was a very early reader. Something in me loved stories, and I was rarely without a book in my hand as I was growing up. Eventually, I started making up stories on my own, and after procrastinating for far too long I decided to try putting them on paper. It never seemed like a choice to me. It always just seemed… inevitable.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

There’s a restaurant named Chowdah where the food is magically enhanced. I think I’d grab some takeout and head down to the beach to try to get a sighting of the local sea serpent. And, if you know where to look (like I do), there are some interesting souvenir shops to be found.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

In a word? Showtunes. He’s loved musicals ever since he was a kid. At times, he even sings “I Am the Pirate King” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” while in the shower.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Van, one of the characters introduced in the third Visit, Someone Else’s Vengeance (plug, plug). If you’re out for a good-time drink, he’s sure to have good stories. If it’s a someone-done-me-wrong drink, he’ll be a sincere listener and a good shoulder. Either way, he’ll take your keys if he feels it’s necessary, and if trouble breaks out he’s good to have on your side.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

Oh, man. What’d I do? Well, I guess buying him a beer didn’t work. Okay, so, I’d have to use my wits. I’d try to convince him to settle our differences over a game of pool, hoping that the tavern had a table that was on the taller side. But first I’d try to get any unoccupied chairs out of the area, to prevent him using one for additional height. Gotta use whatever advantages you can in a duel. Good luck on the break, Gimli!

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Non-fiction. The sheer amount of work that has to go into that is daunting. Finding the facts, checking them, double-checking them, getting them all in the right order. That’s why I stick to fiction. If I get stuck on a fact, time or location, I can either go back and change something or just make something else up. It’s so much easier.

About Benjamin LaMore

Benjamin LaMore lives in New Jersey, but don\’t hold that against him. After a decades-long flirtation with the written word, he finally took the leap into creative writing with the creation of Superstition Bay, which has no relation or connection to the town of Point Pleasant, NJ, where he was born and spent his youth. If anyone infers this, well, that\’s on them.

Benjamin lives with his wife, who is too indulgent of his eccentricities and sometimes dangerous hobbies, and his two children, who encourage too much of them. Refusing to acknowledge the passing of time, he practices mixed martial arts and has recently acquired the taste for long-distance obstacle course racing.

Benjamin\’s creative path was laid in his childhood, when he wore out his copy of D\’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. Since then, reasoning that there is already enough non-fiction in day-to-day reality, he has subsisted on a diet of fantasy and horror books and films, probably to the detriment of his world view. Traces of these might show up from time to time as more Visits to Superstition Bay come to light. He counts Jim Butcher, Richard Kadrey, Raymond Chandler and the writing team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child as his greatest inspirations.

Welcome to Superstition Bay. Here there be Monsters.

Find Benjamin on Amazon

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