As I write the flash fiction that is the equivalent of the gym for my writing, I often refer to the world of The Forgotten Village, Digging up the Past, Dinner at Dark, Tales from the White Hart, More Tales from the White Hart, and the brief story in Dark Pictures as well as a sprinkle of flash fiction through the blog.
I want readers to be able to enjoy the stories on the blog without needing to read the books first. As I was writing my latest piece of flash fiction, I thought it would be so much easier with a little glossary or background, so here it is.
The world is very much like our own. It doesn’t matter what you are, you still have to pay taxes, you still have to put food on the table and a roof over your head – or variations of that. Vampires, werewolves, boggarts, elfen, brownies, goblins and all the assorted ‘non-normals’ have to live in the same world as humans or ‘normals’. There are the same clashes between normals and non-normals as you can find in any community – people complaining about loud music played all night, inconsiderate parking and drunken brawls. There is also the chance that something a little less conventional would happen as well. The vampires, for example, are meticulous about consent when it comes to feeding because sloppy thinking can lead to consequences.
There are two authorities that deal with a grumpy boggart or a stray werewolf. The first is the Prince. This is someone in charge of the non-normals. They are usually elfen, frequently psychotic and a thorn in the side of normals who have to deal with them. They have absolute power over the non-normals in their area, or domain, and tend towards direct justice. Usually they have a place in Faeryland, a place where they control their world completely down to the season and the weather, and where it is desperately unsafe for normals to travel.
The second authority is the Paladin. A Paladin is usually, but not always, a man who is chosen by some unknown power to protect the normal world from rogue non-normals. The Paladin often has a background in the army or police, is able to take care of themselves in a fight and finds, as they become a Paladin, an extra edge and insight dealing with non-normals.
The Paladins are supported by the Knights Templar, an organisation that works to protect the world from non-normals. They are a small group based in Lincoln and can occasionally send one or two representatives to help out in a pinch. If a Paladin is sensible, they can often count on the help of the local non-normal community, especially the local werewolf pack. There are also exorcists and usually a bewildered police liaison officer.
This is a world where you really can’t judge by its cover, and making assumptions can get you killed.