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Bone Shop is a free, serialized online novella by T.A. Pratt, supported by donations from readers. Pay whatever you like.

If you like this story, visit to learn about the novel series.

Notes for Chapter Fifteen

Another extra-long chapter – because I work hard for you, dear reader! This takes us to the end of the events of my novelette "Haruspex," though things diverged a bit from the original there at the end, with Marla's motivation for keeping the Belly Killer alive; like I said, though, this version is canon.

The Belly Killer, of course, becomes the Giggler, master of divination through examination of disgusting things, as featured in Poison Sleep and Spell Games. Nice to get to reveal his origin story, too.

And we've seen the last of the Thrones. Good riddance. Angels are really clueless at dealing with humanity. Assuming they were really angels, and not just insane supernatural beings who think they're angels, which would probably be Marla's cynical assumption. They had some kind of power, though. They're always fun to write.

My favorite line in this chapter is when Marla says "You're not contributing to my general feeling of triumph here, Rondeau." Feels like the start of a beautiful friendship. I considered adding some dialogue where Rondeau explains that Marla ripping off his jaw was kinda the best thing that ever happened to him – it's how he met Hamil, and started working for sorcerers, and learning to be human, and eventually hooking up with Juliana and inheriting her bar, and etc. But it didn't seem to fit in anywhere, and my characters are too damn confessional about their feelings anyway.

There's some foreshadowing in this chapter, for the events of the final two (maybe three, depending on how longwinded I get) chapters, though ideally they aren't particularly noticeable.

The book will be done by Hallowe'en.

I'm going to miss these little talks of ours.

Back to Chapter 15

T.A. Pratt lives in Oakland, CA, and works as an editor for a trade publishing magazine.