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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 Sixteen

First off: it's definitely going to take two more chapters to finish this story, but it shouldn't take more than that. So our last update will be October 26. Oh, woe! I've really enjoyed doing this, posting a chapter a week, though it'll be nice to finish and move on to some short stories, too. (Including at least one Marla story, probably.)

The manuscript stands at around 55,000 words right now, so it'll be firmly into short novel territory when it's done. Upon completion, I'll put it together in a single file so it can be read in one gulp, most likely at least in PDF and HTML formats. My tentative plan is to publish a print version, either via a small press (I have one possibility there already, but if any publishers are interested in doing it, let me know, we'll talk) or just self-publishing through

There are also plans for an audio version (read by someone who reads better than me!) once it's done, too. Details on those incarnations of Bone Shop when things are more firm.

So: in this chapter, we've got Marla rising up in the sorcerous hierarchy a bit, becoming Sauvage's legbreaker and aide-de-camp. I wanted to dramatize some of her adventures with him, but, as always, I had to consider the necessities of the plot and the limitations of space here. I figure I can always write some short stories about her days working with him.

For those keeping track of chronology, Marla is about 27 years old now. She's been in Felport for eleven years, had the cloak for about seven years, all the while making a name for herself as a badass-for-hire. Daniel's been gone for about six years... but it seems he's coming back, driven by the same geas that Marla escaped last chapter with the help of the Thrones. I can't wait to write their reunion scene.

Somerset's presence is felt here, and he'll appear in person in the next chapter. He's a presence hovering in the background of most of the Marla novels, but he only appeared once, when Marla went to the land of the dead in Dead Reign. Somerset was surprisingly polite and reasonable during that appearance. Expect him to be... less polite and reasonable next time.

I had brunch with my producer friend Anne – the one who's trying to get somebody to make a movie or TV show from the Marla novels – yesterday, and she's full of plans. I don't really expect the Hollywood Fairy to shower me with magical sparkles and cash (I'm just happy for the option money!), but whenever I talk to her I start daydreaming, and we get to play Who Would We Cast? Which is a fun pastime, despite being an even bigger fantasy than the stuff I write...

Back to Chapter 16

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