A crusade for sanity.
John Hale's life has just been shattered by an arrow that killed his best friend. An arrow he fired. After ejecting himself from the Guardsmen, the prestigious police force that protects the land, John goes on a broken crusade to save his sanity. He meets an unlikely lover: Rain, a terrified teenager recently turned vampire with no idea how to handle it. With her at his side, John Hale's life becomes an insane, drug and sex fueled spiral into madness and the darkest pits of the human soul.
Her name is Rain Brooke.
She is a vampire.
They walk together down cobblestone pathways through a misty, gray light. The population of Stonewall trickles around them, on its daily business. John feels dislocated from the world around him, as if he is a ghost of a memory, wandering through a meaningless existence. The only thing that seems real to him is the heavily-cloaked thing walking beside him.
Because curiosity never really left, he asks, “So, what about the sun?”
The cloaked figure, Rain, shrugs.
“It’s a cloudy day, and this is a thick cloak,” she says. Her voice is soft and quiet. Inside, John is nervous. He clings desperately to this emotion, because it helps him forget about William. His ex-best friend. His ex-life.
“It’s heavy in this rain,” she says.
John just nods, because he can think of nothing else to do. They continue walking. Rain’s hand is cold when she slips it into John’s, and she squeezes with more strength than a tiny, teenage girl should have. His dead heart thumps a little faster. He swore off anything like a relationship when he went into training. Six months felt like six years. Longer, now.
He squeezes back.
“I don’t have anywhere to go. I’m kind of a loser,” he says. Rain smirks inside her big hood and squeezes, again.
“Don’t worry. I know a place,” she says, and she gets closer to him.
Rain leads him out of Stonewall and toward the Shanties—the place that isn’t a place to live so much as a place to die. What began a decade ago as a collection of tents and beggars has morphed into so much more. A refuge for criminals, drug dealers, prostitutes, and the homeless, it’s where you go when you have nowhere left to go.