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When Storm Clouds Rise

by Matthew D. Ryan


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Three short stories by Matthew D. Ryan.


A fantasy short story of an adventuresome youth and the trouble he finds on the road. Jak Winston is but a mere sixteen years old, but he's already seen enough trouble to last a lifetime. He's a vagrant and a tramp, but that has given him a formidable arsenal of skills all the same. It's just another day of leisure on the road for him until he finds old Jon Cutter tending to his strange, mysterious garden. He stops on a lark, but soon finds himself drawn further and further into a sinister mystery. Who is this Jon Cutter? And why is he so devoted to his garden? And what about the place does Jak, himself, find so enticing? He can't quite put his finger on it, but he better solve the mystery, for more is at stake than he could possibly imagine. Maybe even his soul.
It was just a painting. Richard had never seen another painting quite like it. It wasn't the subject matter that intrigued him—no, all it depicted was an endless expanse of clouds. But it had a kind of magical fantasy quality to it that defied explanation and begged his scientific intellect to explain it. After all, he was a man of reason, a human without limit. What was there that human ingenuity could not decipher? What mystery could possibly escape the mind of man? Magic? Pah! All things had a rational explanation and he would wrestle with the gods themselves to find this painting's secret. But this secret could lead to glory and praise, or to a downfall that would make death look pleasant.

Ississifuss was apprentice mage in the aetherkin clan, a creature so alien as to be composed of air currents and swirling mist. He and his fellows led peaceful lives with but one natural enemy: humans; specifically, a human sorceress who hunted aetherkin so as to use their bodies in twisted experiments. When the sorceress attacks the clan, she threatens its very existence. Ississifuss is called on to stop her. To do so, he'll need to use every ounce of knowledge and wisdom he has. If he's successful, he'll earn the title of clan mage; if he fails, he and his people may be doomed forever.

Publication Details

Matthew D. Ryan
Smashwords Edition
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Matthew D. Ryan (Author)

Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once dur...

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When Storm Clouds Rise
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