The Hangman’s Daughter

Catching up on the Devil’s Heir

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Sorry.

Sorry. It’s taken a ridiculously long time for me to do this and I can only apologise. Anyway. Regular updates of new chapters of The Devil’s Heir will resume starting next Thursday and Chapter 11 is up now. In the meantime, here is a master list of all the chapters of the Hangman’s Daughter/Devil’s Heir just in case any one wants to get caught up or has forgotten where we were (and I could hardly blame you if you have).

The Hangman’s Daughter

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

The Devil’s Heir

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Huge thanks to my brother Eamonn for all his help. You’re a legend, dude.

 

STATE OF THE MOUSE ADDRESS

Hi guys. So this is going to be one of those big weird posts where I update you on various unrelated pieces of news relating to the blog that I didn’t want to split up into individual posts. We all love those, right? Course we do. The news is, thankfully, pretty darn good, and I’ll be starting with the small beer before hitting you with the big exciting stuff. Let’s get started.
The Blog Awards Ireland
Huge thanks to everyone who voted. Won’t know for a while if I made the shortlist but we’ll see.
Ranking the Taoisigh
So the blog’s weird little detour into Irish political history has now wrapped up. Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and took the time to inform me that Seán Lemass was robbed. If you missed it, it was my attempt to review every Irish head of state in my usual “charming” style and you can get started here. Additionally, some have mentioned that they’d like to read through the entries chronologically to get a better sense of the historical narrative so I’m happy to oblige:
I’ve decided that I’ll be doing the “posting every two days for a month” thing next year, but on a topic a little closer to this blog’s heart. Ain’t sayin’ nothin’.
The Devil’s Heir
The sequel to the Hangman’s Daughter will start going up this Saturday with a new chapter every second Saturday afterwards. Huge thanks to my brother Eamonn for helping me with proof-reading and editing. If you want to get caught up on the first book before diving into the second so you know what the heck is going on and why all these Vikings and Cowboys are fighting demons and who the old lady kicking all the ass is, you can get started here.
What the blog is going to look like in the future
It feels like almost a year ago that I announced that I was going to start reviewing Marvel movies on this blog (what’s that? It was almost a year ago? I see). Back then I said I’d be starting in July 2015 but clearly that didn’t happen. Gallstones, crossovers, the whole BluCatt thing…mouse plans, God laughs, right? Anyway, I am now down to the last three reader requested reviews which will go up on the 15th and 29th of October and the 19th November. Then, Iron Man on the 3rd of December and we’re on our way, alternating with the winners from the first Move Deathmatch.
Wait a minute, “first”?
Yup. Okay, so there’s this new project I’m involved in that I can’t tell you about. Yet. I will be making an announcement soon. But it’s big. Potentially huge. Here’s what you need to know: We’ll be fundraising on Kickstarter and my contribution will be to run a second Movie Deathmatch here. This one is going to be a little different (for instance, for a larger donation you’ll be able to bypass the voting process and just buy a review) but for now I just need you to shout our your choices in the comments. Which movies do you want me to review? As many as you want. And as before, the twelve movies that seem to have the most support will be selected for the Deathmatch. Oh, and as well as animated features and comic book movies, this time I’m also accepting requests for animated series. Just name the series for now, we’ll figure out which episodes will actually get reviewed later.
That about does her, thanks guys!

Random posts combine!

Every so often a collection of things I need to say, otherwise too bitty to put in individual posts, will combine together to form a Voltron-esque combined post. This is such a day.
Okay, first order of business…
The Hangman’s Daughter
As many of you know, I finished serialising my novel, The Hangman’s Daughter last month. Big thanks to all of you who read, commented and gave advice and encouragement. I especially want to give a shout out to Sr. Honkengoose and maxy44 who I’m pretty sure commented on every single chapter and gave me tons of good notes. Legends both. Many of you have been asking when you might be seeing more and after giving it a lot of thought I’ve decided that I’m going to start posting chapters of the second novel in the series, The Devil’s Heir.
However, there is a catch.
As I’ve already mentioned before, The Devil’s Heir is not actually finished yet. Worse, it’s still the sequel to an older draft of The Hangman’s Daughter (one where, amongst other things, Mariana was a dude). This means each chapter will have to be revised and edited so that it’s consistent with the most recent draft of HD, and I don’t have time to do that right now because my life has become an endless looping reel that goes worktoddlerblogplaycomicsleeeeeepworktoddlerblogplaycomicsleeeeeeep. So my brother Eamonn has very, very kindly agreed to edit the Devil’s Heir to get it more in line with the story so far and occasionally make changes that he feels improve the material.
“…and then they all died and the rugged, dashing, one-eyed Mouse was king of the universe. The End.”

“…and then they all died and the rugged, dashing, one-eyed Mouse was king of the universe. The End.”

So, starting soonish, there will be a new chapter of the Devil’s Heir going up every month. Yes. Month.
“Hey I gotta life too, y’know.”

“Hey I gotta life too, y’know.”

Moving on!
Age of Ultron
So Avengers 2 is being released in Europe around a week earlier than it is in the States due to…I dunno, the collapse of American hegemony or whatever. Being the massive nerds we are, my wife and I will be at the midnight screening on 23 April and I’ll be posting a review later in the day. This won’t be a full length Unshaved Mouse style review, obviously. Just a few paragraphs about my thoughts on the film and whether I thought it was any cop or not. You know…a review like actual critics do.
And lastly, revenge 
So regular readers will know that I recently learned my entire life has been a charade orchestrated by the diabolical warlock known to the world as Walter Elias Disney. You may recall I swore a blood oath of vengeance against Disney, promising to review the very, very worst movie that bears his name. And I need your help to do it. Sound off in the comments, what is the very, very, worst Disney movie that has ever been released and help me stick it to Walt but good.
See you all on the 14th of May for How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Train my Dragon. Mouse out.

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 45 & Epilogue

CHAPTER 45: FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS

 

Isabella seemed to not even notice him, and ran out into the field of dust. She could feel the grains of the dead on her bare feet like sand but she paid it no mind. She glanced around. Nothing.

She bit her lip so hard it almost bled.

“Bella!”

She turned.

Cole stood there, leaning against a wall and struggling to breath. She couldn’t believe it, he was half dead with exhaustion and he had actually run after her.

Then she realised that he was pointing behind her.

She turned, and her heart broke a little with happiness. Footprints, leading through the dust, away from the chamber.

“He’s fine, kid.” Cole wheezed “He made it. He probably didn’t feel like staying and chatting with Mabus. You know how awkward these reunions can be.”

“He’s alright.” Isabella whispered.

“He’ll be back.” Cole promised her “Just give some time to lick his wounds. Come one.”

He stretched out a hand to her and she took shelter under his arm as they walked back to the courtyard.

On an impulse, she gave him a hug.

He hissed like a kettle “For the love of God, please don’t do that.”

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 44

CHAPTER 44: THE LAST STAND

 

They didn’t speak.

Marie simply stared out at the passing city. Isabella rested her head on her shoulder and closed her eyes.

Cole was still exhausted, the battle had taken everything out of him. And the thought that it was not yet over made him feel like his insides were rotting. He thought about how many people he had killed today. For the first time in his life, he was sick of it all.

Only Joriel seemed upbeat.

“Don’t be too downcast.” he told them “There is always hope, always. I am proof of that.”

The girls didn’t answer, but Cole had a thought.

“Hey Joriel?”

“Yes?”

“How’d you get in that cage in the first place?” Cole asked.

“Mabus and I have been enemies for a very long time.” said Joriel.

“Why’s that?” Cole asked.

“Many reasons. But I guess you could say it started when he stole my wife.”

Cole looked at him.

“You serious?”

“Oh yes.”

“Angels have wives?”

“Some of us. Yes. Other do not.” said Joriel, a little irritably “We’re like people that way.”

 

“What are you thinking about?” Isabella asked.

“Virgil.” said Marie.

“Virgil?”

“He was the one who told me we were trapped in there.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. He was real, he wasn’t one of Mabus’ fakes. He was really there and he’s the reason we were able to get out.”

“So where is he now?”

“That’s what I’ wondering. I was expecting him to be here when we woke up.”

“You don’t think he’s…”

“Dead?”

“I mean, you know…”

“Deader.”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t know.”

 

The strum of the helicopter’s blades had faded into the background a long time ago, so when the shrill alarm sounded it took them all by surprise.

“What’s that?” Marie said, starting.

“This light started flashing.” said Joriel “A moment please.”

He crushed the insolent light with his thumb and it cracked like a sparrow egg, a thin trail of smoke curling upward. But the alarm still shrieked.

“We’re out of gas.” said Cole “Find a place to set us down.”

Joriel grunted assent, and the helicopter began to lose altitude a little faster than either Isabella or Marie were comfortable with.

“Damn. Damn, damn, damn.” Cole muttered.

“What?” Marie asked.

“You see that over there?” Cole pointed. In the distance they could just make out a large grey mass behind them, creeping inexorably like algae.

“Must be nearly a thousand in that mob. And they’re headed right for the chamber.”

“But we can beat them to it, right?” said Isabella.

The chopper touched down with a vicious jolt.

“Run.” said Cole.

 

Thomas was back on top of the world.

His bruises, to his body and his pride, were already forgotten.

His knife was in his hand, and to his back an army of a thousand men were chanting his name.

Ave Tomas! Ave Tomas!

They shook the stone sky with their voice.

The earth trembled at their step.

This time, Marie, he thought, this time I will keep my promise to your father.

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 43

CHAPTER 43: SCORPIO AND LEO ASCENDENT

 

There was fifty of them all told. Cole thought to himself. Cossacks, Vikings, few pirates what have you. Tough too. This is the best that Thomas has to offer. Any one of these could give me trouble on their own, Cole thought. Not much trouble. But still, trouble. All this went through his head as he arced though the air, spinning and turning to avoid enemy fire. Sometimes Cole thought he was a Temporal. Time was gliding around him, like a swan on a lake. If you could have seen his face under the mask, it would have been as serene as a marble saint. In his mind: odds, strategies, possible outcomes ticked over and over like some wondrous mechanical beehive. And even before his first toe, of his first foot touched the ground for the first time, he knew what he had to do.

 

They won’t try any fancy stuff.

No pretty moves, no posturing.

They are fifty big, burly men armed to the teeth with axes, swords and whatnot.

They’ll crowd me and hack me to bits.

Got to keep moving.

He was on the ground, on his knees, braced, arms crossed, ready for the spring.

 

First to die: Thin, lanky character with long blonde hair. No uniform but he’s carrying a Valaska, a light, elegant axe which means he’s probably a Slovak.

He’s wiry, the weapon’s light, he’s not wearing any armour so he gets to Cole first.

Lucky him.

He’s smiling wild.

Thinks Cole’s unarmed.

Cole releases the clasp and two jagged blades shoot from his wrists.

Blondie stops smiling.

Scorpion doesn’t sting ‘till he’s ready.

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter: Chapter 42

CHAPTER 42: A FAMILY REUNION

 

Cole didn’t know what was more unsettling; the fact that the greens had simply vanished, abandoning him in the van, or the fact that they might come back.

Where were they?

He quickly realised that he didn’t care. Thomas was heading to the Medical Tower and he had a large head start. And no van.

“My van now, suckers.” said Cole.

 

The road was empty, which was good, as Cole was not entirely sure what he was doing. He had acceleration pretty much down. Braking and steering were still a work in progress.

As the medical van tore through the garbage strewn streets Cole’s mind leapt from one crisis to another: What were two young girls doing in a place like New Gomorrah? How was he supposed to get them from the Medical Tower to the Chamber without the Blue Room to guide him? Was his plan really to somehow get them from one end of a warzone to the other and hope that when they got there a dead man could save them? Was that really all he had?

The Medical Tower loomed in the windshield. He gunned the accelerator, and the Tower stubbornly refused to come any closer.

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 41

CHAPTER 41: BROKEN SCORPION

Where am I? Cole wondered as he woke up. He couldn’t see.

Something was weighing down on him, covering his face and chest.

He tried to move his right arm to push it off.

When he came to again, he made a mental note that he was not to move his right arm. It felt like a dislocated shoulder (or at least, it had in that split second before his brain had shut down from the agony.)

Left arm.

He pushed the weight off and very slowly got to his feet.

He looked around (carefully, as it felt as if he’d sprained his neck).

Darkness, walls, garbage.

An alleyway.

The thing that had been lying on him had been a body. It was not, as he gazed around, the only one in evidence. In fact, the alleyway only needed a layer of earth over it to qualify as a mass grave.

Did I kill them? he wondered groggily, did I do this?

He took a step.

When he came to again, he made a mental note that his left shin had been broken and that he wasn’t to walk on it.

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 39

CHAPTER 39: THE HANGMAN AND THE FIRE

The smell of soup was rich in the air and she could feel the warmth from the fire on her skin.

The lie was perfect, she thought.

There sat Doctor Toureil at the kitchen table, so perfect in every detail that she felt the urge to run into his arms and kiss his cheek. One thing that curtailed this impulse, by his right elbow was an open box displaying a small syringe and a vial of green liquid. How had Mabus captured the exact way he would purse his lips and close his eyes when he raised the spoon of soup to his lips?

“Hello, Marie.” said her father, turning around from the stove.

“Papa.” she said quietly.

She closed her eyes as he bent down to kiss her forehead.

It would be so, so easy.

(more…)

The Hangman’s Daughter Chapter 38

CHAPTER 38: CROSSING THE BRIDGE

 

“Marie?”

She was rooted to the spot.

“Marie?”

Isabella stood on the other side of the river.

Marie closed her eyes and tried to lift her foot off the path and onto the bridge.

It was like putting your hand on a tree and expecting it to follow the commands of your brain like a limb. The leg was connected to her body, but she couldn’t make it move.

“Marie, what’s wrong?” Isabella asked.

They had been on their way to the wood that nestled into the scrubland just outside Saint Anne, a cool shady playground filled with rabbits and blackberries and shiny red ladybirds and the cawing of crows. Standing here, rooted to spot, with the sun baking her scalp through her red hair, Marie very much wanted to be there. But she had been caught unawares.

That tiny, nagging little sensation that had stuck in her brain like a thorn, that feeling that something wasn’t right, had suddenly grown and overtaken her brain like black brambles.

(more…)