Afterword: The Fate of Paul Twister

First off, to anyone who saw the last chapter and it ended with a bunch of mysterious musical notes, please look again. WordPress apparently choked on one of the Unicode symbols I used and ate the rest of the chapter, so I had to rewrite it. It’s been updated now.

This story was a lot more experimental than The Lay of Paul Twister. I’ve had the idea of The Treasury of Fate in my mind for a while now, a place that needs no guards or physical security of any kind because it’s protected by a curse such that no thief would dare to loot it. My original idea for the concept was a story in which some very important MacGuffin had been stolen by a bad guy and then dumped at the Treasury, where it would be beyond the reach of the protagonists attempting to retrieve it, and then they had to figure out some way to get it back without bringing the curse down upon themselves. But I ended up taking it in a very different direction when I put the idea into this story.

This was supposed to be about Paul facing the consequences of his actions, and having the fact that his actions have consequences rubbed in his face. So we have the fine roads that he’s so proud of beginning to crack in the face of the laws of physics, we have corrupt nobles causing trouble for everyone, and we begin to see that things are not quite as idyllic in the kingdom as they seemed at first, and that the dragons may actually have an important role in the maintenance of the world. Paul’s just starting to learn what the readers have known all along, that he’s in over his head!

The farmhouse at the end was essentially the house I grew up in, out in the middle of corn country in Illinois. I got curious a while back and looked the place up on Google Maps’ Street View, and found that the house doesn’t exist anymore. It must have been torn down sometime in the last couple decades. That made me kind of sad, so I gave it a new home on another world.

Paul will return to continue his misadventures soon, in the third book, The Return of Paul Twister. But the going is likely to be a bit slower; I’ve got a handful of things going on in my personal life right now, and I’m working on another story that I’m going to try to publish as an e-book. It’s an urban fantasy set in modern-day Earth, with the working title Invisible. That may change before I finish it. I’ll probably post a chapter or two here as a teaser. But I’m still going to be working on The Return of Paul Twister at the same time.

So… that’s two books now. What do you think? Loved it? Hated it? As always, feedback is welcome, and please, spread the word. The only reason I write stuff is so people will read it. 🙂

Comments (18)

  1. Griffin

    Actually, the ending with the first musical notes coming out of Aylwyn’s mouth was awesome cliffhanger! I like this proper ending better, but it worked the other way too.

    Looking forward to the upcoming stories!

  2. Wayne

    I really enjoy your writting. I’ve enjoyed reading the Paul Twister stories and plan to buy it if you put it out on an e-book.

  3. Squornshellous Beta

    I, too, enjoyed the story. And I am not a person particularly given to enjoying things.

    Admittedly most of my comments have been pointing out spelling errors, but it comes from a caring place. Or… something that sounds less stupid.

  4. Crissa

    Hmm, the same thing happened to my childhood home. Someone tore it down to build something else… Which became another house in worse shape. Ohwell!

    Sad to see this book ending, but I’ll look forward to more eventually.

  5. William Carr


    Nope, can’t see it. Forget that, hit us with the next Paul Twister adventure !

  6. David Jenkins

    I was worried at first by the Epilogue title of the last chapter, but knowing more is coming is quite relieving. There is nothing worse than an unfinished story. Are you going to be taking a hiatus from writing “The Return of Paul Twister” to get a jump on your new story or will you trade off as you get ideas?

    • I’ve still got a bit of work to do in planning things out before it’ll be time to start on the next one. And I’ll be honest, it’ll probably be slow going. I recently had an opportunity to work on developing some new technology fall into my lap unexpectedly, something that will improve a lot of people’s lives if we can solve a few specific engineering and social challenges. (If you’ve been reading this, you probably know that’s something that really interests me, and this is a really exciting opportunity. This is something that could potentially become as big as Paul’s cement roads, in time. I promise I’ll say more when I’m able to…)

      So yeah, I’ll definitely keep writing, but it probably won’t be as quick a pace as the last book was.

      • David Jenkins

        It’s a shame about the slower pace but wonderful for you to get this opportunity to make people’s lives better. That is certainly a tease for someone who wants to go into engineering and something potentially as big as cement roads certainly leaves a lot to imagine. Definitely give a heads up when “it” is out of development.

      • William Carr

        Okay, here’s the deal. You break up your problem into little, anonymous pieces, I’ll solve them if I can, and then you’ll have time to return to the Tale of Paul Twister.

        • Well, let’s see. Are you a world-class expert at any of the following: materials science, physics (specifically aerodynamics and heat transfer/cooling), electrical engineering, Getting Local Politicians To Do What You Want, or in-browser 3D JavaScript development? 😀

  7. Aylwyn


    Well, I loved both books! But then, you already know that. 🙂 II’m just glad that I’m your beta reader so I don’t have to wait as long as everyone else for a new chapter. 😀

    I think having this in an e-book format would be cool too. 🙂 Then, I don’t have to be online to read them again, and an e-book is better than print anyway. 😉 Though, I wasn’t able to catch your spelling mistakes, with you reading it to me. But at least we were able to find most, if not all, of the issues.

    As always, I can’t wait for your next chapter, in whatever you write next! 🙂

  8. Deepbluediver

    Assuming everything the Oracle-lady says is on the up-and-up, if Ryell can foresee all that other detailed and super-complicated stuff, how did she manage to not also figure out that Paul/Daniel wouldn’t follow her instructions?
    Frankly it wouldn’t even take magic to guess something like that, given the circumstances under which they last parted.

    I get that “tricking him into helping” was Plan A, but what was plan B? Give him an order and hope that he’s changed his mind in the last 2 years? Seems kind of short-sighted given the potential magnitude of what Ryell is working on here.

    • HSC

      I rather hope not everything Syrixia says is true. Some of it sounds like wishful thinking.

      Thirty years ago at this time I was finishing up my first quarter in grad school, a class in Elizabethan rhetoric from the aptly named John Webster. He told us one day he would be teaching an undergrad class on genre fiction, particularly mysteries. One of the conventions of the mystery is that the hero and villain are close moral doubles (“Do you know why you caught me?” Dr, Lecter said. “It’s because you are like me.”), and they have a verbal showdown.

      It’s been a useful concept, especially in reading novels like Chester Himes’ The Real Cool Killers, which has three different solutions and a most interesting verbal showdown, and Louis Owens’ The Sharpest Sight, which has two showdowns, but no unmasking of the murderer.

      The first comes when Hoey McCurtin decides not to take vengeance on a man he thinks was responsible for his son’s murder, and then builds a sweat lodge to help a young woman he knows may be involved in the murder heal from the trauma of rape.

      The second showdown comes between the detective (whose grandfather’s ghost sometimes pops up in the backseat of his patrol car for some conversation) and a bartender who says reading Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” turned him on to his true potential for evil, which he has decided to embrace.

      I see the same convention at work in sci-fi and fantasy. In The Lay of Paul Twister, there’s one between Paul and Ken’tu Kel (echoing MacBeth and MacDuff) and one between Paul and Ryell.

      In this novel it’s between Paul and Syrixia, but the fact that each character in a showdown reveals themselves, doesn’t mean they tell the truth wholly, or even know the holy truth–or their truth may be holey.

      I’m always suspicious when a character says. ‘This is what would have happened.” Suppose Paul had chosen to follow directions, how doe Syrixia know what choices he would have made on his way to Ninevah?

      Further, if people like Einstein and Heisenberg are correct in saying that the act of observing changes what is observed–and changes it in ways you can’t be certain of beforehand (or even after), Syrixia’s act of observing through prediction would also change things in unpredictable ways.

  9. HSC

    Good story. I’m interested in reading the posted chapters of Invisible. The title reminds me of Andrew Clements’ Things Not Seen. about a teen age boy trying to figure out why he has turned invisible. Clements is interested in how people make plans and how the plans go awry, like the teacher’s plan in Frindle, or the student’s plan in No Talking

  10. Jessica

    I’ve just finished your first two stories in a grand total of maybe 6 hours of straight(ish) reading. These are great, I’m about to start the next one and just wanted to thank you for sharing your work.

  11. amit amin

    Certainly an enjoyable story, thank you for sharing!

    But trying to figure out how much is Ryell’s plan and how much isn’t is annoying.

  12. Phrown

    I don’t see Ryell as a benefactor to her world. I see her more like a tyrant that doesn’t dominate as much as she could and who keeps worse people (or people she sees as worse) away from her “flock”. The only actions she’s takes are to limit certain knowledge and to send vague directions to her dragona. She could have told Paul what would happen if he didn’t follow orders. Instead she went against his wishes when there was good reason to suppose he wouldn’t listen. Not only could she have prevented the rebellion, she could have done so in a way that doesn’t kill an innocent mother and her newborn child.

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