The give-away for the two ecopies is open to anyone anywhere in the world, to the first three entrants, but what you'll need to do is answer a question based on an excerpt from Khepera Rising below, which will appear at the bottom of this post. Then email me the answer at firstname.lastname@example.org (remember to put "Secret Santa" in the subject line).
* * * *
An excerpt from Khepera Rising, where Jamie's being a complete arse-hat, in my opinion.
The Event Horizon is busy by ten-thirty. I make a point of arriving fashionably late and Simon, the car guard, has kept my parking spot just outside the venue.
The venue is a hole. It used to be a sports bar in the late nineties until the Goths took over. They painted the old Victorian structure with its gables and small round tower black with purple highlights. It hulks on the corner of Shortmarket and Long. Outside on any given day, one can find the choppers and Harleys of Lilith’s Dogs, the resident motorcycle club. During the afternoons, students from the assorted colleges hunch over trestle tables, indulging their penchant for bitter weed and draught beer. The walls inside have been painted purple and are plastered with posters depicting Gothdom’s musical heritage where floor-to-ceiling mirrors don’t reflect the faces of the children of the night. Black-and-white faces with teased hair stare with empty eyes. Magical names, like Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy and others, act like talismans, triggering memories for those old enough to remember the bad old days.
Tonight the place already seethes with a press of black-clad bodies. I search faces for someone I know, not knowing exactly whom I’m seeking. A girl looks up from the dance floor and turns my way. She seems familiar. She wears her hair coiled in two tight buns on either side of her head, making me think of a certain Lucasfilm character. I smile. Should I? She couldn’t be older than fifteen. What on earth was Pierre thinking, letting her in?
I don’t catch her name because the music is too loud. As it turns out, she’s eighteen. By then I’ve already changed my mind. We make connections and I figure out she has just discovered Goth and Wicca all in one month. To make matters worse, Katie, one of my adoring kindergoths, seems to have told her more about me than I’d care to have shared in the first place.
She gushes on about how she’s so ecstatic about a course on witchcraft she’s going to do and that Katie said that she could ask me “stuff”. She’ll probably show up at the shop at some point within the next week, adding to my usual gaggle. Some of her questions I answer in what I hope is a polite fashion, but I am just a little concerned when she lets spill how the high priestess of her soon-to-be coven was involved in a hit-and-run accident earlier this week. This so-called “high-priestess” is none other than Mariaan Coetzee, an old—how shall I say it?—acquaintance of mine. Currently she’s going by the name of Gisela Silvermoon and has pretensions of Wiccan grandeur while passing herself off as the local media darling for pagans. The news of her accident shocks me.
On and on the little twit prattles. Her blond roots are showing and she mistakes my smile for genuine interest. Her body is soft. Puppy fat. She probably hasn’t even smoked marijuana, let alone schnarffed a line of coke before. The nose candy is oh-so-trendy for the Goth girls who depart for the bathrooms in little groups of twos or threes. Once I must have been like this, brave, plunging headlong into the subculture.
After buying her another drink, I move away upstairs to a dark niche on the balcony while she goes to check on her makeup. It will be a while before she figures out where I’ve gone.
* * * *
So the question is, what's the club called where Jamie likes to hang out? Email me the answer at email@example.com (remember to put "Secret Santa" in the subject line).