Jack Hansard is the man who can sell you anything. Luck in a bottle, fame in a box, dreams on a leash, you name it: if he doesn’t have it, he’ll convince you he has something better. He’s a trader on what’s known as the Black Market – the occult Black Market, that is. If you’re in need of that extra special something to curse your ex-lover or win your fortune, Hansard’s the man to go to. Just make sure you check the ‘best before’ date on anything he sells you.
This is a free series of short stories presented in an episodic format, like a television series. Jack’s misadventures come in bite-sized chunks so you can read wherever and whenever it suits you best.
The Jack Hansard Series has now reached the end of Season 1 and is all freely available to read here. I am now giving each episode a final edit and updating them one at a time – Episode 16: Book Shopping is the mostly recently updated, as of March 22nd. For more news on the future of Jack Hansard, hit that big ol’ Follow button to the side there.
Episode 1: An Inspired Mess
A dissatisfied customer turns out to be more dangerous than Jack anticipated. Will he be left hanging or make a lucky escape?
Episode 2: Sandman
Having fled London after the nasty business with Mr Scallet, Hansard is trying out a new business venture: the sale of dreams. It might be more of a nightmare than he can handle . . .
Episode 3: Iron Bridge
In the idyllic surroundings of the Ironbridge Gorge, Hansard comes across a group of creatures out of old mining folklore – is this a great opportunity for his next big scheme, or just trouble waiting to happen?
Episode 4: Coal and Pies
Hansard tries to strike a deal with the reclusive Coblynau. He might get more than he bargained for with the possibility of pies, coal, and a brush with death.
Episode 5: Troll
A routine visit to pick up stock from a friendly witch turns into a grisly ordeal when they run into a monstrous beastie. Will Ang end up as Coblyn soup?
Episode 6: Cockermouth
Hansard and Ang are trying to eke out a living in an unlikely-looking location. What they don’t realise is that one small slip-up could lose them a whole lot more than their food money . . .
Episode 7: Shellycoat
The search for the missing bluecaps is underway. Turns out Hansard and Ang haven’t been the only victims of this thief . . .
Episode 8: Black Market
Jack and Ang attend the country’s largest gathering of underworld traders. But dealers on the Black Market aren’t the most honest of people, and trouble is easy to find.
Episode 9: Quiet Eyes
The search for the quiet-eyed thief intensifies, and Ang receives the affections of an unlikely admirer.
Episode 10: Questions
Jack has to deal with the consequences of his latest rash actions, and tries to make some sense of the sparse information he’s gathered on the elusive Quiet Eyes and the mysterious Baines and Grayle.
Episode 11: Nether
Hansard is held up by a run-in with the law – and this is bad news for the unfortunate police officer who tries to arrest him. They probably don’t train recruits on how to deal with being pulled into another dimension at the academy.
Episode 12: Shadows
Hansard and the unwittingly kidnapped Jo are lost in the Nether, when they come across some of its less than friendly denizens . . .
Episode 13: Parasite
Hansard and Jo race to deliver Ang into the hands of a witch, to remove the creature preying on her from the inside. But Ang might not be the only one who has picked up an otherworldly parasite . . .
Episode 14: Lament of the Lake
While Ang recovers, the witch of the Lakes sends Hansard on an expedition to retrieve a piece of aquatic flora. Instead, he finds a terrible secret lurking below the water’s surface.
Episode 15: Memories
Hansard tries his luck as a ghost whisperer, and is quickly distracted by an opportunity to peddle liquid memory instead. Some ghosts are not so easy to ignore.
Episode 16: Book Shopping
Hansard takes some time out to catch up with an old friend in London, but it seems his presence has not gone unnoticed by one Mr Scallet . . .
Episode 17: Proposition
Hansard discovers the identity of his kidnappers, and has to decide whether he wants to do business with an old enemy.
Episode 18: Stone Bridge
Hansard is hot on the tail feathers of the legendary phoenix. Does it really exist? And should he be wondering what Quiet Eyes and her employers really want with it?
Episode 19: Little Fish
Hansard and co. finally come face-to-face with the phoenix they’ve been sent to find, but it’s very different to what the stories described. Is Hansard way, way out of his depth?
Episode 20: She Who Holds A Thousand Souls
The final showdown, an explosive end to the journey as everyone tries to get their hands on a legendary phoenix egg – and not get fried in the process.9