Web Serial Review: Timekeepers

I couldn’t exit 2021 without one more Taff Screams. And ’cause I haven’t read any webcomics lately (something I hope to rectify in 2022, I got a bunch on my list!), I decided to add Web Serials to my list of things to scream about. We’re starting with one posted right on here, on WordPress.

The world is ending in a series of floods and an ancient organization sets out to enforce one of the earth’s First Promises. To do so, they must find the keepers–the children of Creation–and discover what, exactly, went wrong.

Timekeepers is hosted on Witches and Warlocks Anonymous and written by jaylinmullican. It’s ongoing (as web serials so are!) and while I haven’t caught up with it completely yet I am invested. At the time of writing this Scream, there are 24 chapters and updates come in frequently, so you’ll have a big chunk to devour already. Which, by itself, is already satisfying.

But, What about the story, Taff you might ask and I am glad you did.

The story is of the post-apocalypse flavour (immediate Taff scream points) with a heavy helping of the supernatural and magic (additional Taff scream points guaranteed) and carried on the shoulders of amazing characters that make me smile even when things are grim (the author is greedy and hoarding all the Taff scream points).

It’s packed with beautiful turns of phrases that populate a world growing at a steady pace; and which kept surprising me chapter by chapter and I have no doubt it will continue to do so. Like, did I expect the merfolk that showed up eventually? Nope. I did not. But oh boy do I love them now.

We follow a wildly fascinating set of characters, from The Medium-Sized Girl (who was previously the little girl) who is accompanied by OTC (also known as the Obnoxious Traveling Companion, the delightful Rain (who just like the Medium-Sized Girl has to learn a lot), and Faye, who’s surrounded by the Baby, Joss, and Tarin, and- okay there are a lot of characters. A whole assemble of them. Now, oftentimes that turns me off because I am terrible at keeping character names straight. But the cast in Timekeepers is very distinct and I had no problem keeping up. Plus, the storytelling is in a lot of their names, which solidifies their identities even more so.

Now, let me throw one of the countless great paragraphs at you that’ll find in this story (don’t worry, no spoilers).

Most of the glass was gone from the buildings of downtown Bend. Window panes stood empty and sharp. Shattered door frames shuddered in the current. Wood-braced buildings sagged, water-logged and rotting. Faye wondered how much longer those would last. Their odor suggested they weren’t long for this world. 

There were people here, though they all stayed in the distance. Most people did, these days. There had been one middle-distance person, a few days back, but Faye was pretty sure that had been accidental. The middle-distancer had been cleaning his glasses. Once he had returned the lenses to his face and noticed Faye’s party approaching, he had scampered off into a more proper distant-distance.

It showcases two things Timekeepers does really well. It sets the scene (sometimes a heartbreaking one, sometimes a gorgeous one) and then it follows up with prose that leaks character.

I recommend reading this, okay? Go on. Do it. You can start with the first chapter right here: Timekeepers 1.1

Find it here: Witches and Warlocks Anonymous
Author: jaylinmullican


We close Episode one with Varrett lamenting how he’s the one who always gets to do the heavy lifting in a relationship.

“Fine.” Varrett got his madly spinning head down to turn the Caster over onto her stomach. “See this?” he complained, slid his arms under her shoulders, and pulled her against his chest. She was heavier than he’d anticipated, what with how she’d barely reached up to his chin when she’d thrown herself at him earlier. Not quite heavy enough for his knees to file a restraining order as he got up, but enough to make him go hmmm as her dead-to-the-world weight hung off his front like one of those boneless couches he’d been pondering this morning.

This is why we broke up,” he continued and draped one of her arms around his neck so he could heft her up on his shoulders in a passable carry. “We go on a date, who gets saddled with the work?”

Seb snorted, turned around, and headed for the door.

“Me,” Varrett said. He stomped after him. “That’s who. Cooking? Me. Go on an assignment?” He turned his chin to look at her head rolling against his shoulder. “Wanna take a guess?” A pause. “Mmhm. That’s right. Me,” he said while carefully navigating through the door without clipping the frame with her head. “And you?” he added quietly, addressing the unconscious Caster. “You are going to bleed all over my backseat, aren’t you?”

Her head kind of wobbled, which— if he squinted —passed for a nod.


Read Aphelion on Ao3
Explore Aphelion on Campfire

This finalizes Episode One! I’ve got two more chapters of Episode Two to write before I start posting it, so, for a while, Aphelion’s updates will consist of worldbuilding nuggets and art. To anyone on here who picked up reading it so far though? Thank you.

APHELION: Chapter 4, Desperate Measures

A free web serial; Cyberpunk-lite, Zombie Apocalypse included, and Soul Magic to tie it all together.

There’s laughter.

It has sharp edges and it rattles with glee; like a belly fashioned from metal that shakes and booms and clanks. Sophya stands surrounded by it, her eyes fixed on her hands. They’re trembling. A steel grey ring sits on one of her fingers, its wide band etched with delicate fawn antler patterns. Her chest tightens. She knows the ring; knows when she’s last worn it.

But this isn’t right— is she dreaming?

That can’t be. Sophya doesn’t dream. Hasn’t ever and would never.

When she looks up, there’s Krisi. A long-fled home surrounds them, the memory of it washed out like a painting soaked in water. Krisi walks a step or two ahead.

Sophya hurries after her. She doesn’t want to, would prefer to turn around and walk the other way, because she knows what’ll happen when she reaches her; she’ll grab for Krisi’s slender shoulder and Krisi will pull away. That’s how it always went. That’s how it would always go.

No, she’s not dreaming. She’s fashioned her own Hell and starred herself in its opening act.

She grabs for her sister. And catches only air.

“Krisi, please,” she hears herself plead. “It’s not what you— we didn’t— I’m not—“

Gods, she doesn’t want to be here. She doesn’t want to see any of it, not ever again, and she’s certainly not okay with how she feels it all so vividly, how her heart drums in her ears and her throat constricts like she slipped a noose around it.

When Krisi spins around, her eyes are puffy and red and filled with rage and grief.

“You’re defending it!” Krisi shrieks. It’s not a question. It’s an accusation. “You’re defending it and they’re dead!

The noose tightens and Sophya can barely breathe. Her lungs scream. Her eyes feel as if someone threw a handful of salt into them. There’s no steady footing under her — the world is upside down but she’s not falling.

She should be falling. She wants to. Anything would be better than being here.

“She had nothing—“

Krisi slaps her. It’s a quick, sharp blow, one right across the cheek. Her head whips to the side. Blood wells in her mouth. For a moment, Sophya stares at the wall. When her eyes find Krisi again, her sister has composed herself. She stands very straight, her spine stiff, her shoulders back. Her chin is up and her eyes hold a subtle glow; she’s made a call.

Her lips move.

Sophya knows what she’s saying, word by word. She hears it so, so, so often and it never changes. Always ends the same.

“… there’s a NetPagan in my house …”

There’s laughter?

She can’t breathe.


Read Aphelion on Ao3
Explore Aphelion on Campfire

Latchkey Hero, a Dying Light Fan Fiction

2016-04-14 – 3 years – 350000 words

“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.” – George Orwell

The fall of Harran robbed man of its humanity, and Zofia Sirota of her innocence. Finding redemption, with the city rotting away around her, seems to be a pipe dream at best, until a man falls from the skies and turns futility to hope. Either that, or he’s about to make things a whole lot worse.

Kyle Crane


Season 1: Latchkey Hero
A man falls from the skies and makes things a whole lot worse.

The Gunsmith: A Lady’s Favour
There’s a little girl in dire need of modern-day magic, and still, Crane tells Zofia: “Stay here.”

At the Tower: Hide and Seek
In which Kyle Crane finds it horribly difficult to stay on target and regrets having put on jeans for the day.

Season 2: Volatile

Season 3: #SaveHarran

All the art you see has either been done by delborovic, saph-y, or nucleargers (nsfw).

Kyle Crane
Kyle and Zofia (not Fi, not Zo, not Sofia, don’t you dare)
Kyle Crane
Kyle and his Cranebar
Kyle Crane
Kyle Crane
Dying Light Latchkey Hero
“official” cover art

I’ve done it. Finally. It took me three years, and a bunch of times of almost giving up, but here I am. The last chapter has been drafted, and all that’s left is a little more patience and a few more nights of editing what I got. Then Latchkey Hero is done.

Thank you, everyone, who has taken the time to read it.

It’s been… an experience. Thanks to you and with you, and like for any experience’s third birthday, I ought to at least make some noise. So here it is, that noise. A bunch of links on where to find the complete series, its sparkling new website, and some art that I’ve collected over… uh… the years. Literal years. Man, this feels weird.