Tarquinii, Etruria: Circa 300 BCE
The body of Lord Pulenus was barely cold when Vel, the ashen-haired tomb painter, arrived at the family home to discuss funeral arrangements. The widow had summoned him the instant her husband expired. A servant answered the door, and Vel was gobsmacked as the male serf wore a green tebenna, a draped robe, instead of being naked in the usual Etruscan fashion.
Vel bit his lip.
The lavish stone house in the town’s affluent central district was a world apart from Vel’s sad little timber hut that leant on the city wall in easy reach of any arrows, spears or invaders that might make it over the defences. Every time Vel crossed into the prosperous area, he wondered, somewhat sardonically, who thought scrawny artisans made the best cannon fodder.
Vel found the pale, voluptuous widow reclining on a long seat inside the main room. She was a blonde 17-year-old, half the age of her late husband. A black-haired baby ravenously suckled at one of her abounding teats, above the robes yanked down to her waist. The fresh-faced widow was unabashed by Vel’s presence and continued breast-feeding. After decades in the tomb painting business, Vel knew a trophy wife when he saw one.
‘So yeah,’ the trophy wife began without a hint of sadness, ‘I want like, the Roman style of painting in the tomb. They’re just so classy, don’t you think?’ She didn’t wait for an answer. ‘Traditional Etruscan artworks, if you can call them that, are like children’s doodles compared to fancy Roman ones,’ she said in Etruscan; her affected Roman accent grated against the tomb painter’s eardrums.
Vel shuddered; lately all of his clients wanted overly stylised Greco-Roman tomb paintings, which he found to be free of emotion or charm. In the old days, Etruscan tradition dictated that a tomb was a celebration of a person starting a new life after passing through the gates of death. Vel used to love painting lively funerary feasts with whole families depicted alongside their naked servants, together with the symbols special to Etruscans. The egg was one, representing rebirth in the afterlife and providing comfort for the mourners. Its white shell protected the life force of the deceased within. Greco-Roman rubbish was instead full of borrowed half-myths, empty expressions of serenity and crazy animals that Vel had never actually seen. However, he was running a business and kept a good poker face as he listened to the bimbo-widow.
‘Like, I saw this painting once, of this big lion that had a goat’s head coming out of the back of its neck and a snake for a tail.’
‘A chimera,’ Vel said, cringing inside. He had once seen a stillborn two-headed fawn — but never a chimera — that just took the piss.
‘Yeah, that. Well. I like, want one of those on the tomb wall. I don’t want any dicks. Dicks are just so passé. The Romans would never put flying dicks on their artwork,’ said the widow as she swapped the suckling babe to the other breast.
Vel contained a sigh; painting weird willies on tomb walls was one of the perks of his job. Phallic images were meant to ward off the evil eye, which used to be important to the Etruscans before Roman habits began gnawing at their traditions and the old ways — his ways.
‘I think I have all the information I need,’ said Vel in an attempt to end the excruciating encounter. ‘Your husband briefed me on his wishes when he purchased his resting place. Tonight my serfs will collect any items you would like to see put into your husband’s tomb for his journey. In the morning the haruspices will lead the funeral march to the necropolis,’ Vel said before excusing himself.
Once outside, the old tomb painter exhaled a stifled groan and adjusted his traditional blue robes and woollen cloak over his tanned wiry frame. An early spring breeze chilled the air in the hilltop city of Tarquinii. The sun was setting over the green hills of Etruria, and Vel could see the Tyrrhenian Sea. From its surface sparkled every colour he wished he could mix upon his paint palette. The vista filled Vel’s heart with joy.
Tarquinii was one of the 12 autonomous cities that comprised the Etruscan League, but Vel’s once great culture was being eroded, assimilated and borrowed by a new cultural group who called themselves the Romans. Tomb art was only one facet of Vel’s rich heritage starting to suffer.
‘The grave goods to accompany Lord Pulenus to the next life can be collected now and taken to the necropolis,’ Vel told his gaggle of serfs. This group was comprised of four naked young men and one wearing a dirty tebenna. Vel frowned at the latter. ‘Since when do my serfs go prancing about in clothes? Take that thing off!’ he yelled.
‘Sorry, sir. I was cold,’ said the serf, removing his attire.
The kiss of heat that haunted summer evenings had yet to grace the hills, and Vel felt bad for his outburst. He told the lad to get dressed again and handed the young man his woollen cloak.
Without another word, Vel left them to it and decided to get cracking on the tomb. Normally it took a single day, from dusk until dawn, to complete a funerary chamber. Much of the painting was done when the crypt was first dug, after the owner had purchased it. However, there were always last moment additions or changes to make; often the family would request to have favourite pastimes of the deceased painted onto the walls, or perhaps the manner in which the dead met their end. Best of all, Vel liked depicting the funeral feast usually painted before anyone had actually kicked the bucket.
The sun glittered as it sank behind the acropolis, a mirror image of the necropolis on the identical hill next to it, when Vel walked down into the valley separating the cities of the living and the dead. The citizens of Tarquinii, like their kin across Etruria, knew it was important to have the city of the dead close by in case you needed comfort or help from the loved ones who had gone on to the next world. Vel found the walk to the adjacent hill lugubrious, even though he had done the journey countless times and was fit for his ripe age, estimated to be somewhere in the fifth decade. Nonetheless, Vel was as sure-footed as a mountain goat, able to navigate to the necropolis blindfolded, and dusk hindered him little.
A pitiful glow emanated from one of the tumuli entrances and helped Vel locate his apprentice. Larce sat cross-legged on the floor, absorbed in painting a fishing boat bobbing along the ocean waves upon the wall of the unoccupied tomb.
‘Boo!’ shouted Vel from the entrance.
Larce shot up, knocking over ox hair brushes and terracotta bowls of pigment as he flailed to his feet. ‘You scared me, you sneaky old sod!’ he cried, a smile creeping across his darkly bearded mouth as he saw Vel in the entranceway. ‘Look, you made me spill paint all over the floor!’ he added, as they both laughed.
Larce wore the same blue robes as Vel, except his covered a strapping frame upholstered with ruddy tanned skin.
‘This tomb is owned by the crazy local butcher who got it in the sales. His family will drag a whole bunch of meat in here for his journey to the afterlife anyway — we’ll just pile it up over the stains, and nobody will notice.’ Vel shrugged.
Tarquinia, Tuscany, Italy: 1928 CE
Thaddeus, the young sinewy archaeologist, harrumphed as he tripped on a rock on the hilltop. A mousy brown beard, which hid his weak chin, muffled the expletives that followed. His extraordinary nose, shaped much like a flamingo’s beak, propped up a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles. ‘These Etruscan tombs of Tarquinia are utterly worth seeing,’ he assured his companion.
Bates strode behind him, plumper and older than the archaeologist. The morning sun glistened in beads of sweat on Bates’s clean-shaven face and receding charcoal hairline. He was a poet with a wise look about him, especially his steely eyes that missed nothing and knew much.
The two men weaved between the tumuli atop the hill’s plateau. Across the valley was the stone city of Tarquinia, from which church bells pealed and echoed across the hills. They came to a halt by a wooden door dug into the ground.
‘I have the key,’ announced Thaddeus. ‘Most of these tombs are locked, since they were all raided for gold and antiquities. It started with the Romans and continued with any other opportunists who stumbled upon them through the ages,’ Thaddeus explained. He opened the padlock and removed the chain. ‘We’ll need our candles,’ he added, turning to Bates with a grin.
As soon as the two men were inside the dank little tomb, Thaddeus pulled out his archaeology brushes with their ivory handles and began zealously brushing away dust from the floor.
Bates lit an oil lamp next to Thaddeus and looked at the walls using his candle. ‘Look at all these little characters busying themselves with hunting, fishing then feasting. The artist has captured such vitality in these Etruscan’s lives. Look at these two chaps on a boat bobbing about on the ocean, catching their supper. The sun makes them red, and there’s even a flock of gulls over their heads. Marvellous,’ Bates commented.
‘Enough of your whimsy, Bates. Come and see my discovery,’ said Thaddeus who still knelt on the dusty tomb floor.
Bates crouched by his friend’s side, holding the candle over the bedrock ground.
‘There, you see? Thaddeus pointed at some faded dark splodges.
Bates squinted. ‘What about them?’ he asked with a measure of scepticism.
‘Don’t you see?’ Thaddeus cried. ‘This is proof that the Etruscans were wild people, painting whatever they liked to the extent they threw paint around in reckless abandon.’
‘Or the painter of this tomb accidentally spilled some paint,’ Bates pointed out dryly.
‘Lord Pulenus popped his clogs an hour ago, and we have to get his tomb finished,’ Vel announced from the doorway of the butcher’s tomb, in his let’s-get-down-to-business voice.
‘I can’t believe that old codger managed to bag such a fit wife,’ Larce said dreamily as his imagination skimmed across the contours of the widow Pulenus’s body. ‘She has breasts the size of cow udders, and the face of a goddess.’
‘She might have all of that, son, but she has nothing going on between her ears,’ Vel remarked gruffly.
‘Who cares about what’s between her ears? It’s exploring those mountainous breasts or the paradise garden between her legs that I’m talking about.’
‘I’m too old for such fancies,’ Vel replied. ‘Besides, in the old days women with blonde hair like her were always whores. But now any Etruscan Lord can marry one. What is the world coming to?’ Vel complained as he placed terracotta pots onto a wooden tray, ready for transport to Lord Pulenus’s awaiting crypt.
‘You got to move with the times,’ opined Larce.
‘What would you know? You’re young with a head full of dreams,’ snapped Vel as he lit one candle off another. ‘Our way is to have a funeral feast to celebrate the transition from this life into the next, but I bet you that bimbo will insist on a solemn affair in keeping with dowdy Roman custom. They don’t even let their women outdoors. Our women show their breasts to ward off the evil eye, but Roman ladies are uptight and meek hiding behind the walls of their mansions. The Romans are backwards, and half of their so-called triumphs are built on Etruscan discoveries!’
‘Calm down,’ said Larce softly. ‘I know you dislike the Romans, but there’s no need to get worked up about it. Also, despite my fantasies, I am a married man with two kids, you know. We’re paid to paint tombs, and it’s up to our customers how they want it done — you taught me that.’
Vel was heartened that Larce was absorbing some of his knowledge. ‘You defeat me with my own words,’ Vel conceded. ‘If you’re finished here, let’s get to work on Lord Pulenus’s tomb.’
The two men carried the tools of their trade across the barrows of the necropolis hilltop. They then dived down a barely visible hole, another half-painted empty tomb. Unoccupied tombs were good advertisements for their artwork, and often they would do tours of them to hook potential customers. All of the tumuli hid one-chamber tombs carved into the bedrock of the hill, making it hollow with subterranean resting places.
The chamber they entered already contained a fresco of Lord Pulenus, in red, with his pale buxom wife reclining at his side. A blue and green pattern chequered the ceiling, while the two chthonic Etruscan deities of Charun, the bearded guide of souls through the underworld, and Vanth, his angelic companion, were depicted on the right-hand wall. The illustration around the door showed Lord Pulenus on a boar hunt. Vel knew that a haruspex at the couple’s wedding feast, only a year ago, had gazed at a boar’s liver and predicted that the old pervert had many years yet to live. Evidently, the augers had been misread.
Vel recounted what the widow requested while painting the outlines of revellers with a practiced hand. However, the dancers were no longer joyful little figures, each an individual in his own right, but became a uniform stylised troupe in an expressionless line after the Roman fashion. The candlelight accentuated the vermillion of Lord Pulenus’s portrait, dominating the far wall. He held a white egg in his hand, his life force secure within. Next to him, the pale trophy wife vainly clutched her mirror — in Vel’s eyes an empty Roman symbol. On each side of the chamber was a shelf where the bodies would be laid to rest, the Lord now and the wife later when her time came.
In the space below the family crest, depicting a wolf and a deer, Vel sketched out the figure of the bemusing chimera. The creature was to sit above the portrait of the couple. He wondered who in the relationship had been the wolf and who the deer; something told him that the trophy wife wasn’t the prey type. Larce painted the figures, breathing life into them with colour.
When the pair were halfway through, they headed out onto the tumulus for a break. A full moon dispersed silvery luminescence across the landscape, surrounded by its glittery star-children. The sea sparkled and embodied the magic of nature, which Vel and all Etruscans held dearly. The acropolis was a blocky mass of black shapes against the indigo sky. Apart from the fluttering of bat wings overhead and the gentle lapping of the distant sea, the land was at peace.
The two tomb painters shared a terracotta jug of wine as they popped green olives into their mouths, ate squishy overripe tomatoes and doused stale bread in olive oil.
‘Don’t you ever wonder what fate has planned for us?’ Larce enquired as they reclined on the grass.
‘I don’t wonder. I just go with the flow. Everything we see plays a part in our future. All of this’ —Vel held his hands up— ‘but only the haruspices can divine the meanings. Etruscans embrace life as it’s a gift and meant for living, not for worrying about death. Isn’t death just the next phase?’ Vel replied, as he chewed a chunk of oily bread that made his grey beard glisten slickly.
‘That’s the way our people used to think,’ Larce replied delicately, ‘but lately everyone obsesses with preparing for death instead. I suppose it’s good business for us—’
‘For you,’ interrupted Vel, swallowing the hunk of bread. ‘I’m already too old for this. No doubt, I won’t be around in this life for much longer. But you are young and strong and have a family to think about. You must continue this business.’ Vel paused. ‘Larce, when I do go, I want you to promise me something.’
‘Anything. Although I wish you wouldn’t talk this way. You’ve been like a father to me—’ Larce swallowed his emotion with a swig of wine, but the moonlight twinkled in his tear-filled eyes.
‘I can stay silent on the topic of my death, but I’m not special and I will join the likes of Lord Pulenus one day. It’s no good hiding from that fact. Anyway, I want you to be my tomb painter. It will be your initiation into being the master artisan in our craft,’ Vel said, his tone atremble.
‘I want it done in the traditional way,’ Vel continued. ‘I want people dancing, feasting, playing instruments and drinking wine. I want eroticism so over the top that it’ll make those high and mighty Romans blush to their balls,’ Vel said, the agitation rising in his voice as it always did when it came to the Romans.
Larce laughed. ‘I will do it. I will paint you the most lavish Etruscan tomb ever. I’ll call it something like The Tomb of the Bulls—’
‘That’s good, but give it a sexual name. I don’t want euphemisms or metaphors, I want a tomb that sticks in people’s faces,’ Vel commented. ‘Do you remember that festival we went to with the northern all-female fertility cult?’
‘How could I forget? You took me there when I was a kid. Such sexual experimentation will remain painted on my brain forever. Men on men. Women on men. Women on women.’ Larce made a whistling sound. ‘Man, that was hot,’ he added while adjusting his blue robes.
‘Well in that vein, call it something like: The Tomb of Sadomasochism.’ Vel chuckled.
‘Perhaps I could ask the widow Pulenus to model for it?’ Larce suggested.
An owl screeched from the valley between the cities of living and dead. The screech devoured the sound of the men’s laughter, turning their conversation in a more sombre and reflective direction.
‘Do you realise,’ Vel began, ‘the tombs of this necropolis are likely to last longer than the Tarquinii acropolis? Apart from the city walls of course. I mean, this is solid rock, whereas that’ —he pointed to the opposite hill— ‘is nearly all wooden. It will degrade with the elements, as well as human strife.’
‘I never really thought about it,’ Larce admitted. ‘If our city disappears in time, then our children’s children might see our funerary art, but not the actual city that we lived in. What a weird thought,’ Larce uttered in a daze of reverie. ‘What do you think our future kin will make of us if the Romans do eventually absorb all of our ways?’
‘I hope they will say that the Romans modelled themselves on our noble and progressive culture. I’m sure the Etruscans will endure, a whole civilisation cannot cease to exist. There’s no way all of our people will defect to Roman habits,’ Vel assured his apprentice. ‘Our ancestors travelled from far lands and we still respect them, so hopefully whoever lives here in the future will do the same for us. I’m sure people will always visit this necropolis to commune with their ancestors,’ Vel concluded.
‘How could they not? This place is sacred and nothing can change that!’ Larce said and laughed at such a ridiculous notion.
After a brief wine-induced nap, Vel and Larce resumed their work. The serfs arrived with an ox-driven cart filled with possessions, food and wine to be placed in the tomb for Lord Pulenus’s journey into the afterlife. Statues, amphorae, bowls, materials and golden ornaments were amongst the horde. Vel noted sullenly that every year these grave goods became more expensive and elaborate. The serfs unloaded them with greedy fingers and placed them in a corner of the chamber, while the two artists continued painting. The last object was a soldier’s outfit, complete with a peaked bronze helmet.
Vel gawped at the armour. ‘Lord Pulenus never fought a day in his life,’ he said with astonishment. ‘His wife has sent this ornamental shit just to make her dead husband look good in the afterlife. He made me paint his portrait like he was so bullish, but when his body arrives here tomorrow you’ll see that he had the physique of a pale tomato and was prone to the jitters!’
‘I suppose, if you got a bum deal in life then death is your second chance to be a hero,’ said Larce, applying the last stroke of beige to the chimera’s taloned toe.
‘That last tomb we saw was obviously only that of a lowly huntsman,’ commented Thaddeus, ‘although my discovery of the wild way in which the Etruscans painted will be of use to academia.’
The two men were once more on the move across the tumuli, under the ferociously hot midday sun. ‘They really were a people obsessed by augers and death,’ Thaddeus added.
‘I think that last tomb was enlightening,’ said Bates as the pair headed towards the next tomb. ‘It was a snippet of real everyday Etruscan life. I don’t think they were obsessed by death, that’s just vestiges of their civilisation. Their boats have rotted, their nets have long since turned to dust and tombs are all that remain.’
‘A sentimental outlook,’ Thaddeus commented with a hint of derision. ‘Let’s look at one last tomb for today. Then we’ll go and enjoy a gin and tonic back at the hotel,’ he suggested.
‘That’s the best idea you’ve had all morning,’ Bates agreed. He dabbed sweat from his brow with a white monogrammed handkerchief.
‘This is the tomb of a great warrior,’ announced Thaddeus when they were both inside.
‘How exciting,’ said Bates, glad to be in the cool chamber. He walked to the far wall and examined the great red man lying there alongside his voluptuous blonde wife. ‘He looks to have been an Adonis of a man,’ Bates commented.
‘I agree. The only object recovered from this plundered tomb was an Etruscan bronze helmet. Clearly, this was a civilised Romanised couple. Just look at this man’s noble wife, a veritable Aphrodite, or should I say Venus?’ observed Thaddeus with a sigh.
Lord Pulenus’s tomb was ready by breakfast on the following day. Vel and Larce had to wait until after the funeral to seal the tomb. They sat down to watch the road for the funeral procession. At mid-morning they saw the crowd of mourners and sycophants appear, all dressed in different colours, following the cart pulled by two white Maremma oxen with lyre shaped horns. The procession started from Tarquinii, descended into the valley and laboriously climbed the track towards the necropolis.
‘I think you went too far this time,’ Larce whispered to Vel, as the mourners congregated nearby.
‘You made him look too good. His portrait is like the face of sunrise, whereas Lord Pulenus looks like a bat chewing earwax.’
The two men coughed and covered their mouths to hide their amusement.
Grief, real as well as imagined, poured upon the tomb by those attending the funeral. Larce found it hard to look away from the grieving widow’s generous chest, which heaved with her crocodile tears. Libations to the Gods, both old and new, were made and then the mourners departed back to the town for the traditional funerary feast, the likes of which would make Bacchus blush.
The serfs, along with Vel and Larce, sealed the tomb with a chiselled boulder.
‘I better go. My wife will be wondering where I’ve got to,’ said Larce.
Vel clutched the young man’s arm, ‘hold on,’ he said. ‘The haruspices say that soon I will no longer be here. I’m old, the same age as our recently departed Lord Pulenus although significantly poorer. He and I are a dying breed. When I go you will inherit everything I have since I gave my life to being an artisan, and you are the only one who I can call family. I was made to be a tomb painter and this necropolis is my legacy. In a way, you are too. You are the orphan I brought up as my apprentice, and this dawning age belongs to the likes of you and Pulenus’s widow. This new world, full of Romans, no longer has a place for outdated farts like me.’ Vel spoke softly, as if to himself. ‘What I’m trying to say is: this matters — it’s my only legacy.’
Larce hugged Vel. ‘I know it does. You have been like a father to me and I love you for that, old man.’
Leaning on each other the two men made their way back into town, where Larce’s wife invited Vel to dine with their family.
That same night, the old tomb painter passed away in his sleep, his face frozen in utter contentment.
‘I’m telling you Bates, this is the tomb to see in Tarquinia. Forget what we saw yesterday. This one is over 2,000 years old and belonged to a prince,’ said Thaddeus, leading the way into a tomb.
‘You’re the expert,’ Bates replied with a shrug. ‘I’m just here to see the famed Tuscan countryside.’
Frescoes upon the walls of the empty burial chamber drew the pair in. The faint outline of a lone vermillion man, clutching an egg in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, filled the left wall, but time had damaged the image severely.
Bates froze when his lamp’s glow lit a lascivious image on the opposite wall. ‘My word!’ he exclaimed. ‘These two men are servicing a blonde woman between them while hitting her with sticks. This is pornography.’
‘Lewd images were intended to ward off evil. There’s more. Look here, a flying phallus and over there a male couple sodomise,’ announced Thaddeus. ‘In the paper I plan to write, I shall posit that the Etruscans came from Greece originally by boat. Their art was an inferior copy of classic Hellenistic style.’
‘What does it say up there, in Etruscan?’ Bates pointed to the strange runic letters above the vermillion man.
‘It’s the name of the prince of brutes who occupied this tomb. He was called Vel,’ answered Thaddeus. ‘In my paper I plan to state that the Etruscans were a barbaric race, as seen from the bloodthirsty scenes on some tomb walls. Furthermore, their use of apotropaic imagery — naked flesh and immoral sexuality — came from the minds of an animalistic culture—’
Bates interrupted, ‘I think these images encapsulate an open and hedonistic culture, no more savage or sexually deviant than modern-day man.’
Thaddeus nearly choked. ‘Nonsense,’ he insisted. ‘The Romans wrote about this extinct culture, saying they were barbaric people who shared their wives with each other. Surely any man can look at this and know it’s true,’ he said and pointed at a flock of phalluses. ‘They even regarded women as being of the same social standing and intellect as men. Ridiculous.’
‘Perhaps the Romans just wanted to make themselves look good, like politicians of today. Maybe what they wrote was propaganda? Look at this Mussolini fellow who’s all the rage here in Italy right now.’
Thaddeus snorted. ‘Mussolini merely represents a protest against encroaching communism, a fascist icon for a broken country — a flash in the pan of no real consequence.’
Bates looked amused at his friend’s youthful certainty. ‘I’m no expert, but hear me out,’ the poet began, ‘from all the tombs we’ve seen, I get the impression that these Etruscans were a life-loving people who had a sense of humour.
‘But they were also progressive, with their own distinct language, religion and cities,’ he continued. ‘They kept their deceased nearby, which I think shows tenderness and respect. They conquered land and sea — they were pirates, traders and artisans. The Romans came later and might have copied many Etruscan innovations. Maybe the Etruscan’s only crime was complacency as their culture was insidiously erased. The truth is that you’re making assumptions. Surely there isn’t enough here to construct a picture of an entire civilisation?’
‘You’re entitled to your opinions my friend, but my paper will be in line with what mainstream archaeology states.’
‘Sometimes I think academia could do with an injection of common sense,’ Bates muttered. ‘After all, these were human beings, just like us. They liked sex, feasts, drinking and went to war just as we do now, except perhaps they weren’t prone to guilt in the same way as we are.’
‘We are civilised Brits and from that inherently comes guilt,’ Thaddeus said finally.
Bates had to laugh. ‘Hmm. Legacies such as this are open to interpretation, and history is written by those who hold the pen. Right now, that is you.’
Larce was exhausted, but grief kept him awake. The funeral feast was over, and Vel’s body now rested in a tomb fit for a prince. Larce sat cross-legged by the dying fire in his smoky round hut while his family slept around him on straw mats. He heard his oldest son fret in his sleep, and Larce went to him.
‘Don’t fuss, little one. Vel has gone to the next place, but he’ll always watch over us. To be honest, son, I’d rather have Vel here than be master tomb painter…’ Larce trailed off. ‘You’ll be my apprentice now. I promise not to scar your mind with fertility festivals, or let you drink wine until you puke purple like Vel did with me. But, I will nurture you, like Vel did me,’ said Larce, blinking away his tears.
‘I guess tomb painting is now officially our family business,’ whispered
Darcy Lin Wood resides in Oxfordshire, England, but has Russian-British blood. With a degree in journalism, Darcy started writing fiction full-time six years ago and has since had work published in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Bunbury Magazine, The Dawntreader, Sarasvati and Every Day Fiction. You can find Darcy lurking around Wattpad or procrastinating on Twitter @DarcyLinWood.