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In 2007, Allison Duncan’s husband drained all of the bank accounts and kicked her out of the house, telling her “You are not welcome in my home.” Less than a month later, his mistress moved in with him. This move left Allison homeless, penniless, and caring for a four-year-old child. Allison and her daughter were taken in by close friends in South Carolina until she could get on her feet.

Her husband wanted Allison to give up all rightful claims to a fair split in the divorce, and he was incensed to find out that evicting her did not drive her to submit to his demands. He ambushed her with legal proceedings and surprise hearings. He was outraged when a judge agreed with Allison, and required him to pay child support. Since that time, he has sporadically refused to pay child support, leaving him almost ten thousand dollars behind.

Seeing custody as the only way to get out of these child-support payments, Allison’s husband concocted an elaborate ruse, including giving up visitations then holding surprise hearings claiming Allison had denied his court ordered visitation. He went on to fabricate evidence in support of his groundless charges that the child was abused. I was evicted from my home, pending a Child Protective Services investigation. More travelling, doctor’s visits, a 730 evaluation. In the end, the evaluating doctor announced what we all knew was true; Allison had never abused her child and could never abuse her child. The whole mess only served to delay his payments and cost us thousands more in defense costs.

For years we have been fighting to keep this child in a safe environment with her mother. If you are here, you know us. You know that Allison is the finest mother anyone could hope to have. You know what a bright and bubbly, friendly and brilliant child the EP is. But the hatred and bile that encompasses Allison’s ex blinds him to the needs of the child. He has already stated that, if he gets custody, “You will never see [EP] again.”

We will fight. We must fight. But the fight is taking its toll. We are now thousands of dollars into debt. Recently, we reached a watershed moment. The marriage has been ended, and Allison’s ex-husband has already married his mistress. The property portion of the divorce is nearing settlement. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it has come at a huge cost. We just got a bill from the lawyer that was almost as much as I make in a paycheck, and that comes while we’re pinching to save every dollar in paying down our debt. We desperately need help.

This past year, I’ve been putting a little aside every month for Christmas. Yesterday, in order to pay the latest legal bill, I had to drain the Christmas account. I hope to be able to build it up again, but it’s October already, and Winter is coming.

I tell you this, not as some cheezy pull on the heartstrings, but rather as an example of how much we truly need and appreciate your help.

Thank you Gifts

As a personal thank-you, I would like to offer you my most valuable virtual asset and a gift that cannot be found anywhere else. For every donation, I will send a copy of my unreleased short story “Worse than the Disease”, which has only ever been read at Balticon and at DragonCant. To date, no digital version of this story exists in the wild.

For every donation over five dollars, I will send a PDF of “Worse than the Disease”, and a PDF version of my novel, “Tumbler”. It has been my most successful creative venture to date, and is my most valuable virtual asset.

Update: Flying Island Press has offered to give a text version of their first issue of Flagship Magazine (where I wrote my first published fiction) to anyone who will make a donation of $5 or more. So, if it weren’t enough to protect the Elf Princess, you can now get a copy of Tumbler as well as issue #1 of Flagship.

You should stop by and look at their other issues, and thank them for reaching out to help the EP through promotion and donation.

For every donation over twenty dollars, I will send a PDF of “Worse than the Disease”, a PDF version of my novel, “Tumbler”, and a mini-Cthulhu plush. The mini-plush is made by Toy Vault, the same makers who create the hand puppet used in “Calls For Cthulhu”.

In addition to all this, you will get one more thing, possibly worth more than all the thank-you gifts we could offer. You will know that you have made a difference in the life of this wonderful little girl.

Thank you.

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