Saturday, December 22, 2012


Each year at Yule they gather ‘round,
orphan girls to try the crown.
Hands extend to see which one
will take the power, come undone,
be remade, another thing,
twisted body lengthening
grown large and full, ripe until
she’s fit to be the perfect tool,
a mate unto the Master made
whom every demon, angel, shade
shall fall before, fear, obey.

To the world the Chosen One
gives the morning and the sun –
but not the son, oh no, not He,
for ever shall she sterile be,
this the bargain and the price,
the child-bride, our sacrifice
for fragile peace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Back against concrete, Marcel looked over the lights of Toronto. He’d risked much for this view and the people below. Walking past, most did not see him, an apt punishment for hubris. He’d never railed against being doomed to walk the Earth. It was, after all, the mission he’d accepted before his fall.

“They wait for a fat man in a sleigh to bring them love.” The familiar voice dripped with disdain.

“They’re born with love, brother. It’s why you hate them.”

“One of many reasons.”

Marcel looked again on his city, before entering a fight he could not win.

Yet more background from my current WIP. Angels keep popping up everywhere. It's disconcerting, as I'm not overly fond of them and trust them not at all - nor should you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Give and Take

I tried to keep my blood from hitting the circle, knew when it did, hated (loved) what came next. Aching from crown to heel, mouth filled with hot copper – such familiar comfort – I tugged on the thread connecting us and commanded Nate to sleep, the first offensive spell I’d learned.

His eyes filled with murder before he slumped to the floor. For wounds inflicted, I did not catch him.

I cleansed the circle, crying, same as I had the night I’d been orphaned. The lab wasn’t sterile when I left, Nate over my shoulder, but it would have to do.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


by Colleen Foley

I remember Seth punching me hard and shoving me into the circle. Blood poured from nose and mouth onto the sigils. I felt something rise in me, beast-like, spitting and growling.

Then something else came. It burst through the fragile seams of mind and body, with one purpose: to go home.

“Follow it. Find it. Hunt it!

I did beat him then, hard and long. …so good to give up my weary attempts at holding onto etiquette and civility when what I wanted was an orgy of blood and bone and pain.

His and mine, together.

Like always.

Like brothers.


Desperate Measures

I didn’t know if I should leave or start the ritual. Nate was quickly turning into something… not-Nate. No time to waiver.

Circle scrawled in hasty charcoal, only the meeting of the seams precise. Sigils followed with words from my mother’s book, voice weary, spell accurate. No time to falter.

Reaching for the needle, I looked too long on my brother, saw the animal in him rise. No time to avoid the punch.

Brain rattled, I returned the favor, aim true. His blood free flowing, I shoved him into the circle, magic etiquette be damned. No time left at all.


Monday, December 10, 2012


By Colleen Foley

I remember little after Seth stuck me. Razor sharp flashes of half formed thoughts searing behind eyes that wouldn’t close. Etiquette demanding that I not beat him bloody, I clenched my fists and tried to think. My mind was already weary with struggling to maintain.

I felt as if someone had poured adrenaline straight into all my major organs; every part of me was hard…eager. Restraint unraveling seam by seam…

“your blood…permission. And your help. Please.”

Seth stepped back as I growled. I shook my head hard. Tried again and managed to spit out one word, hoping he’d understand.



Thursday, December 06, 2012


Universities are plagued with lax security, side doors left unlatched by weary graduate students heading for beer, bed, or both. The lab was ours.

Nate stumbled as though drunk.

Blood in a needle from my own kit.
Blood on a cold glass slide.
Black seams like stained glass.

“It’s a virulent strain of Pump.”

No reply.

I looked up. Nate stood, fists and jaw clenched.

There was no etiquette to guide me. I plunged ahead, blind. “There’s a way to track the practitioner, using your blood, but I need your permission. And your help. Please.” Before it’s too late.


Give Me Something To Break

By Colleen Foley

I dropped my head, listening to the birds chirp through the grey/red haze ripping my mind. It hurt.

I knew why Seth needed my blood. It made perfect sense. But damn if I wasn’t feeling threatened, angry, and mean into the bargain. This isn’t me.

He was right. He was my brother. ‘Nuff said.

“Okay, Madam Nightingale, we’d better hurry and jab me. This thing ramps up aggression, I think, and since I’m already a son-of-a-bitch…”

Seth hit the gas hard enough to spew gravel.

He said nothing for a while and then, softly, “It’s making your jokes suck, too.”


Tuesday, December 04, 2012


The boy was pretty, six feet of chiseled grace laid out by absinthe. Madam prefers supérieure to green. I’d not find out which he was.

I favor wormwood tea, better to prolong my passions, if a bitter taste for the men.

Parched lips parted with a plea.

I could not grant him any release, however fine that act might be. Under Madam’s ministrations, I’d chirp for mercy, confessing all.

I kissed him though, enjoying the rise. “Fear not, young buck. After a jab or two, she’ll leave you whole.”

He relaxed, poor fool.

I never said she’d let him live.

Friday, November 30, 2012


After discovering she was pregnant, my mother hid for a time in a brothel. Looking to understand her death, I’d ended up in the same place. The madam knew nothing of magic but told me stories I needed to hear. And taught me restraint.

When Nate recovered, I’d insist he send her a thank you card, as those lessons prevented me from jabbing him with a sharp object.

I slammed on the brakes and sat, focusing on the chirp of crickets. Waiting.

“Why the fuck would I give a witch my blood?” he spat.

That stung.

“Because I’m your brother.”


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creeping Death

by Colleen Foley

Seth's spell galled me to no end. The fact that I could do nothing really pissed me off. But I felt like six layers of crap on an already ugly wall. Even Seth's touch had hurt.

“What the hell kind of magic did this?”

He glanced at me and shrugged. "Dunno, closest I can taste of it is Voodoo, but even that's not quite right.”

“OK, Emeril. So if you can't taste it, how do we figure out what it is? It's invisible, even to you.”

“For starters.... blood test.”

“Stop the car. Right now.”


Turning Point

Eyes closed, I let the rune form in my mind, flow down my arm, and slip from my fingertips onto the lid of the wooden chest. I’d tuned out the sound of traffic and the pinging of whatever ran through the pipes. Nate’s labored breath was my focus, a wheezing metronome, winding down too fast. I finished warding the box and turned to him.

“This next part is going to suck.”

“Because it hasn’t so far?” He laughed. It devolved into a coughing fit.

“Not like this.”

“At least if you kill me, the pain will stop.”

I didn’t know if that was true, but he didn’t need my opinion on the afterlife. Or un-life, in this case. Watching my brother die would be devastating. Killing him again if he rose would be worse. And harder.

“Hey, Seth? You know what you’re doing, right?”

“Magic is my thing, remember?” I couldn’t lie to him outright, but dissembling was okay. “I’ve got this.”

“I just wanted to be sure.”

I wanted that, too, but I’d never tried to remove a zombie curse before, and the source of my lore was sketchy, at best.

“Keep looking in my eyes, okay?”

He screamed as I withdrew the knife and tossed it in the box. When I closed the lid, Nate collapsed. Black goo oozed from his wound. I packed it with ritual herbs, laid him down in the circle, covered him with sigils, and settled in to wait, machete in hand.

NOTE: This is is out of the regular story time-line, taking place some time in the future.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Highway to Hell

I had the gall to believe I could trick Nate. Most spells are invisible, protection runes notwithstanding. He shouldn’t have noticed a change. It wasn’t a cure, after all, just a quick trick to slow the rate of infection.

“What did you do to me, you son of a bitch?”

Dodge. “Took control. Get over it.”

“When you touched me, you got that smile I only see when you think you’re being clever.”

“I’m fucking brilliant, what’s your point?” Honest, vain, distracting.

“You’re up to something.”

“It’s called science. Hence, our destination.” We had a lot of road to cover.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Keys wrested from reluctant fingers, I consigned Nate to passenger. If a stasis spell occurred in the exchange, he needn’t know. It was that or listen to him pitch a fit, and we’d squabbled enough lately.

My ethics diverge from the norm. The world is not black and white, but shades of – no, not grey – yellow and green and red.

Always red.

Blood is power. I needed Nate’s…and a dark field microscope.

“University, it is.”

Engine rev muted Nate’s reaction.

I answered anyway. “To identify the illness.” And magically track its maker, but he didn’t need to know that, either.


Saturday, November 10, 2012


by Colleen Foley

Grey-green smoke wafted upwind as the crop burned.

“Smells like chamber pots in hell.” I chuckled, aimed, and fired one round at the biggest fruit still not burning. It died in a satisfying spray of tumor and tomato guts.

Seth gave me a What the shit? look and diverted me, pointing skyward. "Okay, Mr. Myopic, focus! What if it's airborne?”

I headed for the car.

“Call Jimmy from the road. We'll figure it out. C'mon, chop chop.”

“Nate, what're we doing?”

“We're gonna find whoever did this and make tomato soup out of them.”


Monday, November 05, 2012


Retrieving gloves from the car, I paused to draw protection runes. Invisible, they still crawled over my skin like ants.

When I returned, Nate was standing. Naturally. He solves problems by chambering another round – or ordering one. With no way to divert fear, he faked bravery.

“No spells,” he warned.

“This isn’t witchcraft. The flavor is wrong, corrupt.” Traumatic myopia drove me to reveal secrets I shouldn’t. “I can’t cure you.”

Red lines blossomed under his skin. “I thought tumor fruit was a myth.”

“Apparently not.”

“Then before I die, let’s torch this crop and hunt down whoever created it.”


Sunday, November 04, 2012


When they were little, he’d teased Sasha about her carrot-red hair and freckles.

Karma is such a bitch.

She leaned against the wall, auburn curls swept into knot, sweater falling over one shoulder to reveal her long neck and sinfully tempting collar bone. He wished for nothing more than to let his tongue play connect the dots with freckles he’d once maligned, while his fingers explored her fine skin.

She smiled at him as if sensing his arousal, then turned to reveal a deliciously toned ass as she stalked to the bar. Normally, he’d pursue without hesitation, but this was not his usual quarry. He took a second to think before approaching her.

It did him no good at all.

“Jason Stillwater.” Her rich voice was his undoing. “This must be kismet.”

“Welcome back, Sasha.”

“So, you remember me.”

“When we were kids…”

“…we never finished playing doctor. That’s what you mean to say, right?”

He swallowed his apology.

“No time like the present.”

She led. He followed. Mouths locked, she fumbled the door open and kicked it closed behind them.

“Now,” she said, “you’re all mine.”

For the first time in his life, Jason Stillwater was the one taken.

A bit of a change for me, topic-wise, this is an entry in Rebecca Grace Allen's Sinful Sunday challenge.

ETA: Apparently, the judge liked it! Totally shocked.

Friday, November 02, 2012


by Colleen Foley

Back on the road felt right. The farm Jimmy had sent us to looked deserted but well-kept. Perfectly normal, really. I still couldn't figure out why we were there. He'd handed us a slip of paper, told us to check out the produce, then stalked off to his library.

When Jimmy says check, we check.

Yep, row upon row of gorgeously fecund tomatoes.


Seth gagged. "Dude. That's ....”

I nodded. “ A tumor tomato.”

Lucidity slipped. I saw red. Then black. Then nothing.

"Nate? Ah, dammit!"

I regained consciousness slowly. Seth’s anxious gaze confirmed my fear. I was infected.


Thursday, November 01, 2012


When I was young, Nate protected me from others at school. He didn't know I could and would stop them. We were all damaged, so his defense was precious.

Under a blood-moon, we swore oaths of brotherhood. He meant every word – then and now – but he suffers for it.

“Seth,” he says, “you awake, lucid?”

I open my eyes, nod.

“We’re coming up on the farm. Are you with me?”

I hate that he has to ask. His mistrust grows like a tumor, but removal must wait. I tap my magic, check my gun, and follow him into the darkness.


Boiling Point

They used the water cage to keep him isolated, though it hadn’t been designed for such purpose. I’d tried to explain the flaws in their plan, but they refused to hear me. I quit soon after.

Now, I watch the flames rise, along with those who’d been blissfully unaware of David Hagen’s incendiary “gift.” That’s how he saw it, why he’d come to us for help controlling it. I’d had ideas about that, too, but they’d chosen to lock him away.

Anger increases his abilities. I probably should have mentioned that. I search my soul for remorse and find none.


Harsh words slap like hands, flat and callous, incomprehensible.

“A ritual,” he explains.

He smiles, like when we first met, just days before my life changed. He’d stuck with me, even so.

“This is a sacred place.”

I stare at wood-slat walls, decorated with leather harnesses and ancient harvest blades.

“My family farm,” he supplies, as if that might increase my appreciation.

“My life’s work, to restore it.”

I’m barely lucid, as usual. “I’m not able help you.”

“Lindsey, your body is riddled with tumors. Here, at least, your gin-soaked blood will do some good. One last sacrifice. For love.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mote to Beam

Sitting atop a mountain, I caught the whisper of a Word.

My brothers had mocked me when I suggested we Listen. They were drunk with love, and none could blame them. Certainly not I. We’d been denied simple pleasures – any pleasures, really – for our whole existence.

He must have Seen this.  Either He had reason for allowing us to carry on, or He simply got distracted. With the whole of time and space laid out before Him like a jigsaw puzzle, one can hardly fault Him for missing a detail or two. I was counting on it.

Interesting trick, subterfuge: alien to us, but inherent in the creatures we were given to watch over. I’m certain we were not meant to watch them quite so closely, but perhaps that, too, was Ordained.  He is both crafty and subtle.

I was neither. Not before the Word.  With dreadful understanding, I descended to the valley.

“Bring me the daughters.” A simple Command, immediately obeyed.

Without explanation, I led the girls away. Humans could not stop me. My brothers cared not. They had their precious boys – rowdy giants wreaking havoc for amusement.

I’d been Blessed with daughters.

I led the girls to where Lucifer slept in peace, where he sleeps to this day, and left them there, safe and sound, until the Flood had passed, and the sons begat by Angels had perished from the Earth. The Word had said nothing about daughters.

Nephilim yet live.

That’s what He gets for overlooking girls.

 Note: This is background for my current novel project.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Ronald’s words reach me over the beeping traffic. “Julius isn’t naked.”

No, of course not. He’s right there next to me in the car, telling me my taste in music sucks and laughing when I deny it. He’s turning off Bad Company and plugging in his iPhone. I’m hit with screeching garage death metal from hell… so loud and terrible it makes me dizzy, nauseated. He screams along.

“They spied every Dane.” Ronald makes no sense, shouldn’t be there. He’s at work.

Like a game of telephone reversed, I finally hear the truth.

Julius didn’t make it.
They tried everything.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I climb in next to her, warm, welcome. Her hands paint pictures on my skin, symbols on symbols, a landscape of waiting, stretching time and sense and patience until it threatens to break. 

Until I threaten to break. 

She likes me thus, desperate, hungry. Her eyes seem to glow in the darkness, another of her seemings, bodies steaming up the windows, until I forget that I was ever cold, ever lonely, ever wandering the world in search of something.

In search of her. 

Once upon a time. That’s how the stories begin. Isn’t it? I can’t remember. The world has shrunk to this place, this woman who holds me captive, holds me still, holds me off, asking with her silence for me to scream defiance, beg forgiveness, ache, ache, ache with wanting. She keeps me waiting, keeps me sound, keeps me ready, always ready. 

Until I understand war. 

She is armored in amour as she dances just out of reach. I advance, steady, predictable. A front. Inside, I am wild, angry, willing to rend and shatter beauty. Willing to plunder, to plow furrows in paradise until it yields to the thunder of my need. I take, at last I take, and it is all I ever craved, all I require. I claim this place, this world, this woman.

But it's not enough.

In the satiated dark comes the whisper of a whisper of the thing I’d sought, the thing I could no longer have.  I remember freedom…and despair.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


When I hit the lottery, mother bought me a silvery outfit. “So you can look pretty when you go to your new life.”

The newspaper took a picture of me with a pumpkin, the only other thing our village is known for.

The rumble that preceded the Dragons was met with a cheer. They swooped in, all leather and metal and the smell of death.

I swallowed bile and went to them.

The Elder greeted me with a toothy leer. “Mount up, cherry.”

I got on the bike, knowing my ruin would keep the people safe for another year.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Uncle Jim called The Monastery – an impressive compound indicative of the Priest family’s sense of humor. They’re neither celibate nor religious. Father Mark would consider truce if Jim returned the car, armaments included.

We pretended détente was possible while sabotaging their equipment.

“So, am I on my own?” I asked.

Nate’s jaw clenched, released. “Best keep you close.”

I went to lay wards on his car, before my magic found its own way out.

Nate approached, weapon raised.

Spells still glowing, I froze.

He flipped the gun around and handed it to me. “Time to get out of Dodge.”


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Morning Becomes

I look down on the city, a maze of lights in motion muted by the rain. Behind me, people who mean well murmur platitudes no one believes.

“We’re so sorry.”

“He was a good man.”

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

They’re speaking to soothe themselves, for all that they claim to be here for me. Lies cannot mend what has been shattered. Untruth wraps around me like my widow’s weeds, tight, strangling. Comforting.

“At least he left her enough to live well.” That whispered where I should not be able to hear.

He did not leave willingly. Every last breath was a struggle to survive, to return to the world we’d built together, this castle on the hill. No matter that it’s a penthouse apartment, it is every inch a fortress, impenetrable – or so he’d thought.

Display cases are filled with mementos from our travels, each one a small torture of memory. The art on the walls creates a study in restraint. Everyone remarked on my keen eye for décor, but it was all Sidney’s doing. He never did like to take credit for his work.

Nor did he wish to be given credit for what grew inside me, but it was all his, and I was not giving it up. He should have realized that before attempting to kill me. Not even Sidney could unmake what he’d made of me.

I suck the last bit of dried blood from the crevice of my fingernail and turn to accept condolences.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What Passes for Normal

I hip-checked Nate just to watch him flinch. “A cipher key is mental.”

“Like you.” His retort felt right, familiar.

Jim hooted like a drunken owl. “There’s the brothers I know.”

“My father must have left word for the Priests, in case he met with a bad end.”

“Is that what you are?” Nate asked.

I shrugged. “You’ve banked on that for years.”

“Now it’s painted a target on my back.”

Jim snorted. “You fight like old women. I’ll tell the Priests you’re not what they heard.”

“But I am.”

“For once in your life, Seth, shut the hell up.”


Tuesday, October 09, 2012


“Paltry paltering’s pointless.” Demon tongue twisted like her tattoo vines. “I’ll not suffer a liar.”

“The offer was fair,” I protested.

“Until you slide that sticker ‘twixt my ribs. I’m no fool.”

“If I meant to kill you, I’d have done already.”

“And I’d have done you for less than a promise, but I know what you are. Witches usually come begging. Not you.”

“Magic born, but I still need information.”

“A kiss for payment.”

“My soul?”

“Yours, if you can keep it.”

Swirling tongue warmed my blood.

“I know what hunts you,” she whispered.

The knowledge chilled my marrow.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Crossing the Line

Baron croons my name like a death-omen owl, like destiny, fate. If I go, he’ll talk sweet, hands roaming – neck, elbow, hip, thigh – the cycle of lust and damnation. My heart pounds, and I know it’s in time with his.

“Go away,” I pray.

Not gonna happen, sugar. He’s inside my head, in heated blood swirling low, insistent.

“I can’t.”

Already did, then did again. You mine.

Denial bursts loud from my lips.

Momma looks up. “No what, honey?”

“Nothing. I’m confused.”

“A walk might help. Go on now.”

I close the door behind me and step out into forever.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


“How could you allow this to happen?” she shrieked.

I flicked imaginary lint from my suit. “The girl was on the guest list, madam. We could hardly have barred her entry.”

“Find someone to fire for it.”

 “Of course.”

The rich are cavalier with other people’s lives and oh so distraught when there’s a tiny irritation in their own. Sometimes, I wonder why I bother with them at all. Then I remember that they throw the most fabulous parties. I admit to my weaknesses, although never in public.

 “Will there be anything else? I’d like to send my crew home.” They’d been reliable all evening, but they were tired. If I didn’t let them off soon, they’d turn into beasts.

 “She had to have help. That child could hardly have orchestrated such a complex scheme on her own, much less procured the necessary trappings to pull it off. She utterly ruined the evening. I want you and your people to ferret out how.”

“And what are we to do when we find the ones that did this?”

“Bring them to me. Don’t bother to tell our hosts. This is a family matter. My daughter deserves the future we have planned. I will give that little interloper the punishment she deserves. Anyone who helped her gets the same or worse.”

“Yes, madam.”

 As she swooped down the hall, I flicked my fingers. Her corset lacings burst, followed by a terrible screech as her gown gave out.

I smiled and went to tell Cinder the gig was up.

Door #2

By Colleen Foley

I looked from Jim to Seth and back again, angry and trying to process.

I could still see that thing on Seth’s now-covered hip. It would become one of those things you can never un-see. Like a train wreck.

Deciding felt like a balloon of resigned determination bursting in my gut.

I still wanted to shoot them both. But I knew now that I couldn’t. Shit.

I downed the shot, slammed the glass onto the table, and looked hard at my brother.

Jim looked up, a startled owl, alert to danger.

“Where’s the key? And what’s hunting us?”


Tuesday, October 02, 2012


“Such a forlorn place! And enormous! Won’t it make you remember…” Her mother’s casual cruelty subsided only when manners dictated.

It was ever thus.

“I like remembering.  Devin loves… loved the woods.” So hard to recall the proper things to say.

“Sasha, please, come home.”

The name had never fit.

“This is where I belong now. The air tastes right. The city holds no appeal.”

“Call when you change your mind.”

As the sound of the boat engine faded, Devin slunk around the barn.

She opened the door to the other wolves and went to make a cup of tea.


Disaster thwarted, I set the book before Uncle Jim. He swooped, an owl snatching up knowledge-prey. “Language?”

“Romanian cipher. I’ll provide the key.”

He pointed to a sunburst symbol. “Ain’t seen that before.”

I unzipped, revealing it’s like, magic-branded on my hip. “It represents me, the First of Many.”

Jim whistled. “Fuck.”

“Probably a bad idea,” I drawled.

“Explain.” Nate had traded gun for scowl.

“Prophecy says my great-grandson will ‘break the world’.”

“Then don’t breed.”

I didn’t need Nate’s warning, but he needed mine. “We’re already being hunted.”


“Unless you’ve forsaken me.”


Magic built, awaiting his answer.


Thursday, September 27, 2012


by Colleen Foley

Jimmy stared gape-mouthed at the Peter Rabbit cookie jar languishing in shards on the counter. He’d picked it up somewhere when we were kids. We’d loved that thing. It had helped us believe that monsters couldn’t destroy all the good in the world, in us. And I’d killed it, as my faith had been killed.

Noises behind made me turn, gun ready. Seth, hands raised and empty. I wanted to fire. One shot to blast away the symbol of his betrayal in a wash of blood and bone. Futile.

I clamped my eyes shut, lowered the gun, trusting in surrender.


Friday, September 21, 2012


Habit drew me to close Nate’s car window against coming rain. Inescapable fate revealed the book.

Red symbols writhed under gold-leaf, invisible to most, irresistible to me. Hand clamped on the leather spine, I fell into prayer. The answer slid through my wound, blood-ready, stirring long languished memory.

Down and down and down the rabbit hole, I followed the thread of knowledge lost, desperate to be found.

Gunshots wrenched me back. I shoved the book into my jacket and raced through Jimmy’s door.

Nate spun on me, shocked but gun-steady.

I raised my empty hands, trusting my life to surrender.



by Colleen Foley

I knew Jimmy had a cocked shotgun aimed at me under the table. I had no intention of shooting him. But he was going to pay penance for his sin of omission.

“What now, boy? Battle of wills? Mexican standoff, hunter style?”

Neither of us moved.

“Answer me, Jimmy. How long you been pullin’ the wool over my eyes about Seth? How long have you known my brother’s a damned witch?”

He glanced out the kitchen window, sighed, and whispered, “From the get go.”

My shot rang thunder through the tiny kitchen. On the counter, his favorite cookie jar exploded.



I called Uncle Jim. He didn’t answer.

The hunter’s car was fully stocked, not as well as ours – Nate’s now – but good enough for the battle I hoped to avoid. Reason had worked previously, but Nate’s eyes were covered by rage-colored wool. I’d seen him kill more calmly. He’s every monster’s nightmare.

So am I.

My palm itched, magic returning, pressing, eager. I resisted. If I used spell-craft against Nate, my penance would be a bullet. He’d take the head shot.

I parked before the bend in the drive and, heavily armed, crept forward.

No sound came from the house.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rest. Stop.

Stiff from riding, I stopped at a scenic overlook. Trees surrounded a deep gorge, running water a faint echo below. Clouds formed a mini-eclipse, only the outline of the full moon discernible.

Graveled footsteps prompted my turn. A man, his fist wrapped with rosary beads, cross dangling, muffed a punch while mouthing a useless exorcism. I knew his family.

“Not demon.” My fist connected. “Don’t make me hurt you.”

He drew a blade, probably dipped in holy water.

I sighed at necessity.

I left his unconscious body at the edge, hoping he’d roll over. But first, I took his keys.


Thou Shalt Not Lie

by Colleen Foley

I’d driven all night, breaking every speed limit for three states to arrive early. I felt as if I’d been chasing the carrot you dangle in front of racehorses.

It wasn’t what Jimmy had said – “That dumbass!”– it was the tone. Like he’d known.

I walked into Jimmy’s kitchen, stiff and aching from the drive. He was at the table, two shots of Jack already poured. He looked like fresh brewed hell. One glance cinched it, and rage geysered up my spine, threatening to eclipse me.

I ignored the liquor and aimed my gun at him.

“How damned long, Jimmy?”



Angus come across the moor, his stravaging done for the nonce.  Scandal gamboled to and fro, plumed tail waving like a flag – not surrender white  but sinful black. None kenned where the beast come frae. One Sunday, it was there by Angus’ bed, and he ne’er went to church again. He got taller, broader, too fast, and too fair for his own good, much less the lasses’. 

Mayhap his wandering takes him to other villages, where the women don’t know his wickedness – until they do. We keep our girls safe as best we can and pray someday he’ll move on.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Parade Rest

They rode in, prideful over havoc wreaked, saddles creaking, stiff. Weren’t the only thing needed a good rubbing. They called for any who’d polish their posts for a coin.

If 'twere only immoral, some might have gone. But money’s not so dear we’d risk touching those men. We kept our hands behind our backs, careful, smart.

Most of us did.

Sarah’s youngest stepped out, offering. The Night slid down and took her on his shield where we could watch her writhe… and wither.  He put the coin on her forehead, payment for sin, and left her mam to clean up.

Turn pike

Milepost numbers increased as I rode north on a bike I’d stolen from a kid too drunk to have survived the ride home. He’d consider me an immoral asshole who’d taken his substitute girlfriend. It was that kind of douche-rocket.

He might not be my blood, but I had to shield Uncle Jim from the worst of the fallout.

My palm throbbed as I cataloged the many ways Nate tries to cripple me. I always take the hit. My inevitable recovery infuriates him, but serves its purpose. He’s almost used to it.

Someday, he’s going to beg for my magic.


Friday, August 24, 2012


Hands shaking, I grasped my medicine bag. I’d have to ration pills until I recovered. Nate’s kit consists only of booze. He flatters himself by believing he’s not an alcoholic. After our fight, I shouldn’t have worried about his safety, but I always do.

A mirror showed the red lump and something much worse. My eyes, normally brown, were squid-ink black.

I fumbled with my phone.

Uncle Jim answered on the first ring. “He knows.”

“Not enough. We should finish the story for him.”

“Come on home, boy.”

“Is that wise?”

“Hell no, but I’m not facing his wrath alone.”


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just a Shot in the Dark

by Colleen Foley

“Yeah?” Jimmy’s voice on the phone and the throaty growl of my car’s engine soothed me.

“Listen, I’m on my way to you. Seth’s gone totally Witches of Eastwick on me. Complete with carving some crazy swag shaped symbol into his palm and this weird-ass book I can’t read. I need help.”

“That dumbass! What d’ya wanna do?”

“Convert him back. Burn him alive. Don’t know. I need answers.”

*sigh*  “When you gettin’ here?”

“Tomorrow noon.”

“Nate, where’s your brother?”

“Out cold on the hotel room floor. He had a little…mishap.”

I hung up and gunned the engine harder.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Truth or Dare

“I’m not Satan’s convert. Witchcraft’s my birthright.”

“And this?” Nate grabbed the book. “Just a little murder swag?”

“For him. That’s my mother’s.”

“Did you kill him for it?”

“No.” Truth

“But he is dead.”

“A mishap…” Truth

He pressed on my wound. “Looks intentional.”

I hissed. “She taught me the sigil to protect myself from him. I didn’t know.”

“There are no male witches, so how can you be one?”

“I don’t know.” Lie

“Damned shame.”

I should have realized what would happen. When I recovered from the blow to my head, Nate was gone. So was the book.


Thursday, August 16, 2012


She lay beneath me, eyes wide, lips parted, body bathed in milk blue light, and I thought I would never drink my fill of her.  We’d had hours uninterrupted. True to form, we’d spent most of it – but not the better part – discussing legends. She’d harvested some plants and sown others.

“It must be a full moon or this is in vain.” Her long hair did not quite hide her smile. “I once thought it was superstition, but I’ve come to give it credence.”

“So, do they fail to sprout if the timing is wrong?” I’d taken enough biology to know that wasn’t true.

“No, but they aren’t strong. Sometimes, they’re stunted or twisted, or they don’t yield what you expect of them. Mostly, they just die. Considering how much work it takes, I want to be careful about the inception. So much is riding on this.”

“They’re just seeds. You can always get more, try again.”

She shook her head. “No, these are different. Special. I’ll never get their like.”  She dusted off her hands and led me inside.

Looking back, I realize I’d heard what I wanted to, what she’d wanted me to: inception instead of conception. Considering what I am, you’d think I’d have recognized the spell that cloaked her intention. She’d taken what she needed and now, somewhere out there in the world, I had a son – the second male witch ever born.

If my brother found out, he’d kill the child on principle.

Note: This is jumping way, way ahead in Seth's story. 


by Colleen Foley

I’d feigned sleep while Seth had disabled my gun, then pretended surprise when I’d fired at him after he told me what I’d already guessed at and not wanted to face.

He’d blathered about genetics and vaccines, as if he thought I’d actually care.

The iron knife bit into his right shoulder, above the collar bone, exactly where I wanted it. I watched Seth bleed for a moment, his eyes fluttering as the sedative on the blade worked.

“Now, we’re going to address this. And you will not lie to me. Or I will put you in the ground myself.”


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Nate awoke with a hiss. Healed or not, his body knew it had suffered traumatic injury. He grabbed his gun, pointed it at me, then frowned.

“I took the clip and emptied the chamber, so we can address matters without you shooting me.”

“What the hell are you?”

I handed him a bottle of whiskey and a glass of water. He ignored the latter.

“Your brother, or so we swore.”

“That was before,” he ground out.

“Being a witch is genetic. There’s no cure, no vaccine.”

He ignored the latter. “Oh, there’s a cure.”

The knife struck true and deep.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Changing Lanes

by Colleen Foley

Light spears into my eyes in a slow rhythm, synchronized with the pounding in my head. It’s streetlights, flickering past as Seth drives back to the hotel. I shift in the seat, groaning.

“You all right? Nate?”

To hunters, the notion of seeing a goblin is as fantastic as sighting a unicorn. Of all the evil things ever imagined, they’re one that really doesn’t exist – so far as we know. Looking at Seth, and recalling the thing that was like nothing I’ve ever seen, goblin is the only word that comes to mind.

I close my eyes and keep silent.


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Calm Before

Neon signs flickered as I carried Nate to the hotel.  He’s heavy with muscle created by internalized anger, sinews strengthened with resolve. Having it turned on me wasn’t new, but the look with which he’d speared me marked me as goblin, a monster to be hunted.

A smart man would have left him behind. As his brother, I couldn’t.

I’d ensured no one would find the thing that claimed parentage of me. The symbol I’d cut into my palm would not heal, my magic tapped.  When Nate woke, he’d see it and finish me.

I could almost welcome the bullet.


Friday, August 03, 2012


I fingered tiny rubies on the hem. She’d worn the gown when the world was new, full of hope and faith.  They’d dribbled water on her downy hair, and she’d cried just enough to solicit reassurance.

I’d wanted to pass on the christening outfit, to hold her baby and tell her he was beautiful when no baby really is. I’d wanted her to leave the beast who replaced her joy with fear.

I placed the gown across her stomach – distended,  still – and turned away.

Ritual blood graced the edge of my knife as I set out to kill the wolf.


They have been drinking all night, nine girls in various stages of distress and undress. None of the men in the bar question why their hands stay glued to steins of ale. Warriors and poets both take ill to being controlled, despite frequent pleas to the gods for some sort of succor.  Even in this age, they struggle against destiny whilst asking for guidance. Instead, I send them women who can be touched without too much danger. The nine are to be kept apart, for now, at least.

“I wanna be a Valkyrie!” slurs a solid brunette. She engages in athletics, not having learned the joy of combat. I would take her as my sister, but we cannot harbor such anger as she holds.

“You want to sort through the souls of dying soldiers, so you can carry them to Valhalla, where they can feast and ignore the fact that their gods put them on the battlefield to begin with?” The blonde frowns as knowledge from some long-forgotten classroom comes unbidden.  “Do you suppose that comes with dental?”

“What?” The brunette has moved on in what passes for thought process. “I meant for the costume party.”

“Never mind.” The blonde’s thoughts go to a boy she’d hoped to love, before he donned armor and marched out. If he is worthy – and slightly unlucky – his can be the first soul she takes up.

When I call to her, she passes out of her old life without fear. The chosen always know.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Staring down, Nate twisted at my feet, I saw a lifetime of promises – to protect each other, fight hard, be real brothers, blood be damned. Mine was.

“If he’s dead, so are you.”

“He cannot know your secret. Your power wants out. You must learn.”

“From you? Not happening.”

My father produced a book, covered in familiar symbols. “I will show you.”

“I can read.” My nails dug half-moon cuts in my palms, a trickle of crimson dripping to land on Nate’s ginger-touched hair. “Blood of my blood.”

I calmly watched my father choke to death on what we shared.


Thursday, July 12, 2012


by Colleen M. Foley

“Even monsters have protégés, boy. Sometimes, they even look human. We kill them, too.” That’s what Jim used to tell me.

“Don’t!” I glared up at Seth as he placed his hand gently on my head. It was a formal gesture. A decision made.

The hot rock of pain in my gut eased, and I stopped spewing blood onto the feet of the thing that looked so human.

I reached for my gun again, raised it slowly, deciding. God help me, he looks human.

I pointed the gun at my brother.

The thing chuckled softly, and then everything went black.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


“Seth Boudreaux.” The words were formal, weighted.

Compulsion failed. “That’s not my name, True or otherwise.”

“Clever. Your mother was my finest protégé.”

“She’s dead.” I didn’t admit culpability.

The thing flicked its fingers and ripped open Nate’s chest. “I could pluck his heart like a cherry pit.”

I slapped my hand over the wound, healing it.

“Don’t DO that!” Nate rocked back, pulled his gun, and shot the monster.

I might have been next, but the thing rose. “You will listen, boy, or you will mourn.”

Nate fell, vomiting blood. “Don’t,” he rasped.

But he knew I had to.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Same dream, every time. His mother in priestess whites walked down the alley, chanting simple protections, building toward something grander, stepping into the circle he’d chalked under her guidance.  His first ritual started well.

In moments, evil things would come, rend the white gown red, leave her empty-eyed and soulless, no hint of his mother remaining in the still form. They’d leave him be.

He called them bandersnatches, because in all his years hunting monsters, he’d never figured out what they were. So he let the dream play, not controlling it, searching for the knowledge that would permit his vengeance.

Friday, July 06, 2012


At a quaint little pension in the south of France
the prince of midnight came to dance.
Thin and tall, with eyes pure black,
he waltzed the fine young ladies back
into a room with curtains drawn
bewitching them with siren song
of money and status, fame and prestige.
Not a one of them noticed, down on their knees,
the sickly sweet smell that clung to his skin
or the roiling darkness he stirred within,
nor tell-tale plop from the slow drip of blood
that came from the ceiling, tacky above
with the corpses of those 
he would take below.

Written for the Friday Prediction challenge found here.  I encourage joining the fray or just reading the lovely, dark offerings. At 100 words each, they're like candy. Scary candy.