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.