Friday, May 31, 2013


My fingers flew over the keyboard, creating entire worlds with complex code. Matthew looked over my shoulder, eyes flicking rapidly, as he, too, saw the scenarios.

"I can't believe Sasha gave you this cherry assignment."

I shrugged, not bothering to look him in the eye. Or, more accurately, not daring. His blond hair fell over one eye, and no amount of finger-raking would ever keep it in place. Didn’t stop him, though. He leaned closer, giving me a whiff of bergamot, amber, and something sharp I couldn’t identify. The mixture was an intoxicating addition to an already irresistible package… Yeah, not thinking about the package at all. Code. That was what I needed. More and more code.

“Hold on,” he said. His voice vibrated, setting of a series of shivers I prayed he didn’t notice.

My hands stilled. “Did I screw up?”

“No, not exactly. In fact, I think you just did something brilliant.”

My heart beat faster. Matthew did not praise lightly.

“Jax, come look at this.”

“Working!” Jax snarled. He was ever so pretty, but a complete troll.

“Yeah, well, stop for a second. You need to see what Mickey’s done.”

With heavy sigh, Jax rolled his chair next to mine. For a fraction of a second, his eyes widened. “Okay, I’ve seen. No big.”

Matthew chuckled. “You’re just jealous. That, right there? That’s bank.” Without warning, he kissed me on the cheek. “I’m off to tell Sasha her wonder girl just changed the face of gaming.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


By Colleen Foley

Son of a bitch,” I growled for the eighth time, choking the wheel, dim-sighted with frustration. “The suburbs?”

Seth nodded again. He’d huddled close to the car door - probably so I couldn’t punch him - and tried not to smirk as he told me.

“I’ve been looking forward to killing monsters, bathed in the beautiful, antiquated stink of swamp and kudzu, to watching funeral parades and visiting a real brothel. I’ve been day dreaming about blood-soaked revenge and gumbo at Johnny’s. I’ve been humming The Vampire Song for fuck’s sake!"

“Hate it for ya, Nate. Voodoo-slinging assclown is toast.”


Monday, May 27, 2013

This Modern World

Once upon a time, monsters huddled in abandoned houses, mental institutes, or subway tunnels. Further back, you’d find them in decrepit manor houses staffed by dim-sighted lackeys. Readers of Victorian horror had no idea how close to the truth those writers tread.

Nate seemed genuinely excited to be heading for Louisiana and the storied streets and alleys of New Orleans. He even conceded he might try a brothel again. I didn’t know how to tell him we weren’t going to some antiquated plantation. Instead of hanging out swamp-side, our voodoo priest had settled in the scariest place possible… the suburbs.


Thursday, May 23, 2013


Our jockeys wear white.
Theirs dress all in black.
Ours ride without heads.
Theirs hands lack.
‘Round they go on proscribed track,
desperate for place and position.

Your jockeys wear black.
Ours shine in white.
Ours ride disarmed.
Yours lack for sight.
In mud and blood
they slog and fight,
with neither side prevailing.

From My perch in the stands
I see them all –
the headless, the handless,
the inevitable Fall.
With gashes and trickles
and foam-flecked mounts,
bursts and spurts,
yet never a doubt
that they are Chosen,
the others be Damned.

Eternal strife courts the fall of Man.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Uncomfortable Truths

Vision swimming, I gave Nate the confirmation he sought, if not reassurance. There was no solace in what we had to do – or what I’d discovered. The hive had come close to disarming the protections around Nate’s infection.  Keeping him whole had meant showing them what I could do.

Magic used to come in spurts, unreliable. Now, it rode me like a feral jockey, whipping for more. Good thing Nate wasn’t inside my head, because my father was right. I needed to learn how to harness my power.

In the meantime, Nate and I had a voodoo priest to kill.


I Wanna Be Sedated

By Colleen Foley

I fought to give Seth free range while the hive jockeyed to defend itself from the violation. Felt like razor blades and spurting lemon juice on my brain.

I came to, sweaty and quivering. Think sex is intimate? It’s nothing compared to having every barrier you’ve ever built violently disarmed, from inside your head.

There are things you don’t tell anyone. Things you don’t want to know about anyone. Ever.

And now he knew all of them.

“Tell me you got it.”

He nodded, eyes haunted by more than the hive.

“Jesus. You two look like hammered crap,” Jimmy groaned.


Thursday, May 16, 2013


“Is there something wrong?” 

I ticked off salient points. “We’re in Las Vegas, which in and of itself was an abominable decision. You hit on possibly the only woman in the bar who shouldn’t go anywhere with you, much less to your room for a quickie. Which you did after losing your part of the travel fund attempting to impress her.”

He interrupted. “She has a name.”

I opened my arms. “Look at all the fucks I don’t give. Why? Because you didn’t check to see if her name came with a ‘missus’ in front of it before you played tonsil hockey by the elevators!”

“She wasn’t wearing a ring.” A weak protest, best ignored.

“No, she was dripping with diamonds, including sewn into her goddamned dress. Was that not a clue?”

“Sexist of you. She could have bought those herself.”

I snorted. “Women are generally smart enough to invest their money elsewhere, because they know how to show themselves off with more class and less danger. Jewels are bought by their very well-connected husbands, should they be lucky enough – or un – to have such.”

“You’re just jealous.”

I took a deep breath.
Didn’t help.
Slightly better.
I let it out slowly.

“No, you fucking moron. I’m pissed off that you put me in this situation.”

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

And that, officer, is why I shot my brother in the ass.  I did not, however, shoot the guy in the bathtub. I just borrowed his gun.

Written for the Thursday Threads challenge. Check out the other entries, too!

ETA: And it won!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Letting go of myself was easy; I’d never been too attached. Harder was exploring Nate’s labyrinthine mind. Stronger wards than spells could craft kept modesty at bay – both his and mine – protecting his true nature from our world. And vice versa.

Constant salvos left us trembling, blasts of confusion, anger, fear, and hatred. If he’d been a stranger I would have been expelled, perhaps crippled. The hive functioned as a whole but couldn’t feel or think like individual humans. Magic alone can’t overcome bone-deep love.

Magic and a red-hot spike? That works.

I got what I needed. As did they.


Back in the Ring

By Colleen Foley

Seth’s “Not now!” fell on intentionally deaf ears.

I’d been out of joint since the opening salvo of this mess. Being splattered with carcinogenic tomato guts will do that to a guy. But the familiar, dysfunctional domesticity of whiskey in Jimmy’s kitchen, had finally snapped me back to…me.

All honesty, I’m not a modest guy and I wanted nothing more than to dive my over-confident, evil-smiting self ,right into this “crawl inside your head” challenge Seth had presented. Right now.

My grin widened further. I slammed back a final shot and nodded.

"Bring it, little brother. Let’s get’er done."


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Slap Shot

“Should I leave you two alone?” Uncle Jim lacked Nate’s slur.

I doubt I’ll get to Heaven, but if I do, those two will join me at the bar.

I ignored Jim’s asinine comment, addressing Nate. “How much’ve you had to drink?”

“How much do I need to?” Nate shot back.

“Enough, then.” I released my held breath, whiskey-pungent. “Short version is I need to crawl inside your head, like I did to that thing in the cave… hole… place.”

Jim snorted. “I definitely need to leave before that.”

“Not now!” I protested.

Nate grinned. “Oh yeah. It’s on.”


Another Round

By Colleen Foley

I’d forced Seth’s hand on the demon question. I’d thought the idea asinine, but the way things had been going, I needed him to say it. The kid was weird. Asked a direct question, he’d prevaricate if he felt the need, but he’d never initiate a lie.

Jimmy’s kitchen was pungent with the scent of whiskey and herbs, both magical and protective. The head of the Peter Rabbit cookie jar I’d blasted to heaven still sat on the counter, a guilty reminder of how far off the reservation I’d been.

“So, I’m a road map. How you gonna… read me?”


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Dining In?

The waitress,
duotone hair, lavender eye-shadow,
sat us by
a Mexican family,
grim, save children
playing pat-a-cake, unaware.

Unusually tall,
a Black man apologized
to his lady,
bleach-dead locks, tan face-paint,
for asinine remarks
overheard by a corpulent couple
whose skin no longer fit.

Hannah and I,
road-weary, bemused
by disco soundtrack
and “new” items –
avocado garnish, iced coffee –
attempted to read recent tattoos
on each staff member’s forearms
and failed, unfocused.

Sensing hostility,
Hannah begged to leave.
a pungent smoker
with skeletal grin,
sent us scurrying.

Quick search
reveals the Heavenly Café
never reopened
after mass-murder
in 1978.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Family Ties

“If the thing claiming to have spawned me is alive, then he probably activated a network to bring me in.”

“Or down.” Trust Uncle Jim to cover the even more negative aspect.

Nate nodded. “Explains Carlos. Interesting connections.”

I waited for Nate to ask the taboo question, the one that might sever our ties. He stared at me, refusing, forcing me to speak first.

“No, I am not part demon.”

Jim snorted. “No shit. You wouldn’t have made it past the driveway.”

True. His warding is complex and enormous. Challenging. Someday I’ll ask what he did for such an endowment. Or not.