Friday, June 28, 2013

Turning the Tables

Nate slipped my knife free, then sheathed it in my side.

Voice low, a distortion of intimacy, “Your new skin’s untarnished. Wanted to be first to pollute you.”

He winked, then sprinted from the room, no longer bespelled. Implausibly, the priest’s snide comment had freed Nate. As proven, he’d rather stab me than appear submissive.

Lifeblood mingling with that of the dead, I recognized his genius. Untrammeled by conscience, my magic inflamed the sigils.

A man’s scream choked off. Nate dragged him down the stairs. Fading, I saw the truth. The practitioner was Hounsi, no Voudoun priest, just half-trained boy.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Master and Servant

I wove a makeshift hobble on Nate’s legs, then moved to his wrists.

“I heard you two were… close, but didn’t expect the bondage thing. So, Nate’s your submissive? Interesting.” Either the big, bad, voodoo priest was a teenager, or he was using distortion to mask his voice.

Blood from the hive suffused the sigils I’d drawn. I pulled the threads that should lead back to their maker and end him.

“Funny how one kind of magic trammels another.” His voice was everywhere. “If you’d studied like your daddy wanted, you might have lived.”

Nate lunged. Grinning. Lost to me.


Hate Me

By Colleen Foley

Magic long spent, I butchered everything. Bastard had turned his dog, a once- proud and beautiful husky. The one thing I destroyed without joy. I felt like a self-contained distortion of reality-an implausible amalgam of strength, abandon, and blood-lust. It disgusted me even as I reveled in it.

When there was nothing left moving, I turned to Seth, grinning.

“And now brother, your turn.”

He raised his hands to cast, and I nodded assent.

“Trammel me if you have to. Then find him and kill him. Please.

I dropped my head, closed my eyes, and surrendered to my brother.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Novice Aloft

Massey held the trammel. Gunnerson slid the pin into place. Seemed implausible one tiny piece could make such a difference. The machine roared back to life, steam pouring from her. We stabilized, then lifted.

Miss Willa gazed at clouds, knowing she’d get no thanks for recognizing the problem before we fell from the sky. Folks don’t care for witches.

“Distortion’s coming.” She said it nonchalantly, but grabbed a handle.

Silver creatures swam inside the energy wave, invisible to all but me and Miss Willa. Untrained, I did what I could to help her deflect them, praying she’d keep my secret.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wrack and Ruin

The dead were too numerous to count. They wore khakis, polka-dot dresses, button-down shirts with ties askew. No wonder the street had been empty. A boy no more than fourteen, skin marbled like French cheese, lunged for me. I rebuffed him with a flick, then severed his spinal cord, so he could not rise again. Magic swelled with my anger at so many ordinary lives disrupted, now ended.

Ahead, Nate continued the carnage, long out of magic. None of the scenarios I’d invented in my head came close to his blood-drenched glee.

He turned, dripping. “And now, brother, your turn.”


Sunday, June 16, 2013

True Colors

Numerous wards on the house triggered. We’d been expected. Nate ran into the fray, leaving a trail of gore and corpses, some still twitching. He’d always been careful, methodical, shrewd. If not for glimpses into the dark corner of his mind, I’d think his rampage meant the hive had won. But they hadn’t invented his rage, merely unleashed it.

I touched everything as I passed – blood and bone, wood and stone – tasting the magic of destruction, painting a counter-curse, the worst sort of spell. Good thing Nate was swelled with blood lust and wouldn’t see me at my most monstrous.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Knife in the Dark

By Colleen Foley

Voodoo boy had left the tools of his crafty trade all over. I had no compunction about using them. I snatched up a knife on my way through the kitchen, and drove it into the neck of the first guardian I met. My marks flared, screamed power and pain as its head imploded, then faded again.

Not the knife, then. The magic was in me. Seth had combined both malefaction and faltering wards to give me magical hand grenades. With our luck, this wouldn’t last long. In the meantime, I grinned like a mad man with no comprehension of defeat.


Fire in the Hole

Unable to stave off the zombie hive’s attack on my wards, I wove surprises into knots, then cut the flow, leaving Nate flying solo.

The ranch reeked of power, glowed with spells. I siphoned off the malefaction of magic and bundled it with my own. I’d deciphered parts of the journal, cobbling information, incantation, and indignation into something new. The result might not be enough to defeat him, but it was nothing the crafty priest had seen when I’d invaded Nate’s head.

Now, if only we could avoid a Pyrrhic victory.

My scars blazed white-hot as Nate did the same.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On Point

By Colleen Foley

Like sonar pings, I was drawn in precisely the right directions. We ended in a cul-de-sac, facing a sprawling ranch-style monstrosity. All perfectly normal, just like that farm. But I could feel it; the creeping malefaction beneath the surface. I could feel them. Us.

“Turn on your witch-crafty mojo, kid. Turn it on big. Now.”

He gave me a mildly offended sideways glance.

I pointed at my chest. “I’m too close. Your wards are being defeated.”

I cocked my shotgun and moved, voicing a last coherent thought.

“Seth. If we don’t beat this thing, you can’t let me live.”


Monday, June 10, 2013

Born Again

My appetite’s been out of control forever. Food, drugs, sex – I craved it. The last malefaction paid for the others. Drugs defeated damage done by food binges. Looking at me, you wouldn’t have known I was hollow, empty space waiting to be filled.

He understood. “You’re a bundle of addiction, but I’ve got something better.”


“Murder.” Such evil from an angel’s mouth.

Damned if he wasn’t right. I know the crafty fucker is using me, but it gratifies in ways the drugs never did. When I figure out his endgame, Heaven’s fallen moves to the top of my list.


Thursday, June 06, 2013


“You should not go. Silas is not to be trusted.” Despite her assertions, Mary continued to present Malcolm with sartorial suggestions.

“I’m well aware.” He shook his head. “Not blue. Silas hates it.”

“And you, but that seems to matter not.”

“On my honor, I accepted his invitation. I will feast.”

“On your blood, so might he.” She helped him shrug into a coat of deepest green.

“I go well protected. You’ve seen to that with charms and incantations.”

“You’d be better served if you believed in the old gods.”

He draped a thick gold chain around his neck. “I’d be best served if you believed me capable of handling myself against enemies.”

“Caution is not lack of faith.”

He kissed her cheek. “I swear to be on my best behavior, and if your rotten brother does not keep true the forms of host and guest, I will slide a sword through his guts and secure the future of your yet to be conceived sons.”

“What a lovely image. Do try not to mention my name. He has not forgiven me for defecting.”

“And you have not told me why you did.”

“In good time, my lord. Go, the hour grows late.”

The retreat of hooves played a merry cadence for the ritual to ensure only one man left the dinner alive. ‘Twas unfortunate she could not specify which one, but with her most recent missive to Silas, she’d guaranteed herself a privileged place regardless of the outcome.

Written for Thursday Threads challenge

Monday, June 03, 2013


Nate griped non-stop, until we began passing houses ravaged by hurricanes and serial flooding. “Really? These zombie fuckers had to visit their evil on a place already suffering?”

“Probably got a deal on real estate. Before Katrina, it was heresy to suggest leaving. Now, some towns are almost empty.”

“Seth, this voodoo jackwad isn’t living without basic utilities. He’s not the one infected.”

I nodded. “Our turn is coming up.”

Nate ground his teeth. “You don’t need to navigate. I can feel them.”

“Then let’s go escort this guy to the gates of Hell.”

“And me, too, if I turn.”