Thursday, July 25, 2013

Age of Reason

She stood by the window, honey hair turned red by the setting sun. Beautiful, sweet-natured, and endlessly curious, she offered distraction he could neither afford nor bear to quash. If she’d been a boy, he’d have taken her on as an apprentice.  She bent over one of the tables, proving irrevocably that she could never pass for male.

“This piece has a flaw.” She spoke her mind, one reason he allowed her to plague him.

He didn’t look up. “Impossible.”

“First, you’ve taught me nothing is impossible. Second, no man is perfect. Third, the pressure of the machine will turn that tiny bubble into a crack, and whoever is operating the contraption will, at the very least, suffer great injury. Unless, of course, you allow me to fix it for you.” She picked up the gear.

“Leave it alone.”

“Then promise me one thing.”

He continued to focus on the annealing process for the curved shaft. “What’s that?”

“You’ll be the one to demonstrate to his lordship your grand new invention. That way, no innocent will be harmed by your hubris.”

She spoke of his possible death with such great cheer that he finally set aside his work and examined the piece.

“Bugger. You’re right.”

She laughed. “I know.”

“I don’t suppose you’d cut your hair and bind your breasts.”

“You wouldn’t like it if I did.”

He sighed. “To hell with convention. Be my apprentice.”

She snorted. “I’ll be your assistant, and you’ll pay.”

And so he would.

Written for Thursday Threads. Check out the other entries. They're quite good.

Cause and Effect

Standing at the door, Linda felt time slow, ensuring she bore witness to every moment:

Drake, splayed across the bed, arms at odd angles.
Drake, bathed in sweat, streaked with blood.
Drake, eyes glazed, staring heavenward.
Drake, undone by the whip and the woman riding him.

Closing her eyes, she saw it all again, a travesty caught in the amber of memory:

Drake, raging at his own nature.
Drake, mouthing promises.
Drake, on his knees, begging.
Drake, undone, first by her resistance, then the snub-nose revolver he’d insisted would keep her safe.

Funny how right he was in the end.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fools Rush In

Kaia toed the unconscious boy. “This one is mine.”

“The hell you say. We need him to find his master.” Subtlety, not Nate’s forte.

“I bring justice to slayers of the innocent. If I look closely at your life, your brother might be placing bouquets on your grave.”

Before Nate could dig himself deeper, I surged to my feet. “Take him, but we need the intel.” My legs wobbled. They both reached to steady me. Neither stepped away.

“I bargain with him.” She smiled at Nate, then sealed accord with a kiss. Hypnotic. Dangerous. Addictive.

Nate dropped to his knees.


(For what Kaia does with the nasty murderer, see Just Desserts)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Just Desserts

Kaia dragged the boy out the door and dropped him in a coppice at the end of a suburban cul de sac. His hands and feet were bound with zip strips, the modern bilbo a delightful innovation.

He’d be gibbering if she hadn’t slapped tape over his mouth. She was unwilling to suffer prosaic denials of his complicity in great acts of evil. She’d seen the rancid corpses and his dead dog, raised to feed and spread plague.  She’d noted the scrofula-ridden remnants of the ladies’ book club, now dismembered, as it was the only way to stop them moving.

He offered tears, expecting her to believe him an innocent mistakenly taken by brutal thugs. Unfortunately for him, she accepted the intrinsic violence of the hunters.

“I bring you the justice of the Erinyes. For your parents, sister, hound.”

Hours later, he continued to suffer, as was meet and good.

Written for the Monday Mixer. Exactly 150 words, sans title. I opted to use five prompts, because I am an overachiever. Also, I really liked the words.

ETA: And lo! it won. I am so pleased!

This is a sidebar for the Nate and Seth series. Kaia is, in fact, a force of nature.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Two Out of Three

“Appreciate you coming so quickly,” I croaked.

“Don’t make predictions you might not live to keep.” Kaia flashed sharp teeth.

“Fix him. Right now.” No diplomacy from Nate.

She hissed. “I’m not your conscript, boy.”

He drew bead on her. “Got a payload says you are.”

She blew him a kiss, and his gun flew across the room. “You’re lucky I didn’t make it shoot you in the head. Now, sit down and let me work.”

Her hands were warm, cold, blazing hot. I screamed as seams closed at a creeping pace.

“Pain’s the price,” she whispered. “Second favor. Done.”


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Roll the Dice

Soaked with effluvia, I had barely enough control to nod. Nate seemed so damned proud of his accomplishment. And dismissive of the wound that had my insides bristling, tiny pinpricks catching fire. All he need do was make a single ejective move – free the knife or bury it deeper – and I’d be done. It would present a crossroads for him: save me or end the prophecy, thus saving the world from my eventual progeny. Naturally, I didn’t mention this.

“Called for help. Might heal me. Might kill me.”

“What? Who?”

Glass doors shattered, and Kaia flew in on black wings.


Monday, July 01, 2013


By Colleen Foley

Submissive, my happy ass. Kid had pissed me off with that, and somehow I’d been freed of both magic and hive. Go me. I’d stabbed Seth with bristling good cheer and then, knowing exactly where the brat was, pelted off to explain things to him.

One ejective shot to the temple knocked him out cold. I deposited him at Seth’s feet like a puppy returning a tossed ball.

I nodded at the slowly bleeding wound I’d inflicted and shrugged.

“Really sorry about that. What say we sell the little shit to a crossroad demon and go find Big Bad, eh?”