Friday, February 28, 2014

Full Circle

Like a marionette, I lurched toward Marie.

“Nothing I need from you, cher.” She waved her hand, cutting my strings. I fell, twisting in time to see Nate slam into the priest.

Screams overlaid music I knew well – a lullaby of childhood, a spell of protection. Free, my mother’s spirit tore through his, burning his essence in a final act of retribution.

Her ghost appeared, young and beautiful. “One last souvenir, bébé.” Icy kiss from insubstantial lips seared like fire. I slumped, gutter fallen, rain washed, a new mark throbbing just behind my ear.

Nate coughed blood, then was still.


Take Down

By Colleen Foley

Laveau’s words were music to my ears. Seth reached for the jar in my hand. Almost too late, I batted it away.

“No! Help her. I’ve got this.”

For once he actually listened. As I steeled myself, one mark flared. I howled in pain, launching myself forward. She dropped her hand, her power guttering, as I plowed into his chest, driving us both to the ground.

“Thanks for playing, douche bag. Here’s your souvenir.”

Grinning down at him, I shoved the bottle into his open mouth, slamming my other hand under his chin. Teeth and glass shattered onto his tongue.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Danse Macabre

The dead child gained no entry, the only tattoo for which I’d paid finally proving its worth. Frustrated, he reached for Nate. I reached for salt, and the boy dissolved with petulant cries. Other spirits approached. I could not dispatch them all.

Marie’s child thrashed in a vulgar parody of dance, beat set by throbbing bead. Madame Laveau had been crowned Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, and the queen judged her son unworthy.

I wondered if my mother, spirit loosed from glass, would find me wanting. Compelled, I lunged for the wretched jar, seeking salvation or damnation. Either would do.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Final Countdown

By Colleen Foley

Marie Laveau appeared as Seth’s magic petered out. She held a bead, large, red/black and pulsing. It shot from her hand to hit the houngan in the chest. He screamed as it rooted into him like a parasite.

“You dare take da power I give you and use for it for dis? For petty revenge? And you call me whore? I …made …you.”

Everything slowed then, like viewing interactive performance art in some bugfuck mad gallery.

She never took her eyes from her son, but she spoke only to me.

“You are both out of time. Do it now, boy.”


Last Stand

The Houngan howled. Spirits sporting wounds that laid them low raced toward us, a gallery of suffering turned to hate and madness. Unmarred women, all Black, all in white, encircled him, suffocating my flames.

Spells pouring from inexpert lips slowed vengeful phantoms for precious seconds, but all knew I would shortly fail. Beads of sweat joined rain in an attempt to render me blind, subtle redirection from better-skilled opponent.

Ghosts reached out, desperate parasites seeking to be housed in a living body, even for a moment. A young boy won the race, touched me, cold. Magic stuttered and was still.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

Calling the Tune

It’s a measure of how far gone we were that neither moving magic ink nor the dead queen of the undead elicited even a squeak from Nate. In the back of my head, that worried me. In the front, I was frantically trying to disengage before my wards returned to their maker.

Fate, a capricious bitch in the best of times, was having none of that.

Magic surged through me, words from my mother’s book coming fast from my tongue. I had always been her instrument. Fire rose around the tainted priest. He laughed, moved forward, and was held fast, burning.


Thursday, February 06, 2014


By Colleen Foley

I palmed the vial, taking care that the Houngan not see. Seth seemed a bit more stable as my marks bled…into him?

Now I needed to elicit a chain of particular responses, one instrument at a time, building, becoming a symphony, or this was all going to go to hell.

“Why drag us back here? You could have finished this at the house. I know you were there.”

He smiled indulgently.

“So that capricious whore could see the end, of course. Because she denied me.”

An outraged shriek pierced the sounds of wind and driving rain.

She was coming.



Everything tangled, fingers clumsy, movements sluggish, clothing cumbersome.

“Get it together,” Nate hissed.

I lurched to him. A burning sensation ran down my arm where it brushed his. He jumped back, cursing. Then he pulled his gun and shot the priest in the head.

Discordant howling filled the graveyard, spirits crying out for bodies once inhabited.

The Houngan, unharmed, touched down. “My turn now.”

I leaned against Nate, using the shock loop to break the priest's spell. I relinquished the vile vial, then blinked the rain from my eyes. Nate’s tattoo was moving, color bleeding towards me, filling old scars.