Friday, October 24, 2014

The Mark of a Good Editor

I kept my gaze locked with his. Damned if I’d back down when they needed me more than I needed them. His infinitesimal nod was both concession and slight.

“Belial tells me you need no coddling.” His voice like the flat of a razor, smoothing,  with threat implied.

“Don’t try to run me. God himself couldn’t manage it, much less his test-case creations.”

“Oh child, the things we deleted to preserve His preferred story are legion. But fear not, I’m a hands-off demon. I point, you kill, and we’ll get along famously.”

Truth without solace. I could work with that.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dance with the Devil

The gown supplied was a froth of silk, held together with filigree that showed enough flesh I’d forgone foundations. Our bargain precluded complaint. The male guests surely had none.

“I hate everyone here,” I murmured.

My angelic handler propelled me forward. “You hate everyone everywhere.”

“You most.”

“Yet you made the bargain.” Belial handed me pills, staples for my pretense of courage.

I swallowed them, then went to meet the lord of demons, pulled like a star toward a black hole.

He surveyed me. “Yes, I think you’ll do nicely.”

“Never nicely.”

His laugh caused lacerations. “No, not at all.”


Monday, October 13, 2014


The cord strained my arms, back, legs. Even the boulder bracing me groaned as I pulled. Don’t let go. Don’t let go.

“Let go,” a bittersweet plea. Liam had never believed in my strength. Even now, he doubted my resolve.

I tugged harder. He scrabbled for purchase, hindered by slick stone, ice forming in crevices, pebbling on my skin, turning fingers brittle.

The rope slipped. Liam’s gasp echoed off the canyon wall. Woven length wrapped around my hand, cutting off feeling, I turned around and heaved.

He scrambled over the top, tears frozen.

“Next time, wear the goddamned safety harness.”