Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pro-prologue

Sarah Mary Osborne, named after two of the most famous witches of all time, adjusted the straps on her miracle bra and laughed.

"That's --those're ridiculous," said her friend Samantha, from the edge of Sarah's cluttered, four post, king size bed. "You could split those with me and we'd still both have back problems in a few years."

"Ah yes, but tonight! Tonight I'm hoping to have a different kind of back problem." Sarah said, and made a pouty-kissy face in her dresser mirror. "We won our home coming game, I aced my Spanish test, and Carl's parents are out of town at a conference for a weekend."

"What about his sister?"

"She's out with her girlfriend, he said."

"You are going to get laid then, eh?"

"Yup, it's perfect, too! Full moon and a full lunar eclipse."

Samantha nodded. She was quiet for a while, as Sarah rouged her lips and blackened her eyes, whitened her cheeks. After two false starts, quietly,  Samantha stood up, stood behind Sarah and placed her hands on Sarah's hips. Samantha said, "Maybe you are the chosen one, like my momma said. Maybe it was you."

"What? No."

"You touched the cup too, though. Maybe those tea leaves were yours."

"What? No, come on, Samantha," said Sarah, but there was a quiver of hope in her voice. She said, "Look, you're going on a date tonight, too. It was your cup your mom read from. I was just there."

Samantha said, "Uh huh" squeezed Sarah's hips, nipped at her neck and flopped back onto the bed, "Ouch!" She shouted, then. "Damn it!" And threw a iPod at the small of Sarah's back.

"Ouch! You!" Sarah flung herself around, mock angry "I oughta. . ." She pounced on Samantha and snared her hands in her hair.


The problem with teenagers such as Sarah and Samantha is that they are so rarely .  . . "Teenage appropriate." This isn't a sexy sex scene, it's two girls, close friends, making out before they go and try to get pregnant with unsuspecting young men. They're not 13, they're 15 and 16 respectively and they live with their mothers, who have also been friends since they were toddlers, as were their mothers. 
Their mothers are now 32 and 33, respectively. Sarah's grandmother is only forty-eight years old. Sarah's great grandmother, who lives in Spain, is sixty-three. Sarah's great-great grandmother is dead. Samantha doesn't have any grand parents and neither of them have fathers active in their lives, but they have each other, and their mothers, and each other's mothers.  
So much for show don't tell. I'll work on this in the actual draft. We're just plonking keys at the moment, aren't we? We are. 
Me and the ghosts, on devil's night --all saint's eve. Yesterday it was a full moon.


In the mirror, Sarah stared at the fresh hickey on her neck, her short, blonde hair and grey eyes weren't going to hide the teeth marks. Sarah pursed her chicken lips and wiggled around inside her inferiority complex (about the size of her boobs.)

Samantha left Sarah's house with a gash down her left thigh and a gigantic grin.

"Carl isn't going to --oh whatever, I'll tell him the truth." She sighed. "Guys like that sort of thing."
She nodded to herself and finished touching herself up and drove the half an hour into town, into the heart of the shambling sub division behind her high school. All the way to Carl's house. She didn't bother with the radio.

Hello's were cut short and full of sudden reproach. Dinner was sushi and snuck whiskey in his hot green tea. Then,


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"No, I'm sorry," he said. He glanced at the floor then raised his eyes and his voice. "Look, I get it, but if you don't leave now --"

The witch Abbie laughed, "You'll what? make me mildly itchy? I know how your magic works little boy. You're nothing without your knife."

John bit the corner of his lip. He kept biting down. He kept biting down, sawing his jaw back and forth. The witch, old, tight skinned, laughed, then frowned.

The pain was unbelievable but suddenly there was a crack in his mouth and a gush of blood. John sawed at the sides and, tears streaming down his face spat blood on Abbie. "Acid," he said at her, and she began to scream and clutch at her face and eyes, where John's blood sizzled and hissed, burning and blistering her skin.

He drooled some onto the rope wrapped around his arms and chest. "Acid," he said, wincing preemptively. His acid blood burned through the ropes and he unwrapped his legs and stood up.

He stepped over the body of the witch Abbie, shrieking writhing on the ground.
"I'm sorry," he said and

Saturday, October 17, 2015

prologue:

The hospital room was dark --thick sheets draped over the

Thursday, October 15, 2015

She was the kind of woman who fell into songs as she drove and yipped when her cigarette burned her fingers but didn't drop the ember onto her thrift store Gucci dress.

Her name was Emilia Stone and she was tall and lithe and had a mother's stretch marks, but no child that she spoke of. She was driving a boy, a young man, a gent in training back to her place for an evening of, as she put it, "Just chilling."

The name of the gent in training was Brutus Theodore Thrush. People called him Brutus, even if he asked them to call him Theo. Brutus was also tall and lithe, he did not smoke, but he did enjoy the smell of Emilia's hand rolled, personally mixed, quasi legal cigarettes.

Their eyes were always large when they looked at each other, but they avoided that, generally speaking. Instead pointing out trees, birds, odd branches, crushed snail shells on the sidewalk or shattered glass.

"So. It's not like I'm a slut or anything, but, well,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The dying of a leopard doesn't remove its spots

The amount of direct sunlight in Michigan between January and late March is a few hours a week. When you're in school you're lucky if you see any of it.

I am in school.

It feels like I've been in school forever. I'm seventeen, a senior in high school, and I have no friends.

People avoid me.

I used to have friends, but I, well. Killed a bunch of

I may be crazy.

Until last fall I wasn't a killer, and then, suddenly, I was. I think it sticks to you. Like, when parents say, "What's different about you?" After you've had sex. Or so I hear.

I'm a virgin. I'm tall I'm well built. I used to be sort of funny, in a sarcastic kind of way. Maybe.

Summer seems infinitely far away. Last summer was good. I had a friend, we were close.

I'm pretty sure she electrocuted me the last time we talked.

Now, I can't stop having these --I dunno-- call them episodes.

So I sleep, but I don't get any sleep any more. Well, usually I don't get any sleep. I mean, I don't wake up rested, I just wake up and my eyes don't immediately try to close themselves.

Monday. It had been four ZZZZZZ months since I had killed anyone or been killed. (All of my dreams end with my death, and then I bolt upright. And then Monday. I snapped  upright and sniffed in the darkness. No pancakes or syrup or bacon. Not even coffee.

I slid of my bed and walked through the dark basement, up the stairs and into our kitchen. It's just mom and me, now. I don't know where dad went, Mom doesn't talk about him at all, but he hasn't been back since, well, since the killings and the dreams started.

The kitchen was lit with a single, dim, night light, plugged into the breakfast bar, next to the quiet coffee maker. The sun wouldn't be up for another few hours, but usually -- nope.

There was a note, stark white paper and Mom's spidery hand writing, stuck on the fridge with duct tape. I turned on the overhead light. The note read: "Gone for a week. Be good. Remember to eat and brush your teeth. Love you!"

"Huh," I said.  Remember, this isn't unusual for Mom, but a midnight exit sort of was. But she left a note, and it wasn't like I couldn't take care of myself.

I worked out, showered, dressed, packed a lunch and studied History, then Spanish for fifteen minutes each.

My phone buzzed: Time to go.

I turned off the kitchen light, made sure my keys and wallet were in my pocket and slid into my jacket. My pride and joy: my from-the-future motorcycle jacket. It's dark grey ZZZZZZ bullet proof, the inner lining is knife proof and insulated. It's warm and there are micro-servos that lock and push and pull and generally make me stronger.

Outside was cold, with grey, hard snow. It'd been unseasonably warm a few days ago, but not so warm that all the snow was gone and now there was a thick sheet of ice coating all the front yards.

Mom and I live in a sub division behind the High School I go to. My friend

My ex-friend, Mercedes and I used to walk to school together. For a while she drove us to school. Now, well, you know.

I trudged through the cold and wished it were warmed. I wished I'd brought a hat, or gloves, or put a hooded sweater on under my coat, but, I decided, it was too late to turn around now.

Standing in the cafeteria atrium, my ears immediately started to sting. I rubbed them and stomped snow off my boots. I waited in line for coffee, and didn't respond to the stage whispers of, "freak" and "murderer" and "weirdo."

I grabbed a large cup, filled it, lidded it and







Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's just snow. Guns and snow.

It's red and white and fizzled all over.

It is the body arcana.

It is your tongue against a friend's throat.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Queen Mother smiled.

Unlike previous Queen Mothers, she did not powder her skin or paint herself marble white.

The queen did not wear makeup of any sort. Instead, she spent the hours that other queens took getting ready on a flower bed.

Which is not to say she was inelegant. This Queen Mother wore brocade corsets colored with the blood and sterilized piss of those she tortured. Her scale dresses were made from wafer thin bone strips from those that didn't live through her tortures. Three outer dresses a year she commissioned from, frankly, people knew not where --one of this Queen Mother's many, many secrets.

Which is not to say that all Queen Mothers haven't had secrets.

All Queen Mothers have secrets.

"Let's talk about the word Plethora," the Queen Mother said. She said, prim, straight, a series of infinite straight lines that created the illusion of softness, of curves. A lie of curves created by the straight and narrow splinters of her deceased displeased (as she called them.)

The man, mid-forties, a hunter wiry and bloody. Grunted. "Dunno what a Plethora is." He spat blood on the Queen Mother's face.

Without blinking, using a bare hand, she wiped the spit gently from her cheek and lips. The Queen Mother smiled and wiped the bloody spittle on the side of her dress, as she did so, her thumb pad opened up, sliced on the thinness of the bone scales.

The Hunter watched as the queen picked at the scales, slid the scale under her nail. Her face passive, the Queen Mother sawed slowly at the connection between her nail and the flesh beneath. "I have ten finger nails," she said. "I have ten toe nails. So do you, for now." She whipped her hand at the hunter's beard, and traced a circle on his forehead with her blood. In the lower right, she put a small dash. She said, "And now," and drew an "N" Over the Q on his forehead. Then, On the cardinal points, she traced with her own nails intricate runes that spread then smoldered   "Now, sir, you will feel what I feel."

She smashed their noses together as hard as she could and they both shattered, and she reeled, blood spurting hanging in the air, stretching like snot from a child's sneeze, like a traveling baby spider, her blood arced and connected to the runes drawn on the hunter's forehead.

The Queen Mother smiled. The hunter panted and smiled, too.

"Well then, the Queen Mother said, and bit a chunk of flesh from the thick of her thumb.

Still nothing.

The Queen Mother

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dientes largos de las reinas

"And then I was just done, you know? She said: those are for you, friend. And I just stared. I didn't know what to say. I blinked a few times and she said: What? And I shook my head and, physically, we moved on, but I got stuck on that moment. I don't know what to do."

His mother looked at him and sighed. She said, "Well, your daughters are more important than your temporary happiness. Julie's coronation  is in two weeks. Your wife will be busy until then, and it isn't as if you can't be happy. You can even be happy with her. And with them. Your three women!"

I reached across the table and took my mother's delicate, papery hand in both of mine. "My four women," I said.

"Better make it five," My mother half snarled, and stood. "Queen mother!" She said, and bowed.

I turned around, immediately stood and bowed deeply at the Queen mother, who stood imperiously surveying the small cafe. She said, "Where are your guards?"

"Maum. Mine are in the back alley, both. And"

"And mine, one is on the roof, the other at the front door."

"I didn't see him."

"Her, Maum. I bade her blend in. It pleases me to hear that she did, Maum."

"Well. Good." The Queen mother's mechanical, bruise colored lips curled up. "It is a nice day," she said and sat. "What will we be having for breakfast?"

The cafĂ© could seat ten people comfortably, but even if it were just the queen and the barista, no one would be comfortable. The tables and chairs shine with austere patinas of wars won and lost. The tables were new, polished polymer amber  The whole front of the cafe was clear --the wall see through, the door see through. The frames were thick, squirming tentacles made of iron and carved with faux-inexpert rough polygonality.

What else? Winter was coming, but the day was unseasonably warm.

The restaurant emptied but for the Queen mother, myself, my mother and the suddenly pallid owner, who stayed bowed ninety degrees forward until the Queen mother sighed, flicked her fingers at him and said, "Do not burn my eggs. I like them baked, in their shells, with sweet potatoes."

"I. I'm ashamed to say I don't have an oven, Queen Mother. Just a gas range."

"Then I will take my eggs over hard, with fried sweet potatoes and onions, and a cup of your espresso. Tomorrow I will send my craftmen over and they will install a stove and this time next week, I will have your baked eggs and sweet potatoes. Are we clear?"

"nine fifty next Sunday morning, your baked eggs and sweet potato will be ready, Queen mother. Thank you queen mother."

"You may start cooking, the Queen mother said. She turned to us and asked, "