Showing posts from 2018

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 22: Vampires and Zombies

Chapter 22: Vampires and Zombies

The Day Is Done was quiet that night, and Marcus and Sam ate without incident. As they left and started to head down toward the warehouse district, towards Marcus’s apartment, the fog grew thick again until visibility was restricted to no more than ten feet.  The hair on the back of Sam’s neck started to rise, and a chill ran down his spine that had nothing to do with the rapidly falling temperature.  “Trouble,” he said.

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 21: Glimpses and Ghosts

Chapter 21: Glimpses and Ghosts

Sam’s classes dragged by.  He was exhausted, and every minute seemed to take a lifetime. When he finally got out it was late afternoon and he rushed out of the classroom. The sun was bright on the quad, and for once there was little fog, but it was bitterly cold. He hurried, thinking about all the things he had to do before patrol, and almost ran straight into Kennedy.

The Monster Hunter's Daughter: Scene II

The Monster Hunter's Daughter: Scene II

 profits.  This hotel was a prime example; despite being mired in this cesspool of a town, it was doing very well.  She walked outside into the small courtyard behind the hotel.  It had a small fountain that burbled quietly, and the stone walls made it seem like something out of another century, an effect enhanced by the bits of old statuary.  She stopped near an old piece, a bust of a viking warrior set in between two overflowing flower planters.  She reached out and touched its stone cheek with the back of her left hand.

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 20: The Mage's Study

When Sam made it home, he found Audrey asleep in the big green fuzzy easy chair.  He tucked a blanket over her and kissed her on the forehead and went back down to the bookstore. He was tired, and he still hurt all over, but there was work to be done.

The Monster Hunter's Daughter: Scene I

Scene I

The waxing moon was bright and nearly full over the fog-laden streets of New Tamsbridge.  It was the middle of October, and the wet chill hanging in the air like the freezing breath of winter kept the streets eerily quiet. When the metal door opened, the din of the industrial club inside seemed hugely loud and alien, and when it clanged shut the sound echoed down the streets like rolling thunder. At the corner of the alley, a black-clad woman smiled to herself.  She had been waiting.  She strained her ears, and she heard it, barely: the quietest gasp of feigned passion. Her smile grew, and slowly drew her dagger out from its sheath hidden at the small of her back, hidden underneath her designer leather jacket. I’d prefer a gun for a serpent in a back alley, but bloody things haven’t arrived yet. The knife will do for now.   Besides, if I’m lucky, it will be otherwise engaged. She slipped out of her stilettos, pushing them into the shadows under a fire escape, and turned the c…

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

A good easy lunch if you have a few minutes, exploding with all the flavors of Lazio and Sicily- so celebrating both the Mediterranean bloodlines of yours truly.  According to the stories (probably apocryphal), this was a quick and easy meal Italian prostitutes cooked themselves between clients.  Alternatively, it was a meal they used to attract customers.

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 19: Three Pixies and a Mage

The three women stared at him, and he watched back. “Sam,” Pallas said.  “These are Fen,” she gestured, “Petal,” the one with blue and pink hair curtsied, “And Lapis.”  The last one winked. “Given your reaction, I guess I don’t need to explain what they are.”

“I’ve seen glamour before,” Sam said vaguely, just watching.  “And read a book or two.  Although I’ve never seen a pixie in the flesh.  I was given to understand the door to faerie was shut.”

“It is,” Petal said.  “We’re an exception.”  She peered at him.  “Was it really that easy to pierce our glamour?  I don’t think your third eye is even open!”

“I didn’t see through it,” he said.  “I felt the difference.  Your energy fills up a room, and there’s a unique smell.”

“We smell?”  Lapis said, and she turned to Fen.  “I bet it’s you.  I bet you smell like blood and crankiness.”

“As opposed to gin and bad decisions?”

“I stand by all my decisions!  Well, most of them.  Some of them.  One or two.”

Sam looked at Petal, who was smoothing …

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 18: A Grey-Eyed Lady

Chapter 18: A Grey-Eyed Lady

When Sam woke up it was dark.  He hurt all over. He was on a bed, he thought. It was warm. He turned.  It was a mistake.  It hurt more.

“I wouldn’t do that,” said a woman’s voice.  “You were pretty banged up.”

“I... yes.  I was.”  He remembered everything perfectly, the whole struggle by the monument, the whole thing seared into his memory.  He slowly pushed himself up and pushed the blanket down to his waist.

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Ten

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Ten
(Read Scene Nine Here)

“Well,” Fen said as they stepped out into the foggy night.  “That was… something,” she said.  “And unexpected. I will miss our sister.”

“I will too,” replied Lapis.  “I never would have thought…”

“There’s something wrong,” Petal said.  “With her, I mean.  She’s one of us but there’s a shadow over her.”

“That's because she’s been touched by shadow,” said Saul, stepping out of the pub after them.  He had put his fedora back on and his jacket was pulled tight against the autumn cold.  “The grin from my vision.  It was a goblin’s smile. She was kidnapped by them this spring.”

“Taken?” Fen asked, turning, eyes wide.  “By goblins?”

“Aye.  For their king, I think.  It was a full raiding party.  They took her to a door to the Otherworld, almost all the way to nightmare.  No one was sure why.”  He paused.  “Now I’m a little more sure.  Their king wanted faerie blood.”

“There’s any sort of mischief he could have managed with that,” Fen…

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 17: Spiders in the Shadows

Chapter 17: Spiders in the Shadows

Sam was restless after he closed the Dusty Covers.  Audrey was studying, Methuselah was content to spend the day exhibiting his human-esque shape, playing checkers with himself, so she was looked-after.  Sam checked on her and then, taking his long coat to ward against the cold, slipped out into the foggy night.  He didn’t know where he was going, so he just walked and thought.  He thought about Marcus and Kendra.  He thought about Audrey.  He thought about Sofia.  So many interlocking parts.  He was more convinced than ever that Kendra’s murderer had not been a vampire; but concerned that it had been made to look like one.  But what if that’s what the Lorenzos want me to think?  It’s all too easy.  All carefully arranged.  Accept no answer as impossible until it’s been thoroughly debunked. Accept nothing on faith; trust only the evidence of your eyes.

It started to rain a little, just an ice-cold drizzle, but enough for Sam to be thankful for his co…

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 16: Frustrations

Chapter 16: Frustrations

Sam met his apprentice for coffee at the campus commissary. As the young man settled onto the wire-work chair across from him, Sam scrutinized him carefully. He looks like he hasn’t slept for weeks.
Sam took a sip of his coffee, brewed strong and black, and glanced over at his friend.  “You’re hitting it a little hard, aren’t you?”  He asked.  “You haven’t been sleeping.”

Marcus shook his head.

“Still hearing her voice?”

Marcus nodded.  “In my sleep,” he said. He splayed his fingers together on the table. “And in my waking.  She’s asking me to help her.  She's telling me she loves me.  Asking me to save her.  I don’t know, Professor.”  He looked up, staring at Sam with bag-laden eyes.  “I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

Sam nodded.  He took a sip of his coffee. It was a good brew, but the local place that had won the rights to have a stall off the quad was known for it. “Have you seen anybody about it?”

“About what? Hearing the voice of my dead lover?”  Mar…

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 15: Dead End Bar

Chapter 15: Dead End Bar

Sofia led Sam down a few more streets, toward the river, into some neighborhoods he had not been into in a long time.  The row houses were in poorer condition, the streets weren’t quite as clean, and the ever-present fog was even thicker, like a moth-eaten blanket hanging stifling over everything.  Eventually she turned down one final street, and led Sam to a bar at its end.  The bright green neon sign read ‘Dead End Bar.’ Sam gave Sofia a look.  “Really?” He asked.


“The Dead End Bar?"

“Absolutely.  It’s a dive bar!” She said cheerily.  “One might even call it seedy, if seeds were, in fact, diseases.  Don’t worry.  You’ll be fine.”

“It’s just…”

“A little cliche.  I know.  I get it, standing-atop-cathedrals-man.  But this is the right step.  Come on.”  She grabbed him by the arm and dragged him over, pushed the door open, and together they walked inside.

As they entered, the dimly-lit dive instantly quieted, all conversation coming to a sudden stop …

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 14: Lessons

Chapter 14: Lessons

The next day was an off-day for Sam at the college, so he spent it in the store.  By the time Lily showed up for one of her once-or-twice weekly tutoring sessions that evening, he had been through two pots of coffee.   “Hello, Sam,” she said when she arrived.  “It’s cold as hell out there,” she added as she hung the long coat up on the rack and slipped out of her fur-lined boots.  He looked up from his coffee and grunted.  “Long night?”  She asked with a grin, and walked over to one of the reading tables, smoothing her grey wool sweater-dress before she sat.  She got her notes and two of her textbooks out of her leather knapsack and got to work on her studies while he worked.

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Nine

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Nine

(Read scene eight here)

“Aye,  Or something like that.” Saul said, leaning back with a smug smile.  “Her name is Eileen.  As you’ve observed.  She works here.”  He took a draught of his beer, still smiling like a cat with a can of tuna.  “Has for a year or two.  She’s kind of been adopted by the owner and his family.”

Petal looked at her carefully.  “She’s not Dewdrop,” she said plainly.  “No, not quite.  But she’s a faerie.”

“Half, I’d guess,” Saul said.  “Given that she’s a little less than twenty. I imagine if you asked her, she might lead you to your missing sister. There.” He said with a wink.  “Still want to cut me into bits?”

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 13: Dreams Redux

Chapter 13: Dreams Redux

Audrey poured Sam’s tea into his mug.  “So.  Your ex-girlfriend’s a vampire.”

“Yes.”  Sam sighed.  “That’s the case.”

“And you’re using her as a go between for you and the Dead Court.”

“The Lorenzos, specifically, but close enough.”

“Well,” Audrey said.  “That’s nice.” 

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 12: The Professor's Vampire

Chapter 12: The Professor's Vampire
(Read Chapter 11 Here)

(Chapter 13 is live!  Look here!)
Sam’s classes were quiet that day, as they had been lately.  It was remarkable how each event caused ripples.  Even as the dean has said. Kendra was such a sweet person. Kendra had been love. Even Lily hadn’t said much in a few days, though her quiz and test scores were coming up. Which was important, Sam thought. Papers and research were the wave of the future, some professors said, with an emphasis on mixed-method qualitative and quantitative analysis being the most important, but Sam’s lessons were about the nuts and bolts of basic thamuaturgy.  That was especially important for the early students.  It was necessary that the correct things be said at the correct time in the correct pattern, especially while a practitioner was still learning, or else terrible things could happen.  Sam had been on the back end of more than one failed spell himself.

Remembered Kisses: Chapter 11: The Dean of Arcane Studies

Chapter 11: The Dean of Arcane Studies

(Chapter 10 is here)
Sam walked towards campus, thoughtful.  It had been six weeks since Kendra’s death, and grief still hung in the air like dead leaves that wouldn't fall.  Death and disappearance happened in New Tamsbridge all the time, but her loss had seemed to affect campus more than most.  Things are quieter now.  The students were less full of the buzz and energy that had been on the campus before.  Sam sighed. I've only seen the medieval martial arts group out once, and Tom had had a dour expression on his face even then as he worked through knife drills.  Pallas and the rest of Kendra's coven had not been at the Day is Done more than once.  Even my students ask less questions. He blew the breath out of his mouth.  Not even about the explosions last month.

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Eight

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Eight
(Read Scene Seven Here)
The three faeries climbed down the short stairs into the Day is Dunn.  Their guises were less vivid and idiosyncratic than at Pearl’s Dive; they were now three college-aged girls in jeans and tee shirts, each according to their nature.  Fen was in black with skull and crossbones, Lapis wore blue with splashes of gold glitter that spelled out pixie, and Petal’s shirt was a cheerful tie-dye.  
The bar was not as they expected.  It clean but rustic, with lots of real wood furnishings. 

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Seven

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Seven
(Read Scene Six Here)
They left the parking garage behind them and walked away, trying their best not to glance behind as they hurried. Once they were out of sight of the gnomes, Fen looked at the others and sighed.  “Well,” she said.  “We survived that, but we’ve lost our quarry. We survived that concrete cage but I’ve no idea where to go next.  It’s a big city and the prophet has disappeared into it.”

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Six

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Six
(Read scene five here)

“A parking garage,” Lapis said, running a hand through her sweaty purple hair and looking around her.  “I had heard of them.  They’re more like caves than I would have thought.”

“Something like that,” Fen said, her gaze sweeping.  She sighed. “I lost the scent in the chase.  I’m not sure where to find it again.”

“It’s hard to sort anything through all this concrete,” Petal murmured.  “Not much iron, thank the stars.  But lots of concrete. It’s all… cut off,” Petal said, sounding confused. “So far.”

Just For You

Shifting through the internet, finding some images that catch them theme of what New Tambsridge feels like... here's something for you.

A Tale of Three Pixies: Scene Five

A Tale of Three Pixies
Scene Five
(Read Scene Four Here)
The three pixies in disguise rushed outside.  Fen looked around, her eyes blue hard. “That way,” she said, pointing down an alley.  “I have his scent.”

Petal looked at Lapis, and they both nodded, and followed their sister.  “I can’t see him,” Petal said as they hurried. 

“He’s fast.  Who knows how much of a head start he has on us.  I never should have let him go that long.”  She frowned and shook her head.  “We’re going to have to fly.”

“But what about the bats?  And the gnomes?”

“We’ll have to risk it.  If it comes to a fight it comes to a fight.  Glamours down, girls, and let’s go.”

Lapis and Petal exchanged another look, but complied anyway.  Where three women had stood there were now three pixies, and their gossamer wings began to beat as they took to the air in a tight formation.

“That son of a bitch,” Fen muttered again.  “I’ll cut him to bits. Tiny little prophet bits.”

“Have you ever considered,” Petal said from her right flank,…