Howls echoed through the woods and the mountainside. They have picked up my tracks. Maybe fire kept them at bay, till sunrise. That was what I needed. Time and light. Icy gusts tore at the firs around me. Trees crack and snap in the dark of midnight. Something enormous moved down the slope. Sunlight would save me. Eventually. Continue reading “They’re Coming”
“I admit, it was a kneejerk reaction,” John shivered. We were both nearly naked and dripping wet. The dive I took into the frozen lake was an accident, and John did his best to rescue me. He had a conscience after all. It was his fault that I broke in, in the first place. So he pulled me out, brought me back to the mansion. The blanket I had on my shoulders started itching. I hoped his itched as well. Continue reading “bruises”
My nastiest hangover is mainly the minister’s fault.
Unlike any usual stiff diplomatic, Minister Kagekamui is an outstanding man, with more secrets up his sleeve, than stars in the sky.
He catches me one winter night, at a poker table, with the foxes and the tanuki. It is the middle of my underground shift, and I’m supposed to be on the watch for rogue magical entities, not playing transformation poker with them. But it is such a beautiful night, and Consul Kitsune has his 31st birthday party. Continue reading “Magic Entities Liaison”
My Norse jars through the blizzard. Last century, my words were softer, not so alien to my own ears and tongue. The night howls around me, insulating me from any suicidal hikers or locals on the trail.
The clump of ancient firs is the only peaceful place now.
As if the squalls know not to disturb the place. The red markings on the trees and the snow steam.
I call out the sentinel, curious what form it’ll assume. Continue reading “Back Home”
Five a.m. and I’m in an empty bar. The exit sign over the door hums and goes out. “Always loved prophetic signs.” The bottle of bourbon on the counter is half empty. I look at the heap of misery behind the bar. That body used to be a sad excuse for a human, a criminal, a rat. Until someone orders him ended.
“That. Was. Sweet!” A hooded figure peels from the shadow, gloved hands clapping. “Too bad nobody appreciates a good craftsman.” He hands me a card. It only says, Reaper. “But I do. I’m Grim.”
I slide two golden coins over to the barman. He gives me a cool green bottle. “The good stuff,” he grins and pockets the money, like the bad seed that he is. The mere thought of work tomorrow, makes me irritable.
I melt to the back of the bar, to my kind.
“Wicked day?” Morningstar smiles and invites me to his table. I nod. “You have it?” I pull out his commissioned sword. As it touches his table, the wood smokes. The bottle on top explodes. “Man! My drink!”
“Buy you another one, if you don’t use the sword.” I grin. ” Until I get back at my dear brother, and my wife.”
I ran out of luck today.
My landlord cornered me in the laundry room. I evaded him for two weeks, but not today though. “Your fucking dog keeps yapping the whole goddamned night.” He spat on my sneakers. Mr. Garbagegoblin, as I called him, was as pleasant as explosive diarrhea. I grabbed my wet shirts and stuffed them into the dryer. He stepped closer. The smell of his armpits hit me.”Shut it up! Or you’re out!” He barked into my face, breath wafting with rotten teeth and whiskey.
“But he hasn’t barked yet because he’s a good dog. Even if he’s a cat.” I tried. Continue reading “No Barking!”