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Their skin glowed with muted shades of gold, orange and red. In the candlelight their shadows flickered across the walls, reached for one another, crawled forward and merged into each other, becoming a shifting rorshach from which emerged the outlines of arms and legs.

Lips like petals bloomed.

Scorched honey and heat lightning.

Her hands reshaping him in the darkness. Her fingers digging beneath the flesh, beneath muscle, blood and bone until they reached that center hidden from us all. There she carved her secret name for him.

His hands were fists on fire. Wrapped around her wrists and pinning her down. He became pure wolf song hunting slowly along the shores of her body. He spilled his death across her moon whispering her name in sweet defeat.

She pulls him tightly into her, feeling him tremble and she says

Read more... )
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"The key to psychic combat is the same key to winning any other kind of fight... be it physical, verbal or mental!" Kathy says with strained patience as she helps Trish pick herself back up off the floor. "That key is Belief! You gotta believe in yourself. This goes beyond confidence. Beyond hyperbole and attitude. We're talking about knowing and the willingness to use that knowing. This is why a lot of times you'll see weaker and less trained opponets win with nothing but anger on their side. Why? Because at that moment there is neither doubt nor faith. The anger is willingness without knowing but sometimes that's close enough... do you know what I mean?"

Trish just shakes her head 'No'. Her body is a sack of bruises, her left eye is swollen over and it feels like something in her back has been dislocated.

"That's okay. I didn't at first either. You'll see what I mean one day... for better or worse. But right now I want you take it from the top. Assume the stance, feet no wider than your shoulders... yes, good like that... breathe in from the belly focusing on your Manipura chakra ... that's it.. now step over here and show me what you've got!"


She moves forward.

She inhales slowly. The alchemy of breath turns air into kundalini fire. The mind clears of thought. Trish takes it all in at once: Zach's on his back cradling a cracked knee cap. Daniel steps back slowly from his fallen companion, arms raised in the air and flashing a ten grand smile disarmingly. Victoria doesn't move. She just stands there with her arms folded watching Trish from under the arch of a raised eyebrow. Adam stands there behind her, chin to chest, locked in a bad sleep- got himself named like a first year minerval. That only leads the Jack O'Shadows unaccounted for...

"We can see that this is a bad time and that time is of the essence and you can see that we can see that too and we don't want to hurt you we don't we don't really want to hurt you that is if this isn't a good time that is if you have the time do you do you have the time..."
That's Daniel talking slowly with a steady paced monotone. He's dropping the Neurolinguistic programming techniques on her. Each word of his is a tiny spider trying to crawl inside her brain.

"Kahhhh... Kahhh... Kahhhllll yaaa ya fahhhkin' khhhunt!" Zach hisses through clenched teeth and a damaged larnyx. She can feel it. The raw pain. It's like the rush of heat that hits you when you open an oven door. He's broadcasting his damage back at her. She can feel the crack of the knee off him and her leg buckles under the weight of it.

"see see what you've done see what you've made us done you're done now aren't you done and tired and why are we fighting when we're all done here why..."

The final 'why' sinks like a stone down the well of her thoughts. Short circuits her concentration and the pain doubles up in her knee. She looks up and see's that Victoria is gone now. Standard hunting pack tactic. Two males dance around and distract the prey while the female circles back in ambush. One of the oldest tricks and she just...

Then it happens. The noise drops suddenly. She can see Daniel and Zach are still talking, their lips moving slowly, dream like exagerated, but no words are coming out of their mouth. In fact there's no sound coming from anywhere. She can't even hear her own breathing. Her ears pop followed by a wave of nausea that ripples out from her belly and spreads into every muscle in her body. Her vision goes blurry. A sharp and sudden burst of headache jabs into the middle of her skull. She screams out but doesn't make a single sound. Her lungs fill up with something that feels as heavy as water but is much, much colder. Her body freezes up and she drops to her knees. Everything goes black.

The Jack O'Shadows rises up from behind her and comes crashing down on Trish like a hard black wave, enveloping her completely, until only a darkened outline remains frozen where she was one standing. Victoria steps from behind it lighting a cigarette: "Well... that was fun."Read more... )
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The first time she saw him he was drunk, brash and making a complete fool of himself on the dancefloor. Without a care in the world he had dropped himself right into the middle of a song and you could see the immediate reaction spread in a ripple of whispers around him: The DJ returned his wave with a diplomatic nod and pumped the bass up. Some fetish princess, all porcelain looks and attitude, bunched up her face in disgust and abandoned the floor with a florish. Two Neo-Victorian Trannies took in the view with coy and coquettish smiles. A rather nasty looking skinhead, who resembled a bull mastiff with facial piercings, suddenly hides his face and hurrys out the door leaving a fresh drink abandoned at his table. Her drinking buddys on the other hand, rolled their eyes with that unique exhaustion only the truly beautiful can pull off, they had immediately made him for a complete and utter asshole. It would be the painfully PC P.U.G. (Pagan Until Graduation) buying her drinks between timid passes that told her what she wanted to know.

"Him? Y'mean Adam... oh I don't know Trish, the guy's supposed to be bad news."

"Heh!" Trish sips her drink, zooming her view in on him. Dirty blond with bangs that hide the eye. A sexy thin, the kind only rock stars or drug addicts can afford. Hard face with a silly grin. She's seen better but rarely having this much fun on their own! Adam has this side step sway going on, pivoting in his big black boots, the cherry of his cigarette weaves around the chorus and his leather jackets holds the the club lights like a second skin of black chameleon armor.

The song ends and the light system shifts into darkness. She loses him for a few seconds until the floor comes back lit up a deep red and she sees him looking at her, smiling at her in a way that could make a devil blush and an angel switch sides.

"Hold my drink a sec." she hands her 6$ dollar Rum & Coke over to the P.U.G. without waiting for a response, making her way to the floor.

'Alright Mr.Man' She thinks shedding her jacket from her shoulders 'let's see what kinda moves you got!'

They danced all night.

Then they both got really drunk, went back to her place and danced some more.

Watching the sun creep through the crack of the blinds, her face pillowed by the space between his chest and arms, she knew then and there that anyone this good in bed would be bad news out of it.


Three assassins have breeched her defenses and are waiting on the front porch. They stink of death magick and got themselves a Jack O'Shadows circling the property like a starved shark. The scrawny one with the green and rotting teeth is peeking his face through the curtain of the open window.

"Excuse me for intruding ma'am, but would you mind if we had a word or two with your boyfriend real quick?" he grins with the coffee breath from hell.

"He's not my..." Trish growls.

"Yeah sure ..." and Adam interupts, "Be out in a second, ok?"

"Take your time" Zach nods back courteously and his face vanishes between the folds of the curtain. Adam turns to Trish and gives her the puppy dog i'm-so-so-sorry-eyes.

"So... don't suppose now would be a good time to tell me what the fuck was going on?" Trish spits each word out with the venom.

"Depends" Adam shrugs "Do you have a back door I can use?"
Read more... )
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Trish stands there naked under a canopy of stars waiting. This is the end of her first education. Her arms are held wide above her head, her fingers open up past the tree tops swaying in the November wind. Under her feet the soil stirs and the cold rocks hum. Around her the flowing waters of a nearby creek serenade the night air. A small fire crackles in a dirt circle before her, burning the strange mixtures of spices, plant leaves, extracts and tiny little pieces of paper with prayers written in a language ancient when the Earth was young. The smoke soaks her body. Blood trickles down her thigh. The one she is waiting for is approaching, lighting up the darkened woods the color of ancient bones.

Grandma Death has sent her daughter the Moon to receive Trish. To teach her the secret language of flowers, the dance of knives, how to catch lightning in her hands, how to wash herself with fire without being burned, how to hitchhike on passing storm winds, how to see the mute ghosts of the future, how to walk through other peoples dreams unseen.

How to live. How to love. How to kill.

Five years before and she was only thirteen when her first education began. It came when her body had decided to initiate her into it's own mysteries. She was in the changing room of a PE class, at a public school she was clearly too smart to be in and too broke to get out of. There at her locker, the metallic whisper of her classmates gossip echoing around her, she discovered that the cycle had begun, the first shedding of the endometrium lining, those first drops of blood tested between the rubbing of her fingers. A nervous embarrassment came over her. Flushed and paniced. She cut class for the first time and made her way home.

There she found her mother was waiting for her.

"You have nothing to be ashamed of" She said hugging Trish, "In fact, when you get a little bit older, you'll see that they aren't just drawn to our bodies ... but scared of it too."

"Why?"
She asked her mother the tears already drying in her eyes.

"Hnh... because there is a strength in our blood they don't understand. The ebb and tide of life that flows from us cannot be known by them, at best they can make crude translations and clumsly interpretations, but in the end they can never truly know from where it comes nor the responsibility that comes with it"

"Is that why they're scared?"

"One of them, baby. But you'll see that it's from their fear that they make outlaw our bodies and collar our spirits for the crime of our gift. From their envy they shed wars and violence in cycles too, the blood of others becomes for them a vicarious unity. From their ignorance they'll tell you that they know better."


Her mother drifts away, lost in thought until with a shake of the head she comes back to Trish "Not all of them though darling: Some of them aren't afriad. Some will worship us.. some will even stand by us as equals, not many, but some. Then again there are the ones, in their efforts to sympathize will create art, poetry, music... the language of philosophies. They'll call us muses when they want to say whore, then again they'll say wife when they want to say Mother... tch... but anyway, the point is that some try. You'll see. They'll come to you soon, in the dark, both humbled and confident..."


"I didn't know who else to go to. I didn't even think... I was scared Trish, the way that fucking thing screams at you telepathically y'know..."

"I know." She nods with a weary sympathy, remembering visions of a bad night in another life, a pack of Jack O'Shadows howling outside her window when she was a little kid. Her Mother stepping out into the dark to meet them... Read more... )
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Trish was only six years old when her mom put her dads head through the wall. She proceeded to grab her overnight bag, took Trish by the hand and marched them both out of that shitty one bedroom off of Piedmont.

"What's wrong with Daddy?"
She asked as they got into the waiting cab outside.

"Your father's what they call a 'complete and utter fuck up artist', honey." She lit one of those ridiculously long cigarettes she chain smoked, matter of factly stated an address to the driver and continued,"He's also a drunk, a cheat and a liar as well. Not a very good one at that, which is unforgivable in and of itself..." she looked down at Trish, squeezed her hand reassuringly and gave a quick bitter sweet smile "...but god damn him, he could make me laugh". It was the closet Trish ever came to seeing her mother cry.


"Don't bleed on the couch, Adam." Trish says a few years shy of thirty years later and immediately hears her mothers voice in the remark, she pushes her glasses up and tries to rub the stress out of her eyes.

"Yeah, well, i'll give it a shot..." he answers her through that lob sided smirk of his.

"Y'know, isn't there a rule in the Ex-boyfriends handbook that says: once you dump your girlfriend of two years, on her birthday no less, that you kind of lose your 'come-over-in-the-middle-of-the-night-with-a-gun-shot-wound priveleges'...?"

"Noooo..." Adam says thoughtfully "...I think it actually says that's one of the best times to come over. Besides it's like I told you... I forgot it was your birthday... OW SHIT... HEY WATCH IT!"Read more... )
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A no traffic street corner. The calm silence of a Monday night. Sitting on her front porch allowing herself just this one cigarette, just this second beer before bed. Flanked by two windows, lit up blue with the glow of a television she's not watching, her home resembles the face of some drowsy giant. There aren't many of them left in the city anymore: Homes that is. She can see the construction cranes rising over the flow of moon lit rooftops across frome her, the promise of townhomes and stripmalls, the promise of tomorrow.

She drops her butt down the neck of the bottle and is ready to call it the night when she catches a movement out of the corner of her eye. The wind picks up and she turns around as if she heard her name called. Across the street there is a lawn that is two months past overgrown extending from a beat up old shack passing for a house. There a rusted bicycle floats over the knee high grass like the skyline of an abandoned city. From behind the flat tire of it's single wheel it steps out and towards her.

A small calico, limping forward through the rainforest lawn, a solid black band masks it's phospherscent eyes. It crosses the swail and navigates carefully around the rain filled potholes of the street, each one reflecting back up the starless night neutrally. The cat disappears behind her dented Volvo.

The wind calls her name again: "Trissss-sshhhh"

She can smell him now: That unique blend of weird chemical magick soaked in sweat, sex and bluff. The stink of bad luck lingering off an old book. Musk mix of cigarette smoke and old ghosts.

Her Bad Penny Baby's back in town.

"Mrr-iissshhhhh" the Calico hisses from the edge of the banister behind her. Closing her eyes she answers back with a name she's spent the last year trying to forget.

"Adam!?!?"

"Hey Angel... " She turns around and catches him as he falls of the edge of the banister, "...miss me?"

----------------------------------------------------------------

The Jack O'Shadows can smell him too.

Fear smells like mold. Like rotting wood half buried in the soil. Like stacks of newspapers found in a damp basement. Fear is the pus of the soul. The unaired wound of buried wishes, chances unrisked, the frozen anticipation of a fist perpetually threatening to strike. Fear tastes like pepper spray and squirms alive on the tongue. Fear tastes the same no matter what that fear may be.

Adam reeks of fear.

A thousand tiny red eyes scatter, like a nest of spiders stirred, around a pool of black flowing in and out of the outline of a man. They shift and settle in the direction of an empty road. Leyline footprints lead from a hiroshima shadow burnt into a brick wall and zig zag all the way down to a no traffic street corner.
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Adam's running for his life with the law close behind, but it ain't no badge that's got him scared. Half a block ahead and a squad car screeches up and pops the curb, behind him he can hear the footsteps of the square jawed rookie closing in. Just his luck, he's got himself a Marine drop out thinking this is his chance to roll TJ Hooker style while the two pigs getting out of the squad car training their 9's on him don't look like much of a better option.

One of them's screaming: "Stop-right-fuckin'-now-asshole!"
The older one just barks "Freeze" like in the movies.
They're drawing a bead. But if he stops now he's a dead man... and so's the cops for that matter.

Adam's got a pack a day smokers lungs. There's a sharp burn in the chest and the sweat stings his eyes. His breath is a constant barrage of heat and phlegm. He's slowing down...

"I mean it asshole! Stop where you are or i'll..." One of badges up ahead is shouting now and he can almost feel the rookies fingers inches from the back of his neck ... reaching... reaching... nervous hand on the trigger... a gun shot shatters the still air...

...and it's too late...
Read more... )

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