Menage Monday, All Hallows Eve Edition (3×05)


The wind howled and the wolves howled, and I didn’t know which one I was more scared of. The wolves probably wouldn’t attack me, but if they did, I had no strength left with which to fight them off. But the wind…

The guy who’d driven me to this spot, here in the desert, here at this wannabe bus stop, here in the dark, had an evil laugh. It sent shivers up my spine when he asked me where I was going. It caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand up when he put his hand on my leg and he asked me what price I was willing to pay for the ride. And it ended in a rasping gurgle as I tore his throat out while I rode him to a screaming orgasm.

But that was a long time ago. Days? Weeks? No more than a month, I thought. A long time between meals.

And orgasms.

I should have killed him somewhere with other people. Maybe in a hotel with clean white sheets that would have shone with his blood. But his laugh…I had to stop his laugh. And I was hungry.

Wish his car hadn’t been such a piece of shit, though. I couldn’t get it started again, and now it sat off at the edge of the parking lot, a monument to a life poorly lived.

I knew by now that if anyone who happened by this waystation to nowhere got close enough to me to think about picking me up, they’d likely catch a whiff of the rot that had started deep within my bowels and drive off in terror. I would need the right situation just to get away.

The howls started up again, and this time I knew it was the wind…and more. I’d begun hoping it was a lone wolf, maybe a weak one that I could overpower and give me at least some chance at, well, something. Coming out of the northwest, however, wasn’t a wolf.

I had hoped that I’d put Her behind me, although part of me knew that had always been a dream. How could I escape Her, when She knew every inch of me better than I knew myself, when She’d held my heart in one hand and my mind in the other and called upon the Dark Lord for power? The things She’d taught me in a thousand and one nights of pleasure and pain had only been the merest fraction of what She knew, and yet I thought I could get away.

Well, I was still mortal, after a fashion. What chance did I have of truly understanding Her?

The lights at this station illuminated an area maybe forty feet across, but I thought I saw glimmers of something out beyond their reach. I didn’t stand to meet Her – She wouldn’t have cared and I didn’t have the strength. But I did call Her name.


Monster Mash, 2019


Having baked in the summer sun all day, the walls radiated enough heat to keep me awake even if I wasn’t in the sweaty grip of fear. I stared at the ceiling fan and wished that it would either move enough air to give me the illusion of comfort or fall down from its rickety perch and brain me. It did neither, of course, and I lay there trapped under the weight of the bargain I’d made with my wife. You get out, I’d said. I’ll stay here and keep him from…well, whatever I can. And now I was stuck there for the rest of my life.

The room was silent other than the slight wobble of the fan, and for that – if only for that – I was thankful. I don’t like when he walks around at night, not at his age.

Six months ago, when we’d watched the movers carrying our stuff into this house, it was hard to imagine anything other than possibility. My wife sat on the recliner, hands resting on her swollen-near-to-bursting belly, and directed the whole show. I took care of her like she was the most precious thing in the world, and she was – her and that package she carried. That night, as we snuggled in the four-poster bed, I put my hand on her belly, felt my son kick, and thought that it would only get better from there.

The clack-thump of the crib side coming undone always startled me, even though I knew that it was coming. It was followed soon after by the soft pitter-patter of a child who wanted to see his daddy.

It was feeding time, after all. A growing baby doesn’t sleep through the night.

He gummed hard at my wife’s breasts when she tried to nurse him, and the pain was severe. He wouldn’t take the bottle, though, so – trooper that she was – she put up with the pain. But he never seemed satisfied after nursing.

That is, until he drew blood late one night. Then he sucked harder. And he smiled when he was done, the cutest smile you ever did see.

For months my wife put up with feeding him that way, his sucking constantly re-opening the small wounds he caused. She wept when he slept and stopped leaving the house. I’d come home from work and find her staring at him, every day her look of loathing growing. At first she could keep him at bay by putting him in his crib and hiding in the bathroom, shower running to mask his cries, but then came the day where she found him scratching at the bathroom door. When she opened it, he was standing there holding his arms up.

It all changed one night while I was cooking dinner. I was lost in worry and got myself good with the chef’s knife. Cursing, I hurried to get the first aid kit. Before I could get the bandage on, I heard him running up behind me. His fingers were red with the blood he’d wiped up from the floor in the kitchen and his eyes were wide. Transfixed, I lowered my hand and he latched onto it eagerly. He didn’t drink much from me – a little seemed to go a long way. And then when he woke in the night he didn’t look for his mother, but instead stood by my side of the bed until I took off the bandage and let him suck.

It wasn’t long before I saw a new look in her eyes. After a week of only feeding from me, she started standing by the front door, looking out at the fields that surrounded our home. And after two weeks, she asked me if she could leave.

What was I going to say?

And so here I was with a six month old who could walk and open doors and drank blood to live. I hid from him whenever he wasn’t feeding, but I suspected that he was developing more abilities, things that would help him survive when he was older. He was getting greedier when he fed, and as he came into my room that night, I knew it wouldn’t be long before he took it all from me. Part of me hoped he’d starve once I was gone, but it’s hard to truly wish death on your own child.

Tomorrow, his grandparents would be arriving to live with us. I wondered how long they’d sustain him.

748 words


ThursThreads, week 384


The doctor pushed the curtain aside as she stepped into the room. My face was bright red – had been for hours. If it lasts longer than four hours, contact a doctor.


She smiled gently at me. “I spoke to your wife in the hallway. I know this is uncomfortable for you, but you understand we deal with things many people find embarrassing all the time.”

I couldn’t really speak, so I just nodded.

“Okay, let me see what’s going on here.”

I turned even redder and lifted the flimsy gown. The doctor’s eyes didn’t quite bulge, but they did widen. She recovered quickly, however, and spoke quietly. “I see she didn’t overstate the issue.”

Now I found my voice. “No, ma’am, she didn’t.”

“And it’s been like that for six hours?”

“Going on seven.”

“And what is your pain level? On a scale from one to ten?”

“You’d think it would hurt, but it doesn’t. Not even a one.”

“And it started as soon as you took the pill?”

“A little after. I know, I shouldn’t have ordered them over the internet, but my insurance wouldn’t cover them, and they’re so expensive. And, well, we were missing that part of our lives.”
“I understand. There’s no need to feel awkward about needing this kind of medicine.”

“Thank you.”

“But yes, we need to do something about this.”

“I don’t think that it being rainbow-colored seems healthy, does it?”

“Well, it could be worse.”


That’s when it started flashing.


Menage Monday, week 3×03


“Another one. Make it a double this time.” I didn’t quite slur the words, but I would after this next drink. Wasn’t going to stop me, though.

“Are you sure? You’re going through them awfully fast.” The bartender poured the next drink as she asked the question, which was all I cared about. I nodded.

“I’ve got the money.” I took a healthy swig from the glass. “Is this where you try to get me to tell you my story? To spill the beans, as it were?”

She tilted her head. “You’re the only one here, so if you wanna talk, go ahead. If not, I’ll let you get shitfaced, as long as I don’t have to call 911.”

“Don’t want to talk. But my counselor says I should.” I pulled my phone out and thumbed it open, scrolling quickly to the photo I was looking for. I could find it in my sleep.

“So my family was in Hawaii on vacation. Our 20th wedding anniversary, and we brought the kids – when else would we get to go? My daughter took these pictures at a fire show while I was back inside, flirting with the hostess.” I finished the drink and handed the glass back to the bartender.

“The next thing I knew, it was chaos. Someone shot up the show, killing 52, including my whole family. I survived because I was busy getting another woman’s number.” I took my phone back, stonefaced. “I think I’d like another drink now.”


ThursThreads, week 383


“I guess I just don’t see myself as having any value. I mean, it’s hard to care about making my life better. I’m just…me.”

“Okay, are you willing to try a little exercise with me? It’s supposed to help you see that your life means something.”

“I’ll try anything. This sucks.”

“Good. Now take a deep breath and close your eyes. Keep them closed, and don’t open them for any reason.”


“Come to me, O Mighty One. Come to me and help this poor soul.”

“What are you…”

“Please be quiet. This is very sensitive.”

“O Mighty One, this man in front of me needs you. He sees himself as not having any value. Show him that he is wrong, show him his value.”

“What’s that smell?”

“It’s brimstone. Now, shush. And keep those eyes closed. You definitely don’t want to see this.”

“O Mighty One.”


“And we are grateful for your presence.”



“This man is ready to see that he has value to someone.”


“O Mighty One, take another look.”


“I…I don’t know…”

“Do you want your life to have meaning, or not?”

“I do.”
250 words


#MenageMonday – Week 3×02


The afternoon sun shone hot and heavy on my back as I sat in the cafe, making me feel warmer than the winter day presaged. But the sweat on my brow wasn’t just from the heat – the ring in my pocket felt like it was sending out waves of radiation that everyone in the room could see.

“Just fake it until you make it, fool. He’ll say yes.” I repeated this to myself as a catechism, hoping that my will alone could make it the truth.

And then he was there, coming in through the roped-off back door as he so commonly did. The briskness of the air outside only served to make him more handsome, rosy cheeks and all, and when he removed his scarf it tousled his hair in that way that made my heart just melt. I had no idea why he’d chosen me, but in a few minutes, when he said yes, it wouldn’t matter anymore.

His eyes searched for mine in the crowd, and the smile that crinkled his face was unmistakably for me. I began to stand, but he waved at me to stay seated as he came over.

“Hi Mark,” I started, but he shushed me with a kiss.

“Hi Pablo. I’m so glad you’re here tonight.”

“I invited you, silly.”

“That you did.” He kissed me once more. “I’m even more glad you’ll be the first.”

With that, he stood, swinging his coat open to reveal crossed assault rifles.


ThursThreads, week 382


The night is dank, fog making everything slick and my activities that much more dangerous. I block out the screams – both those coming from inside my head, telling me to go back, to give up, and those coming from the miasma around me, telling me that if I didn’t hurry, the ghosts would win.


Summoning my familiar required an acrobatic dance that was tricky in the best of circumstances and essentially impossible in these. I had to hope that she mostly made me go through these machinations for her amusement and that she’d still show up if my feet weren’t pointed just so every tenth step. My pounding heart counted out the time in a staccato melody, accompanied by that macabre harmony of screams. She’d either come in her own time or not at all, I knew, and there was nothing to do but wait.

And hope.

“Julien.” Her voice touched me from afar, but the relief that flooded through me almost buckled my knees.

“Is it time?” She was too far from me to speak in response, so I just nodded. She’d understand me.

“Is it too late?” I shrugged. I hoped not. This was the soonest I was able to act, but I had cut it close.

“Then I will feed.” A roar carried through the fog, and I knew that at least some would survive this night. Not the ghosts, though. I thanked fate for giving me a dragon familiar and ran towards the roar.