Plucking languidly at the fine, blue strands of her uncombed hair, Royal stared hard at the center of Callon’s forehead. Avoiding his gaze was nothing new. With measured slowness, Callon placed the grisly photos on the table, then leaned back in his chair. Jaen began to tap her foot impatiently, until Callon put a stilling hand on her knee.

“Sirius,” Royal said, without looking down.


“Sadly no longer beleaguered by the pecuniary difficulties gifted by Lennox.”

“Seems not. You see the words? Indecipherable jargon to Jaen and me.”

“It’s ritualistic Keldoorian.” Royal met Callon’s eyes. “It’s a summoning.”

Read the on-going story here

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: fine, jargon, pecuniary)

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He binds my wrists with jute rope, his fingers leaving streaks of red, as he unknowingly paints with blood that is not my own.

Pitch-dark eyes stare at my face, like a merchant appraising fruit soon to spoil. I bare my filed teeth, watch him flinch.

He sees the wolf now, not a girl to pity, even as he puts the collar ‘round my throat. He pushes me into the flux of collared women, hastily grabs his coin, but he can’t escape my eyes. Can’t escape the promise that leaves my lips and splatters in the dirt.

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: flux, jute, spoil)

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Shoulder to thigh in a shadowed doorway, Jaen and Callon watched a huddle of uniformed police officers walk down the brownstone’s stairs with faces more gray than the storm-dampened sky overhead. A lone woman stepped out onto the landing, presumably a plainclothes detective, and stared with hard eyes at the small crowd splayed along the fringe of caution tape.

Callon flared his nostrils, eyes grim, as he stared at the open door beyond the detective. “I smell blood,” he said. He could imagine the sanguine mess that Sirius had left inside.

“He’s getting careless.”

“No. He’s making a point.”

Previously… (1) Hunting in the Park, (2) Hounded, (3) Rotten Fruit, (4) Bait, (5) Regrets

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: lone, sanguine, splay)

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Jaen eyed him from the devastation of threadbare sheets and shredded pillows with a mix of satisfaction and self-disgust. She plucked a feather from her spiky hair, then swung both legs off the lumpy mattress. An unselfconscious Amazon of slim muscle and scarred sun-touched skin, she stepped over the pile of their clothes and opened the fridge.

Stifling a moan, Callon rolled onto his stomach and listened to every joint in his body groan in protest. “That was unexpected,” he said.

“Full moon,” Jaen said. “Anchovy essence and oreos, but no coffee?” She looked even more regretful than before.

Previously… (1) Hunting in the Park, (2) Hounded, (3) Rotten Fruit, (4) Bait

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: devastate, essence, joint)

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“I don’t play nursemaid,” Callon said. His lip curled, as a memory drove a spike through his stomach. “Besides, isn’t that what she pays you for?” An irreverent smile formed. “Or do you simply like to sleep at her feet like a good dog.”

Jaen snarled, the woman gone from her fierce green eyes. She floated a hand above her knee, nails extending with a soft snicking sound.

Callon continued smiling. “Won’t matter to me none, if you torch the place. Not mine anyway.” No point being chary with Jaen. Best never to offer your throat. More fun to bait.

Previously… (1) Hunting in the Park, (2) Hounded, (3) Rotten Fruit

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: chary, float, torch)

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rotten fruit

“Well, you know what happened last time he passed through,” Jaen said. She crossed her legs again, as though attempting, unsuccessfully, to keep both feet from making lengthy contact with Callon’s floor.

Callon watched her movements with a wicked, knowing smile, and drained another beer. “He only pruned the royal tree of a few rotten apples.”

“He obliterated the whole damn forest.”

Callon snorted. “Like Lennox was unhappy about her rivals disappearing. Sirius essentially gave her a gold-stuffed lode.”

“Yes, but apparently her abrupt rise to power drew the interest of the Keldoor Brothers.”

Callon choked. “Well shit.”

Previously… (1) Hunting in the Park, (2) Hounded

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: lode, obliterate, pass)

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Jaen eyed the dented roof dubiously, as rain hammered on the metal with all the subtly of a queue of enthusiastic cloggers. “Cozy,” she said, her voice implying anything but.

“We can’t all afford penthouses like Lennox. So, what brings her favorite beagle to my door?” Grinning, Callon lifted a beer can to his mouth and punctured the aluminum with an elongating canine.

Jaen’s eyes sharped dangerously. “Have you seen the paper recently? I say seen, since I have sincere doubts you can read.”

“Hah! So this is about Sirius. He shows up and the proverbial abyss yawns yet again.”

Previously… (1) Hunting in the Park

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: paper, queue, yawn)

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