Jean McKinney

Strange Stories for Strange Times

Author: JMAdmin (page 2 of 2)

When Lucy’s Ready – A Flash Fiction

When Lucy’s ready

… She’s ready.

None of this slow stepping sweets and roses

Cat dance of attraction:

Forward two back one

While music winds through a still room

And candle flames tremble on wine glasses.

No —

Lucy wants it all:

Hot breath and steamrollers

On the floor where the carpet’s bleached pink

From scrubbing up stains.

Buttons leaping

Whine of ripped silk

Lips burning lips like arrows in the fire

Straight to the heart of it

And windows wide to let the neon in.

When Lucy’s ready

. . . she’s ready for love.

At Mama Silva’s – A Soledad City Story


At the tail end of the night
Concrete gets too gritty on your back
And fog blinds the alleys south of Spring Street.
So you creak to your feet
Wrap your greasy blanket round your shoulders
And you slump off to Mama Silva’s.

Catty corner from the mission
Next to the barred up liquor store
She’s open all the time.
Crackheads and knife fights and
Sirens in the the night —
Mama Silva just goes on.

Light from her window full of flowers
Washes down the puddles on the street.
Blue beads clatter at her doorways
And you shiver when you walk on through
Because you’ve been this way before.

Anyhow you shrug off that blanket
Just like a snake shedding skin and you
Step into her forest:
Herbs and incense and heads on the wall
Hanging ferns and the black Virgin
On her table full of candles and the little silver bowl.

You slide into warmth and coffee
And her voice like honey on a not morning.
Scents of cinnamon and juniper
Rustle of wings and whispers in her corners
Sing you off to sleep again. So
When Mama Silva takes her price
You never feel the pain.


Bridie’s Song: September Fantasy Free Read

Introducing Harry Longman, a bounty hunter with a secret whose story will be continued in the coming novella Longman’s Ride.

The Merchants: Bad Blood. Dark Magics

The Merchant clan of dark sorcerers link the worlds of the Moon Road and Sorrows Hill. In the hills where Virginia and West Virginia meet, the Merchants have lived for generations, working mysterious magics formed from blood and soul and fire. No one knows what pact the first Merchant in this New World made with spirits of the darker side. But his (or her) descendants have danced with those spirits ever since, in a chancy partnership that brings them great wealth and great power, but at prices that are often too steep to bear.

We first meet them in Sorrows hill around 1864, when Jared Merchant’s wayward daughter returns with her own strange child to find that her father’s house has burned and he has vanished. His brother Jeremy returns from travels abroad to take up the family name and tradition – and no one knows what happened to Jared.

Perhaps the greatest of the Merchants is Joss Merchant, whose death at a fantastic old age is chronicled in The Wake, which takes place a few generations later. Another Merchant daughter has left the family, returning for Joss’ funeral. Her daughter Graciela tells the story of her first and last encounter with her fearsome grandfather, who may not be gone after all. Gracie’s adventures continue in Gracie and the Dark Side, a set of short stories in which Gracie comes to terms with being the granddaughter of Joss Merchant.

The Merchants enter the present day in Soledad City, where musician Lucas Horne learns of his secret connection to the bloody clan and finds out just what being a Merchant really means.

The Merchants cross and cross again with other characters in thr Sorrows Hill and Moon Road universes, for good or ill – mostly ill.

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