Renegade in the Demon Dimension

You might say it’s inadvisable to purposefully traverse into the demon dimension.

In truth, you might say it’s madness.

But the Renegade doesn’t take sightseers. Her mission, her mandate, is not mockery.

That would indeed be madness. To mock a single demon.

Much less an entire realm full of them.

Read More Renegade in the Demon Dimension

Portrait of an Evil Sparkling Skull

Everyone was excited about my upcoming vacation, until I told them what I’d be doing.

When I said I’d stay home and paint, some people thought I was talking about painting the walls of my apartment. When I clarified that I’d be painting pictures, a good number of people were polite enough to pretend that sounded like fun. A few people’s eyes sincerely brightened, and they asked a few more questions. The kind that restore my faith in humanity just a little.

One of my co-workers had a weird but fun reaction. She pointed to the wall of our shared office and said, “Can you paint us a magic portal to get us out of here?”

Read More Portrait of an Evil Sparkling Skull

The Serpent and the Succulent

“I can pick it up?” Marcella asked, gazing down at the little statue standing directly on the clean bench top.

Leo smiled and straightened his back. “Go ahead.” As his sister gently picked up the stone-carved statue of a snake wrapped around and resting in the thick leaves of a succulent, he explained. “This is one of the flawed replicas, so Doctor Valdez talked someone into letting us have it—or at least borrow it. They probably won’t use it in the exhibit.”

Marcella held the statue up and peered into the snake’s glassy blue eyes. She slowly turned it one way and then the other, studying the shapes and details of the painted leaves. She no doubt was wondering what species of snake it was, and what variety of succulent. One of the leaves still had thorns and little bulb-like protrusions along the edge. But most of those delicate details had fallen off the original carvings.

Read More The Serpent and the Succulent

The Infernal Bargain House

A gray shape darted past me to my right. I turned to the ragged bushes entangled with dried weeds. One of the stems shuddered and I heard a rustling. But the overgrowth was too thick for me to see what was moving around in there. Back home—my previous home—I would have guessed it was a lizard. But here, in my new home, it could have been a rabbit. A wild rabbit.

Read More The Infernal Bargain House