So, I was lurking on twitter one day last month and somehow ended up in a conversation about Pop Rocks, Diet Coke, and Mentos. Which, as it does, triggered a new scene for RED LADY, the second Arcane Court novel.


This is unedited, and I don’t know where it will fit. It will fit, somewhere.

The demons held bent back as I yanked his hair to his ass. Wretch pried his mouth open. Pouring diet coke, pop rocks, and mentos into his stomach made me happy. His look of fear turned to terror as the combination began expanding his stomach. I’d wanted to do this since I saw a video of the chemical reaction.

I let go and he fell to the ground writhing in pain. His chest expanded as he fought to contain the explosion of gas bubbles. Waiting for him to shift, I noticed he couldn’t. His body started to sound like a leaky pipe. Then the smell hit. Gagging, I backed away. Demons didn’t fart. I knew why. Holy hell, that was awful. Wretch’s eyes watered as he leaned over our victim.

“Why don’t you shift? See if all of your parts make it through?” Poking him in the stomach caused more leakage of air.

The sound of air freshener being liberally sprayed behind me let me know Grace had picked up the scent.

“Uncle Fester, what the fuck did you eat?” She walked in with a towel over her entire lower face.

I laughed. “Not taking any chances, are we?”

“I gagged and I’m cooking. What did you do to him?” She didn’t glance down.

“Pop rocks, mentos, soda, and fear.” Wretch poked him again.

A hole appeared in his side. I could see inside his body. The smell made my eyes water. “Close him up, that’s disgusting.”

“I can’t. If he shifts the damage spreads.” Wretch was glowing. “This is perfect.”

“If by perfect, you mean, kills demons while gagging everyone down wind.” I heard the front door open.

Grace did as well. “I’ll get it. Vent this office. It’s not like your customers have sensitive noses.” She jumped down the entire staircase in one leap.

“She’s good.” The demon on the floor drooled.

Wretch bristled. “You look at her again and I’ll put this mixture up your ass.”

Laughing, I made my way down stairs. He could handle the snitch without me. I needed air that didn’t smell like sulfur farts.

The restaurant smells replaced the stench as I stepped into the bar. Taking a deep breath, I headed to the kitchen.

Grace hovered over a stew pot. “What the hell possessed you?”

“We wanted to know what it would do.” I played innocent.

“Like school boys with toys.”

“Well, we are. Minus the school.”

“Minus the boys. You two are too old to be boys.”

Wretch appeared, immaculately dressed and smelling of lemon. “Young at heart, my dear kitty.”

Her claws clipped his jaw. “Don’t call me that.”

Healing his jaw he smiled. “I felt like playing dangerous today. How’d I do?”

“You’re a threat to stomach contents. No more.” She announced smiling as his face fell.

“That hurts, Grace.”

“Your ego is stronger than Cim’s dragon skin. Don’t play with me.” She put a towel back over her face as she left.

“She doesn’t trust me.” He winked.

“As most women you know, she learned early on you only take killing seriously.” So did I.

“Our friendship. It’s the only thing other than killing that I live for.” He bowed, partly mocking but his tone was serious.

“What do we know now?” The snitch had been an unexpected surprise.

He pointed upstairs.

“Only if you fumigated the place. That smell could melt wallpaper.”

“Yeah, it did. I cleaned the air out. Killed the snitch. I couldn’t have him talking.”

“Like there’d be a run on candy.”

“Demons need for eternal survival is strong enough to make a run on candy.”

Thanks to Brian Rathbone for this inspiration.