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Joseph Foley, Proprietor.
Foreign Sojourn
Middle East FS



For all queries related to the website, media, publishing or general you can reach me via email at:


You may also reach me via this contact form:


Joseph Foley, Proprietor.
Foreign Sojourn
Middle East FS

Branded Souls Vol. 1: Face Lift- New Version Coming Soon!

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s new with, Branded Souls, the Awakening

  • Brand New Design
  • Content Edit

Branded Souls Cover PolishedTell me what you think!

Look forward to getting the final version out into the hands of the public!


Joe Foley, proprietor of Foreign Sojourn

Joe Foley's Foreign Sojourn

[Untitled Western]- Chapter 1 (pt.1)

She whispered under her breath, “Where you been all night?” “…You stink like perfume, Hobbie.” She stated then finished her breath. Her eyes were glassy, auriferous and green. Her hair was smooth, wavy and full from being brushed and washed.

He caught her words in one ear and pulled the door closed behind him with a slam. He turned to her as he walked into his home. A loose board caught his boot heel and he stumbled forward. He couldn’t catch himself; instead, he threw himself onto the field green upholstered divan a few paces ahead. It lay backed against the wall. The wallpaper was a satin like design, with stripes and deep hues of red. “Just making sure the parlor…the patrons weren’t tearing up the place…you know, Margret. That’s where all the action is.” She looked at him as he adjusted his position and took off his hat. She stared into his eyes that were the color of crushed copper. “I mended these socks for ya.’” She looked away, blinked as if to disrupt a connection and then, her eyes fell to the socks in her hand.

“Here ya’ go, dear.” She tossed him the woolen pair. Hobbie put his hand up but they missed his clutch and it hit him harmlessly in the chest. “Dang it!” He muttered through grit teeth.

“Are you comin’ to bed anytime soon, or does duty pull you away from a goodnights rest once again?”

He tried to stand but couldn’t get to his feet. “Shit.

“Yeh, darlin’” “I’ll be right there…” She nodded briefly and blew out the tallow candle at the desk she was seated at. Her feet floated to the second floor of their house, making her way up the short flight of steps like a ghost passing through on the strides of wisps.

The cockcrow at the crack of dawn made Hobbie jump like a cat on a frying pan. He had rolled off the divan and onto the wooden planked floor during the course of the night. He thrust both hands on his holster and searched for his 38’s. His eyes were red and his chest heaved in and out as he jerked his head around. A familiar and disarming setting greeted him benignly. He relaxed his arms and rubbed his face. “Ok, pal- easy does it, you made it home last night.” His chin was stubbled with coarse auburn hair. A pair of freshly mended woolen socks lay on the ground. He sat down on the edge of the divan holding his head between his hands. “Christ almighty, there’s a damn train in my head.

The smell of bacon, roasting coffee and freshly burning pinewood from the oven coated the house in a morning reverie.

“Hobbie, hope that floor didn’t give you to much of a problem last night.” A soft and even voice floated in from the kitchen. Silence. “Have a seat and get some coffee in ya’, the town needs its sheriff fit for the day.”

He cleared his throat. “Yeh, Margret,” he called. “I’m gonna’ go out on the porch, could ya’ bring it out’ fer’ me?”

He stood and went to the toilet to wash his face. He tucked in his shirt, straightened his pants and holster, wet a comb and dragged it through his thick hair. He walked back out to the main room and picked his hat up from the divan and walked slowly, with straight legs to the porch.

Margret was already there, sipping coffee, using her two fine hands to grip the mug. She was seated at the little, rough-cut table on a stool. Her back leaned against the house. She looked out into the prairie and to the red bluffs that rose up from the arid landscape. The sun had just come up from the bluffs and cast a red and yellow towards them and the house, painting the scene angelic.

Hobbie looked towards the bluffs, too. He watched the rabbits dart from brush to brush in the morning cool. A kitty hawk screeched above looking for any lingering rodents or a fat lizard to sate its hunger.

Hobbie wrapped his hand around a fork and shoveled hot eggs and bacon into his mouth; bits of eggs stuck like snowflakes in his mustache. He pulled the coffee to his face and looked towards Margret. She hadn’t met his eyes this morning. He gulped the coffee and rested the mug on the table then rose. “You’re a good woman, Margret.” He leaned over the table and kissed her on the head. She didn’t move or blink or smile. She looked at him momentarily, for the first time that day then back towards the scrubland. She had noticed the socks were still on the floor by the divan.

He took a loaf of bread and cold meat wrapped in paper and wrapped in twine and placed it into his satchel. He saddled and mounted his red roan and met the morning with a breath full of bacon, steaming coffee. He wiped his face with a leather glove and held the rain with the other. The pony had strong legs; they were long and brown but red in sun. It’s veins and muscles flexed and shinned like a well-oiled machine dancing in motion. He galloped into town by a meandering path from the rear of his house. Margret watched him till he disappeared down the hill. She pulled a break-action 12-gauge from the rack in the bedroom and went to the yard. She loaded two brass-headed slugs into the chambers. Her eyes narrowed at a distance beyond the wooden fence. There was no physical target but her eyes focused and a linear point in front of her; it was just the emptiness of a blue, cloudless sky under the backdrop of a cracked and broken land, studded with yellows, browns and coarse greens.

Damn you, Hobbie! She screamed into the desert. She pulled the trigger of the weapon and ripped through the peace of the morning. The explosive crack made her shoulder give; it exhaled gray smoke. She broke the barrel and stuffed two more brass shells inside. She cried, “You no good piece of dirt!” She fired again. The butt of the gun dug into her shoulder, she ground her heels into the dirt. A cloud of dust whipped past her. She lowered the gun and brought it towards her side while wiping her forehead. Strands of onyx black had come undone from her kempt bun and matted itself to her brow. She brushed her blouse with her hand and turned towards the house. The shotgun glinted in the sun and her ruffled skirt blew in the breeze.

As his pony got to the main drag, there was little life to be seen on the dusty strip. The saloon of course was always open and the general store’s clerk, Jim Daugherty was pouring buckets of water on a puddle of vomit that loitered on the shop porch. The degenerate was still around who had issued the offence and just below the step is where he was laid up: “Oi, Hamish, git’ up.” The body did not rouse and the sun was beating down on his naked, ruddy face. Hobbie, dismounted from his saddle and walked forward with the reins clutched in his glove. He walked over and kicked the incapacitated man hard in the shoulder.

The man shook and gasped awake like a colt at birth. He yawned, “Ye’ loosy’ piece of shit, I’m up, I’m- stop bootherin’, me.” The casualty of a night’s debauchery rolled over onto his stomach, placed his hands in front of him and pushed himself up. He fell on to his backside, “Christ broother’, why’s it so bright?” What happen to the night?” He belched, then, gurgling, sick welled up into the man’s gullet. Jim yelled, “godammit, shove off Hamish, go back to somewhere and get away from my porch.” Hamish retched into the dirt then spit the rest of the dribbling mucus from his mouth.

“Ay, just tha’ time anywa’.” He said casually, wiping his mouth with a dirty palm. He braced himself on the wooden rail and lifted himself up. He swayed on his feet and staggered over to a trough of water for the animals. Leaning over to bring a draught to his cracked lips, his knees gave. He was bent too far forward and fell face first into the trough and slid, helplessly into its contents almost completely. His boots were raised up in the air. He spluttered, rolled over onto his back and pulled his head up. A chorus of laughter came from the apartments above. A young blonde girl in a tight bodice held her sides and laughed, the other prostitutes joined in.

Coughing Hamish answered, “Ay’ tis a good’ morning to y’all too!” He called out and doffed his water soaked hat cordially to the ladies on the balcony of the saloon. They were smoking and eating corn bread and fruit preserves.

“Hamish, you ass, git’ out that tub!” Hobbie called bringing Hamish out of his revery. The sheriff rolled his neck, rolled his shoulders and stamped his foot on the ground. The pony skittered but Hobbie held the rein tight. He secured the horse by tying a loose knot with the reins around the wooden rail. Hobbie grabbed Hamish from the trough with two hands; one on his belt and the other at his collar. Hamish was absently squirting water through his teeth, up into the air.

“Git!” He threw Hamish to the ground. “I said, go on, git’!” He kicked him hard in the buttock with the point of his steel-tipped leather boot.

Hamish bleated. Holding his butt cheek, he yowled like a pup that got his foot stepped on. “You’re an awful bastard!” Hamish called out, lopping down the street. He turned a corner then disappeared. Jim had just finished mopping and shook his head, “That brother of yers’ is gonna’ wake up dead one of these days, lord forbid, sheriff.”

“I know, Jim” He tipped his hat and looked around. The town was beginning to awaken at the commotion Hamish had stirred outside. A few Window shutters were opened and some men had stepped down on to the sheltered boardwalk to view the commotion. They smoked, wore bowler hats and chatted about nothing, or what the sheriff heard or cared for. “Fuggin’ bankers.” Hobbie spat and walked towards his little office down the block. He withdrew a canteen from his pocket and took a long emptying guzzle of fresh spring water. He wiped his lips and pulled once more to completely drain it. He tossed the canteen to the side of his desk and sat heavily in his chair.

He pulled his feet up onto the desk, took off his weather-beat straw hat and laid it down on the desk. He looked to the rack on the wall where hung a quality rancher hat. He never wore it. He took it as part of a bribe. That white Stetson on the wall, reminded Hobbie every day of his life of a crooked dollar and all the corruption in the world; It defiled the sanctity of his office, of his station but he made that pact. “This place is horseshit.” He pulled a little, sweet cigar from his desk drawer and lit it with a flint and spark. The blue smoke he exhaled, mingled with the breath of his own desperation. “I’ve wasted my life.”

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Vol. 1, Branded Souls: Chapter 1 (Pt 3)

(Read Pt. 2 here) or from the beginning of the chapter: here

With the squirrel now gone, He sat alone. Silently, Hart convened with nature under her relaxed sky. She mused and offered billowed clouds as a measure of solace. The pastel colored tulips, brothers and sisters of pinks and reds, bobbed in rows, listening too to his thoughts. They swayed and rippled. Even the sprigs of cool wild lilac seemed to lend their lavender shoulders. He had slipped out of his boots and rolled cuffs into his denim pants. The grass was thick but without roughness or barbs.

He watched a bee moving along as if in a dream. It only gave attention and adoration to especially fragrant and bright flowers. Above him, a few birds could be heard warbling in the copse of the magnolia; the song and performance came direct from the pages of nature’s own play. Hart enjoyed the fare and he read along with a deft ear. He moved his toes like encroaching soldiers in the verdant turf and immediately began to feel better like a calm that comes to one after the acceptance of hard news.

Chatting idly, a couple passed along the way, perhaps taking a detour to the city that lay at the bottom of Booker Hill Park. At the sight of this shoeless, unshaven and peculiar man, looking at the sky, sprawled out along the bench, their conversation grew hushed. “Washington, D.C. is more conservative than you might expect…” He whistled between his teeth. His perspective and power wasn’t clear to a passerby or a friend because he kept it that way. It was evident enough to him. His outward appearance was maybe that of late twenties. He dressed in plain clothes but somehow, always seemed to stand out and draw attention. Hart appeared to be quite youthful but his mannerisms didn’t match his age. He moved slowly and spoke deliberately as though every word that came from his mouth had been purposefully drawn for a desired effect.

An unintended silence had pervaded as the couple walked towards him on the path; they had to fight their natural urge to set a queer eye in his direction. “Must be from out of town…” Hart smiled as their curiosity peaked. They glanced over to his direction despite of themselves. Hart noticed, smiled with one eye open, the other closed and nodded his head emphatically. They carried on just as they came, now passing Hart and taking to their course, slowly meandering down the tulip lined, redbrick path. “Good folks, good upbringing.” Hart chuckled and considered them as his eyes opened to follow the entwined figures, slowly descending and out of sight.Hart laughed suddenly, remembering the messy incident and the last group to pass by. That time it wasn’t awkward whispers or a hurrying by.

During that fantastic age of adolescences, ‘the illusion of invulnerability,’ as Hart called it, either plagued or embarrassed those having to carry its weight; to some, it emboldened ego, to others, it inspired foolishness, in the worst case, both. This group took gazing awkwardness to another level but still, Hart empathized- He couldn’t remember when he was at that age or if he ever was a victim of disillusion or vice a versa but he tried to observe everything with equanimity: “Perhaps I am just in some dream world, waiting to rouse from my slumber.”

This afternoon, as he was stretching before his nap, he could hear scoffing from across a hedgerow. A raucous youth had deemed Hart a worthy target. With his crew of equally young men, they hopped over a fence, demolishing a flowerbed. They took a few steps forward close enough to where he sat and established themselves immediately: they let fly taunts and insults meant to wound.

Sometimes I enjoy a jest- it lends itself amusement,” Hart maintained, “…But their angle could use some polishing”. They attacked and tried to undermine him as a homeless vagrant. They gave Hart the other end of it, too with a potluck of tree-hugging and homosexual clichés.

Hart rolled his eyes; his shield was iron, his confidence unbreakable. He understood, “the best medicine in the world is that of laughter.” But there was no laughter to be had with this lot, so he extended the axiom to fit.

“…The next best medicine is discipline. ” He grinned to himself, “Funny is what it’ll be, discipline is what they’ll get.

The most outspoken stepped up, “Hey, dumbass whatcha’ mumblin’ about, you drunk?”

Another shouted from the group, “You’re fucking up our park!”

Hart called softly, not looking at them, “Have you seen what you’re stepping on?”

The kid looked down at the trampled flowers and ivy and finishing a soda can, he dropped it then crushed it under his feet.

He shot back, “Well its our park and we can step on these flowers if we want- you don’t pay for em’, you fuckin’ slob!”

Hart surely passed for a vagrant or derelict at times but this he wasn’t-drifter perhaps, but not down and out; this was impossibility for a man of his talents. He considered his dress: a spotless though slightly wrinkled shirt and blue denim jeans without any holes or patches.

“My momma don’t do my washin’ boy, why don’t you go home and change you’re underwear before I make you shit your pants.” Hart began laughing to himself; he played along at their expense.

The group standing behind the aggressor snickered, “Ah, Shut the hell up!” He growled, “You want to start something, faggot or you wanna’ take a walk down to Dupont so I can tell all your friends how we’re gonna’ ruin your rainbow-lovin’ day?” Such jeers had no effect and to the vexation of the issuer, they landed without punch.

“Ease-up partner, it’s the 21st century we’re living in and my friends, in Dupont, would be equally upset if you ruined my day as I would be if you ruined there’s.”

“Wise guy, we’re gonna’ beat your ass stupid, right here.”

As he said this the 3 others stepped forward to join the ringleader.

“Look guys, I apologize, you’re a bunch of nice lads- you want an apple or share some of my sandwich?” He sat up and reached into his rucksack at his feet and proffered a green apple. The group looked incensed and was swearing menacingly as they began to approach Hart.

Meanwhile, Hart was unaffected and cutting an apple into slices. The motley crew took this unsheathed knife with suspicion and two stopped approaching.

“Hey man, this guy is out of his mind- I’m not about to be shanked.”

The other agreed and called up the ranks, “It aint’ worth it, Marcus, we’re in D.C. you don’t know how crazy fools are around here.” Hart stared at them emptily; his nonchalance unnerved them.

“…Those kid are bright.” 

(Continued here: pt 4)

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Vol. 1, Branded Souls, Chapter 1: The Dragon (Pt. 2)

(Read pt. 1 here)

Hart tried to rouse from a hypnotic state. He felt it as a dream that he could not return from without a fight. With his eyes closed, He drifted around a field of death as the mighty dragon itself. Watching from a sky to ground perspective, he saw men as carrion or prey. He was unable to express his emotions and felt like a corked bottle under pressure- he saw colors and felt burning through his veins as the a volley of arrows tried to curb him.

The dragon is on the hunt!” cried the friar from his belfry. The blacksmith screamed, “Get to shelter!” The friar churned the bells again with a long rope. People had all but fled the fields, leaving farm equipment and sheaves of wheat. Hart had no appetite for the town’s folk- the contents within the castle is what he pined for. A delicate voice clung to his mortal fiber and cried, “Save me,” from some dark recess.

It drove him mad- he was unable to think clearly and he was acting from an involuntary aggression. He sprayed fire into the archer slots carved into the castle; people could be heard screaming inside. An explosion blinded him temporarily and drilled a percussive ringing into his brain.

He slammed himself into the bulwark and dug his claws into the stone while repeatedly smashing his weight into the impregnable defense. The clang of alarm was heard and all had fled into their homes or into the castle. The army had regrouped and began packing explosives for another searing shower. He took to his wings, damaged and bleeding, roaring in defiance as he retreated to the opposite mountains.

Harts thoughts drifted as he distanced himself from the fire and frenzy. His sharp vision as a beast of preternatural ability waned and grew blurry. Hart felt disembodied.

His thought moved upwards as the dragon disappeared into the hills and grey mountains. His perspective moved still upwards and away from the village it centered the castle in his direct vision, he saw the battlefield fading and the dragon departing. The scene was no more and the boiling in his veins slackened; upwards he went towards the infinite depths of the cosmos.

Some gravity of another, beckoned him to reenter a sharp precept but he resisted for a time by keeping his eyelids closed momentarily; reds and blacks that painted the inside drew a somber canvas. Hart considered his increased strangeness and morbidity as his conscious floated in meditation. A gnashing darkness and gore-filled destruction sickened his thoughts and tolled heavily on his, willfully simple nature.

He yawned aloud and stretched his arms aloft. He moved his shoulders in a rolling fashion, flexing and hunching his shoulders intermittently. “Damn that bench is a tough bastard.” After stretching out his rotator cuff and shaking the numbness out of his arms, he began the method again with his legs. Stiffening and pulling his legs in front then together, he raised his feet from the grass. His quadriceps bulged like knots of thick ropes. He then gently rolled his ankles in his hands then let out a gush of air from his mouth, “Whew, can’t handle much more of those kind of naps…” Hart blinked and rubbed his eyes he knew it wasn’t just the medium he slept on that made him sedate, “What a curious dream,” He contended in an attempt to dispel the hanging haze.

At the far end of the bench, a squirrel was busying itself by digging out a patch of turf around a tree. The black critter ceased it’s labor, sniffed the air then drew a brown acorn from his hoard and set about to lunch; it cracked open the acorn with skilled digits. The innards of the acorn became reduced to crumbs at its dexterity; the husk was all that remained. When it finished one, it decided that its hunger was great and began this exercise once more. Hart looked upwards. It was a bright day but westward, distant, brooding storm clouds were on the horizon.

A beautiful poplar with its white and orange blossoms shaded him. That familiar tranquil breeze that rustled its leaves also stirred an imperceptible and undefined heartache; it froze up any fire of sudden activity that he may have wanted to do on this fine day. He fell back into a lazy stupor at the sweet smell of the flowers on the wind. He was ensorcelled by a memory that clung more dear to him than his very life but it was a memory that he could barely recall, a memory that came to him in fragments, like a hurtful puzzle that was relentless with its entreaties and its infinite madness.

“I loved her…I loved something.”

He placed his hands on the back of his head and slipped into an exceedingly casual position on the bench. He recalled a faint wisp; a lost, similar spring afternoon; it came floating back to him on the wings of the scented wind.

A soft and warm breeze tangled her locks of blonde in a playful caress. Wavy strands of gold fell across her brow. He saw a longing gaze; a half covered, sparkling green eye-

He felt a pang in his chest. He troubled himself willingly and tried to ignore this natural thing that feels like loss and weighs like stones in a heart. He attempted to ignore the pain of emotion because he wanted more. He wanted to find her, this woman who had been haunting his daydreams, nightmares and waking days. He wanted to answer why a memory was lashing from the depths of his mind and raking old coals.

Hart searched. First he searched in his mind. He cast a line of inquisition into its depths: He drew a net like a fisherman but at each stroke in these swirling waters, he missed his target. “It had been so very long.” As he thought hard on the emotion and power she conjured within him, he sat up as a man suddenly struck on that head. The net seemed to grapple something and this powerful something flailed hard in his eager clutch; an image sprang forth from across the sands of time:

Here came an impish grin and a childish titter lifted like a chorus by rosy cheeks. He recognized her and another. It was a stranger, himself, as recognizable as any but a stranger. This stranger was swathed in a forgetful cloud, holding some goblet as he whispered into the young woman’s ear. She beamed so bright that it illuminated the memory around her like a candle held to a dusty photo album.

She had rouge on. “No.” he sighed to his recognition, a deep scarlet blush. She was seated, facing towards him but her gaze was now bashfully away, towards the ground. She absently plucked petals from flowers, smiling all the while. The stranger’s thoughts then whispered into Harts mind:

…Perpetual innocence, kindness and truth…” It picked up and trailed off into a murmur.  This is, he thought, is the way he’d known her. Her smile faded to an outstretched, delicate hand wrapped in the lace of white silk, offering to him a ring of purple and yellow flowers. He reached for the bouquet but it was snatched away by a foul gust, the wind kicked up and a strong piercing rain sprang from dark clouds. The young women stood as if a forced puppet and floated backwards into a dark fog that grew around her. Her eyes pleaded though her facial expression was mute. Her hand remained outstretched as if trying to hold on to something. He struggled to grasp her precious white hand but the force of the storm pressed on him so violently that he was rooted. She grew into the blackness then the scene was blackness itself; he had lost her once more.

(Continued here: pt. 3)

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