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Thursday, May 6, 2010

BAD GIRL BLOGFEST


My work schedule has me once again entering the Bad Girl Blogfest a bit early.

But even so, I am happy to enter Andrew's Bad Girls Blogfest. http://blog.dawnsrise.com/2010/04/announcing-bad-girl-blogfest.html

But to be gracious, I'll be giving you two bad girls from my urban fantasy, LAST EXIT TO BABYLON. {the sequel to my fantasy, THE MOON & SUN AS MY BRIDES.}

First we have Fallen, the Sidhe once called The Morrigan. But let the Ningyo {a race from another plane of existence}, Kirika, describe her :

"By the Haniwa, she was magnificent, terrifying, yet majestic all at once. Her long, honey-wheat hair tumbled down along either side of a face both haunting and dreadful. Her body was aristocratic and straight, the deep blue of her snug Prussian cavalry uniform taut across her fencer’s shoulders and firm breasts. Her elegant face was spotlighted by her high cheekbones and slanted fae eyes, gleaming green fires under hooded lids. The full moon burned in glints along the length of her long, black, rune-carved dagger. She smiled cruel, her wet, pointed teeth mocking us all."

And then, there's Kirika herself. Let's listen in on Fallen giving the Ningyo a pep talk before attempting a mission impossible :

"You are Kirika Amaterasu, empress of The Order of the Black Lotus. You were, and still have the spirit of, Empress Himiko. You are beloved of Blake, son of Adam, a mortal like no other, who believes in you, chose you, depends on you. And you will succeed in this task of freeing him from oblivion, for you have never truly failed. Never! And you will not start now!”

Somehow, she found my left hand and squeezed. “And because I stand with Fallen The Morrigan, goddess of the lust for life and the love of death, and ... sister of a very lucky Ningyo.”

“I -- am worse than you could possibly imagine.”

“Blake does not think so, n-nor do I. As much as I am jealous of you, sister, I - I love you.”

And with her words, the world flickered back into life around us. Her face beamed, and she gave my hand another squeeze before dropping it. She smiled like a little girl worshipping her older sister, making me ashamed of my using fae Glamour to heal her.

{Together they set out in the infamous night club, Kol Basar, a strange crossroads of dimensions and different times. They are off to find the legendary 3-sided chess game being played by Freud, Darwin, and Napoleon. A first step in rescuing the man they both love from limbo. Here is a snippet of their walk through the Kol Basar as told by Fallen.}

Kirika slung the Spanish guitar across her slim back, her eyes full of death. I moved beside her, trying to glide through the air with a menace that had filled Celtic hearts with dread for centuries. Kirika looked across at me.

“I feel as if I walk beside a lioness given human form.”

Before I could answer, the pathetic ritual began. What pathetic ritual? The one that always started whenever I walked into a room with men and alcohol. A swaggering samurai hoisted up on the belt that held his twin swords and winked at me.

“I know I could make you very happy,” he leered.

“Why,” I murmured, “are you leaving?”

A scruffy man in a battered fedora and stained khakis shoved the samurai aside. “Out of the way, loser.”

He flashed a wide smile that glowed white, appearing as it did in the midst of a two week’s growth of beard. But instead of me, he doffed his hat to Kirika. She looked underwhelmed.

“Go on. I know you want to. Ask me out.”

Kirika kept on walking past him. “Certainly. Get out.”

We walked through the cluster of glowing tables amidst the hoots of the samurai. A sound of a scuffle broke out. The rasp of a drawn sword. The snap of a whip. Men. So predictable. So full of ego.

A tall, wiry man in a black suit with wide lapels, wearing a hat with a wider brim, shifted his shoulders in an unsuccessful attempt to hide the gun he wore in a shoulder holster. He strutted up to me.

“Where have you been all my life, doll?”

“Hiding from you.”

His face got hard. Unfortunately, his jaw was not. A fast uppercut and he went down to the floor with a loud thump. I stepped over him, trying for the grace of that lioness that Kirika had likened me to.

I had hoped that would put an end to our gauntlet. But male hormones are notoriously single-minded and short-sighted. I wonder how the human race has survived as long as it has. We traveled all of three paces before it started up again.

A musketeer, leaning on the bar to our right, reached out and stroked Kirika’s hair. “Haven’t I seen you someplace before, wench?”

She punched him once -- hard, four inches below his belt buckle. He went down huffing and squealing. She reached out and poured his mug of ale on his face.

“Yes, lout, and that is why I do not go there anymore.”

A bare-chested black man walked like a rooster towards me. He seemed to be wearing a woman’s hose on top of his head and more gold chains than Midas would have found decent. His baggy shorts went below his knees. His shoes were canvas. His fashions were unfamiliar. Sadly, his attitude was not.

He walked right up to me, looking me up and down. “Yo, mama, what it is?”

I locked cold eyes with his. “Unobtainable.”

His gold chains moved with a life of their own and began to strangle him. I turned to Kirika. She was oddly gesturing with the fingers of her left hand. Her face seemed a demon’s, as her hair floated around her head as if the air were slow moving ocean currents.

“You are alive only because I sense you were complimenting my sister. I, however, took it as an insult. Take your compliments and attitude far, far away.”

He staggered backwards, holding his throat where the chains were loosening. “Chill, mama! I didn’t mean nothing.”

Kirika murmured, “That is true, human. You mean nothing. To me. To my sister. And sadly, it would seem you mean nothing to yourself.”

Kirika turned to me, and her face grew long. “Fallen, in the not so distant future, we will very likely be taking on the entire clientel of this chamber of the damned.”

I nodded absently, my eyes ever roving for the three-sided chess game. “Yes, it would seem that our careers are certainly taking off.”

She rolled her eyes. “For once, be serious.”

“That is your end of our partnership, sister.”

“No! Listen. You have never faced the Amal. I have. When we round that cluster of tables, we must be holding hands. When we feel Blake’s fingers around ours and burn with that burst of love, the Amal will wither like mist under the rising sun.”

“You just say things like that because you are Ningyo.”

She stepped right into my face. “You are not as funny as you think.”

“You are not the first to point that out to me.”

“Why must you be like this?”

I reached out to stroke her cheek. She jerked away in anger. I sighed.

“I am who I am. If I let myself feel the fear that any sane person would have at this moment, I will freeze up. Blake needs me --”

“Needs us. Oh, you do not fool me, sister. You know this is suicide. You mean to part from me in the midst of the slaughter, draw the dogs after you, keep me alive -- for Blake. He needs us both or neither.”

Her eyes filled with tears. “I need you. Do not leave me. Please, promise me when it begins that you will not leave me.”

I drew in a deep breath. “I promise -- to do what I think will best insure Blake’s return to this reality. And I expect you to do so as well. And if that means leaving me to die alone facing the assembled hordes of Hell, I expect you to do that.”

“I - I cannot promise that.”

I smiled bitter. “Well, no one is perfect. Come, let us beard these infamous Amal of yours.”

There was another uneasy silence between us as we floated upon feet that barely felt the floor. Heads turned as we walked like lions through jackels. I ignored them. All I felt was Kirika’s eyes on me. It was odd. Beating through my head, my very blood, was a gypsy song I had heard once as I preyed along the Balkins, Canto Alla Vita.

“I sing to Life and to its tragic beauty,

To pain and to strife, to all that dances through me

The rise and the fall; I have lived through it all.

Canto alla vita

Negli occhi tuoi riflessa

Facile e infinita

Terra a noi promessa.”

Kirika turned to me. “That -- that is beautiful.”

I was shocked. “You heard it, too?”

“We are linked. Through life, through death, ever shall we be sisters, the moon and the sun, destined to share the same sky, to be alone in our love for it.”

“I take it back. You are not a disillusioned romantic. You are simply a romantic.”

********************************
For Donna and Andrew, who wanted a truly bad girl, here is Nyx from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURE {Sam has just been told the back of his club has been invaded by Nyx who is forbidden in Meilori's.}


Toya, Meilori's manager, rasped, “Is she really the -- the personification of Chaos, the madness that existed before all Creation?”

I shrugged. “To hear her tell of it, yes. But when did you know any of the creepy crawlies who make my life interesting to tell the whole truth about themselves --- or anything for that matter?”

“So you don’t believe her?”

“I believe she wants to believe what she says about herself.”

“S-So she isn’t living chaos?”

“I - I think she’s something worse.”

“Worse? What could be worse?”

“Whatever she is, she’s bad. I’ve seen her lift an eyebrow, just an eyebrow, mind you, and suck the life out of every man, woman, and child in an entire city block.”

Toya paled even more. “God.”

“More in the opposite direction. I saw her whisper one word and wither the life from an entire crew of a Nazi submarine.”

“What was the word?”

“Hungry.”

Toya shivered, and I reached under my table. “Rind told me that once long ago Nyx screamed, and the Black Plague laid waste to most of Europe.”

“B-But that was a disease, and it took months to kill that many.”

“Historians weren’t there. Rind was, seeing as how it’s her job and all. Those thousands of people died in a day.”

“A day?”

“Yeah, a day. One terrible, terrible day.”

{Samuel takes the Spurs of Hephaestus out from under his table. To wear them is to feel bone-deep pain. But the pain of whatever wound is inflicted upon the wearer is felt by the person wounding the wearer of those mythic spurs. After some searching of his club, Sam finds Nyx at the Baccarat table, surrounded by dead players.}

I turned to the Baccarat table to my right. All the other players were withered corpses. That's what Nyx did to you if you lost. Or won, for that matter. She was a sore loser. Big surprise there.

Sitting high above the baccarat table, in a chair like a judge at one of those tennis matches, was a woman in a red Victorian-style gown. She looked like she belonged in a ballroom. But I knew what she was doing. She was the ‘floorman.’ Sitting in her polished oak chair, she nervously twirled a long oak paddle, used to scoop up the dealt cards and hand them to the players.

Directly below her, a short, slim woman in a skin-tight Harlequin costume stood with her fingers to her obviously terrifed face.

The Harlequin would have to be the caller, the one whose job it was to announce all the totals and proclaim the winner. She didn’t look happy with her job. She kept looking at the tall, skeletal woman to her right. The woman was human in looks alone.

She was Nyx.

If she had been alive, she would have been a very sick woman. But I suspected that she was undead, a very creepy kind of undead. Though, truth to tell, was there any other kind?

Long, black hair hung straight down each side of her old ivory face. She was nothing to write home about unless you were into frightening letters. She had gray, insane eyes, the same eyes that DayStar had. They said she was a law unto herself, that she recognized no code but her own hungers. To get in her way was to get dead - or worse.

Her tight dress fit her like a black leather second skin. It plunged down so low in the front I was sure that if she leaned forward, one of us was going to be embarrassed. And I had a feeling it wouldn't be her.

She seemed to wiggle without moving. Maybe if you were into kissing dead women, you would have found her sexy. Not me. I wasn't into necrophilia.

She was toying with her cute little necklace of tiny skulls and looking bored. I followed her gaze. She was looking at a tuxedoed man sprawled across from her at the green table. I smiled bitter. Once he had been called 'Mr. Lucky.' I sighed. Sooner or later, the cards always turned against you.

You might think it was just your life you lost when you played with Nyx. You'd be wrong. As I watched, Nyx reached out and touched the man, and another skull was added to her necklace.

“Next?," she laughed.

Nobody seemed eager to take the man's place. Who could blame them? She looked at me with hungry eyes and smiled.

You could starve off the difference between her power and DayStar's. And DayStar was the timeless dark personified. Nyx smiled wider, crueler. I hated powerful sadists.

There were two ways to deal with supremely powerful demi-gods. You could toady to them, kneel at their feet praying that they would only taunt and play with you, that the pain would be survivable. I made a face. Genuflecting was out. My bad knee and all.

That left the other way, and I forced a lazy smile. "Oh, a fan. I don't have a photograph on me, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks."

"Ape!," Nyx spit.

I quick held back the blessing to Hephaestus's spurs. And my world became white-hot agony. I had been in agony before. This was worse, much, much worse. I fell to the floor, squirming in spasms. I heard my customers scramble from their chairs. Some screamed. I would have, too. But the sheer torment had stolen my breath.

I heard the Harlequin cry out, "Please, Nyx, no. H-He was kind to me."

I didn't remember, but I did hear Nyx hiss, "You dare ask me for mercy?"

I had been too smart for myself. I thought whatever she would hit me with would still leave me breath. I had been wrong. But I heard the Harlequin cry out in terror. No! I would damn well find the breath.

I gasped out Hephaestus's blessing, "I-It is better to g-give than to receive."

Nyx reeled from her chair, hit the floor, and screamed her throat raw. The agony left me. But I knew my club, especially back here. I couldn't stay on the floor, though my trembling body begged for me to do so. I wrenched up to my feet to see a few of the predators heading for me. I glared at them.

"You know who I am. You've seen what I can do. You want me to do it to you?"

As a man, they took a long look at the squirming Nyx, the personification of timeless Chaos. Then they looked at me. They spun on their heels. I thought they would run for it. But the predators this far back were sadists.
*****************************************************************
Hope you enjoyed this stroll with three very, very bad girls. And when I think bad girls, I think first of Xena :

And the song Fallen sings in her head is one made popular by Josh Groban. I know that if I see the rights to LAST EXIT TO BABYLON, I will have to write my own song, but in my head I will always hear Fallen singing this :

37 comments:

  1. I certainly did enjoy your bad girls! Thrilling stuff!

    Roland, thank you for your kind message on my blog.
    -Bernita
    An Innocent A-Blog

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  2. My favorite line was the one about the guy wearing more chains than Midas would have found appropriate.

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  3. Nice. I especially enjoyed the reference to Black Lotus. Your blog came up via a Google Alert and I was compelled to read.

    View this "Legend of Black Lotus" video if you have a chance

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZIdY0Fo3CM

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  4. What it is, bro!
    Hey your comment on my main post doesn't count! You gotta comment on one of the stories to beat me. And make it meaningful!
    BTW I tots think they should get a sext and reply to it. LOL
    I love the replies. It's the worlds worst bar...EVAR!

    Nice job. Thanks for participating. Now give me a real comment! :)

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  5. Dude; for the first time since I've been coming here you have disappointed me. It's a knife to my heart.

    I'm looking for bad girls for the sake of badness. Wicked, self serving, kick a guy when he's down or take candy from a baby types.

    These are kick a$$ chicks; cruising through a dangerous bar on a mission to save their lost love. What's bad about that!! Their methods of date aversion may be aggressive, but they have a heroic purpose. A sentiment any woman can agree with, cheer on, and wish she had the ability to implement.

    Your women are strong in mind, body, and intent. They have a sympathetic goal, and the skills and attitude to not let anything or anyone get in the way. This excerpt is empowering to women, and their various causes; but falls short, in my opinion, of the spirit of "Bad Girl".

    I went searching for your post with Inari as a callous, cold hearted demon. The murder scene, I think. But dang it all I got distracted by the music, and a post or two I missed, so I couldn't find the name of Inari's - sister? From the ship.

    I'm sure those two would have some serious bad girl adventures.

    Don't get me wrong; I loved these two. Woh, who doesn't love a woman who can take care of herself in any situation. And using The Morrigan as one of your characters; well that alone would be enough to draw me into the reading. The Dananni are my research focus right now for my own fantasy attempt.

    I'm taking serious lessons from you Roland. Loved how you made your ladies competent and real and beings to route for. True champions.

    Gotta go get my own entry posted. Thanks for the awesome read; and the music.

    ........dhole

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  6. Donna, for you and Andrew, I added a truly evil woman, Nyx, the personification of the raw chaos that existed before all creation. I show a small excerpt of her battle with Samuel McCord. Hope you like it, Roland

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  7. Wow, Nyx is definitely evil. But I did like the sisters also. That's an interesting dynamic there and I would love to read more!

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  8. You are redeemed Bro! Nyx is bodaciously bad. Yeah, you nailed it this time. I loved it when she touched the man, and another skull appeared on her necklace. And that bored look; inspiring. Sent chills up my spine.

    My favorite was when Sam said she killed the entire crew of a Nazi warship with just one word: Hungry. Yeah, that rose fine hairs on the back of my neck.

    My Bug just came out and asked what I'm doing up at this time of morning. Thanks for the prospective nightmare. Have a slow night.

    ...........dhole

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  9. Ass-kicking bad girls. What's not to like? That Fallen means serious business. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  10. They are indeed bad girls. Awesome stuff.

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  11. As always, your writing is awesome. As far as your comment to my page, I find it hard to find something new to say that others haven't already, and I didn't think you'd notice if I didn't. I'll try to be better. I also notice when you don't comment on mine. In fact, I'm noticing that hardly anyone comments on mine anymore, so I've somehow become a blogging pariah. It's totally fueling my suspicion that I suck.

    I hope you have a good weekend.

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  12. Very, very bad and very, very cool! I like the way you use mythology, too, although "Nyx" admittedly has a kind of teen-vampire taste to it since "House of the Night" by the two Casts. That made reading your (excellent) story a little strange... shift in perception is a good thing, though! ; P

    ps. thanx for the lovely feedback on my post!

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  13. Hmm...now Nyx is almost beyond Bad Girl into Demoness. But I like her just the same.
    What the heck happens if she sneezes? I wouldn't want to be around.
    Thanks for all your comments on my entries! I guess you still win...

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  14. nyx needs a fix... of something, or someone! ;) lol

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  15. I've only read through the first so far - wanted to comment while still fresh...

    Wow. Your snips alwas suck me deep inside, Roland. I love these two girls, you wrote them incredibly well. And I am dying to get to know this Blake, who must be seriously hot, er I mean nice, to have these sisters working together to save his ass...

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  16. Wow, Kirika and Fallen are seriously Bad Girls on a mission of love, which makes them bad girls with a heart. I like the juxtaposition. Not knowing the full story, I sense that they are enemies thrown together who have bonded in to an unstoppable sisterhood.

    Nyx, on the other hand, is evil personified. There is no heart in that one.

    I love both stories and both worlds. Reading your excerpts has whet my thirst for more.

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  17. Dude, I dug the Nyx scene, not just for Nyx, but because I like the voice you employ there.

    Genuflecting was out. My bad knee and all.

    Classic and witty.

    The other scene brought up too many bad memories of being single, know what I mean.

    - Eric

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  18. You and your writing are amazing!

    I have an award for you today, Roland! Have a great weekend. :-)

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  19. Thanks, all, for dropping by and commenting.

    Bernita : Don't be a stranger, and I promise to drop by your blog as well. Thanks for the compliment.

    Amalia : What with your fascination with myth, I thought that line might tickle your intererst.

    Angelo : I did view your video. Everyone reading this, you take a look, too. It was intriguing. I wish you luck in your movie venture.

    Andrew : Thanks for hosting such a fun blogfest. And no, I don't win. We both win, sharing laughs and our dreams. May your novel soon be published, hitting the bestseller lists and staying there.

    Donna : Glad I salvaged my reputation with Nyx, who has been in my little universe of shared hero-arcs since I started writing. Hope I didn't spark any nightmares.

    Harley : Yes, Fallen and Kirika spend the whole of THE MOON & SUN AS MY BRIDES at each other's throat. They are quite the pair. Thanks for enjoying my excerpt of their growing relationship from LAST EXIT TO BABYLON.

    A Cuban In London : Yes, Fallen is one of my oldest characters in my linked hero-cycles. She seems to push her way into all of my novels in some form or fashion.

    Tali Roland : Your praise always means a lot to me. Thanks. Don't be a stranger.

    Christi : No one comments quite like you so don't back off because others have written. I think our blogging friends have cycles in their lives of which we know nothing that impact the frequency of their visits.

    I know of one usually frequent visitor {no, not you} that seldom visits anymore. And when she does, her comments are terse as if I have offended her. It makes me sad. But what can you do? I just try to go forward and be the best that I can be -- with as much warmth and laughter as the present crises allow me. Do come back, and I promise to visit you.

    Tessa : Thanks for letting me know of "House of the Night." I've never heard of it. As I said earlier, Nyx has been lurking in the shadows of all my linked hero-cycles from the beginning of my writing. Your praise means a lot. Thanks again.

    Laughing Wolf : LOL. Yes, Nyx does need a fix. A mental fix. As it turns out, she is actually a projection of someone even more powerful than she, who is suffering from a multiple personality disorder.

    Tara : You made me laugh. Yes, some think Blake is hot, ah, nice. And also he has the capacity to innocently get into more trouble trying to be good than any ten bad boys trying to be wicked.

    Olivia : Your comments, as always, make my day. Yes, Fallen and Kirika are mult-layered. And as evil as Nyx is, so is she. And Nyx is also in the Kol Basar trying to fend off the two mythic sisters before they can reach the three-sided chess table and free Blake from limbo. What can I say? Nyx gets around.

    Eric : That you like the voice I give Sam made me smile. Think an older Quigley Down Under. You, yourself, always give a distinctive voice to your characters. And like in your single days, my time in night spots has had its share of "ouch" moments!

    Again, everyone who has cared enough to comment, thank you. You make my writing the better for your input and your friendship, Roland

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  20. Loved the scene with the sisters dealing out some seriously needed whoop ass. But I gotta say Nyx has my vote for the baddest of the bad girls. Wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley or anywhere really. Well done!

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  21. Hey Roland! Again, your writing never ceases to amaze me! I love your "I smiled bitter." I thought I've read that somewhere here before? Great imagery! :)

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  22. You have great banter in the dialogue. It was a fun read.

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  23. Truly amazing stuff!! I love sci-fi and this was beyond.

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  24. I enjoyed it all, of course--but Roland--Nyx was totally perfect for this! Wow. Wow! Thanks for sharing--Nyx's evil was killer.

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  25. Love me some Bad Ass Bitches!! Good work Roland!Keep it up!

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  26. Roland,
    Thanks very much for taking the time to visit my blog and commenting.

    Having looked through a few of your posts, I am in admiration of your output. Clearly you don't let much get in the way of your writing, something I wish was true for me. You write like you really enjoy what you do, and that's a wonderful thing. Maybe I should take a cue from you and post a chapter from that novel I'm (not at the moment) working on.
    Quite enjoyable and interesting to read this and to see how others approach their writing.

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  27. Oh, what a journey these two stories have been...

    I love the mix of drama and dry humor, there's a perfect balance in there, like a knife's edge, that's both thrilling and entertaining.

    And the hints about a wider world - wider *and* scarier... - are mesmerizing.

    *bow*

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  28. Wow, amazing writing Roland! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  29. All these bad girls everywhere. My WIP has a bad girl. Does that count?

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  31. Great bad girls, great story telling, great descriptions as always. You really have a way with words. :)

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  32. Lovely writing. I like the characters; I'm a sucker for females who can take care of business. Thanks for sharing.

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  33. I really like the characters. The first story reminds me of when my best friend and I used to go out in our younger years. Your discription of the activity is very perceptive and true to the experience in a funny fictional sort of way. I love the sarcasm.

    I find the Nyx character very intriguing, caos before creation, very cool. I am fasinated by your discription of her, especially her grey eyes.

    Your writing has definitely inspired me to begin reading science fiction and fantasy again.
    I feel a strong desire to contact some agents myself and insist that they publish your work, so that I can have a copy to read at my leisure. I am sure that moment will come soon.

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  34. What rich descriptions! I agree with Donna... the girls in the first story are not bad, just badass.

    I ALSO like Iapetus' suggestion! LOL.

    Nyx sure is creepy. She's pure evil alright.

    Is the song truly a gypsy or folk song? If so, the words are probably not copyrighted, just the music. So you may not have any trouble using them in a published work.

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  35. Go, bad girls. Great writing, too.

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