So you can read my books

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The ever-funny and intelligent, Christi Goddard, has a 106 FOLLOWERS CONTEST. The link is here :

The Rules:

She hate rules. Therefore, hers are simple.

1. Blog about it. Why? Advertising rocks. Anything extra you'd like to do is appreciated mucho.

2. Be a follower. Why? It's the polite thing to do.

3. Short story, roughly 500 words. Why roughly? Because she won't disqualify for over or under, so long as it's a complete story. She'd enjoy it if it's 1000. She'd be disappointed if it's 100. It can be any genre.She'd prefer funny or incredibly tragic. She's like that.

4. Email it to because she wants to consider them privately, not as posts. If you want to post on your blog, that's cool, but still email her.

5. The deadline is July 4th.

The prizes, you ask? Capitalism rears its head. This is also simple. It's up to you.

1st Prize: $40.00
2nd Prize: $30.00
3rd Prize: $20.00
4th Prize: $10.00
Honorable Mention: $6.00.

Why? Because it's the 106 followers contest, so she's giving out $106.00. She's not foolish enough to send cash in the mail, so these will be in the form of gift certificates to anything you choose.

Doesn't that sound cool?

{Now, before we go to my entry, there is a brave, loving woman, Karen, who is struggling with her school in Africa. Now, who says that the good are boring? Visit her blog, why don't you? }

Now, for my entry in Christi's contest entitled, "Eyes of Death and Love." It's from my Native American/Celtic fable for kids at heart everywhere, THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS :

Estanatlehi, The Turquoise Woman, studied Hibbs who had stopped walking beside her. As so often with the bear, his present had been swallowed up by his past. No longer was he in Eire nor even a grown bear. And instead of the wet smell of spring, the crisp chill of Autumn tickled his wrinkling nose. But he was still walking beside a long-striding Estanatlehi.

It was his first week in the Valley of the Shadow -- long before he knew it well enough to be cautious of what lay within its dark corners. And he wasn't exactly walking beside GrandMother.

Rather he was bouncing all around her, filled with the energy and wonder of all young cubs.

The Turquoise Woman was frowning at him as he skipped and leapt in a circle around her. "I hate to see you so sad."

"Oh, GrandMother," giggled Hibbs. "You're so funny."

Estanatlehi smiled faint. "I do believe that you are the first to say that of me."

"Truly? Wheee! I'm the first. The very first. I bet I'm the first bear to explore this wonderful valley, too."

A thin arch of lightning rose skeptically over one turquoise eye. "Wonderful? I do believe that once again you are the first to call this valley that as well."

Hibbs did a hand-stand as he bounced around The Turquoise Woman. "What a day of firsts! It's great to be an explorer, isn't it?"

Estanatlehi sighed, "True, there is something to be said for heading into unexplored territory --- Uffff!"

Hibbs had collided into her side as he miscalculated his next hand-stand. She stopped suddenly and gestured. The young cub froze upside down in mid-air. Twin turquoise eyes narrowed as she bent and placed her face right next to the face of the frightened bear.

"But there is also something to be said for knowing where you are going."

"Wanunhecun, (mistake in Lakota)," muttered Hibbs out of a dust dry throat.

Turquoise eyes narrowed further, and Hibbs managed to get out the one word, "S-Sorry."

Snow suddenly started to swirl around the upside-down cub. "Better."

Hibbs let out a sigh of relief. Of course, he had misunderstood her as he so often did. And The Turquoise Woman reached out and sharply tweaked his nose.

"N-Not better?"

Estanatlehi murmured in words of winter, "No. Not 'sorry.' But 'better.'"

Hibbs' eyes widened. "Oh, you mean -- don't be sorry. Be better."

Long ivory fingers gestrued gracefully, and the cub landed on his head. Hard. But Hibbs merely giggled and rolled to his feet, hugging the startled Turquoise Woman.

"Got it right that time, didn't I, GrandMother?"

And feeling the warmth of the young cub's trusting embrace about her legs, Estanatlehi lost all her former anger. She reached down and gently ruffled the top of Hibbs's furry head. All the tension left her voice as she spoke.


Her eyes sparkled with something that rarely touched them -- amusement. "And no."

Hibbs looked up with such nose-wrinkling puzzlement that Estanatlehi had to laugh. "How can it be both 'yes' and 'no' at the same time, GrandMother?"

This time her fingers were gentle as she tweaked his nose. "Oh, Little One, sometimes it appears that your whole life is both 'Yes' and 'No.'"



She reached down and gently tugged on his small right ear. "Come, and I will show you."

Though he felt like he would burst from just simply plodding along, Hibbs forced himself to walk beside GrandMother. His steps were so small compared to her long strides though that he happily found it was necessary to skip to keep up. Estanatlehi shook her head in wry amusement.

"This path is much different in summer than it is now in Autumn. These gentle slopes, so pleasant to walk upon in summer, turn slippery and dangerous with winter snows."

Hibbs squinted this way and that as he tried to imagine the trees and grass about him covered with the magic of first snowfall. The brittle leaves of Autumn tickled the bottom of his bare feet, and he fought a giggle. A hawk cawed high overhead, and the young cub strained to make it out. But it flew high into the clouds too quickly for him to pick it out against the utter blue of the sky.

Estanatlehi tugged a bit sharper on his ear to snare his ever-wandering attention. "Yet in winter, we could safely walk over this very spot where in summer rattlesnakes love to hide."

"Yikes!," squealed Hibbs, slamming hard into Estanatlehi's left leg as he leapt in fright from the imagined attack of slumbering rattlesnakes rudely awakened by scampering bear feet.

The Turquoise Woman sharply gestured with long ivory fingers, whose tips sizzled with sparks of black death. Yelping in fear and surprise, Hibbs was lifted bodily high in the air by the threads of Life until his eyes stared unhappily straight into eyes which had blasted the very flesh from the bones of Lakota warriors foolish enough to anger her.

"Does the air feel like summer to you?"

"I know it is Autumn, but --"

Turquoise eyes narrowed dangerously. "Autumn. Not summer. So by my very words, you know you are safe."

Hibbs swallowed hard and managed to get out, "You wouldn't say that if you were on my side of your eyes."

Estanatlehi stiffened, then laughed long and deep. "Oh, Little One, whatever did I do before you?"

As he was lowered gently to the dry leaves, Hibbs rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably. "Probably walked without getting your feet stepped on."

Her head cocked slightly, and long, cold fingers gently ruffled the fur on the top of his head. "But I never laughed. Never. I believe a bruised toe or two is a small price for me to pay."

She tugged sharp on his right ear. "Now, what have you learned from all this?"

Hibbs looked up lovingly into her face and wanted so hard not to see it grow cold again. He thought and thought and thought. The obvious answer would only raise storm clouds again. An eyebrow of living lightning rose slowly.

Snakes in summer. Slippery tumbles in winter. The same path. His furry brow wrinkled as his tiny eyes squinted in hard thought. His eyes suddenly widened, and he smiled big.

"Different seasons make for different paths, even on the same spot."

The eyebrow of lightning kept rising, and Hibbs stuttered, "U-Uh, and -- and --- I guess that means that no one walks the same path twice even though it is the same road."

Hibbs heaved a sigh of relief as Estanatlehi's full lips slowly smiled. "I believe the end of the world must be near."


Full lips struggled to be sober and lost. "It is written : there shall be plagues, floods, and famines. Little Hibbs will actually learn a lesson. Then shall the End come."

"Oh, GrandMother, you scared me."

She gently stroked the top of his head. "It is a natural talent."

Hibbs couldn't think of anything to say to that which wouldn't end up with him becoming even more scared, so he just hugged GrandMother's legs. Icy fingers patted his cheek. Hibbs smiled wide. For once, he had chosen the right path.

And abruptly, Hibbs was back in the present. And yes, he was still smiling but it was a sad smile, nonetheless, with echoes of loss and beckoning darkness. He looked to GrandMother and saw her lips twisting up in the same smile.

"The right path," he whispered.

Estanatlehi's hair of living lightning shivered as she nodded. "So you still remember?"

"I remember each of our walks, GrandMother."

And the air was heavy with the haunting song of memory and the dark call of Destiny.


Well, Christi, that's hardly two pages. Sorry. But I tried. Have a healing week, everyone. Gypsy is demanding her chicken finger. I buy her one all for herself. Her paw just went to my leg. I have a princess to feed.


My mother told me my totems were the bear and the wolf. She was wiser than I. Who am I to say different :


  1. Thanks for the heads up on this contest! Have a good week.

  2. Thanks for the pimpage, Roland. You're the best. Truly, one of the best online friends that I have.


  3. I've always loved Hibbs.

    And I want to say how sorry I am for not remembering you were in the query trenches with me/us when I handed out the Sure Fire Winner award Saturday. I don't know where my mind was that I could have forgotten you. I've written a formal apology to you on my blog for tomorrow but I know that's really not enough. I know it's just a silly little thing but I feel so bad. I really do.

  4. Karen : Glad I could alert you. And you're always welcome here. And a good week to you, too.

    Christi : Same right back at ya. Happy to give you a shout-out about your contest.

    Anne : You're not the first pretty lady to forget me. LOL. Not to worry.

    That you care enough to be concerned means a lot to me. I read your post and truly didn't think a thing of not being mentioned. Last I heard the world did not revolve around me. I'm just glad to drop in on my friends and hear about their life and times. Have a great week. Roland

  5. Hi
    Awww - what a lovely story of little Hibbs awakening under the wise old hands of Grandmother!

    A very haunting and evocative piece. Thanks for sharing and good luck with this fab contest.

    Take care