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Friday, June 4, 2010


It is time for Amalia's DREAM SEQUENCE BLOGFEST :

Long ago in what seems almost another life, I wrote two novels for a hospitialized girl in her early teens. Her mother thought Harry Potter godless. The mother and daughter both turned to me, knowing I had written some Xena scripts for a young customer in the hospital.

My own mother was dying, my business was struggling, and I was on foot since someone had put sugar in my car's gas tank. But plotting the novels would give me something to do while walking the five miles to my store. I could type on my laptop in between customers. I agreed.

This scene is from the first novel, THERE IS NO GOODBYE. The 13 year old Blake Adamson has lost his heart to a fae named Fallen. He has sailed across the Time Stream, meeting the 3 Faerie Queens bringing Arthur's body to Avalon. And in fighting demons in present day Wellington, New Zealand, he has just suffered a fatal heart attack :

For long moments, I drifted aimless through the blackness as if upon a lazy underground ink sea. Floating, floating, floating. Then, suddenly, I surged along as if propelled.

I felt my body again. Not a good thing. My chest was gutted out, with the echo of a threat that another terrible charley horse was going to seize my chest with merciless steel fingers.

Guess I couldn't even die right.

I stirred uneasily. A weird, trilling music tugged me fully awake. The sound of it made me shudder as if caressed by a corpse. It seemed like the wailing of mourning unicorns at the death of the dawn.

I shifted about some more. Man, what was stabbing me? Jeez.

It felt like I was laying upon a thick bed of thin sticks, with thorns on them, yet. Thorns? My eyes popped open, as ice water took the place of blood in my veins. Not really wanting to but compelled by something inside me, I turned my head to the left.

I went stiff. King Arthur. His bloodless, bruised face was right up against mine.

Chest or no chest, I sat straight up, my whole body going as cold as the strange music all around me.

I looked to my left and right. I sighed deep. Just like I had feared. I was on that black barge, heading to Avalon, the misty Isle of Lost Souls. And even worse, I was laying right next to the dead King Arthur. I tried for a swallow and didn't even come close.

Did that make me dead?

A hollow laugher echoed from the fiery mists to my right. The tall, eerie figure of the Faerie Queen Hesperides suddenly floated in front of me. Her long raven hair framed a face not even Dali could have loved. Her thin, cruel lips curved up in a mockery of a smile.

"No, Last Defender of Camelot. Not quite dead."

I tried for a brave smile and did as lousy a job of it as she had. "Yeah, but the night's still young, huh?"

One second Hesperides was alone, the next, Meropis, tall and hair like a hot sunset, was beside her sister. Ice crystals formed a strange halo about her head. She was the next to fake a smile. The gesture seemed foreign to her. Goes to show you that you have to do things every few centuries or so for them to appear natural.

"Humor from the dead-but-not-dead? How pathetically quaint. Are you tired of life?"

I smiled crooked, "It makes my eyes water."

Then, as Meropis seemed to be debating whether to throw me overboard or not, High Queen Ogygia, her long hair the brightness of a full moon, appeared right in front of me. She turned fluid to face her sisters. Happy she was not.

"The young knight is a guest. My guest. I brought him. Treat him badly at your peril. Have a care, sisters. You two still wish to live. I do not."

Hesperides and Meropis showed me that I could still be wrong. They became even paler than they had been. Ogygia turned back to me, smiling a true smile.

Yep, this was my night to be wrong, alright. I hadn't thought it was possible for a Faerie Queen. She gently stroked the Alpha piggybacking the Omega on the necklace Solomon had given me.

"In your end is your beginning," she sadly murmured.

I jerked as if slapped. "What?"

Her eyes of winter come to life grew wet. "The words will make sense when the season is upon you."

I arched an eyebrow. "I can see you've spent time with Solomon, ah, Myrlin."

She cocked her head. "From the One comes two. From two comes The Three. And from The Three flows everything."

I sighed, "This is a lesson, right? Well, I can understand why they call them lessons 'cause my understanding of 'em lessens and lessens the longer this night stretches on."

Hesperides sneered, "Have mercy on the child, sister. He is at his wit's end. And truth, he did not have far to go."

Ogygia ignored her with an ease that comes from years of practice. She smiled, then frowned, looking at my chest. She clucked her tongue. I stiffened. For a moment, she had sounded just like -

"My daughter, the lioness," she murmured in tones of weeping ice.

"Fallen's your daughter? Oh, man, just wait til I tell -"

Seeming intent on never letting me finish a thought or a sentence, Ogygia shook her head. "The time to tell her is yet to come."

Her voice took on an edge you could cut diamonds with, "And it is for me to say, not some errant knight yet to shave."

I cleared my throat, more sad than scared, but just a little fearful, seeing tiny lightning bolts arc from her fingertips. "Please forgive me, your majesty. I would never hurt a friend."

She jerked as if stung, then smiled bittersweet. "Friend? You would call me friend? Then, I shall share a secret with you, dear knight, : Faeries cannot forgive a hurt."

I made a face. "Then, I'm in for a world of hurt from Fallen."

Her eyes became deep hollows. "More true than thou knows. It shall be the death of thee."

"Oh, for awhile there, I was worried."

Her eyes flashed hot. "Have a care, youngling. I do not take to mocking well."

"But I was being truthful, 'cause you see if Fallen's the one to kill me, then DayStar can't be the one to do it, can he, now?"

Meropis snorted, "How little dost thou understand the many faceted nature of thy destiny, whelp."

I shrugged, "Hey, you're not telling me anything I don't know, lady. I have a hard enough time with Algebra, much less fate."

Meropis looked at me as if I had been something stinky she had stepped in. It would have hurt had I cared what she thought of me. She stiffened as if hearing my thoughts. Her lips grew into a tight, white line. Forget the "if".

She murmured, "You are one of those mortals who would be tremendously improved by death."

She was doing a good job of scaring me, but I was darned if I was going to let her bully me. "Your Majesty, if I promise to miss you, would you go away?"

Ogygia's face brightened with a small smile, then she said low and hard to her sister without even looking back. "I can arrange for this barge to carry two corpses, perhaps even four, for as I said : I no longer care to live."

Hesperides obviously didn't share Ogygia's sentiments. She gently touched Meropis' arm and firmly shook her head. Meropis ground her teeth, but she backed away until the fog almost hid her. Not quite. That would have been too much to expect.

Ogygia turned and sighed, "And now, for the purpose of my bringing you here."

She slowly reached out to my chest, her hand glowing strangely. "To mend thy valiant heart."

I jerked away. "No. No magic. The Father wouldn't approve."

She looked sadly, first at me, then at Arthur. "If only Wart had felt the same way, he might yet be alive."

She turned back to me. "But even your Science says that there is more to the world than meets the eye. Or did you think that you were the only one that carried the gift of healing at his fingertips."

I looked close at her. "Natural?"

Ogygia smiled bitter. "As natural as one such as I can be."

Hesperides seemed to be studying me like one would a dissected frog in biology class. "Would you truly turn away from staving off death if you thought it would offend The Most High?"

I looked at her all puzzled. "If I wouldn't hurt a friend, why would you think I would hurt my Father?"

Hesperides flinched. "Truly, thou art the Son of David."

I shook my head. "Everyone seems to be sure of that, but me."

Ogygia sighed, "What I am sure of is that thy death would break my daughter's heart. Worse, it would herald the death of her soul."

My heart started to seize up again. "Don't say that, Your Majesty, 'cause even if you heal my heart, DayStar will still kill me."

She breathed, "To be is to become the value of a variable."


She reached out quick and fluid, touching my heart with her glowing hand, sending strange warmth all through me. "In thy end is thy beginning, and thy answer will be The Dark Lord's question."

I shivered, feeling a tingling strength surge through my chest, no, my whole body. I shook my head and looked up sad. I tried for a smile.

"Now, I'm relieved, for a second there I was almost understanding what you were saying."

I fast snatched her withdrawing hand and lightly kissed it as I had her daughter's ages ago it seemed. "And Your Majesty? Thanks is too little a word for healing me."

Her whole face lit up. "As a very wise young boy once said : it was selfish of me really. Tell my daughter that she fought well."

Her eyes of frost held me, as if they were hands, as she cocked her head. My mind tingled and grew chill. And I knew that she was dipping into the shallow pond of my thoughts.

Her face grew so very sad. "You mean to leave her behind when you face The Dark Lord?"

I pulled up the corners of my lips. "Don't you think one of us should live, Your Majesty?"

Hesperides sneered, "You mean, besides the one you call Solomon?"

I weakly heaved myself on one elbow. "He's my friend, Your Majesty, and I trust him."

Hesperides spoke in the sound a glacier would make breaking away. "There is no wisdom in trust, child. Did you learn nothing from your voyage through the time-fog?"

I snorted a bitter laugh. "Wisdom from me? You're barking up the wrong tree there. I'm just a sapling. 'Course, Fallen would just shorten that to 'sap'."

Ogygia stroked my hair with her long, cold, oh, so cold, fingers. "But there is wisdom within you, child. Why else do you think the Turehu call you 'Aoraki', the cloud piercer? You pierce through the tinsel of reality far better than you realize. Tell me. What do you believe you learned in your voyage through eternity?"

I sighed. I truly didn't want to say. Not that I cared a whit about hurting her stiff-necked sisters. But I liked Ogygia. I even thought of her as a friend.

I squinted my eyes. As I had thought that last sentence, her face softened, and for a heartbeat, I could have sworn I saw tears in her eyes of winter frost. Then, I saw snowflakes swirl up from those eyes to lose themselves in the boiling mist. I drew in a shallow breath.

Alright, then, friends deserved the truth, but spoken in love.

At that thought, Ogygia swayed her head gracefully next to mine, like some magic swan, and whispered, "Speak not of Love to a Faerie Queen, dear child. You walk more dangerous ground than you know."

I smiled sad. "And how would that be different from the rest of my life, Your Majesty?"

I shook my head. "No. I mean, heck, you know my mind and heart already, so it would be just plain silly to speak anything but the truth. So - So if my heart has put me on dangerous ground, as you say, then at least it's love, not hate, that's done it."

Her head still next to mine, she kissed me lightly on the cheek, and her lips were more tingle than chill. "Oh, dear, dear knight, though Darkness seeks to consume thee, still thy heart remains true. Speak, and I wilt not hold it against thee."

My head was spinning, the way she kept changing the way she used personal pronouns, and all. I knew that there had to be a reason for it. Maybe Solomon's gift of Tongues had me hearing shades of meaning and warmth and, perhaps, even love, in the language of the Faerie Queens.

And maybe I was going a little bit crazy. Either way, I wasn't going to live out the night, so why work up a sweat about it?

I cleared my throat. "M-My love for you, Your Majesty, is of ... friendship."

She looked at me with such a bittersweet emotion, that it tugged at my newly healed heart, as she murmured in the voice of the awakening dawn, "Oh, I know, child. My daughter. She hast thy heart. And thee hers. I will write a song of it when your paths have wound their last."

And this time, I was sure that I saw tears form in her strange eyes. She blinked them away, and they flew up into the mists as snowflakes. I watched the snowflakes swirl in weird patterns, then disappear into the fiery clouds of fog around us. Her eerie voice tugged my head back around.

"Now, what is this truth that thou wouldst not hurt me with?"

I took in a deep breath. "I think that I learned this one thing : that when you focus on yourself, and your passions, at the expense of others, it ... it seems to always end up ugly. But I'm just a kid, not the 'Yardstick of the Universe', or anything."

She shook her head, and her lightning-white hair rippled like living electricity. "Indeed? No more than a child? Is that what thou truly believes? But no matter. Thou needs not have feared, Last Defender of Camelot. Thy words art truth, and not as simple as thee believes. Remember them, and though thou shalt die, thou wilt not lose. Remember ... remember ... remem ... re ...."

Ogygia's regal, alien face slowly began to blur as her words trailed away into the mists that seemed to swallow me. No. Not yet.
And so ends Blake vision of the 3 Faerie Queens. And if you're wondering about the young girl I wrote the two novels for : some sleeping beauties never awaken. At least not on these shores.

Here is a video of Poe's DREAM WITHIN A DREAM


  1. And why are you not a college professor Roland?

    I've noted that all your writings have an air of instruction about them. Your novel scenes include lessons in mythology, eitquette and morality. (No, that's not a complaint, merely and observation.)

    I read through your last few posts also, as I cannot get here as often as you submit your writings. Sorry about that.

    Your excerpts are always fascinating; I learn so much about about ancient world and its history. This was a very interesting piece. I enjoyed the Knight's sense of humor and his straight-forward insights. You are masterful at eloquent prose.

    Thanks for sharing your dream sequence.


  2. Thanks, Donna. My best friend, Sandra, said I had the qualifications to be a university professor here at the local university if it were not for all the office politics and nepotism. I think I would enjoy teaching college students.

    Wait a few years Sandra tells me. Things are on the verge of straightening out at our university. Let's hope. Me, I'm hoping to be published by then. Roland

  3. Like all of your work that I've read, this is lovely, almost lyrical and lilting. I especially loved these two lines:

    Guess I couldn't even die right. Did that make me dead?

    They just seem to add so much to pull me into the piece.

  4. As always you swept me away! I love your writing Roland and every time I sneak over here I am pleased with the time spent.

    thank you for the wonderful entry!

    Visit My Kingdom Anytime

  5. :) Nice! I enjoyed the flow and the light hearted banter during such a serious conversation. It kept it from bogging me down.

    There were moments I was confused, but I'm definitely NOT professor material. I like things simply. But, having said that, I was interested enough to read to the end. So great job!

    I'm curious as to how and if he still meets an early death.

  6. Love the banter here, it flowed very well! There were a couple of places where I found myself kind of skimming the text, so maybe the pace needs a little tightening up. The tone and mood was excellent!

  7. Your scene it very vivid, but i like the dialouge the best. The dead-but-not-quite-dead line made me smile. Loved the voice of your character.

    Great post.

  8. i'm still confused why agents have not beat each other up to represent you... your tales are exemplary

  9. My head was spinning

    That's how I felt reading all this.

    And maybe I was going a little bit crazy


  10. Once again, your blogfest contribution shines like gold. The banter was delicious, the mood exquisite. I agree there are a couple of places to tighten up--I skated over--but very few, and the rest of the writing was pure joy.

  11. I just loved that line--"I guess I couldn't even die right." It was so great!
    A great excerpt. Keep them coming if you can!

  12. Everyone like the same sections! The idea that even dying properly eluded him - it told me such a lot about how your Knight sees himself.
    And the idea that he is in for a world of pain.
    Ah, dear! Life and death are never easy.
    Well done Roland.

  13. I have to ditto the sentiment on not being able to die right. That's where I got sucked in. I enjoyed the lyrical quality to your writing and the subtle humor found within.

    Like you, I hope you're published before things straighten out at the university. This seems like something I would love to read to the end.

    Thanks for inviting me over to check it out.

  14. I really liked the description of the one faerie Queen's hair as moonlight. As always, you have great imagery! I'm really curious about this book too-- The Mythology surrounding King Arthur is one area where I haven't done much research, though it's a favorite of my husband's. Nicely done!
    And thanks for participating!

  15. Wow. If I were a publisher I'd want rights. You're really good at writing stories with knowledge added in, without anyone realizing it. I love how the fairy called Arthur 'Wart' - how many american children still learn about the story of arthur and how he became king? And I'm not talking disney! I particularly loved these lines:

    "Guess I couldn't even die right"

    and the slightly snarky "It makes my eyes water"


  16. Sad about the little girl. More than the story itself, I like the reason behind writing it.

    Says a lot about Roland.

    - Eric

  17. Roland, you are such a sweety for writing this for the angel. My heart mourns for her loss, but she is glorious in heaven!

    I enjoyed your passage, but I am confused as to the time frame of your work? Is it a modern man trapped int Myrlin's time? If so, you succeeded in your words like Algebra, charley horse, etc...


    I loved this description: "Her voice took on an edge you could cut diamonds"

  18. The time frame was the only thing that confused me other than that I adored this post, it was bittersweet (I think) and just*sigh* beautiful. Nicely done!

  19. I don't know much about the mythology connecting King Arthur and Faires but it is interesting and I loved your scene.

  20. I agree with what Amalia T said about the imagery, especially regarding the fairy queens hair. Your MC's voice seems almost contemporary compared with the fairies language and I like lends to how ancient they are. Great dialogue and descriptions.

  21. Fantastic, Roland! The queens enthralled me. Excellent description of them. The story sounds very interesting. I hope the girl at least got to learn the end. What a nice gift you gave her.

  22. Sarah jayne : I had an audience of one in mind and wanted her to be able to roll lyrical phrases in her mind during the dark times at the hospital. Thanks for thinking I pulled it off.

    Courtney : That you think the time you spend here well spent is quite a compliment. Your blog is lovely as well.

    Charity : When Blake meets his end, he discovers how it is his beginning. A clue is in the title of the 2nd book : NEVER QUITE THE END. Yes, Blake is a bit of a wise-mouth, his way of dealing with bullies. Glad you liked his wit.

    Sangu : Yes, I was writing on the run so my pacing could use some work.

    Raquel : You're just like the young girl. She giggled at all of Blake's wise cracks. Like her, you are intelligent and fun-loving.

    Laughing Wolf : From your lips to God's ear. Maybe one day I will approach the right agent.

    Andrew : Aren't all of us just a little crazy?

    Sharon : I plead writing while weary. But I should have tightened it up before posting here. Thanks for liking it despite its flaws.

    Lydia : I'll try. And how do you cram 26 hours into the day?

    Elaine : Your praise is much appreciated. Yes, life is never what we expect. Why should we hold out that death will be any different?

    Catwoods : Come back again. As a weary blood courier, I try to visit as many of my friends as I can, but my eyes eventually give out.

  23. Amalia : Thank you for giving such a fun blogfest. I've always been a fan of King Arthur mythology. The third novel I had planned for the young girl centered on Blake's adventures in an Avalon he never expected.

    Tessa : If only you were a publisher! But then you could publish yourself, too. If I ever win a lotto, I might just buy a small publishing house. Yes, Blake can be a bit snarky. It's his way of coping with being overwhelmed and outnumbered. Glad it made you smile.

    Eric : I think I know you. You would have written the novels for her as well. We're both knight-errants at heart. Thanks.

    Elaizabeth : Sorry for the confusion. Blake's body is in present-day Wellington, New Zealand (the girl's dream was to visit New Zealand - I'm afraid I infected her with it) -- Blake's spirit was snatched by the High Faerie Queen to the Arthur's barge sailing along the Time Stream. It's hard to snatch an episode out of the middle of a novel without plot threads dangling from it!

    Hayley : Your perception was dead-on (pun intended.) Blake's situation is bittersweet. He cannot stay alive if he wants the fae of his dreams to live.

    Amber : Thanks for liking my dream scene. The myths of King Arthur are fun to play with.

    E J : Thanks for noting the difference between the courtly speech of the Faerie Queens compared to the modern wisecracks of a young orphan, trying not to buckle under the stress.

    Kristie : Yes, the queens stayed with me as well. Literally, I used them in two other YA fantasies I've since written : LOVE LIKE DEATH and LAST EXIT TO BABYLON.

    Thanks to everyone who commented or who just read. I am working this weekend and on first call on top of that. I am weary! Laughter. I stay weary it seems. Thanks again, Roland

  24. Thanks for putting up my blogfest o'death button!