So you can read my books

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Donna Hole in her Wednesday post on her blog : had a prompt for flash fiction for her guests :

The prompt: Your character has been invited to a party. When you arrive, the house appears empty... What happens next? Do you go away? Do you look in a window? Maybe you turn the knob and the door mysteriously opens! What then?

I've never done flash fiction. I love words too much -- and building up tension and atmosphere. But Donna is a friend, and Samuel McCord is a sucker for any request from a lady -- so I wrote one for her blog.

I have my doubts about it. I think you have to know Sam's history and world for it to work. But fortunately, most of you know that. So here's my first flash fiction. But first a relevant quote from Oscar Wilde for Tessa :

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

Samuel McCord :

The house is dark, its empty windows more like vacant eyes than dirty glass. They give the building the look of some huge, discarded skull of a lost god. I don't like this.

Lt. Trifle (yes, that's her name, and the main reason she got a black belt in Karate) called me out here in the middle of nowhere.

Nowhere being on the outskirts of Metairie -- which is on the outskirts of New Orleans -- which, itself, is on the outskirts of Hell if you listen to some preachers.

She said I was needed out here and then hung up. Or got the phone snatched out of her hand. I came as soon as I could.

Was I in time? Time. I could stop it for awhile -- if I was willing to pay the price.

I was. It hurt like hell. I deserved worse. Ask a thousand widows what Captain Samuel McCord deserved, and they'd tell you the same thing.

The time-snared air felt like heavy invisible water pressing in against me. I endured. It's what I do.

I made my way to the back of the house. I tried to cat-foot in out of instinct. Reality trumped instinct. The weight of frozen time made each step feel as if I were lifting the weight of the world.

Cat-footing was out. Lumbering like a dinosaur with arthritis was all I could manage.

I smiled like the wolf I felt. Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. And time was mine. For as long as I could endure the pain.

The house of shadows was deserted. No furniture. Lots of needles. Lots of spoons. Discarded rubber tubing.

A crack house.

I made it to the front room. It wasn't empty.

A young punk had Trifle dead to rights. Mostly dead if I didn't act fast. How he got the drop on her was obvious. She was cradling a shivering, feverish girl. Trifle's heart had blind-sided her.

I released time. The addict yelped in surprise. He jerked his gun towards me. I smiled and spoke low.

"How young can you die of old age?"

"What the fuck?"

Sad last words. I answered my own question. I sped up time all around him. He squealed, squirmed, shouted, then wheezed into raspy coughing. He aged into an old man in seconds.

As he fell, he crumbled into dust right in front of Trifle. The moon caressed the hot sunset of her hair as she looked down in horror. The mound of dust started to disappear in the faint breath of the stale breeze. She turned hollow eyes to me.

"You're a monster."

What had Oliver Goldsmith written? It came to me : Silence gives consent.

I left without saying a word.

Here are some photos of Sam's and Meilori's last visit to Paris together :


  1. ...the style used for your description of the crack house is a personal fave. Short and to the point, purposely omitting what could've been a lengthy process, painting the ramshackle joint down to the peeling floor coverings and the chipped paint on the ceiling. You've allowed the reader to come their own conclusions, their own image of the house, rather than attempting to match yours.

    I enjoy reading up on Sam. You've managed to keep him believable. Not a superhero, but a human who makes us.

  2. Mmm . . . love the pictures of Paris. One of my favorite places.

    And you're brave to do the flash fiction. Good job! And thanks for visiting my blog and following. :)

  3. Dear Roland, thank you for your visit and for following my blog. I came here to see what you are about and was surprised to find such good writing. Usually I have a lot of slow people around me, in a rare case I find someone like you. Could compare you to an fast electron moving so fast and entertaining the public around you. I am glad I came here, I think I am going to enjoy reading you. I hope I will live up to your expectations. Not sure if I can be as entertaining as you! Take care!

  4. Very good and entertaining. Are you sure it's your first flash fiction?

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. This is the first flash fiction I've read. It's really good, but I still prefer novels. :)

  6. I liked this. Some of your metaphors are really good; "hot sunset of her hair" really stood out to me.

    I'm new to your blog, so I don't know much about your WIP. However, I'm curious, assuming that Sam is a major character in your novel, how do you keep the ability to manipulate time from being overpowering and an insta-fix for the plot? I've asked myself a similar question with one of my characters, so I'd like to hear another writer's take on it, if you have time. :)

  7. Ah, "the moon caressed the hot sunset of her hair as she looked down in horror." Nice. Oh, and there's an award for you over on my blog :D Have a gorgeous weekend!

  8. Elliot : Thanks for the late night visit. I'm glad you liked my brief (leave it to the reader) description of the crack house. Even happier you find Sam believable. I've found that no matter what you can do, life insists on handing you a situation that leaves you scrambling. Please visit again.

    Janet : Thanks for the return visit and don't be a stranger. Love Paris. I would love to go to the museums. Flash fiction is not the way I like to write but it was for a friend.

    Simony : Your blog is lovely and original. I enjoyed my visit there. Thanks for the praise. You stay safe as well. Have a beautiful weekend.

    Mason : Thanks for the kind words about my flash fiction. And yes, it's my first. Please come back and leave a word or two.

    Stina : Like you, I prefer novels or short stories to flash fiction. Thanks for liking my first attempt at it. Don't be a stranger, hear?

    Mesmerix : I'm glad you liked my writing style. I love poetry, but I become concerned lest my writing becomes too lyrical. But I decided it is my style so just go with it. I answered your Sam question on your eloquently green blog.

    Zoe : Thanks for the award. And be careful on your trip. Your praise on my "hot sunset" phrase means a lot. You have a gorgeous weekend, too. But it sounds you'll need a day to heal from yours!

  9. Your posts are always so well-written and thought provoking. I've got the Versatile Blogger Award for you at my blog if you'd like to come by some time and pick it up.

  10. Great job, Roland!

    I particularly liked this: "Nowhere being on the outskirts of Metairie -- which is on the outskirts of New Orleans -- which, itself, is on the outskirts of Hell if you listen to some preachers."

    Pretty song and pix of Paris. Thanks!

  11. You have a nice turn of phrase - well done :)

  12. Wow, that was a great read! You're amazing! And, thanks for visiting my blog...I've seen bits of The Wind and the Lion...when I was much younger. I'll have to go check it out...and I really want to see Robin Hood. I love Scott's films...I read through some of your blog late last night and found your Loreena McKennitt her!

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog! I was pleasantly surprised when I read your flash fiction. You have a way with words, that's for sure. I really like Sam.

    Your descriptions are so vivid and perfectly paced.

  14. Roland: stop by my blog as I have a blogging award for you.

    (Okay, I see you've already earned this one, but what the hay. Post it twice!)

  15. Nay, thrice, LOL! There's an award for you at my blog, too. I'll be back to read this post later, I promise! Olivia

  16. Thanks for participating Roland. I have no need of introduction for Samuel. He is an old favorite of mine; and I only look forward to each new submission to see into his world.

    An excellent character, in a viable setting. A past, a present, and deeds worthy of a future. You inspire me, Dear Friend, and I am glad to read writings.

    Someday soon you will be published, and I will be glad to read your work in its entirety.