So you can read my books

Monday, July 26, 2010


{"Love forgives,

not because it sees less,

but because it understands more."
-Samuel McCord.}

Looking like the Queen of Winter, Marlene Dietrich studied me with wet eyes, filled with hurt and longing. She took her hand from mine, turning from me.

For long, silent heartbeats, Marlene stood hunched over. I caught the sound of low sobbing. I wanted to go to her.

But some instinct warned me not to. Some battles have to be fought alone for the victory to mean anything.

She suddenly spun back around and wrapped me in her arms.

"You see me as I truly am and still care?"

"Of course, Marlene."

She husked, "Only for you would it be an 'of course.' Ich liebe dich!"

She kissed me fiercely as if afraid I would suddenly disappear. Her lips were hungry. Her tongue touched mine. I kissed back. In all our times together, her touch had always been ... well, ghostly. But here ...

I stiffened.

I pulled back. "Marlene, I can feel you."

She smiled wickedlly. "I would hope so."

"No. I mean ...."

"Mean little and soon will mean less," purred a growl of a voice.

Mark Twain muttered beside me. "I refuse to be killed by a cat."

I followed his gaze and the sound of the purred voice. Oh, why the hell not?

A supple woman dressed in robes befitting Cleopatra sat at a pyramid-shaped table glaring at me. Her body was beautiful. Her head was that of a cat's. And she was swaying slowly. I grew cold as I recognized the rhythm.

Oh, crap.

It was the rhythm of my beating heart.

"I am Bast. Gypsy is my granddaughter. My beloved offspring -- whom you have left in the hands of a monster."

She smiled like the Cheshire Cat. "So it is fitting you should die by the claws of one."

Her fingers became deadly-looking talons, and she turned to Marlene, "You have robbed the craddle only to fill the grave, ghost."

I held up an open right palm. "Hey, wait a minute. Listen, Bast. Elu's a lot of things, but he is Apache. And Apaches are never shabby."

Her furry brow puckered, "Shabby?"

"Yeah, shabby. And breaking a trust would be considered shabby to an Apache. It would be seen as beneath him."

Bast slowly nodded. "So you felt her to be safe. Wrongfully but sincerely."

I went cold. "Gypsy's in trouble? What kind of trouble? And how do I get to her?"

Bast chuckled, and it didn't go lower than her sharp fangs. "Worry not about her trouble, fleshling. Rather worry about the death approaching you from behind."

My two friends and I turned around as one.

Mark Twain pulled the automatic from his shoulder-holster. "Damn Shadowlanders have found us at last."

Marlene passed me her saber, pulling out the luger and snarling, "The Sons of Dagon."

I grunted, "For this I'm losing sleep?"

{And to this day, still do the Lakota sing of this battle over their campfires, though the dark weighs heavy upon their spirits, and the whispers of doubt and fear mock them.

It is a song of courage against despair, of light raging against the coming of night.

And when wounded Time draws her final, faltering breath, when the moon herself has become blood, and the gasping stars slowly strangle on the darkness, even then will the Lakota stop in the midst of their Death Song, stand tall, and look to one another and remember --

-- remember when one small, defiant band of noble spirits fought, not for glory, not for land, nor for power -- but for the love each had for the other.



  1. Wow, what a great piece of writing. What an interesting idea putting Marlena and Twain together. HA! Love your imagination. This line: "Worry not about her trouble, fleshling. Rather worry about the death approaching you from behind." Stunning, haunting - if it were human it would sparkle, then attack. Your choice of words is spectacular. You found an agent yet? I wish you all the luck in the world. You deserve it!

  2. I am enjoying reading your work. I'm a Twain fan anyway. I often look for Twain quotes on the internet.

  3. Fabulous ending. In fact, if I thought I could persuade you to post the next installment, I'd call in to work and just wait for it....aarrrrgggg!!!

  4. Oh no! Never cross paths with an angry mama cat! :-)

    I love the last line!! Worked a treat!

    Take care

  5. I agree with Jessica - putting Marlena and Twain together was a fascinating and clever move!

  6. i am not very well do not know what to comment...but i fell in love with the starting lines as soon as i read them...they are close to what i understand :)

  7. Jessica : Yes, I thought the pairing of Marlene and Mark would strike enjoyable sparks. And no, I haven't gotten an agent yet, nor does it look like I am going to. There are worse fates.

    Walter : It means a lot to me that you enjoy reading what I write here. And like you, I'm a big fan of Mark Twain, too.

    Word Crafter : That's quite a compliment. But tomorrow's post details Gypsy, my cat, squaring off against the towering Sphinx of Thebes to get back to me.

    Sure, she's little. But if you've ever shared a bed with a buzzing mosquito, you know never to underestimate the effectiveness of a little critter.

    Kitty : Glad you liked my last line. Haven't you had a really lousy day and thought : "For this I got out of bed?"

    Sangu : I thought that Mark Twain and Marlene Dietrich would make perfect sparring partners. I'm glad you like the pairing.

    Flying High In The Sky : Your blog reveals an intelligent, poetic, and sensitive spirit. Your comments suggest a person who has drawn deep from what she has read, from what she has lived. I welcome any comments from you. Have a great week.

    And all of you, come back tomorrow for Gypsy's tale : YOU CALL THIS SAFE?

  8. I am having such a rollicky good time here, and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Gypsy is up to. Thank you so much for sharing this mystery with us.

    I love Sam's quote. It reminds me of one of my favorite Mother Teresa's: "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

    ~that rebel, Olivia

  9. Powerful writing and the mix of ancient Egypt and the Apaches. So much going on and yet pulled together. I'm caught up in this story!:)

  10. Awesome Roland. I'm a bit behind - sorry.

    I need a winning lotto ticket so I can just sit home . .