So you can read my books

Thursday, July 22, 2010


{"We are but of yesterday and know nothing because our days upon the earth are a shadow."
- Job 14th chapter, 1st and 2nd verse.}

Toya, manager of Meilori's and proud possessor of the shortest skirt in all creation, glowered at me. "What brings your sorry hide here?"

"Trouble," I said, hoping to ease on by her.

She pulled her cutlass from her buccaneer's sash and lightly touched the front of my black T-shirt. "Not good enough, writer boy."

Toya glared at me as if I symbolized everything she hated. Who knows? Maybe I did.

Marlene Dietrich, still trying to burst out of her snug Prussian calvalry outfit, slapped the cutlass away with her saber. "Dirne, the dead ghost of Hemingway has been found by his bed and me in that bed. What does that tell you?"

Toya appraised me with cool eyes. "It tells me you've been a busy boy, Roland."

"I didn't kill him!"

"Of course, you didn't kill him, writer boy. You a boy scout. But every creepy-crawlie out in the Shadowlands will think you did. So the ghosts want revenge and every other damned thing wants the secret of how you kill what can't be killed."

She shook her head, nudging her pirate hat a bit more to an angle. "You're screwed."

"Thanks for the newsflash, but I already had that figured out."

To my left, a leisurely Missouri drawl spoke. "Toya's like an elephant. Everyone likes to look at her, but no one wants to keep her."

Toya grunted, "Clemens, no likes a smart-ass."

I turned to see an auburn-haired Mark Twain laugh, "Why sure they do, Missy. All except the one he's talking to, that is."

Marlene smiled mischieviously. "Sam, your hair seems to have become as dark as Toya's."

He put a forefinger to his lips. "Shhh. When folks hear that name they think McCord, and he has too many enemies here who shoot first and look second."

Mark Twain winked at Marlene and stroked his auburn moustache. "The ladies like the color, don't you know?"

"Sa-Mark," I said. "You're married."

His face lost its light. "Yes, I surely am. And I have been looking for my Livvy ever since I died. I haven't found her. But I will. I will."

Marlene seem to glide more than walk to Mark Twain. "Old friend, you both have died. And so you both have parted. It is a harsh truth."

He patted her slender hand. "You have your truth. I have my dream. We'll see, Valkyrie. We'll see."

Toya gestured to the back of the club with her cutlass. "Shoo, all of you! I will have no maudlin scenes up here spoiling the mood of my place. To the back with all of you."

Mark Twain bristled. "Woman, I thought you liked Roland. The further back in Meilori's you go, the worse it gets."

Toya nodded. "Yes, with HIS creations from HIS unconscious. They haven't been talked about the internet and all God's creation. Roland dies. They die."

Marlene shook her head. "You have never heard of the fable of the scorpion and the swan?"

"Yeah, sweet cheeks, I have. And you'll just have to take your chances with their natures. Or do you want to deal with those Shadowlanders coming in through the front door?"

The three of us whirled about. No one was coming in. I turned back to Toya who only smirked.

"Not yet. But soon."

I suddenly realized Marlene wasn't holding Gypsy's carrier anymore. "Gypsy!"

Marlene smiled. "Do not worry, Liebchen. Elu has her safe in his mirror world."

I swallowed hard. Safe? With Elu? In his deadly mirror world? How safe was that? It occurred to me that it was probably safer than here with me.

Toya broke into my brooding. "Oh, I almost forgot. Death said to give you this."

She reached behind her sash and pulled out a small, ornate box covered in strange runes. She handed it to me. I almost dropped it. It was as cold as dry ice. With burning fingers, I shoved it into my right jeans pocket. It still burned, but not as much or as badly.

"What is it, Toya?"

"Death said it was a box full of darkness."

"How appropriate," softly spoke a silken voice behind me.

"Marlowe," snarled Marlene.

Toya sighed, "I tried to warn you." She spun about on her high heeled boots and left us.

I turned and froze.


The bard aimed his luger straight at my heart.

"Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long."

His smile was even colder than his eyes. "You murder my prose. I murder you. Fitting is it not?"

For my friend, Gardner West, the musical question of the weekend :


  1. Gosh!! The Bard turns up and he's NASTY!! I still say Marlene will save the day!

    Take care

  2. Haha gotta love the appearance of Shakespeare. I don't think I've ever seen him portrayed quite like this, so well done on originality!

  3. "You murder my prose. I murder you. Fitting is it not?" What a great diatribe!

    And the plot thickens, ladies and gentlemen.

    ~that rebel, Olivia
    BTW, that trailer is chilling.

  4. Great danger and adventure! Ter has been raving about this story, so I had to stop by and I'm glad I did. Nice work.

    That first quote: "We are but of yesterday..." Boy, can I relate to that;]

    Also, many thanks to you and Meilori and Sam, for stopping by my blog and giving your advice on my Babe Survey.

  5. More suprises. And so unconventional as well as unpredictable.

    The bard with a luger:) Great last graph! Love it!

  6. So much fun, Roland! Love the appearances of Twain and Shakespeare - that Shakespeare has such a way with words. Also love that Will has a luger, so sorry he's pointing it at you. Oh and I really want to hear more about that box of darkness.

  7. The only thing worse would be trapped in an elevator with a mime and a contortionist. Frightening!

    Stephen Tremp

  8. Shakespeare-a bad guy? Mirror worlds all over? Death actually parts a couple? Dang!!! ...a box full of escape with, an entity, the power to kill? If this were printed in newspapers, they would be flying off the stands! That movie clip was amazing...I might have to go see that if I can find the nerve-scary movies make me shiver!

  9. Talk about nervy-scary. Tropical depression #3, scheduled soon to become tropical storm, Bonnie, and then Hurricane Bonnie has a projected track, taking it straight through Lake Charles (me) Sunday evening.

    Now, that's scary!!

  10. I will be keeping you and Gypsy in my prayers...please be safe!

  11. Roland, Yes, we're watching it here in FL, too.

    So worried about you. Fingers crossed!!! Prayers of all kinds.

    But, we will be OK. Like Peter Pan, we've got to believe, yes? Let's do, my dear friend, Much Love, Terry.

  12. Like I told Velvet, the lady who straightens up here at night, as she was worrying. God is a big God. And to make her laugh, I added, "Which is good because I'm a big ninny!"

    She laughed.

    I will pray for you as well, Terry.

  13. That was so fun! Marlene has so much personality! What's going to happen next? Will there be a gunshot?

  14. Hey, Roland, Stay cool, man! If you need help, let me know. Shake?

  15. "Yeah, sweet cheeks, I have. And you'll just have to take your chances with their natures. Or do you want to deal with those Shadowlanders coming in through the front door?"

    The three of us whirled about. No one was coming in. I turned back to Toya who only smirked.

    "Not yet. But soon."

    She had me looking over my shoulder at that! I really liked the "bomb shell" way you dropped in the possibility, and sucked it right back away. And they kept the tension with Shakespear.

    Way to write a mystery!

    Please don't let anything happen to Gypsy.

    Sending my best wishes to you regarding the storm ..


  16. I am also amused by the last lines. *snort*

    And how it must feel to be cared for and abused by your own creations. Sounds like writing does it not? So where are the characters that never made it? Or turned out badly? Are they extra special pissed at you?