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Monday, July 19, 2010


"To all of life there is a shadow. The shadow of sadness, doubt, despair. Still it is but an echo of a heart moving forward."
-Roland Yeomans

{Now, the truth can be told. This is what really happened during the weekend.}

Something was tickling my ear. "Schatz! Schatz!"

Someone shook my shoulder. "Oh, Liebling, wake up. Wake up! You are in danger."


My apartment was on fire. Ever since I had awakened long years ago to see flames rolling across my ceiling, I had lived in dread of it happening again.

My eyes flew open. I sat up straight in bed. Darkness. No flames. Only a naked blonde in the bed beside me.

Naked blonde?

It was Marlene Dietrich. And she wasn't exactly naked, but heavily clothed she wasn't. She was in a black silk nightgown seemingly made of flimsy spiderwebs.

"Ah, Marlene ..."

"Hush, Liebling. Look down beside your bed."

"Really ...."

"Do it!"

Marlene had never shouted at me before. This was obviously important. I looked down.


Sometimes "Oh, darn" just doesn't cover it. Gypsy was nudging the unmoving body of Ernest Hemingway sprawled beside my bed. His smoldering cigar was just going out.

"Damn, Marlene. I know he's a ghost and all. But ... he looks ... dead."

"He is, Schatz. He is."

I turned to her. "Ghosts can be killed?"

Her finely etched eyebrow rose dangerously, and I said, "All right, dumb question. Obviously ghosts can be killed. But I never knew that."

"Neither did I or any other ghost I have ever met. Which means you are in terrible danger."

"Danger? Why?"

"All through the Shadowlands it is known Papa was jealous of how I felt for you."

"But ..." She placed fingertips I almost felt on my lips.

"He is here. Dead. I am here. In your bed. It will be thought he attacked you, and you killed him out of self-defense."

"Yeah, self-defense. You're right. It will look like self-defense. I mean, I didn't kill him. You know that. But if they think I just defended myself, I'll be in the clear with the other ghosts, right?"

Marlene turned her head so that her waterfall of hair hid her eyes from me. "Wrong, Liebling. All they will care about is that you know how to kill them. And so to protect themselves, they will kill you."

"Ghosts can kill the living?"

Again the eyebrow arched. "O.K. Another dumb question. So all the ghosts are going to come gunning for me?"

"And the others."

My voice rose so that the dogs in the next block must have been awakened. "What others?"

"All the others in the Shadowlands, Liebling. They will want you alive just long enough to tear from you the terrible secret of how to kill ghosts."

"But I don't know how!"

"They will not believe you with the 'proof' of poor Papa's body beside your bed. And it is even worse than you fear."

"Worse? How can it be worse?"

"They are coming now."

"They who?"

Marlene's eyes sank into her pale face. "All of them."


  1. Roland you have the most vivid imagination of anyone I've ever known. You are so fascinating!

    I can't wait to see how you write yourself out of this one . .

    And thanks for your encouragement on my blogfest post.


  2. Oh my goodness - Ms Dietrich knows and we worhsip at her stunning altar of perfect cheekbones!

    Take care

  3. What's it like living inside your head? :)

    Very nice piece.

    Scribbler to Scribe

  4. Oooh, very interesting, Roland! I agree with Donna, I'd love to see how you write yourself out of this.

  5. Is this the 24 hour experiment you spoke of on my blog?

    I liked this piece. It moved fast and has my attention. I'd love to know what happens next.

  6. Dang! No more nightly visits from Papa? I can't believe you killed him. Guess it's time to run like the wind. I hope you can hide like it. You'll have to practice that sleeping standing up thing. :)

    Kidding aside, I LOVE this. But please tell me Papa's not dead. Oh geez that sounds stupid. But you know what I mean.

    ~that rebel, Olivia

  7. Love this, Roland. Please continue! What a quandary. Is it possible to escape a guilty charge for killing a man who was already dead?

  8. Nothing like a haunting mystery. Please divulge the true identity of the 'others'. (Hugs)Indigo

  9. Ooh - what a concept. I loved this line: Marlene's eyes sank into her pale face. "All of them." *shivers* Well done!

  10. Fire...hmmm.

    From start to finish, you had my attention. You set up the story clearly and the end...

    "Worse? How can it be worse?"

    "They are coming now."

    "They who?"

    Marlene's eyes sank into her pale face. "All of them."

    ...was foreboding and perfect. All of us will want to know more so chop chop with the next installment Roland.

  11. really great playfulness and very fine cliffhanger. you have piqued my curiosity, for sure.

  12. Love that Hemingway is jealous of you! I'm with Donna, too.

    Oh and I keep seeing people comment on your finger. Must have misssed that post. So sorry! Feel better soon:)

  13. Awesome piece and intriguing, as well.

    I've always been fascinated with the paranormal and ghosts, so I can't wait to read about "the others."

    Write on, Roland!

  14. Wow. This is the most fascinating piece I've read on your site so far, and I find all your stuff fascinating.

    So what happened after? I hope you're going to continue with this?

    Pretty Please?

    (who's finally finished reading Blogfest of Death entries - so cool!)

  15. I am so very sorry for this-but my first reaction is...Call Danny Phantom! Okay, got that out of my system. Hmmm, how DO you kill a ghost? And who would hate YOU enough to set you up like this? Someone we've met before? A former Russian Mafia ghost? Someone secretly in love with Marlene? Ah, someone in love with YOU? Hmmm,'re really Sam, and Meilori knows it...and she's decided your ardor for the lovely Ms. Dietrich has gone far enough...oooooo, I loved this...when's the next episode?????

  16. This was most intriguing and now I'll have to come back for more...:)

    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day and leaving such a lovely comment.

  17. I always knew ghosts could kill. Otherwise, why else would we fear them?

    I don't know how you're going to get out of this one. And I want to know more about "The Others" too.

  18. Sorry I'm so late to the party Roland, I've been extremely busy. But this is good, a great fun read, haunting, sure ... but with a sense of humor too.

  19. Hey there,

    I'm assuming you have a picture you want to use for your button? That's where you need to start. Use Photoshop or something like that to get the picture you want, then upload it to photobucket (there are others, but this is the one I use). Photobucket gives you an html for that picture, you'll need that.

    You can use the html code I have up on my website for the 'fest (, either one will do). I can't copy it here because it won't show up properly.

    Then you need to fiddle with it... exchange my "img scr" http:// for the one you got from photobucket for your picture. Then exchange the "href:" http:// for the http you want the link to lead to.

    Leave the width at 100%, you can change the height around to suit your picture (probably somewhere around 100-150 if it's similar in size to my buttons, you'll have to try it out).

    That's basically it. Try it, if it doesn't work let me know/email me the details and I'll write it for you.


    tessaconte (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. Or you can just email me the picture and the site you want it to link to and I'll do it for you, if you don't feel up to fiddling.

    ; )

  21. Unbelievable! Where's the rest of the story?

  22. Mary : Go to the sidebar and check out chapter two, three, and so forth. Thanks for liking my story.

  23. Humorous and haunting.

    I've missed you, Roland, and your outstanding writing ability.

    May a publisher knock upon your door soon.

  24. Very cool! I recognized the Discovery Channel Ghost show. Loved the story, and as some have said, you now must wright a way out. Of course, the hero may just die and become a haunted ghost himself.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium