So you can read my books

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


{“When the fox preaches, look to your geese.

Old German proverb – Marlene Dietrich.}

{You would think sheer terror would be beyond a ghost. Try a day as one, and you’ll find out different.

Samuel Clemens here.

When we last left Roland, he was facing off against the one I wrote of as The Mysterious Stranger.

Back at the nexus between realities, the jazz club called Meilori’s, Roland had just succeeded in totally angering a being whose merest look could kill.

A being who is wearing a copy of Roland’s own body. Let Roland take it from here.}

Meilori’s interior became shimmering and wavy as the heat rising from the desert floor. The nexus had changed our surroundings. Dancers, swaying to the steps of a tango, swirled around us.

On a raised dais that wasn’t there before, a lean, angular Grace Jones was singing “Strange, I’ve Seen That Face Before” in soft muted tones.

Our audience was unchanged though. DayStar turned his back on me, walking to the front rank of his listeners, going from me to them, their eyes getting wider by the second. He kept on speaking.

Marlene shimmered on one side of me, Mark Twain on the other. She looked from me to DayStar. "Oh, no, Liebling! The Adversary of All Life."

I shook my head. "Maybe or maybe that’s just his press release. I think he’s really just his own worst enemy. Everything else is just a means to the end of destroying himself."

Mark Twain looked intensely at me. "Do you know what you are doing, Roland?"

"Me? Hell, I’m just making this up as I go along."

"It is a dangerous way to combat The Mysterious Stranger."

"It does have the advantage of making it hard for my enemies to predict what I will do, when I don’t even know that myself."

Marlene clutched my upper right arm so tightly it hurt. "No physical weapon can harm him."

I shook my head. "Not going to use physical weapons."

Mark Twain scoffed, "What are you going to use? Harsh language?"

I nodded. "In a manner of speaking."

"Experience life," said DayStar in my voice from my face to the puzzled customers,

"do what is in the natural order, and do not worry about outcome. What is outcome but ripples? And what are ripples but the flowing of natural order?"

Marlene muttered, "I have read better fortune cookies."

I sighed, "He’s putting his own slant to the Bhagavad Gita."

Mark Twain raised an eyebrow."You have read that?"

"I always try to prove the opposite of what I believe. It makes my mind the sharper for doing it."

DayStar gestured hypnotically and graceful in the air with an exact copy of my right hand.

"Recognize sorrow as of the essence. When there is mind, there is sorrow, so empty the mind. We cannot rid the world of sorrow, but we can choose to live in joy."

A frail jackel-headed woman called out, "How can we do that?"

DayStar turned to her. "You must kill your god. If you are to advance, all fixed ideas must go."

I walked right up to him. "What a load of crap, DayStar."

There was a hush of sucked in breath as the crowd saw two of me in front of them. There was loud mutterings as they spotted Marlene and Mark on either side of me.

DayStar turned slowly and sneered with my lips. "Ah, Avalokiteshvara, I wondered when you would care to show up to protect your flock."

"Roland. Just Roland. And like I said before : what a load of crap."

"Crap to you but wisdom to them since it allows them to do as they please."

He smiled wide. "Did you know that the Avalokiteshvara is nearly always pictured flanked by two spirits called Taras, personifications of the tears of the Bodhisattva’s eyes?

Tara is Hindu for star, like the Sun and Moon that convinced that silly little French girl you were the Dagda as you twirled that useless saber."

He turned to the puzzled, uncomfortable crowd. "See? The rational mind exists in opposites. Love and hate. For you see, his sword is actually a benevolent instrument, clearing the way for growth."

"Another load of crap," I sighed.

I locked eyes with an exact duplicate of mine. "Hate is just nature’s way to make room for love, huh? Kill your god? And replace him with what? Rational thought?

I shook my head. “But then, you say the way to remove sorrow is to remove thought. But the only way to do that fully is death, right? That’s what kindergarten teachers call a circular argument, DayStar."

"Indeed? And what is your alternative, Just Roland?"


"Rather simplistic, if I may say so."

I nodded to him, unnerved by seeing my own eyes looking back at me. "You pride yourself in being ultimate evil."

"Do I?"

"Among other things. But let’s take evil since you take such pride in it. Evil cannot create. It can only pervert what is."

"Like I perverted your precious Rafferty."

"Which my two friends and I have changed."

I watched the other me shrug his shoulders. "It will just give me another chance to be more creative."

I sucked in a breath and let it out slow. "Evil can pervert, but only life can create, so life is greater than evil."

"Is that what you say to console yourself in my darkness?"

I shook my head again. "Darkness can only blanket what is. But one spark will push back that blackness. So light is greater than the darkness."

"I could kill you right here, right now."

My mouth going dry, I nodded. "Yet, death can only kill what is and nothing more. But what if all life died? Then, death would be no more. Death needs life to exist. But life goes on without death. So life is greater than death."

"You speak as if you actually knew."

"Thanks to my two friends besides me I do."

I turned to the white-lipped crowd. "Death is but a doorway to yet more life. I know. Like you, I feared death until my two friends here entered my world. Then, I saw it for what it was. I saw what lies beyond what you think is real."

I locked eyes with each of them in turn. "So the mind is greater than sorrow, than fear, than death, for it lives beyond their reach if it so chooses."

DayStar, wearing my body, walked to within two feet of me. "Now, you die."

I pulled myself up tall, tightening my stomach against the coming pain. "And when you kill me, you'll prove me right in their eyes."

My own face glaring at me got uglier than I thought my face could get. "This is my punishment ... I will let you live to suffer what lies ahead."

His face became his own. “We will meet again. And when we do … there will be flames.”

And he was gone. But his cold laughter remained behind him.


  1. Ah, I liked this chapter. "Maybe or maybe that’s just his press release. " *snorts* What a big imagination you have, sir.

  2. Mark Twain has some of the best quotes. I wish he'd talk to me.

  3. You always make such good posts, and this chapter was good.
    You got an award over at my blog. Check it out please?

    Happy writing,
    author of the Magicians series

  4. Zoe : Thanks for liking my post. Yes, my imagination is sometimes my best companion.

    Theresa : Samuel Clemens did have some great things to say, didn't he? Congrats on your guest posts.

    LRenees : Thanks for the great award. I put it right up, polished it even.

    Julie : Thanks for the praise. I worked hard on making DayStar not a cliche or me, for that matter!

  5. Marlene cracked me up with this line: "I have read better fortune cookies."

    More wonderful writing and insights. Thank you. I'm pondering the mind being greater than sorrow...

  6. Terry : "So the mind is greater than sorrow, than fear, than death, for it lives beyond their reach ... if it so chooses."

    Easy to write hard to live.

  7. Yes, Roland, choice. I guess it is, and hard to do, all right. But I love the thought. It comforts me and gives me something to hang onto. And isn't that what we all need?

    Thank you, again:) I so enjoy reading you.

  8. Terry : I've been out on a STAT and about to go on a long, long STAT. But I wanted to say thanks for enjoying my writing.

    Sometimes sorrow fills us so that we think we will sink into the floor from the weight.

    What helps me is thinking upon those things and people that yet remain, filling my head with them until some of the images seep into my empty heart.

    Have a healing rest of the week, Roland

  9. amazing as always - so many layers! I'm hooked

  10. not many layers but someone who wants to say what is on his mind and heart but the woman he wants/needs to hear them is ignoring him... but we all have to make a choice, to learn from it and move on, instead of falling deeper into sorrow. Life goes on.

  11. I really liked the fact that you won against evil with rational thought. The scariest thing in the world is ignorance. We are always fearful of that we do not understand.

  12. We'll call you "word bandier" instead of "word crafter". .

    Excellent dialogue, my friend. You showed him.


  13. ...another thought on this post, to me the writer is referring to the person who spoke of the mind being greater, to DayStar. And it is this person that is punishing the writer. Once again, it leads back to the central theme of this blog, the truth.

  14. Again the back and forth was wonderful. Nothing like fighting the evil you.

    And I agreed with most of the ammo you volleyed at Daystar except...

    "Evil can pervert, but only life can create, so life is greater than evil."

    Life is greater that evil and evil does pervert what life must first create, but I know that evil does have a life of its own. Evil breathes out and creates more evil.

    And life IS greater than both good and evil. Life is what it is. The canvas. The battlefield. Dark and Light are the different but equal sides we ping pong between in the grey.

    Thank you for continuing this Roland!

  15. Thanks for the good advice, Roland:) Good luck on the STAT and try to get some rest, sometime.

  16. If all the world is a stage, it exists within a coliseum, where battles, large and small, world changing and insignificant, are played out daily. And on this day, Roland is Russell Crowe and DayStar is Commodus. We, the readers, are the enthralled onlookers, cheering wildly at his victory. Wow, I completely loved this entry!