So you can read my books

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


{“Dying is a wild night and a new road.”
- Emily Dickinson.

“Many are of the opinion that there is no difference between Man and the Jackass.

This, of course, wrongs the Jackass.”
- Mark Twain.}

{Ghostly Samuel Clemens here. Death has finally brought us upstairs to her second rendezvous with a soul.

She suddenly seemed burdened with her garments, so she had cast them from her, leaving me with mouth open and Marlene with eyes narrowed.

Roland looked as if he had been pole-axed. I leave the rest to him.} :

Death covered her essentials gracefully with her long, black wings, and her face became so icy it scared me.

She spoke, and the sounds of it were as if icicles had been given voice. Her eyes grew deep and full of rage.

"I have come to render the final payment due you for your lucrative property, Madame Levi."

Madame Levi was a tall, angular woman who looked like a female version of Scrooge. Her gray and white, no nonsense Victorian dress seemed so starched that I was surprised she could move in it.

But move she did. Backwards, with her shaking hand to her mouth.

"I - I run a perfectly legitimate --"

Death motioned slowly with a long forefinger, and the suddenly trembling woman was dragged against her will right up to us. "Y-You have no right --"

"Speak not to me of rights, daughter of Eve."

Death leaned forward and whispered in words of stone. "This night thy soul is required of thee."

Then, Death inhaled deeply. I jumped in fright and horror, for Death sucked in the body of Madame Levi as it was turned into smoky vapor.

The Landlord had just enough time to make a mewing whimper before she was totally inhaled by Death. She snorted in disgust.

Marlene looked paler than I had ever seen her. Even, Mark Twain for once had no words. I didn’t blame him.

"Her stench was worse than I expected," murmured Death.

"Maybe you should give up smoking,” Mark Twain muttered.

Now, dressed fully in the robes I had seen Bast wear, she looked down at me with eyes of steel. "Do you still think of me warmly, son of Man?"

I wet my lips. “I don’t cut pie wedges out of my friends. I accept them for who they are. All of them, not just part of them. You do what you have to do.

But I’ve seen you cry over it. That makes you special in my book.”

She breathed soft, snowflakes shimmering from her lips, and mussed my hair with fingers colder than the shivers down my spine.

"You still break my heart. Above you stands the Door of Nasah and the twilight of innocence, where deaths lurk like sleeping fears."

Mark Twain raised an eyebrow. “That’s fortune cookie for someone need us up there, right?”

Her eyes filled with tears, and she whispered one word. "Yes."

"T-Then, that's where I'm going," I said.

Her face became totally hidden by living shadows. "Your Night is falling. I am called elsewhere. And the last tangle of knots in your skein of days lies before you."

"Oh, is that all? For a second there, I thought I was in real trouble."

As she rose like a swam taking flight, I whispered, "Why could Madame Levi see us, and those other people couldn’t?"

"Because their Moment of Accounting, though close, has not yet come."

Her smile was as cold as my blood. "The cliche is wrong, Roland. You do see the bullet that claims you."

And with a start, I realized I was at the head of the last flight of steps without any memory of having climbed them. "What the?"

Death was back to wings and nothing else as she looked sternly down upon me.

"The most effective path to Hell is the gradual one, without signposts, without sudden turns."

She made a grand flourish with her right wing, as if tempting me to look at her naked body.

I reached out and squeezed Marlene’s hand. She squeezed back and smiled sadly.

"Behold, the Door of Nasah," murmured Death.

There in that fancy hallway of red carpet and lush amber wallpaper, covered with flying cupids, stood the Door of Nasah.

It was metal and seven feet tall if it was an inch. As I walked closer with Death studying me, I saw it was made of solid gold.

The thing had to be heavy. How did anybody open the damn thing?

The huge door, carved in the shape of a leering dragon's head, slowly swung open.

"Cue the spooky music," I whispered.

“If you would enter, you must do so now. And quickly!”

And so it was that I, sometimes called DreamSinger, walked through the Door of Nasah and into the final tangle of knots in my skein of days.


  1. Hi, everyone, me the eternal weary blood courier here.

    Elizabeth has pointed out that I sometimes miss what I shouldn't. I'm sorry everyone.

    I often do 10 to 11 hours days, driving 200 or more miles. I sometimes forget what I've done and haven't done, who I've visited and who I haven't.

    As Sangu and VR have pointed out, this blog, my revising NOCTURNE, and my "pay the bills" job takes its toll on me.

    Words Crafter, Elliot, Donna, Olivia, Sangu, VR, Kitty, Rosie (thanks for the award), Terry, Heather, Tessa, Summer, Stephanie, Walter, Nicole, Tali, Raquel, Francine, Justin, D.L., Elaine, Courtney, Zoe, Shannon, Sharon, Elle, February, Erin, Susan, Portia, Aspiring X, Kathryn, Damyanti, Amanda, Jules, L'Aussie, and all my other blog friends

    And I do mean friends... Thank you for caring enough to visit and comment. It helps me not feel as if I'm playing to an empty house.

  2. "Skein of days" . . . I like that phrase.

  3. Hi, Golden Eagle, I've missed your comments. Thanks for liking my turn of phrase.

  4. Aha! It's Madame Levi who shrieked!

    I know I shouldn't like her but Death is such a tease - really pushing and pulling you literary souls here and there because she can.

    I like your touches of humour here and the one before this too!

    Take care

  5. The way you describe the coldness of death always makes me shiver. And again, great ending, wonderful story! I like the tangled skein of days. Yes, that's what we seem to have.

    And Twain's jackass quote:D

    It finally dawned on me to put your Marlene banner on my blog. I can be slow.

  6. kITTY : Yes, I try to throw a bit of humor. And Death, being death, is hard to pin down, isn't she? Thanks for all your comments. They mean a lot to me.

    TERRY : Thanks for putting up my Marlene banner on your blog. It's appreciated. As are your comments.

  7. Your "Cue the spooky music" line was delivered at the perfect time to inject some levity in to an otherwise dismal situation.

    Your prose and timing are magnificent, as always.

    Thank you for the video. Again you remind us of how awful conditions were back when. My mother grew up in a foster home (in the 30's, early 40's) and, while she and my aunt used to speak of it with nostalgia, her tales always made me hurt. Yes, those kids were clothed and fed, had a bed and a roof over their heads. But love wasn't necessarily on the menu. And working from sun up to sun down on the farm was.

    It could've been worse. Their daddy (my grand) could've left them on the streets instead of fostering them out. I guess. Either way, they were abandoned.

    My heart aches for them. And for their children.

    ~that rebel, Olivia

  8. Mark Twain raised an eyebrow. “That’s fortune cookie for someone need us up there, right?”

    I know there are better quotes I could take throughout this story of him, but I do love Mr. Twains humor. You have done him justice.

    And a empty house? Not at all. It's patrons stand and applaud for you every night. Now make sure to add SLEEP to your schedule.

  9. I may be late stopping by, but I catch up. :)

    Love the characterization of Death. Those wings are a nice touch. The sarcastic quips and nicely done. You come up with such cool phrases.


  10. Hmmm, I'm almost at a loss here. I loved the way you portrayed Death-she does invite and lure men to their deaths. She also levels the playing field. At times, she also shows mercy and justice. I just watched the video at the end of the post and I'm lost in nostalgia. My uncles and grandfather sang in a quartet and this is something they would have loved to sing. My mom also had a wonderful alto voice...alas, as much as I love to sing, my money making would come from the poor souls who strongly desired me to shut up!

    Thanks for the shout out, but you shouldn't worry. I personally hate driving/riding for long periods of time. My husband used to and he hated to go anywhere after getting home. Like sitting in hospitals, driving can wear you completely out. I'm getting ready to add going to school to working, writing, blogging, and preparing for my week of lesson planning/teaching. I may be kinda scarce through the week, so I'll have to apologize and ask for patience, too.

    Get some rest and take care of you-in this world and the ghost one....