So you can read my books

Thursday, October 14, 2010


{The Wendigo has attacked.

Killing the remaining cannibals, it turns to Wolf Howl and the Mossad assassin, Shadow.

She ignores Wolf Howl's wisdom and attacks the Wendigo alone.

In an attempt to heal her, Wolf Howl is attacked by the Wendigo. He needs Shadow's help to defeat it.

But the Mossad assassin refuses in order to follow her orders to assassinate the man she loves ...}

The Wendigo tackled me. We hit hard beside Shadow. The breath was knocked out of me. A cold so utter it was a fire swept through me. I flung out my hand to Shadow.

"T-Take my hand. To-Together we can ...."

Still sprawled on the wet grass, she snatched her hand right up against her chest.

"No! No, Drew. There is no Wendigo. No Grandmother. Only you, and you are killing yourself. With you dead, the world is safer."

The Wendigo started laughing again.

I stopped trying to hold the creature back with my right hand. With no resistance to stop him, he thrust his foul-smelling face into mine. I locked my teeth into his throat.

I flung both hands palm down to the grass, sinking my fingers deep into the soil.

Into the body of Gaia. Of Estanatlehi.

Of GrandMother.

I let go of the creature's fur-matted throat. I only had time for a few words.

"W-Wendigo is l-laughing. Sh-Shadow is blind. Ti-Time for the soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain. Science deceives, GrandMother. Only the lightning is true."

For three heartbeats all was silence but for the tears of Shadow, the chattering of my teeth, and the guttural laughter of the Wendigo.

Then, GrandMother spoke.

As she usually does. In actions.

The White Man struts in his imagined power. Power he badly copies from the designs of GrandMother. Compare his puny atomic bomb to the perpetual nuclear furnace of the sun.

Flames burst from the soil at my back. Legend said the Wendigo's heart was ice. GrandMother's was a living pool of sizzling magma.

Wendigo's heart, along with the rest of his body, was vaporized in an instant.

I felt cool, caressed as if by Autumn's kiss.

Wings of fire lifted me, and I heard Shadow cry out, "The phoenix."

No. Not the phoenix. The Wakin'yan. Wahka for sacred. Kiya for winged. The Thunderbird.

Its cry rumbled across the heavens whose boiling clouds we now flew through. That same cry had awakened me aboard the Greyhound bus.

Wrapped in its fiery breast, I could not see its form. Which was fortunate, for to view clear the Thunderbird was to die.

Having seen all of this, Shadow would yet be blind. She would see this as only evidence that my power had grown as my insanity had worsened. She was only half healed.

But I was under no illusions. When she fully mended, she would begin hunting me again with increased, not lessened, dedication.

In the heart of Wakin'yan, I could sense no up, no down, nor any change of direction just the buffeting from the warm feathers of wind. So I was startled when I felt hard ground thump underneath my hiking boots.

The world seemed filled with the hollow rumbling cry of the Thunderbird. Then, the fire embracing me was gone. I saw movement above me. I looked up.

Yes, I still knew it was death to see Wakin'yan. But I was Wolf Howl, always seeking, always yearning to know the unknowable.

Wakin'yan had ascended to the upper reaches of the heavens, its form almost unrecognizable, its wing span reaching from horizon to horizon.

I knew the legends. To be visited by Wakin'yan was to become Heyoka, the Contrary Man. The Trickster who taught in riddles, who did all things backwards.

The breath left me in a sigh that was almost pain. The Great Mystery knew I did love all backwards.

"As you do life. Your years have ended but not your days."

GrandMother. Her voice had come from behind me. And she had not sounded happy.

I took stock of my surroundings. I was on the shoulder of the feeder road. I turned around slowly. I was facing the broken, smoldering Greyhound.

Things had not gone well in my absence.

GrandMother had moved all the survivors outside, although survivors was too cruel a word to call them now. They were all dead, sprawled awkward on the damp grass. Hissing rattlers bunched in squirming coils on their chests.

Estanatlehi stood tall, defiant with her slender alabaster arm encircling a terrified Abby. The small blonde stood shivering, her eyes round with fear and horror. Those eyes were pleading with me silently.

The grim turquoise eyes which looked down upon her left no doubt that the girl was only a heartbeat from joining the others.

Playing for time, I said low, "My years have ended but not my days?"

Eyes which had looked upon the stark landscapes of the first ice age regarded me in a gaze a galaxy away from anything resembling warmth. "When my power surged through you, your body ceased aging."

She stabbed a look at my right knee. "That would have been healed had you not first sought aid from that whore."

"Good. The pain will help keep me centered. Besides, killing the Wendigo my way would have healed Shadow as well."

Turquoise eyes flashed, and thunder rumbled angry overhead. "She wished you dead ... as did all these."

I nodded. "I knew all you spared were part of the Mossad team."

The thunder got worse, and chill winds started to buffet me. "Then why did you not kill them?"

"Dead they would learn nothing. I wanted to give them a chance to reflect, to perhaps choose another path besides deceit and death."

Estanatlehi snorted. "The donkey always says 'thank you' with a kick. There was another Lakota who thought as you do. His name was Crazy Horse. He was betrayed to his death by his own People."

I gazed down on the mottled face of Larry Cedar Face. "That feels a familiar story."

I looked at Abby, then back at Estanatlehi. "Crazy Horse also formed The Last Child Society."

Estanatlehi said nothing, but the winds picked up strength. "These people offered no danger. Why did you kill them?"

"I grew weary of hearing them plot to kill you should you return."

Abby pulled free from the arms encircling her. "Lady, they didn't say word one."

A turquoise eyebrow arched. "Ungrateful whelp, I understand all the tongues of Man, even those spoken by gesture of hand."

Abby went sick white and turned to me. "Help me, Mr. Drew."

I held out my open arms.

She rushed into them. Her face beamed. Almost as fast as Shadow could have done it, a knife appeared in her small right hand. It stabbed straight for my heart. She grinned wide.

"I told Shadow I'd be the one to kill ...."

The knife became what it had always been. A rattlesnake. Sometime while I was gone, Estanatlehi had replaced the blade with the snake. Now, GrandMother awakened it.

The wet-scaled snake hissed then spun in Abby's hand. The girl shrieked shrill. Two needle fangs sank deep into the girl's throat. Abby gurgled in a husk.

She turned wild eyes to me. "Mr. Dre ...."

Abby reeled to the ground, laying awkward and still. For a sick heartbeat I just stood there, then I kneeled down beside her body.

The snake coiled. I glared at it. It hesitated, then slithered slowly away into the shadows.

I reached out and tenderly stroked her still warm cheek. From the cliff of our birth we keep falling, falling. Abby had hit bottom sooner than most.

It was a world of sorrows because we made it so.

I tried to see some echo of the innocence that had once been hers. I couldn't find it, only a hard hollowness to the eyes I slowly closed. Perhaps that innocence had died with her grandfather.

Perhaps it had been choked bit by bit by her Mossad trainers, her handlers. Had they fed her on lies until her heart had starved to death?

I fought another sigh. She had died from their last lie : that Estanatlehi was a projection of my will. I shook my head sadly.

I never killed the young, while they comprised the majority of GrandMother's victims. To say that she and I held different views of life was an understatement.

GrandMother sounded puzzled. "You knew that she was one of the Mossad team all along?"

I nodded. "The color of her thoughts was always death. Always."

From the heart of the dark woods, Bu, the Owl, cried in the voice of the recent dead.



  1. A poignant and sad tale. The elements of your story are heavily connected to one another. Wolf Howl is surrounded by so many entities and yet he is so incredibly alone. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Your imagination is so vast, Roland. Your work is poignant and moving. As always, I wish you great success in your endeavor. You truly deserve it, and so many would benefit from reading your work.

  3. Wendy : In one sense, to be adult is to be alone. When we are children, we feel linked to family even to close friends. As we mature, we realize that often our words are misunderstood by those closest to us. And the outside world is filled with predators wearing the skin of protectors. I'm glad you liked this story.

    Christi : I try to stir the imagination and touch the heart, while whispering : "Are you sure that is all there is out there?" I wish you great success in your publication dreams as well. Your praise means a lot.

  4. Hi Roland, this would really make a good movie.. Don't end it yet, we need a part II! :-)

    You write so well.

  5. "And then Grandmother spoke. As she usually does, in actions."
    I love that! LOVE that line.
    I can't believe it's over!

  6. ...this is a foreboding tale, Roland. Has a tendency to grab one's attention and throttle away what was left of their afternoon...yeah, you just made me late for getting the kid to the high school football game:) He's whining now, "Read Roland's story when we get back. Come on Dad, gotta go!" He needs a scare from Wolf Howl...just a fly-by to knock that chip off his shoulder...teens, geez.
    Well done as always. Take care, EL

  7. Sigh. I didn't see this coming, but when I think of it, the very first post with the hook, line, and sinker, I realize I should have. It tears the heart.

    I agree, a part two. Another visit with Wolf Howl...maybe when he's found a way to have some peace....

    I'm gonna go listen to John Two-Hawks.

    And this whole things was uber fantastic.