So you can read my books

Friday, December 10, 2010


Don't forget to vote for my entry in Tessa's OUTSIDE THE BOX blogfest :

Also join in Michael's Harry Potter fun :

As my new friend, Dominic, pointed out : there are some of my new friends that may not know of the history of Victor and his ghoul friend, Alice. Here is the link to their first meeting, told from both perspectives :

Alice and I stumbled through the mirror. Elu, that Apache Trickster, had surprised us both by grabbing and pulling us into his mirror world.

His Christmas present he laughed.

We came out in the middle of a roaring fireplace. We jumped right out of that blasted inferno. Lucky for us it was big enough to roast a buffalo.

"Oh, my!," gasped Alice as she looked all around.

"What you said, " I whispered.

We were in a humongous great hall. Three gleaming tables ran down the length of it. Twelve giant Christmas trees lined the stone walls.

And it was snowing.

Snowing! Snowing inside this enormous hall. Each flake seemed to be singing. And glowing with a tiny gleam of winter laughter.

I looked up, and my mouth dropped down.

Dozens upon dozens of tall candles were floating high above us, right below a vaulted ceiling painted to look like a night's sky.

I went a little cold. The fluffy clouds were moving. One slowly covered the spectral full moon.

Alice gasped, "Oh my, where are we?"

I smiled crooked, "We're not in Kansas any more, Toto."

"You are so not funny!"

An old man's voice rumbled behind us. "And you are in so much trouble."

I sighed, "Oh, crap -- ah, merde."

The man laughed. "It still means the same thing."

I turned around slowly. "Yeah, but when you're in the company of a beautiful .... Oh, wow."

The man was tall, thin and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt.

He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak which swept the ground and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles.

And his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice.

"Merlin?," I croaked.

He smiled like Santa Claus and said, "Albus Dumbledore. And you?"

I smiled back. "I'm Victor Standish, and this is ..."

His smile turned impish, "Your ... ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth."

Alice looked like she was about to kick a shin, but he chuckled so good-naturedly that she relaxed smooth as you please. I just had to learn how to chuckle like that.

Alice looked shocked. "Y-You do not mind that I am a ghoul?"

He reached out and gently patted her head. "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. And your choices have always come from a good heart."

Alice's neon-blue eyes widened. "How do you know that?"

Dumbledore laughed softly. "Because I am quite possibly the most powerful wizard of my time."

"And humble, too," I snorted.

Alice slapped my left arm. "Hush! We are uninvited guests. Show some manners."

I grinned sheepish. "We didn't mean to barge into ...."


I frantically searched my face with flying fingers. "Where?"

He smiled amused and sad all at once. "Where you're standing."

I leapt back, looking at the spot I just left. "I don't see anything."

Alice rolled her eyes. "He means the place we are standing, this great hall, genius."

"Oh, I knew tha ...."

I suddenly heard a whispery, dirty-silk voice inside my head. "Kill. Kill. Kill!"

Dumbledore saw my look and tapped my arm. "You heard the basilisk?"

I brightened up considerably. I could pay my way here. Perhaps even get one of those roast turkeys on the tables.

Maybe they would be magic, and Alice could actually eat it without getting sick. Now, that would be a great Christmas present.

"Hey, I'm no Perseus, mind you, but I could fight that monster for you."

Alice frowned, "That is the Medusa you are thinking about!"

Dumbledore smiled like a forgiving grandfather. "You meant well. But this challenge is for someone else's growth."

I heard a thunder of footfalls, and three voices arguing like good friends will at the other end of this enormous hall.

"Speaking of which," Dumbledore said. "Here he comes now with his two friends of legend."

"Legend?," I asked.

Dumbledore nodded with such a sad look to his wise face. "Yes, but the legend will come at great price."

I nodded back. "Yeah, that's the sucky, ah, bad thing about being a legend : the price tag that goes with it."

Dumbledore gestured, and a silver platter filled to overflowing with a roast turkey appeared in his hands. He gave it to a stunned Alice.

"But, sir, I cannot eat this without becoming ill."

He mussed my hair. "You were right, Victor, it is magic. Your Alice can eat her full of this."

He turned to her seriously. "But only on Christmas Night."

Alice look troubled. "Oh, tell me that I can share."

Dumbledore's eyes sparkled with eyes both happy and sad. "Alice, that is the truth of Christmas. There is no joy unless you share."

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Dumbledore."

He smiled at some private joke it seemed, and shook his head. "Your champion thought of it as payment for slaying the basilisk."

"But I didn't kill it," I protested.

He sighed, "Just this once I wanted intent to be worthy of merit. But I cannot let you be seen by my approaching three young legends. Off with you!"

The world exploded in stars. A ghostly music filled the air. I heard Dumbledore's whisper in my ear, though all I saw was a rainbow showering all around me.

"Tell Elu to shepherd his own legends."

I felt my hair mussed again. "And tell him thank you for giving me the opportunity to share joy."

Then, Alice and I were back in the real world. Or as real as it ever got for me.


  1. I love your Harry Potter Blogfest entry--Victor and Alice in Hogwarts is an interesting combination. :)

  2. Golden Eagle : Glad you liked it. Since it was supposed to be interactive I thought Victor and Alice were the best choices!

  3. Hi,

    Am so not in this blogfest but had to take a peek at your offering!

    LOL. It's a great fun read.


  4. Francine : I know your entry would have been great. Thanks for liking my entry.

  5. I couldn't figure out this blogfest. But I love what you did with it. I can see Dumbledore acting and thinking just this way too. Very well done.

    And the video was so perfect.


  6. Donna : I was a bit confused, too. I just took the words : scene & interactive -- and went with it. Blogfests are just for fun anyway. And I know Michael. Any scene you would write with Harry and company in it would be fine with him. And I was so happy to have found that video. It was perfect, wasn't it?

  7. Roland,

    What an enchanting story. I LOVED how you introduced you characters into an HP scene.

    This was imaginative, sweet, different, fun, captivating.... I am running out of adjectives....

    But it's also over 400 words over the limit. I know you don't care about prizes. but if you'd like to edit it down, I will give you the weekend to do so. I am not posting the top five until Monday or Tuesday.

    I just want to let you know it's killing me to tell you this, but the max word count is 525. SO SORRY.

    OTHERWISE.... It's exactly the kind of entry that I would love to put in the top five.


  8. Michael : I wrote it long on purpose. I don't like competing against my friends. I entered Tessa's OUT OF THE BOX, not knowing it was a contest. It is human for me to want to win that one, but in a sense, we are all winners because we are each other's friend.

    For chuckles and as an exercise of discipline, I tried to edit my story to the desired limit. I could only get down to 634 words without removing the fun, heart, and morale of my Christmas tale.

    LOL. Like J K Rowling, I guess I have a narrative style that doesn't do short!

    It is for the best. Christmas is for sharing not competing.

  9. I figured as much. It was so obvious when you went to an extreme. lol.

    I'm glad you tried to condense it, We are all friends. This is not a real competition. I just wanted to have fun and share a few gifts with people who I know love HP as much as I do. Making someone's day with an usual gift brings me joy. I just wish I could see their reaction when they open it.

    We are sharing.... Our imaginations and talent. And I'm sharing my vacation with my new friends. So relax, and don't take this or any blog competition so seriously... it's all in good fun.


  10. I am not in this fest, but I did want to read all of the entries. This is wonderful. On to the next...


  11. Jodi : I'm glad you thought it wonderful. I was going for entertainment not length. Hope the others strike your fancy, too.

    Wendy : I'm glad you loved it. I'm no J K Rowling, but I gave it my best shot. Alice enjoyed herself.

  12. Enjoyed your entry. I like the characters you chose. I agree it's hard to condense down something you've written when it sounds the way you want it to. :O)

  13. Loved that you set it in Hogwarts dining hall. ALways wanted to go there. Great job at creating the magic, and love that you included Alice!!! Clever devil, you! ;)

  14. Great job Roland. I love Dumbledore and to see him interact with your characters was fun. I did a much lighter piece.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  15. Oh, including Alice here was excellent! I love the coming together of your fantasy with the Potterverse, and your Dumbledore sounds perfect!

    I saw you mention that you'd love to see more young Janes--if you're serious, I wrote a (long) accounting of his life:

    Don't feel obligated--it's VERY long (I think Melissa nailed the characters)

  16. I read almost the entire thing before I remembered who Alice was. It was a lot easier to get through once I figured it out (my fault, not yours).

    You put a lot of thought into this, good job.

  17. Roland- you never cease to amze me with your skill. I really enjoyed this piece, you nailed the characters like always. The twist was wonderful with the present and the ghoul gets to eat! wonderful!

  18. It's me again,

    I reread it. Still LOVE it! My favorite is how you incorporated the characters from your current novel.

    Your prose is superb as always.

    Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your story and for all your kind comments.


  19. This was just magical. And where in the world did you find the video? You know I'm gonna steal it, right?

    I got your email and am keeping my fingers crossed and send up a prayer....

  20. Over the wordcount or not, it was a fun story! Thanks!

  21. I enjoyed this, although I felt I was missing something about Victor and Alice's past history!

    What should I be reading to understand the sub-text?

    Well written though!


  22. C.A. : Me and J. K. have an issue with wordcounts! LOL. Thanks for the compliment. It meant a lot to me.

    Word Crafter : I was so happy to have stumbled onto that video. Great one, wasn't it? Take the video with my blessing. Christmas is all about sharing. And please do keep your fingers crossed for me.

    Michael : Me and J. K. take time and length (LOL) to touch the heart like we want. I'm so glad you enjoyed it again.

    Summer : I'm happy you enjoyed the twist and tiny Christmas miracle where a sad ghoul gets to eat Christmas turkey once again like the little girl she remembers being so long ago.

    Erica and Christy : Thanks for appreciating the effort I took to make it a fun, touching Christmas tale. That you enjoyed it means so much to me.

    Hart : I worked hard to be true to Dombledore's spirit and make Potter fans feel like they were seeing another untold chapter in his life. I'll be visiting your post on James real soon. Christmas duties call.

    Madeleine : I'm glad you understand how hard it is to a Cliff Notes version of a tale you've polished to touch the heart. Thanks.

    P K : I've always been fascinated by the Great Hall during Christmas. I was saddened when it was destroyed at the end of DEATH HOLLOWS.

    N.R. : Your piece was indeed lighter and a great deal of fun. Since I'm shy, I sent Victor and Alice to enter the Potterverse for me, figuring they'd be more entertaining than I ever could be.

    Cherie : Thanks for catching the fun of my story.

  23. Dominic : Sorry. I keep forgeting new friends drop in on me. Here's an entry for another blogfest that details Alice and Victor's first meeting ... from both their perspectives. Thanks for enjoying my entry despite not knowing their subtext. Thanks for following, too.

  24. You did a great job with this! I love how you put your own characters into the scene.

  25. Christmas is in the sharing, finding merit in intent -- that is awesome. You had a fun story and a message.

  26. Erin : Thanks for appreciating my Christmas messages. We sometimes fail to realize that we should reward the intent of the heart, even when it tries and fails. Have a Merry Christmas.

  27. I enjoy reading your contributions to the blogfests,you always come up with wonderful pieces. I loved it!! Thanks for sharing! :D

  28. Brenda : I always smile when I see your name among my comments. Thanks for the praise. I hope you read my spectral Christmas tale blogfest post for Sunday.

  29. Very nice! I love that they visited Hogwarts!

  30. Su : Yes, though Victor got confused with the name!

  31. So clever of you to insert an alternate universe into Rowling's world. Victor and Alice are a riot!

    This was SO Dumbledore and such a nice sentiment to work into a Christmas story: "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. And your choices have always come from a good heart."

  32. Nicki : I'm glad you think my portrayal of Dumbledore to be like J K would have written him. It isn't a Christmas tale to me without some underlying sentiment to heal and help. Have a great holiday season! Thanks for making my Sunday better for you having visited. Roland