So you can read my books

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Victor Standish ...

gypsy, scamp, tormentor of bullies, natural or supernatural ...

discovers the true identity of his mother at the start of his second novel, VICTOR'S NOT JUST MY NAME.

Denise (L'Aussie) wondered at the true glimpse of Victor's mother in yesterday's post, so I thought I would draw back the curtains a bit more.

Victor and Alice have just left the bedside of their gravely wounded guardian, Samuel McCord. They have been told the Angel of Death has come for Victor. In order to save the lives of those he loves, Victor goes to meet the Angel of Death alone ...


There she stood, tall and defiant, and showing more leg in her Valkyrie outfit than was comfortable for a guy to see of his own mother. At that thought of mine, her silver eyebrow rose sharply. Jeez, my suspicions all my life were true. She could read my thoughts.

“You’re the Angel of Death?,” I gasped.

She rapped on the top of my head as if it were a door. “You didn’t read my letter?”

Her body shimmered as she became that cat-eyed old woman from my bus ride to New Orleans. She kept her Valkyrie outfit. Seeing her leg all long and scrawny was worse than seeing it all shapely.

“Hey, Mother, I read one word : Hell. That kinda took away the urge to read the rest you know. Besides you could only read that letter under moonlight.”

She rolled those cat-eyes. “To make it harder for others to read words not meant for them!”

As she returned to the face and age I always thought her, I tapped my shirt pocket. “Oh, that was the reason? Well, I kept it next to my heart.”

Mother snatched it from my pocket and slowly, deliberately tore it to shreds. “What secrets you could have learned are now gone, Victor. Remember this lesson.”

Suddenly Alice was by my side. “What lesson, coward? That Death knows no manners?”

Mother smiled that smile that always scared the hell out of me. “All living already know that lesson, Alice Wentworth.”

I stepped slightly in between Mother and her. “A-Alice, meet the Angel of Death … my mother.”

Mother cocked her eyebrow again as I moved in between her and Alice. She slowly smiled another smile. That was the one that always really scared me down to my toes … and that had been before I had known she was the Angel of Death.

Alice hushed, “Y-Your mother?”

Her neon-blue eyes went wide. “Oh, now it makes perfect sense!”

“What does?,” I frowned.

“Why she left you on the meanest, deadliest streets all these years.”

“To you maybe,” I muttered.

Alice tweaked my nose as Mother watched strangely somber and said, “Death exists all times, all wheres, simultaneously.”

“Could you say that last word again, Alice. It sounds so sexy with your British accent.”

She leaned in close and whispered, “Not in front of your mother!”

Mother gave me that “Your World Is About To End” smile of hers. “So, Victor, you approve of my choice of mates for you?”

Alice and I both sputtered, “W-What?”

Mother waved absently. “Oh, I am sure you have a much more romantic name for it. But ‘Mate for my son’ was what I thought when I made you, Alice Wentworth.”

“M-My mother made me what I am.”

“Hardly. Through her atrocious mishandling of Vodou, she tried to make a nzambi of you.”


Mother sighed, “Zombie is the incorrect term mistakenly thrown about these days.”

“I am a zombie?,” whimpered Alice.

Mother knocked on the top of Alice’s head as if it were a door. “I am sure there is a brain under all that hair. Think. Listen. I said your mother botched the job of making a nzambi of you.”

“I-I’m botched?”

Mother clenched her teeth, her now silver eyes looking as she had another B word for Alice in mind right then. I decided I had to move fast.

“So that’s when you stepped in. Right, Mother?”

She gave me that dead stare that let me know she knew what I was doing, but merely said, “Yes. Alice, I found what your mother was attempting to do … offensive.”

Her eyes went back to winter blue-gray. “Yes, there I was with you, Victor, in my arms. Just a mewing baby.”

I frowned and remembered what Alice had said about Death being everywhere at once. “You took me with you from death to death all through time, didn’t you?”

She nodded slowly. “Until you grew too old to find it anything but maddening.”

Her eyes filmed over with gold. “So there I was seeing a blind woman, throwing away what I would have given anything to keep. And I said to myself, ‘This will not be. It has gone too far to stop, but I can shape this girl for my boy so he will not be alone as I am alone.”

I took Mother’s hand gently in my right one. “Yes, it does make sense now. On the most dangerous streets, you would be with me every day.”

Mother patted my fingers once, then gently removed them. “Never by my side … but always in my heart … and in my sight.”

I rushed to her and hugged her hard. She patted between my shoulder blades once, then gently, oh, so gently pushed me away. “It is unwise to physically touch the Angel of Death, Victor.”

I smiled soft when I realized she hadn’t asked me not to do it again.


  1. Love it!! I love Victor Standish's mum!! What a mum!! I love how she taps his and Alice's heads!!! She's a brilliant angel of death and a good mum!! No wonder Victor Standish is how he is and who he is!

    Take care

  2. ooOOooh! Come to Mama! I loved this - thankyou for giving us more insight into Victor.

    Congratulations on being a finalist in Dom's blogfest, well done.

  3. Thanks, Kitty. The world of Victor Standish is sprawling in my mind's eye with possibilities. I'm glad you like his Mum as I do. I envision her like a mother eagle thrusting her young out into the sky to fly ... but hovering nearby. Thanks again. Have a great Sunday, Roland

  4. Thanks, Margo. All of us were winners in that we got to tell our tales to friends in the warmth of the cyber-light which keeps the darkness of loneliness at bay for us! Have a healing Sunday, Roland

  5. I enjoyed reading this! I liked the mother a lot, yes. I guess even fierce mamas have a soft spot for their "mewing" babies. LOL Love the parts/humor about the leg sticking out of the dress, too. Thanks for the read!

  6. Glad you enjoyed the read, Carol. Every Mama has her own way of expressing love, even Death. LOL.

  7. Mother as Death? What a cool concept! And I love this trailer for Tomorrow When the War Began. I can't wait to see that movie.

    Great story in this post!

  8. Thanks so much, Julie. I thought having Death be Victor's mother opened so many possible avenues to travel. I'm glad you think so, too. And doesn't that movie look interesting? It's based on a series of books that were bestsellers in Australia. I downloaded the first one to my Kindle on the strength of the movie trailer alone. I can't wait to begin to read it. May your new week be simply great.

    It's good to see you here again, Julie.

  9. Ah,

    Another fun glimpse into Victor's world. I love how you wove Alice into Victor's life through his mother. Excellent.

    As always a fascinating read.


  10. Humor hidden between the lines is fun to read. Good work.

  11. Michael : I think of Victor's life a bit like Pip's in Great Expectations. Always a surprise waiting for him in the most unexpected places.

    Walter : Thanks for appreciating the humor I try to sprinkle amidst Victor's chaos. Have a great new week! Roland

  12. Very intriguing...

    Although, Alice is innocent in her ways, she pulls Victor to the centre.

    Enjoyed the post.