So you can read my books

Friday, September 16, 2011


The distant clock tower is tolling midnight.

The bayou snaking by my apartment complex wears a shroud of fog.

Writhing fingers of mist reach up from the masked waters to the dying full moon

as if begging for mercy ...

or for answers.

Only Bu, the owl, replies. And if you hear him call you name, it is your death knell.

I sigh in relief. My name was not uttered.

Francine and Denise have given us the FRIDAY ROMANTIC prompt_BOUQUET :

My entry is from THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH. Victor is chained to Maija's throne of gold by steel cables. She is torturing the boy.

His first Sin : McCord cares for him.

Second Sin : He has found love.

Third Sin : Victor will neither beg nor bow.

But Maija has lived millennia. She knows how to hurt a young man. We join her now :

Maija flashed a smile a shark would wear as it glided next to a bleeding swimmer. “You expect your precious ….

She made the words into razor blades, “… ghoul friend, Alice, to rush to your rescue, do you not?”

I shook my head. “Not hardly. She showed some good sense and left me.”

Maija chuckled, “Oh, I know. Scurried back to her mold-infested crypt.”

She clapped her hands. “Poor child, I had to do something to truly sever her heart.”

My own heart stopped. “What did you do to her, you bitch!”

Maija smiled without an ounce of sanity. “Samuel was quite right. My traps are works of precision : no avenue of rescue remains unblocked.”

“W-What did you to do to her?”

Slanted eyes without mercy speared me. “Nothing obscene. Nothing bizarre. Nothing cruel.”

Maija laughed like an insane little girl. “I lied about the cruel.”

She sighed, her eyes closing in recall, then opening. “I knocked on her crypt, leaving her a parchment letter with one black rose attached.”

“W-What was in the letter?”

Her face was a cruel mockery of false concern. “Oh, I made sure it was quite fitting. I even wrote it in your own hand.”

“M-My own hand?”

Maija giggled, “Yes, I can copy any talking ape’s handwriting.”

“What did you write?”

She smiled demurely. “It was a work of art let me assure you. No part of her heart did I leave untouched.”

“What did you say?”

“Merely a ‘thank you’ from you.”

“A – A what?”

“Yes, in your hand, I wrote a thank you. How she had lifted such a great burden from you. Yes, you had shown pity to the undead, rotting thing she was at first out of pity.”

Maija laughed,

“I even quoted Mark Twain for you :

how no good deed went unpunished. I had you thanking her for taking her loathsome presence from your sight :

how you had come to loathe the way she smelled, the way her clammy flesh felt, to loathe how she … tasted.”

Maija clapped happily and long. “Oh, you should see your face, Standish. Your heart! Your heart is your weakness.”

I went dead cold inside. “If revenge meant becoming a ghoul for eternity, would you still choose revenge?”

Maija sneered, “Of course.”

“Me, too.”

“What nonsense are you driveling?”

I played my ace-in-the-hole no longer caring what it did to me so long as I could make Maija pay. My blood became acid. My flesh became living fire.

I was no longer solid. I was mist. And it hurt like hell.

I passed through the steel cables and drifted closer and closer to Maija. I could flat no longer stand the pain. I became solid again.

Damn. Damn. Damn! That had hurt. Victor, old boy, let’s not do that ever again, shall we?

Maija stepped back clumsily, her right palm outstretched as if to fend off a ghost. This time it was her face that was drained of blood. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer monster.

“What? You can’t. It’s impossible!”

“I’m Victor Standish. And there is no impossible for me.”

My voice cracked. "Except to ever be loved by Alice again."



  1. Oh! I'm so interested...

    And Somewhere In Time is a FAVE! I used to have a record of the soundtrack when I was a kid.

    Why is love always lost for your heroes?

  2. Hi Roland .. full of ghoulish power there .. the pull and push of evil over caring .. I'm so glad I don't live in that world .. no wonder I'm not keen on horrors .. glad it's morning and I can see daylight! Talk about expressive writing .. I hope you can have a peaceful weekend .. Hilary

  3. Vivid, emotive imagery for the single black rose. Poor Victor.

    That cover is beautiful.


  4. Hi,

    Single black rose: says so much. Evil Maija. Oh tears of blood, how I shall miss thee. Cow!!!

    Incredibly descriptive prose, R, and I'm kind of glad it's coffee time not hot choccy-before-bed. ;)


  5. The "me, too" is a fantastic turn around. It spins the story suddenly out of Maija's control. And she doesn't see it coming at all. I love that.

  6. Love that you have your hero take some action here. Good for him!

  7. "The bayou snaking by my apartment complex wears a shroud of fog" -- you had me there. Very nice!

  8. Jo :
    Ah, but in the following pages, Alice returns, though Hell itself bars the way ... for while the handwriting was Victor's, she knew in her heart that he could never say those things ... which meant he was in trouble.

    A recurring theme in that book is : leave it to your enemy to save the day for you.

    Haven't you noticed how an external threat seems to draw a couple together ... even if there had been strife between them before?

    I think you would like VICTOR, both book and teen! LOL.

    Hilary :
    In a sense we all live in such a world -- but it is what we choose to focus on that saves the day for me. Thanks for chatting. I always look forward to your visits.

    Thanks, Donna :
    Victor is a counterpoint to many of my heroes : a gypsy Ulysses, always a plan to escape, always a laugh on his lips, and always a path back to his love.

    Francine :
    Maija's torture of Victor was her birthday present to herself. McCord gave her a present she never forgot! And the laughter of Victor and Alice, by his side, was only part of it. Thanks for enjoying my excerpt.

    Ruth :
    That's what I love about Victor. He is a young Ulysses, never without a plan, never without a way of snatching the sneer from the lips of any bully. That you all liked this snippet makes my morning, Roland

    Beverly :
    That's Victor for you. He'll find a way back at his enemy. Usually a crooked one -- but that's what makes it fun.

    Milo :
    I try to set the mood in my intro's. It means a lot that you noticed ... and that you enjoyed it. My internet is shorting out on me due to the road construction in front of our apartment complex. Here's hoping I can actually send these comments out into the cyber-void! LOL. Roland

  9. Wow she is darn right cruel. You did a great job at making me hate her, Roland. And I love the cover. :) Have a great weekend!

  10. Laila :
    Maija is many-faceted -- but most of them cut! She loved the good-hearted doctor aboard the DEMETER a few Fridays ago. She is an equal-opportunity villainess -- appearing in all the hero cycles of my linked universe. You just can't keep a bad girl down! Roland

  11. Maija, the evil, is every determined to make him pay. Hope he can win back his lady love after the damage she's done. Wicked use of flower.

  12. J.L. :
    Sometimes Evil is its own worst enemy - such is the case this time with Maija ... but at a price.

    Victor and Alice are forever soul-mates -- though they go through some dark times. Thanks for visiting and chatting, Roland

  13. Hi Roland. Dark use of 'bouquet.' Black rose, evil lady. I admit I was a bit scared, Roland.

    Just read your latest post. Are you really ill? If so, get better fast.


  14. The black rose certainly did it for me. Kind of romantic, lol. Maija is the sort of character we all love to hate. Really vivid.

  15. Denise :
    Maija is scary. Yet as a few Fridays back proved, she was loving to a ship's doctor and mourned her role in the destruction of Samuel.

    And like Victor, I refuse to give in without a fight to illness or anything else. LOL.

    Adura :
    Maija knew Alice would think the black rose romantic, too, and thus be softened up for her cruel letter. Ouch! Thanks for liking my post, Roland

  16. Dear Roland,
    Thank you for your kind, sweet words about my faerie-post!

    Your Black-Rose-text has taught me that romantic heroes/heroines don't have to be good! Wickedness is also energy, even if it is negative energy.

    Hope you are feeling better.

    Best wishes,

    For the benefit of other readers:
    Anna's 'An Unusual Bouquet' RFWers challenge No 19