So you can read my books

Friday, September 2, 2011



What is its color? How much space does it take up in our heart?

Doesn't your heart feel near to bursting when you first spot the one you love?

And when it dies, the Grand Canyon seems small compared to the hollowness in that same heart.

Francine and Denise have given us the prompt, HEART-STOPPER, to use this Friday :


Many have emailed me asking what could possibly destroy such a one as Samuel McCord as Maija threatened last week.

Before she fell in love with Samuel, Meilori had made a pretense of assisting DayStar for her own purposes. But she learns even the pretense carries a steep price.

DayStar has taken possession of her body after the BALL OF DEATH & MADNESS, and he sends her against her beloved.

Samuel is seemingly without a single weapon. We join the festivities at that point :

DayStar studied me like a steak he was about to eat.

“You are weaponless.”

I pulled King Solomon’s knife from its neck sheath. “Not completely.”

He smiled. “Ah, so you want the dying to be up-close and personal, do you?”

His eyes grew dreamy. “Let us slow the pace to this last dance, shall we?”

Meilori spoke low. “You must kill me, beloved, for if you should die by my hand, I would kill myself anyway.”

I locked my eyes on hers.

“This is not going to work out like he plans --- beloved.”

DayStar murmured, “You simply have no idea.”

“Keep telling you. I usually don’t.”

He smiled, and Meilori spun elegantly, holding her bone sword up high with both hands.

And it began.


I felt them on me.

Meilori’s : weeping with an aching love, a hollowing sadness, and utter terror.

Fallen’s : bruised, fearful, yet whispering an unreasoning hope.

Renfield’s : dark, filled with remorse and regret.

Maija’s : blue pools of icy regard in whose depths swam uncertainty and longing.

Meilori wheeled gracefully around me as if to some melody of death only she could hear. Me?

It seemed as if I could hear the trumpets of a bull fight as it reached its bloody climax. I was under no illusions who was the bull in this fight.

I was bone weary, moving with all the skill and stealth of a wounded moose. Meilori was as the wind given life, light, ethereal, and full of death.

And DayStar could move her with even more speed than I could muster.

My gloved hand clutched Solomon’s blade tighter, my fingers feeling numb and sweaty.

Meilori danced about me, meeting my each body shift easily, gracefully.

Her jade eyes seemed to swallow me. Her voice was a wet husk.

“I love you, my Samuel.”

“And I you.”

Fallen whimpered as the tears bled from her hollow eyes. Renfield turned his eyes away.

Maija looked first at me, then at her sister, her blue eyes slowly turning to DayStar with hate. DayStar began to smile wider.

The trumpets only I could hear started to crescendo. The dance was nearly done.

Meilori’s lips worked wordlessly as she fought the possession of her body. Black tears seeped from the corners of her eyes.

“We will meet again where the shadows never fall.”

DayStar laughed. Meilori's jaw firmed. My right hand suddenly became stone.

With uncomprehending eyes, I saw Solomon’s blade in it fly impossibly fast straight into Meilori’s heart. DayStar cursed.

Fallen sucked in a breath. Meilori fell into my arms that were once again mine.


She had taken control of my body as DayStar had taken control of hers. No! This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. No!

She lay limp in my arms. Her eyes rolling up, she tried to speak but couldn’t.

Only a wet gurgle came out. But still I heard her voice murmur within my mind. One word.

One last word.


I heard an animal wail. Wail as if its guts had been scooped out. Then it came to me. No animal was wailing in pain.

It was me.


And DayStar laughed.
Not part of my entry, but this poem by Stephen Crane begins the next chapter. I add it for Andy and my other friends who enjoy poetry.

“Places among the stars,

Soft gardens near the sun,

Shed no beams upon my weak heart,

Since she is here

In a place of blackness,

Not your golden days

Nor your silver nights

Can call me to you.

Since she is here

In a place of blackness,

Here I stay and wait.”



  1. What a tragic story, though told so elegantly. And the poetry, ah, to die for. You never cease to amaze me. How do you do it?!

  2. Darn it Roland, it was just as heartbreaking for a second reading!

  3. Hi,

    So sad, heart-stopping indeed!

    Lovely poem, and song perfect! I think you were born to please the female of the species with deadly romantic prose.

    Thankfully, mine's a light-hearted albeit sensual heart-stopper.


  4. That was intense, about everlasting love that rips your heart appart. Why can't people just get along? :)

    FYI: I'll be gone all next week. Be sure to miss me.

  5. Heather :
    Your praise makes this hectic morning so much easier to bear. As the tropical storm bears down on us, the hospitals are stocking up on blood -- making my day quite full!

    Sarah :
    That you read it a 2nd time means the world to me. And can you believe it? Things get worse for Sam ... and Meilori. But love will ever find a way.

    Francine :
    I am, indeed, a romantic at heart, and it shows in my prose. Such kind words from you makes my day the brighter.

    Everyone :
    Tropical Storm #13 is bearing down upon my community. As a rare blood courier, I am now being called to do the work of two -- sadly I left my Harry Potter wand in my other luggage!! I will be running the roads in the blinding rain for the forseeable future. So I will not be able to pay you all the visits I wish I could.

    Say a prayer for me as I drive down dark roads in the blinding downpours. Roland

  6. Laila :
    I will miss you. If the rains and the roads do me in this weekend, be sure and miss me, too.

    Thanks for the great words on my excerpt. Once more into the blinding rains! How come they don't sing songs about rare blood couriers? LOL.

  7. Some unexpected twists there! Can definitely feel the real love.

    Also loved this phrase: "DayStar studied me like a steak he was about to eat."

  8. Ruth :
    Thanks for enjoying my little snippet and my phrase. DayStar is Hannibal Lektor on steroids! LOL.

  9. Ahhh! How horrible!
    Fantastic drama.

  10. I'll have to pop over more often - this tale (as dark as it was delicious) had me hooked. You've a way with words........

  11. I would say ineffably sad, but that wouldn't be correct, since you've captured the agony of loss quite well.
    Best wishes for you to stay safe through the coming storm.

  12. Beautiful. This left me with a quivering lip and tears in my eyes. Thanks!

  13. Jo :
    Thanks. But don't give up on Sam. There was a reason he drew the fabled knife of King Solomon and why he uses it when unsure of the nature of those who attack him.

    Lena :
    Do pop over more often. Sometimes I feel as if I am playing to an empty house. LOL.

    Li ;
    I'm very happy you enjoyed this snippet. And I am trying to stay safe on these windy, rain-blinding roads!

    Laura :
    Thanks for your kind words. Here and in the comments for Saturday's post, Roland

  14. Heart stopping indeed Roland. And with such clever phrasing. Loved the poem too. You write tragedy so well.

    Be safe this weekend; stay clear of a gentleman named Lee . .


  15. Donna :
    Comes from seeing too much of it close-hand and being powerless to stop it I guess.

    Tomorrow will be a day off thankfully. I think I will sleep through most of it! LOL. Thanks for visiting, Roland

  16. Hi Roland. I'm a bit late this week as have been up to the coast for our Fathers Day - all sun, surf and sand. I was watching the progress of the storm heading your way again. I do hope and pray you and everyone is safe.

    Your story for RFWers is wonderfully heart stopping. Love the poem and song also. Josh Groban was in Oz a few months ago. A fabulous entertainer. Thanks for sharing today. D

  17. Meilori is fast becoming one of my favorite heroes. Wonderful courage and spirit, she has!