So you can read my books

Friday, October 14, 2011

LOVE SEES UNDER THE MASK_friday's romantic entry

The iron tongue of midnight tolls hauntingly beyond my apartment terrace.

The meandering bayou betrays its existence only by the wavering reflection of the almost full moon.

The night-cloaked owl keeps asking its one word question. “WHO?”

Who are we? Who will ever love us?

Francine and Denise gives us the prompt FIRST LOVE to spark this Friday’s romantic post.

Victor Standish’s lonely heart bleeds the ink that this post is needing. As the story begins, midnight is tolling, too. By the crypt of Marie Laveau.

He has just met the Victorian ghoul, Alice Wentworth, for the first time. Her stomach growling for his flesh, she hesitates to feast on this lonely-eyed teen. She asks what brings him to her graveyard.

I hitched myself up on a marble slab and patted the place next to me. “Pull up a seat. It’s a long story.”

She flowed like mist beside me. I reached out and softly took her left hand. Saying a silent prayer, I rolled my eyes into the back of my head and pressed her hand against my heart. Maybe I could do a type of encore of what had happened in front of Marie Laveau’s crypt.

Sometimes in life you get more than you ask for.

I stiffened as a swirling sea of her emptiness, her loneliness, her joy at being in touch with another hurt spirit swept me up. And I drew her into me,

into my memories of burnt out ends of smoky days laced with pain and struggle, of the withered leaves of others’ masquerades, of the tiny thousand misunderstandings and clumsy gropings of my heart to the life-hardened hearts of others.

The autumn world of my days on the streets came rising up over the dark horizon of my regrets. Lost friends, mocking enemies, the haunted, loving eyes of Mother. The snap of the neck that cost me Suze and brought the mysterious undead Captain Sam into my life.

The yellowed papers of memory curled up around us from Detroit, to Cleveland, to Boston, to that strange bus ride to New Orleans.

The light of relief and hope shot through the black shutters of fear and loneliness as images of me wandering lost through the madness that was Meilori’s. Dim figures of Billie Holliday and Daniel Webster wavered before us like shimmering mirages of fear.

My sort of betrayal by Elu, my being an unwilling teaching aid for Strasser, Toya’s hot jealousy, my losing everything as I decided that for Captain Sam to live I had to die.

The cry of Alice’s lonely heart calling out to me as she struggled to escape her own private hell. Her spooky entrance into my life. My confusion. My own loneliness reaching out to hers.

The circle completing its circuit. Resurfacing from the waters of shared spirits as I gently pulled her hand from my chest. Our fingers parting. The shiver of separation as her pale face looked at me haunted.

I shivered as our union shattered left me soul-cold. Alice was shivering as well. My head was spinning. Something was wrong with my heart.

It wasn’t empty anymore.

What had I done to me?

Maybe you couldn’t see, really see, into someone without it changing you. And you couldn’t show them the you that you really were without the two of you never being the same anymore.

I looked into her strange neon blue eyes. My changed heart skipped a beat. She was looking … looking at me as if she was feeling the same. Her eyelids lowered slightly. Her hand softened around mine. She squeezed it soft. So soft.

A wild thought came to me.

I grabbed all the courage and desperation I had stored in my bruised heart and decided to go for it.

I brought her cold, cold hand up to my lips and kissed it. Her fingers were quivering. Or was that my lips?

Alice’s lower lip trembled. “How could you?”

“C-Could I what?”

She took her hand from mine and softly traced the line of one of Strasser’s cuts on my left cheek. “Turn out so special?”



  1. Dead, undead, human or no, some things are simply universal. Beautiful as ever, Roland.

  2. I was hoping for a Victor/Alice encounter this week! I've always liked this part and it shows a totally unique 'First Love' situation. Wonderful.

  3. Jo :
    Thanks even when it is between a lonely ghoul and heart-bruised street orphan, young love can be sweet. Now, if Alice can only restrain her hunger for his flesh!

    Sarah :
    Thank you. Like you, I believe love can cross all sorts of barriers!

    Margo :
    When it comes to first love, Alice and Victor are right on up there with Romeo and Juliet ... and Fallen & Blake Adamson. Thanks for liking this favorite part of THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH. Roland

  4. You always come up with the most beautiful pictures to go with your haunting writing, I love it. This is another excerpt that made me catch my breath. Well done!

  5. Heather,
    You always make my day with your comments. I tried to get to your blog, but Blogger is ... well ... being Blogger. And now I have to run off for work. Have a great weekend, Roland

  6. Hi,

    This is a very descriptive snippet in many ways. The atmosphere of the graveyard alone pervades the screen. Veils of mist across time creep from your blog. And first love, real love, not puppy-love, is never forgotten. The kind of love, perhaps, that is forever sought if it did not travel with you! ;)

    Ah, a lovely snippet.


  7. So much angst for such a young man. Good for them that they can join in their misery. Haunting, indeed.

  8. Dear Roland,
    Lovely and compelling text about Victor and Alice.

    I've returned to Faerie for this theme challenge. But it is only a rough draft that needs to be revised.
    Welcome to visit my blog and read my story, knowing these creatures as well as you do.

    Best wishes,
    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 23-'First Love'

  9. You, my friend, are a brilliant writer.

  10. Francine :
    Your comments are invariably poetic and make me feel better no matter my mood. Thanks. Please send me your address so that I can send you the Megan Fox autographed photo that you won in Victor's contest.

    Thank you, Kiru!

    Beverly :
    Ah, my teenage years were filled with angst. What am I talking about? So are these years. LOL.

    Anna :
    Thank you for the kind words. I'm heading to your blog now, Roland

    Nancy :
    Just say those words on a review of THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH and I can enter you in his contest!

  11. Roland your characters fit the theme beautifully. I love your prose. My pick today is: ..'.my memories of burnt out ends of smoky days laced with pain and struggle...' Your writing sets a standard hard to aspire to.


  12. Hello.
    Tell me who can resist the allure of love?

    Beautifully told, my friend.

    My RFW entry: The Beauty Of Love

  13. Denise :
    I'm glad you like my prose. Now, if only I can get others to I might be able to give John Locke a run for his money. LOL. What a dreamer, right?

    Andy :
    Thanks. I'm heading over there now. Roland

  14. Haunting and romantic at the same time. Well penned.