So you can read my books

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

THIS IS RENAISSANCE? Rule of THREE blogfest entry

Damyanti and Stuart H. Nager

originated this whole thing; Lisa and JC were invited to join them after the concept was done.

JC was the last to join in, as she was on her honeymoon and it took awhile for her to connect.

They DID contribute, but they did not create the blogfest nor the idea of Renaissance.

That was already established: stories done within the same mythical town, RENAISSANCE.

{Sorry for the earlier misunderstanding. Oh, so there's no misunderstanding again -- I am not competing for the prizes. Like Victor Standish, I race for the pure joy of it.}

I especially find it interesting since all of my novels exist in the same mythic universe, too.

And so to join in the festivities with my 600 word entry, I have selected THREE of my heroes --
Ouch! All right, Alice : two heroes and One HEROINE to fend for themselves in the eerie community of RENAISSANCE.

"This is Renaissance?,” said Victor Standish, his face puckering as if he had bitten into a pickle.

He had a point. I had brought us to the woods bordering the Country Club, a modest monument to the greed and prejudice of the White Man only a little less large than a football field. I made a pickle-face myself.

White Man?

I had been spending too much time with my Apache blood-brother, Elu. I eyed the black mists curling and creaming in the night air like an unspoken fear trying to form itself on the edge of consciousness. A trick of the polluted air, the moon of blood leered down upon its reflection on the black waters of the bordering lake.

That same moon struck fire from the silver trimming to Alice Wentworth’s black Gothic Lolita dress. “It does not seem proper to slip unnoticed into the ballroom.”

I smiled. Alice might be a ghoul, but she was a prim and proper Victorian ghoul. Victor winked at her.

“It’ll be fun.”

She frowned like a disapproving librarian. “Of course to you it will be fun. It is underhanded and sly.”

He laughed, “That’s me, all right.”

He looked puzzled up at me. “Captain Sam, why couldn’t we travel by bus here?”

I nodded to the west, “ The Schiavona Desert is that way, home of the native affrit.”

Victor went pale. “Merde.”

Alice whispered, “Who are the affrit?”

“Demons,” he whispered back.

Alice strangely long fingers went to her mouth. “Oh, my!”

Victor pointed east. “There?”

“A once-lush forest, the Culdee.”

Victor swallowed hard. “Once?”

“A meteor slammed into it. An Old One was slumbering in its center.”

I met Victor’s widening eyes. “The impact awakened it.”

Victor waved a shaky hand. “Bus rides are too bumpy anyway.”

Alice quavered, “What he said.”

While they were distracted, I folded space like a tablecloth. My head went light. The marrow in my bones became acid. But we were inside without being molested by any … surprises.

I had brought us to a modest drawing room the size of Missouri. Rubies and diamonds sparkled on ivory throats and wrists like drippings from the sea. The graceless noise of the latest pop music was interlaced with the rise and fall of empty conversation and brittle laughter.

I looked at the ebb and tide of desire upon wealth, greed upon opportunity. The social elite milling through the room seemed to be talking against a darkness that pressed in on them or pressed to escape from within.

“This part of Renaissance used to be a ghost town,” I said low.

Victor eyed a portly businessman slipping off his wedding ring as he approached a girl hardly old enough to be a cheerleader with a dress just as short.

“It’s plain to see decency sure died here.”

A voice sneered to my left, “It is only the superficial qualities that entice. Man’s deeper nature always is rancid in some fashion. Isn’t that right, Captain McCord?”

I turned to the Mayor with no desire to argue morality with a creature without any. “Tell our hostess that we’re here.”

Alice frowned, “We were invited specifically?”

Victor winked at her. “Could you say that last word again. Your British accent makes it sound so sexy.”

She sighed, “For once forget your hormones. This is obviously a trap if we were asked for with the good Captain.”

A velvet voice without any hint of humanity laughed, “Oh, how good of you three to come so meekly to your deaths.”

Alice squeaked, “Maija.”

Victor groaned, “Alice, I hate it when you’re right.”


  1. What a mixed bunch of characters. Quite a dark setting to start of with.

  2. I like it. You're setting us up for something, and I want to know what.

  3. Great interpretation of the Renaissance setting--and a nice hook on the main conflict. Curious what happens next...

  4. Hehehehehe I like what you did with the place. ^_^

  5. Oh! Just great, Roland. I want to know much more. What a variety of beings you have mashed up together in this opening scene! This promises to be an interesting series of posts. ~ Nadja

  6. I don't know these characters prior to this short, but I like them. A lot.

  7. Gerhi :
    I've always found life has a way of showing us those around us are wearing a variety of masks! I'm glad you liked my contribution.

    Richard :
    The clue have been sprinkled. The board set. The fur is about to fly. It's going to be a bumpy ride! You know, those bumps you hear in the night. I'm happy you enjoyed this first act.

    Jon :
    Every city is different things to different people. My three heroes just are magnets to the supernatural, no matter their setting!

    Misha :
    My Renaissance is part TWIN PEAKS, part SALEM'S LOT, and all TWILIGHT ZONE! LOL. Glad you liked my version of the city.

    Nadja :
    Don't take Maija's similarity to your name personal. She's been my Dragon Lady for years. And while she is vicious, there are always THINGS more vicious in this strange world. I'm very pleased you liked my set-up. Roles are about to be reversed. Victor is so NOT worried -- the scamp! LOL.

    Joshua :
    Thanks for following! I'm glad you liked my supernatural THREE MUSKETEERS. Ah, in McCord's case, he's a Texas Ranger. In the next segment, the mayor accuses him of being undead. To which Victor snaps, "No, you smuck, he's just got the blood of my mother, Death, in his veins!"

  8. She frowned like a disapproving librarian. “Of course to you it will be fun. It is underhanded and sly.”

    Ah, now I remember why I was looking forward to your entry :). Awesome writing, as usual. Kudos!

    Blogfest Twitter hashtag: #REN3

  9. 'I folded space like a tablecloth' - what a fabulous line. It says so much in so few words.
    . . . and can a ghost really die again? but no, we've gone back in time, surely? So many questions . . .

  10. Damyanti :
    Your comment made my morning! Your entry was wonderful as well. Bravo.

    Jabblog :
    Thank you for such nice praise. I had to make one word do the work of 3 in this blogfest -- which is fitting considering its title!

    And ghosts are certainly present in this segment -- just not where Maija thinks! Thanks for visiting and chatting, Roland

  11. I enjoyed this...will be back for more.

  12. I love this new blogfest idea too! And your entry is excellent. I'm dying to know how they get out of this one!

  13. Oh how I loved this! Can't wait to find out how this snarky bunch fares in Renaissance! More!! more!!

  14. Great! Very entertaining and funny! I love the characters and your style!

  15. love the power/class dynamics! the words press in on the issues :)

  16. Sweet! You're doing this, too! Awesome.

    I like your guided-tour approach, as well as the suspenseful way you ended it. Looking forward to next week! :)

  17. I love your entry! Great cast of characters; and what a suspenseful ending!

  18. Epic!
    Crap, did I miss your entry for the support group today...?

  19. Oooh goody, Sam's up against Maija. I hope he gets to give her a metaphorical poke in the eye with a big stick :-)

  20. Reka :
    Your world building in your entry was intricate and absorbing!

    Heather :
    It's never boring being one of my heroes -- Ouch! or heroines (darn that Alice!)

    Corrine :
    Snarky that's Victor and Alice. Sometimes attitude is all you have between you and the darkness. Things get hairy next week, Roland

    Treelight :
    Victor uses his wit as a buffer against the darkness.

    Jodi Su :
    Yes, the Big Picture usually chews up the little people!

    Golden Eagle :
    I'm very happy you liked by trio of heroes - Roland evades Alice's pinch - and heroine! Things heat up next week, Roland

    Alex :
    No. My Support post is tomorrow. I didn't want to blunt the meaning of tomorrow's words.

    Sarah :
    Since Maija is the twin sister of his wife except for her blue eyes, poor Sam always holds back. But Maija is about to learn that when laying an ambush, you should always mind your surroundings and the proverb :
    Before you set out for revenge, dig TWO graves. Roland

  21. Thanks, Jo :
    Your comment blew some of the salt from a recent verbal wound. I miss you when you don't visit and chat, Roland

  22. Ilove your take on Renaissance Roland. Next week will be interesting.


  23. This is a note to say that I’ve been by to read your entry. As one of the judges, I don’t want to make any specific comments that could betray my judgement — keeps you guys in suspense for longer! :) Suffice it to say that I’m truly enjoying all the different and creative takes on Renaissance and the Rule of 3!


    P.S.: Might I say though that I like how you used your regular characters in this!

  24. I like your detailed observations of human nature. I'm also looking forward to more about Alice in particular. (And bus rides ARE to bumpy.) :-) Great intro.

  25. This is such a great blogfest. I love how strong your characters come across, fantastic job! :)

  26. Donna :
    Next week will literally be a hell of a time!

    J.C. :
    My magnificent 3 were more than happy to visit Renaissance. Ouch! Alice nibbed off an earlobe, saying, "Speak for yourself!"

    Li :
    Alice will be the narrator of the third chapter. She has her secrets. Brrr, Roland

    Bethany Elizabeth :
    Isn't this a fun blogfest? I've written six novels concerning Captain McCord and just finishing the second with all three of them. They are a force of Nature in my head -- and to those who cross them, too, come to think of it@! LOL. Roland

  27. Clever, funny, a little dark. Your characters have tons of personality. This definitely makes me want to know them better!

  28. Dark and humorous.... great combo.
    Love the line:"Folded space...."
    Made me think of a sort of picnic with your characters.... and I am wondering what other than sour pickles there is from the canteen.
    Roland, you have my attention. A wild ride is at hand, I believe. I only hope I am ready for it.

  29. There's something in your language that reminds me of Michael Marshall Smith's writing - I will be back!

  30. Thanks for letting us read this bit! I liked the sense of the darkly macabre and the elegant everyday mixing.

    And, as a bit of unsolicited feedback, loading your blog seems to take a toll on my several-years-old laptop. :( I understand you being excited about your trailers, but including five of them in the header for the page to read your blogfest entry seems like a little much to me. Take with a teaspoon of salt, of course.

  31. Collen :
    Clever, funny, a little dark -- that's Victor Standish all right. I hope you tune in next week.

    Lisa :
    Glad Sam, Victor, and Alice have your attention. And watch out for Maija ... and the mayor is not all he seems!

    Sonja :
    Michael Marshall Smith? I'm honored. I hope you enjoy next week's entry.

    Kelworthfiles :
    I appreciate all criticisms. But a very wise man once said not to put a basket over your candle but to put it at the top of the hill for all to see. But I promise not to post any more than 5 trailers at a time! LOL.

  32. That was a lot of fun - your ghoulish goings on was just right for the canteen. ;)
    The list is closed but I'm playing too! Ren Ais-asance was a time many centuries before yours. :D

  33. Love that "it is underhanded and sly." You lulled me in right up to the ending - can't wait to see what happens next week!

  34. Elaine :
    I'm still at work so visiting other blogs is denied me. But I will make it to yours!

    Deniz :
    Then, you'll love Victor since underhanded and sly are his bywords! Next week will be hell-raising ... literally.

    BornStoryteller :
    Nicely dark and sinister is great ... if you're not living it! Thanks for the kind words. Roland