So you can read my books

Friday, October 21, 2011

WHISPERS ONLY THE DEAD MAY SPEAK_Friday's Romantic Challenge


that eve when things can cross over to our world,

none of them lovers of Man ... except as a meal.

Francine and Denise have given us the prompt, WHISPERS, to do with as we please ...

Three heroes are all that stand between those spirits and this world in the strange city, Renaissance.

Listen to the haunted thoughts of one of them, the one who understands the Hunger that drives them the most : the Victorian ghoul, Alice Wentworth …

There are whispers only the dead may speak. Secrets only the dead may know. Still I do not comprehend why Victor insisted on walking blithely into this ambush.

Not as the living do the dead see :

one moment frozen after another.

It is why we are distanced from the hearts of the living.

Except for Victor Standish.

My Victor, of the gypsy laugh and poet’s heart. Our love breaks the chain of reason. But deep in my dry bones,

I know that love will one night break my heart … as I eat his.

This frozen moment may spare us that …

I see Renaissance’s mayor thrust Maija, who lured us here to be eaten, into the onrushing hungry soul-echoes.

“Ningyo whore! My father’s race cast yours out of their dimension. Did you think I would ally myself with you? Come, Citizens, feast!”

As Maija tumbles to the floor, he laughs, “All you touch you can drain. All that is water you control. They are ghosts, filth. Now, you die.”

Thunder rumbles as Captain McCord growls, “You first.”

His strange Colt bellows. I clutch my ears as if the sound itself would kill me. I watch as the Mayor grabs his chest. I have never seen the like. With the swirling of an open drain he seems to spin into nothingness.

McCord yells, “Maija, they are echoes of life but life still. They shape themselves from mist. What is mist but ….”

She smiles like a released demon, “Water!”

Even I, who live off the flesh of the living, am sickened by the atrocities she inflicts on the screaming soul-echoes.

Victor laughs, “Boy, you guys sure picked the wrong dance partners!”

The survivors laugh themselves as they turn to one who appears helpless. My Victor helpless? Never! Not while I stand by his side.

They halt as I flow to them. They thought me ghoul. Fools. Not ghoul. Not ghost. Not revenant. I am unique.

Shaped by my mother’s mishandling of voodoo to make me a zombie, I became Other … when Victor’s mother took me for hers.

My hunger is about to be satisfied. I stiffen as Victor smiles. This is why he walked into certain death …

to feed the one he … loves. Tears burn my eyes.

I am loved.

I turn hotly to them and whisper words only the dead have ears to hear. “I am not ghoul, leeches. What am I?”

I feel my lips pull up in a Cheshire grin. “I am the far end of the graveyard where the nettles grow. I am the Jester in the Theater of Bone. I AM HELL TO PAY!”

I sweep over them like the Death that took the first-born in Egypt. I flick undead eyes to McCord. He had been speaking to me as well to let me know I could … eat them. So I do.

His strange Colt bellows. Maija laughs hellishly. The soul-echoes scream.

I eat.

Suddenly, ball bearings, washed in the Waterfall of Eden, pepper the air behind me. A blur of movement. I smile. Victor is twirling in what he calls, in his quaint fashion,

a Full Arabian Cartwheel. He lands lightly behind me as three soul-echoes learn that acupressure can kill the undead.

He whispers, “Alice, you have to watch that lovely … behind of yours.”

I whisper back, “Why ever should I do that? You watch it enough for the two of us.”

He smiles wide and kisses me. I wait with dread heart for his lips to flinch from my cold ones. But they do not.

Not even a little.


  1. I love your excerpts Roland; they are such a wonderful snapshot into your world of fantansy. The characters are engaging; unique. The situations so vivid, compelling, interesting.

    These excerpts always leave me wanting to read more into your unique world insights. To see something different from the eyes of your characters.


  2. Donna :
    Your kind words made my weary morning so much the better for reading them. Thanks is too small a word.

    To me, each person thinks in different word patterns, born of their upbringing and worldview. I try to make the Victorian characters in my modern stories speak & think as I feel they might.

    I play with that in THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH as Victors views the world twice as Alice Wentworth and once as Ada Byron.

    In MORE THAN A NAME, I have Alice & Victor read the last page in the diary of President John Adams detailing a meeting with a much younger Sgt. Sam McCord.

    May your day be as special as you made mine, Roland

  3. You know I love this one, in all its haunting, disturbing glory, it is beautiful.

  4. Hi Roland, as you haven't posted for Romantic Friday Writers this week I came over as I often do, but I see you've posted but forgot to link. I will link it for you so members know it's up.

    I didn't get time to do this one for the Challenge. You've done a fabulous job as always. Your fantasy always intrigues me.

    Love Linda Ronstadt. You don't hear much of her any more, but what a soulful voice.


  5. Hello. are a King, my friend!
    I think this is probably the most vivid of yours that I've read so far.

    Awesome imagery in all its goriness!

    I liked the Linda Ronstadt...she looks a lot like Marie Osmond.

    The Sweet Voice Of Love