So you can read my books

Sunday, June 17, 2012



(Victor has unintentionally hurt Alice. He feels he owes Alice to see him hurt.
So he decides to give the secret to his last name to her ... in front of his friends and his enemy, Major Strasser.)

Alice made a mock bow. “Oh, do go on and quote Shakespeare, Mister Standish.”

I cleared my throat. “There is no Mr. Standish, Alice.”

Strasser’s razor voice laughed behind me. “So you admit to being a bastard?”

Sam turned slowly, taking in Strasser’s singed uniform and burnt flesh. “You made another try at Victor?”

For a second something like concern flickered in Alice’s eyes, but she froze it out, turning to the Nazi.

“Whatever my feelings for Mr. Standish, Major, his heritage is a happenstance of birth, while you, sir, are a self-made man.”

He looked like he was going to lunge for her,

then a click of a cocking revolver hammer sounded loud behind us. I turned.

Sam had his Colt the size of the space shuttle pointed straight at the back of Strasser’s right hand.

“You know my rule: no one dies in Meilori’s unless I do the killing. Give me an excuse, coward.”

Strasser smiled smug. “No, I wish to hear what the young bastard has to say.”

I gave him all the attention he deserved – which was none at all.

I turned to Alice. “Strasser misunderstood. There is no Mr. Standish.”

Ada Byron clutched Margaret’s right arm in sudden comprehension and whispered to me, “Do not do this to yourself, Victor. Not for her.”

I nodded and turned to Alice, letting my hopeless love for her show in my eyes. “Especially for you.”

Something uneasy flickered in her strange eyes, but she simply said, “Are you trying to bore me, Mr. Standish.”

Sam caught my eyes and shook his head. Sam, being Sam, he knew what I was about to say I bet. But this was my pound of flesh I owed Alice.

“I don’t know the name of my father. Hell, the only name I know Mother by is Mother.”

“You are trying to bore me, are you not?”

“A guy gets to wondering just who his father is and ….”

Alice covered a false yawn with her left hand, but I kept on. “I finally got brave enough to ask her who my father was.”

I rubbed my right cheek. “I can still feel her backhand.”

Alice started to look uncomfortable, but it was too late to stop now. “I never asked again. So, there I was, days later, sitting in the library.”

I gazed off into the memory.

“It was one of the nicer ones in Detroit. I was in air conditioning, sitting in a comfy chair, and as safe as I ever got in those days.”

I took in a ragged breath. “So there I was sitting reading a biography of ….”

Alice quickly placed a soft hand on my arm, shaking her head. “Victor, please do not. I over-reacted. Do not do this to ….”

I shook my head. I was started. And I couldn’t seem to stop. “I hurt you, Alice. I owe you to see me in pain.”

She husked, “It was a trifle, really. Do not do this. Not in front of Strasser.”

The Nazi major laughed, “Oh, do go on … bastard.”

My eyes were filling with tears. “So there I was reading a biography of Miles … Standish.”

Ada gave a little sob. Alice flinched as if I had hit her. I kept on.

“I looked at his name. Standish. Now, that was a g-good n-name. A solid one, you know. L-Like the man wearing it was of worth, a some- somebody.”

Black tears started to bleed down Alice cheeks. She was whimpering. She husked.
“P-Please, do not do this to yourself. Like Ada said : not for me.”

I blinked back my own tears. “Especially for you.”

I looked up to a Magda I’d never seen before, one with compassion in her eyes. “And for you, too.”

I cocked my head. “I remembered sliding my fingers over the embossed name on the book. Miles Standish. H-He was a somebody. Me? What was I?”

I couldn’t see any more for the tears.

“I was a fatherless nobody. And then, it hit me. I was who I said I was, who I acted. In that moment, I - I became Victor … Standish.”

Ada sobbed low, “I am Victor Standish, and I do not lie.”

I nodded to her. “Yeah, that’s me. From that day on, I was Victor St-Standish. I wasn’t nobody anymore. I was somebody. Somebody!”

I couldn’t take their eyes any more, and I turned to run up the stairs when Strasser laughed, “What a miserable story for a miserable whelp.”

I pulled up short, blinking back the tears. What did Suze always tell me? Leave it to your enemies to give you a good excuse to whomp somebody’s ass.

Alice had been flowing towards Strasser. I waved her back.

I walked right up to him.

“You, the dildo with ears! I’m Victor Standish, and I don’t run away from fights. Give me your best shot.”

He sneered, “I just did.”

“Not good enough. All you did was make me stronger.”

“And more loved,” whispered Magda.

I felt tender fingers on my shoulder. I looked up. Magda.

Pale violet tears rimmed her eyes. I smiled sour. Didn’t anybody cry ordinary tears around here?

Magda touched my own wet cheek with a single long forefinger. “There are no ordinary tears.”


  1. Oh I was feeling all sad up to the "dildo with ears" which made me laugh out loud and ruin the tears! :-)

    Victor Standish is a proper solid name - one he should be proud to pass on to the next generation. :-)

    Take care

  2. That line stood out to me as well. Standish seems to be a stand-up hero!

  3. Personally, I preferred the line about violet tears.

    "Pale violet tears rimmed her eyes. I smiled sour. Didn’t anybody cry ordinary tears around here?" (I'm trying to picture a sour smile, though)

    Nicely done, Roland.

  4. Kitty:
    I think the best laughter comes after tears. Victor is a junk yard puppy: feisty and full of spirit! Thanks for visiting me this Sunday.

    With all his enemies, Victor is sure that he is the last of his line! :-)

    I smile when I hear Victor talk in colorful metaphors in my head, too.

    Victor has decided his life is so dangerous that his tomorrows will be few ... so he'd best make his today something to be proud of!

    Thank you for visiting and staying to chat over the cyber-fence for awhile. Roland

  5. D.G.
    A sour smile reflects you know there's humor in the moment somewhere, but you're hurting too much to see it.

    Magda is right: there are no ordinary tears ... not when they're yours or those of someone you love.

    And Victor just got his first clue that Magda is a telepath. In END OF DAYS, Magda is revealed as the last Titan.

    It means a lot that you like this snippet and cared enough to stay and chat about it, Roland