So you can read my books

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Romantic Friday Challenge is on:

Samuel McCord from RITES OF PASSAGE, #9 on Amazon! (free for one last day - see my sidebar) is the narrator of my entry.


Abigail Adams is leader of America's revenants {vampires}

because she is a revenant herself,

hence her ability to become mist in the bedroom of her dying husband.

I keep forgetting most of you don't read all my posts. Abigail as vampire can be seen in these two posts :

(1826) Quincy, Mass. -- In John Adams' bedroom the night before his death. {A FAREWELL TO LOVE}

(2005) New Orleans, La. In the home of the undead daughter of Lord Byron {DEATH WEARS 3 FACES} :

Little Lucy Wentworth can be seen in : THE DEVIL'S WIND --
{It is the year 1857 in the port city of Mumbai, India.

"The Devils Wind" is the name the sepoys gave to the mutiny of Moslems against British rule,

a barbaric, uncontrollable fury that swept across the hot plains of India as if blown by the Devil.

To keep his word to a dying British Major, Samuel McCord has fought his way across all of India to save the man's tiny granddaughter,

Lucy Wentworth -- who is cousin to Alice Wentworth by the way.

Just within sight of the ship that could take Lucy to safety, Sam and Lucy are stopped by Abigail Adams herself with her best killers.}


Abigail Adams hadn't improved with age.

Her beauty had crystalized into cold porcelain flesh. Her wisdom had brittled into cleverness. And her hate for me had bittered like over-steeped tea.

Small Lucy Wentworth clung to my left leg, looking fearfully at the revenants who ringed us on the Mumbai dock. I studied them coldly. The ship that offered freedom was only a dozen feet away.

It might as well have been moored in the dust of the moon.

India hadn't been kind to me. But then, she was harsh even to her own children.

Though there wasn't a part of me that wasn't hurting or bleeding, I could still take the revenants. Abigail, being both genius and revenant, was another matter.

Abigail whispered, "I have traveled half the world to have you at my mercy."

Lucy chirped in her proper British accent. "Then, you have traveled a long way just to die."

Abigail flicked cold eyes to Lucy then back to me. "You are weak, wounded, and unarmed."

Lucy laughed with the confidence of innocence. "And still, Captain Sam shall kill you and your bullies."

"Madripoor," I said softly, and Lucy ducked down and hugged her knees as she had in that death-trap.

I slipped into the fighting stance taught me by the Shaolin priests, and Abigail regarded me with cool, appraising eyes.

She spoke low. "Yes, even after fighting your way across all of India, I do believe you would be unstoppable ... in defense of a child."

"I-If Abigail Adams were still alive and here, you'd be sorry," quavered Lucy, her beloved pith helmet dinged and battered.

The revenants around us jerked at Lucy's words and looked to Abigail. Lucy laughed.

"See? Even your killers know the name of Abigail Adams."

And death was on the night winds like the smell of ashes as the woman named murmured, "And where did you hear that name, child?"

Lucy raised her chin in defiance. "All through these many frightful nights Captain Sam would tell me stories of her ... of how she and her husband gave birth to America ... of how strong she was, of how smart she was, of how brave she was ... of how much she sacrificed for love."

Abigail husked, "Sacrificed for love."

"Yes, for love. Oh, I can see how you scare these leeches all around us. No doubt you are strong, brave, and perhaps even smart."

Lucy hugged my leg as if it were my chest. "But you will never be loved."

Abigail's eyes sank deep in her perfect face. "No. I shall never be loved ... again."

Lucy raised her chin in defiance. "Captain Sam said I could do no better than to model myself after Abigail Adams, that if she saw any Thuggee trying to kill me, she would box their ears for them."

Lucy giggled, "I would have quite liked to have seen that."

Lucy pulled out five dirty pages, folded neat in her torn jacket pocket. "I've copied some things Abigail said to memorize and live by."

The little girl closed her eyes and repeated by rote, "To be good, and do good, is the whole duty of man comprised in a few words."

Lucy glared at Abigail. "But to a monster like you I would wager those words mean nothing."

Abigail spoke thickly. "You would lose that wager, Lucy Wentworth."

She looked at me with eyes suddenly wet. "I was mist in the darkness, Samuel, when you promised my husband you would save me if you could."

Lucy frowned, "Your husband?"

Abigail rasped, "Yes, my beloved friend and husband ... President John Adams."

Lucy looked up stunned at me. "Captain Sam? Th-This is Abigail Adams?"

I nodded, "This is what has become of a hero who made choices she thought were right ... and was mistakened."

I looked sadly from Abigail to Lucy. "She could have done 3 things better.

"Abigail thought to save America but lost herself."

I sighed, "She sought to keep her beloved John beside her always but lost him forever. And she hates me when it is truly her choices she hates."

Lucy gave a look of horror at Abigail. "Y-You made yourself a monster out of love."

Abigail shook her head. "I am not that monster at the moment, child. Go to the ship, Lucy. Go now. Quicky. Before the monster returns."

The circle of revenants reluctantly opened for us.

I took Lucy up in my arms and limped fast to the ship and safety. Lucy looked wistfully and sad over my shoulder at the shrinking figure of Abigail Adams in the deepening mists.

Lucy gave a forlorn, childish wave to the tall, tormented leader of America's revenants. For a short moment my enemy was gone.

And the beloved Abigail of John Adams returned the same wave.

I know it was just a trick of my mind. But for a moment I thought I felt a hand squeeze my shoulder.

And I heard President John Adams whisper in my ear, "Thank you."


  1. WOW, that was amazing! Very dramatic descriptions and story circling John Adams. I liked Lucy's vulnerability and innocence too

  2. Thank you, Heather:
    There are no true villians in my novels. Each antagonist believes herself or himself justified, sinking deeper into the shadows as they pursue will O' wisps and illusions. Lucy is one of my favorite characters, too. :-)

    That means a lot coming from you. May this end of week go well for you. I have to work 8 days straight. Sigh. I need to sell the movie rights to Sam McCord!

  3. Quite dramatic I must say !! The narration style wins !

  4. Roland, your ability to fit so much of your writings into a prompt is truly amazing. And again, you prove that innocent love in the face of certain death always wins out.

    Thank you for participating in this challenge and offering your unique perspective.

    Have a safe weekend Roland.


  5. The innocent facing death. Always a gripping premise and masterfully penned as always Roland.Thank you for writing for us.


    You'll find me on my Pichets in Paris blog this challenge should you feel moved to come by. I want to leave my warning post regarding the use of Images and being sued up on my L'Aussie blog.

  6. Rahul:
    Samuel thanks you! :-)

    I wish innocent love in the face of death always won. As a counselor, I saw all too often such was not the case. But in my prose, it is my world. I am working 8 days straight so safe will be a challenge to fatigued senses!

    Thank you for the kind words. If the phone doesn't ring for me to come in early, I will be at your entry. :-)

  7. Lucy said the right words to pierce the monster's shell.

  8. Turned by her own words. Good stuff, Roland!

  9. L. Diane:
    Yes, sometimes it is the child who reminds the adult of who they wanted to be, who they long to be deep inside.

    I have found it galling sometimes to be reminded of my own words and pushed towards the better self I really want to be. Thanks for visiting, Roland ... you, too, Diane!

  10. Wow, that was great! I've read some letters from Abigale Adams and she never came across that way!

    I have to read some more. ;)

  11. Hi Roland,

    I particularly loved these lines:

    Her beauty had crystalized into cold porcelain flesh. Her wisdom had brittled into cleverness. And her hate for me had bittered like over-steeped tea.

    Well penned. Bravo!

  12. Megan:
    There was always a fire within Abigail and an anger at the men in power whose arrogance and ambition hurt those with no power or influence. She became a revenant (vampire) to rectify that. But in doing so, she lost contact with her humanity. Slowly over the years, she became the kind of tyrant she had once hated. (In my mythos. LOL) But between Victor Standish and Samuel McCord, Abigail is regaining some of the humanity she lost.

    Sometimes I feel as if my prose is like an undiscovered bottled note bobbing on the sea. Thanks for making me feel appreciated on a lonely day! Roland

  13. Well, I must confess this is a complex story and I'm not up on on the back story, but this piece is well-written.

  14. Scheherazade:
    I'm happy that despite the back story, you enjoyed the prose. Have a beautiful Sunday, Roland