So you can read my books

Thursday, October 4, 2012


{Time for another Friday Romantic Challenge: }


{ From SLAYBELLES IN THE NIGHT hopefully out by Christmas }:

 {Gorgeous art by the genius of Leonora Roy}
Mother told me that I was born the very instant the old year died and the New Year began. I figure the Angel of Death should know.

I lay on my bed in agony. What part of my body that wasn't cut, was bruised, or throbbing -- or all three. A sharp pain stabbed into my chest as I turned.

"Happy Birthday to me," I groaned.

I heard another groan from the mirror.

"Elu, are you all right?"

His gruff voice rumbled from the mirror, "Define 'all right'."

I swayed to the side of the bed and looked into the mirror. Ouch. His face looked like raw hamburger meat.

He grunted, "Don't worry, Elu. I am Victor Standish, and I always have a plan. Some plan! You nearly got us killed!"

I made a face. "Well, we got the bad guys killed."

A snowball hit me in the face from the mirror. "There is the icing to your birthday cake, Standish."

I wiped the snow from my face, seeing the mirror had gone black. "At least, you're all rig...."

Another snowball smacked me in the face. "I am not all right! Now, go downstairs and clean up the mess you made."

I swayed to my feet. "Aw, man, there's body parts all over the place."

Elu chuckled, "You cannot say Dyami does not know how to throw a New Year's Eve party."

"Body parts are not my idea of the perfect Birthday present." The back of my head got smacked with another snowball.

I smiled bitter. Snowballs were cheap presents, but at least they were handmade.

I limped down the hallway with scattered monster parts all over the carpet. I made it to the head of the stairs.


Meilori's was a burning battle-zone below. Marshal Hickok was dosing what I considered my birthday candles on the steps.

He glared at me, and I sighed, "Don't tell me you're holding a grudg ----"

He dosed me with the fire extinguisher. "Go downstairs and start cleaning up, Birthday Boy."

I shook my head. Never, ever, had I been thrown a birthday party.

I thought Alice might --- but she had gotten mad over something I had whispered to Becky in her revealing Steam Punk outfit. So there went my party.

I started to sway on my feet. I had taken a few good hits last night. More than a few actually. The pain spread from my chest and down my left arm.

I was so hot suddenly.  Clammy sweat beaded my body.  I couldn't catch a breath.

I smiled crooked. "Alice will be so mad. She missed me dropping dead like she ask ...."

Someone cut the strings holding me up.  I fell.

Out of the growing darkness, I heard Alice scream, "No!!"

Suddenly, my head was cradled in her soft lap. My head was resting on her bare legs. Finally, a good Birthday present.

My head lolled to the left. Cute knees in fishnet stockings. Becky? I flicked my eyes to the front of me. Glasses in her Maid Marion outfit.

I glanced up at Alice. "Y-You mean I get a menage a trois for my birthday?"

My head was jerked and thumped off her pretty legs. "That for your present!"

I weakly raised my right hand. "Dying here. Doesn't that buy me a ---"

Alice threw my right hand to the smoldering carpet. And just like that, an icepick stabbed into my chest and everything went black.

I heard Becky snap, "Oh, perfect, freak. The last thing he'll remember is your throwing his hand down."

Alice grumbled, "Or perhaps it will be your wanton knees in his face!!"

Women! I had died. And they still made it all about them.

Glasses sobbed, "He never even saw the surprise Birthday Party we had prepared."

I floated in an ink sea for long moments.

I shook my head, and suddenly became scared that I had a head at all to shake in the darkness. There was a bright light right in front of me. I squinted and smiled.

A long marble table with the biggest Birthday cake I had ever seen. And standing by the table was Mother ... the Angel of Death.

"You remembered, Mother."

Black tears gleamed in her eyes to drift up from her lids in tiny swirls of dark snowflakes. "I always remembered, Victor."

"Now, back with you!" she said.

"I'm not dead?"

Mother smiled coldly. "You die when I say you die, Victor. Besides, it will be so much fun to see you try to extradite yourself from the hole your brash tongue has dug for yourself."

Her black robe billowed as she gracefully gestured. Suddenly, I was back. Three pairs of pretty knees. Now, THIS was a Birthday present.

Alice hugged my head against the torn satin that barely covered her breasts. I hadn't died. But I was certainly in Heaven.

"Alice, you sure about that menage a trois?"

She threw my head down to the floor. "Oh, Victor! I should have known you were faking."

I staggered to my feet as the three of them looked at me like the Gorgon Sisters.

"Whoa. My mother WAS waiting for me. She just sent me back to say ...."

The three of them wailed and clung to me like a life saver in a rough sea.

Becky husked, "We will not let you say good-bye!"

Glasses hugged me tight. "You're Victor Standish. You can't die."

Alice embraced me with her icy arms. "You are my Victor. I will never let you say good-bye. Never!"

I made a sheepish face. "Ah, Mother just wanted me to say 'I'm sorry."

All three pairs of arms popped off me like I had been hot brass.

Alice glared at me. "So much for my special Birthday present for you!"

Becky sizzled a look at me. "And mine!"

Glasses just giggled, running off with Becky. "Only you, Victor. Only you."

Captain Sam loped up with a plate of birthday cake.

He grinned like a wolf. "Devil's Food Cake, son. Seemed to fit."

I gobbled my very first slice of Birthday cake. "When you're right, Captain Sam, you're right."
What William Jospeh played for Victor's birthday (remember he is a gypsy) :


  1. ...thought for a minute there he was getting lucky this evening. Alice...gotta love her ;)

    Thanks so much for the endorsement the other day, Roland. Truly kind of you!


  2. Elliot:
    I was glad to endorse you! Alice is a spitfire that is for sure. She only appreciates Victor when she thinks she has lost him or is in danger of doing so. Women, right?

  3. Roland this is a macabre birthday party with a twist. Menage a trois it's not! Victor always has a plan. It sounded like some New Year's Eve party too!

  4. Denise:
    Leave it to Victor to have a bizarre Birthday party! And you will not believe who tried to make the world end along with the old year.

    Yes, Victor always has a plan. Sometimes they even work! :-)

    Thanks for visiting, Roland

  5. Thanks for the endorsement Roland. I have to find time to go figure out what it is. I'm so techy behind.

    Loved the music. I should have had it playing as I read this.

    BTW: isn't your birthday in October? I seem to recall you are a Libra.


  6. Hi Roland
    Standish survived to eat cake. How funny and how appropriate for him. Well done.

  7. Love this: "Mother smiled coldly. "You die when I say you die, Victor. Besides, it will be so much fun to see you try to extradite yourself from the hole your brash tongue has dug for yourself.""

  8. Donna:
    I'm cyber-challenged myself! Just wanted to tip my Stetson your way. :-) It does add to the segment if you listen to Apasionada as you read this. Yes, I am Libra: October 9th. It is kind of you to remember.

    Yes, Victor is a "Let Them Eat Cake" survivor! :-) I'm happy you like his birthday party.

    In his Mother's thinking, life is boot camp, preparing us for service beyond this reality, and Victor has yet to learn important lessons needed to survive what lies in wait for us after that bright light.

    Besides, his squirming in the here-and-now is so much fun for her to observe! :-)

  9. He really needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.

  10. Alex:
    What teenager can do that? :-) Besides, Victor would probably self-combust if he tried!

  11. Interesting twist on parties! Glad I stopped by - or that you found me. I've got a weak-spot for the type of books you write. (ug! that means my too read list is going to grow- AGAIN!)

  12. Anne:
    Victor wouldn't have any kind! :-)

    Victor always has an interesting twist to his life! I hope you enjoy his adventures.

  13. Hi, Roland,

    So your birthday's this month too... Happy birthday early.

    Gotta love these characters and the dark way they taunt each other... I have to say it ... they love each other to DEATH. LOL.

    Always enjoy VIctor's adventures.

  14. Happy Birthday!

    Enchanting, funny, great characters.

    Is this a birthday wish?

    Cake, I was talking about devils food cake!


  15. Well that was certainly a different take on the party prompt and what a party!!

  16. Hello,

    That's a unique take on the birthday prompt and such an enjoyable party. Victor and Alice both sound riveting.

  17. Another great adventure for Victor. I like that his mom brought him to her for his birthday :)

  18. Sally:
    I try to be different to add spice to the prompt. Glad you liked it.

    Victor is certainly riveted by Alice: she is the love of his life ... and his eventual death.

    You caught that did you? Being the Angel of Death, she had to kill him in order to bring him to her side for a gift to herself on his birthday. A mother can stay away from her beloved son for just so long.

  19. Dear Roland,
    Great story about Victor's birthday!
    October 9th?? I wish you a happy birthday ahead of time. My paternal grandmother was born on October 9th. She was a very creative, loving person.
    Best wishes,
    RFW No. 46 - 'Birthday Madness'