So you can read my books

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


It is time for MAY MONSTER MADNESS ...

     hosted by Annie Wells and her blogger buddies, Emma from Little Gothic Horrors, and Ked from Something Wicked this Way Comes...

{Soon to be an audio book.
Now, a Kindle eBook.}
For me, the most terrifying dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK were the raptors.  They were man-sized, deadly, and intelligent on a par with humans. 
It hit me as I watched:
What if a race evolved from them as humans had from apes?  What if they lived in swamps and cities that were located close to them, preying off the homeless?
What would have happened in New Orleans then when the lights went out after Katrina?
Here is my answer:

There is a need in Man, even such a man as me, to see himself.  Fortunately, not in mirrors, for I am denied that.  No, not in mirrors, but in the words of others.  A bridge of words between the solitary confinement of one mind to another.  It is the link to the common spirit within us all.

          I lost that link.  I lost Meilori.  I lost my light.  And I could no longer see my way clear.  I walked by hope alone.  Hope that one day around some dark corner, I would find Meilori waiting for me, having forgiven me when I could no longer forgive myself.

          Something large slithered behind the garden of Zen-ordered pebbles.  Beside me, Renfield stiffened right along with me.  What with the literal Hell brought on by Katrina, he should be back at his church with Sister Magda.  But Renfield was like that.  Though he disagreed with what I was about to do, he wouldn't leave me to face death alone.

           I turned to him.  "You know, there are no bad snakes."


          "Yeah, just too slow prey."

          His smile was as sharp as his teeth.  "I can be very, very fast."

          "Me, too."

          "Let's be fast together then."

          I smiled crooked.  "I've been looking for a woman to say that to me for seven years now."

          "No, you haven't."

          My heart became a thing of sharp, broken iron within me, and I sighed.  "You know me too well."

          "Not by bloody half."

          A voice, wet and husky, laughed in a mockery of human speech.  "I know you, Last Wolf."

          I turned to the hooded woman in front of me, still lying prone on the ground beside the stone garden to which she had slithered.  I reminded myself that all life was sacred, even the life that would take mine without hesitation.  Meilori had called her Voulvie, a Worm of the Earth.  Elu, the half-breed Apache who had saved me in the Pajarito Mountains of Sonora, called her kind Soyoko.  Derelicts in dark alleys called them Death. 

          I just called her R'lyeh.  Not her real name.  Just the closest I could come to pronouncing the one given her by her own people.

          Her People.  Did they qualify as people?  I made a face.  Did mankind even qualify for that word anymore?  Science and the soul both asked that question these days.  Science asked it of the design.  The soul asked it of the designer.  I felt like I was drowning in my own life.

          When I had first met the Soyoko in 1816, I had been little more than a child.  And like a child, I had thought of them as Snake People.  But though I had witnessed the death of my family, I had still been a child.  A bruised child, but still a child.

          As I grew older, if not wiser, I came to believe that as man evolved from apes, they evolved from raptors.  Raptors were small and adaptable enough to survive the death of the larger dinosaurs.  And fast, so fast, with mouths filled with razors.

          Hell, I might even be right.  No accredited university would call me an educated man.  But the only officially educated men who had met the Soyoko had ended up as dinner.  It was certain sure that they were frighteningly intelligent, cruelly cunning, and totally alien in the way they viewed the world around them.

          But you wouldn't catch them screwing each other over for a dollar.  They might eat their own, mind you, but it would be for survival, not for some sick pleasure it gave them.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if they were still hunting in the ruins of the radioactive graveyard that Man would one day make of his civilization.

          All of Man's efforts seemed to go into his mouth or into his ego.  His soul went unsatisfied.  Now, an educated man might sneer, asking for the weight of a soul.  And while I might not be able to give you its exact weight, mind you, I have seen its lack in the hollow eyes of far too many entering my nightclub.  For all his struggling, a man started his life in the light with promise, only to leave it unfulfilled in darkness, its ripples little remembered and less mourned.

          "Hair of the moon," R'lyeh husked, "face of the hawk, body of the wolf.  Why have you called me this twilight?"

          "Do you long for flesh of Man?" I asked her in a voice that sounded like a stranger's to my ears.

          In the pit of her shadowed hood, I could just make out her slit eyes as they narrowed suddenly, and Renfield looked at me in horror, whispering, "Have you gone insane?"

          "Depends on who you ask.  Well, R'lyeh, do you still long for the flesh of Man?"

          The throaty hiss told me I had gotten her attention.  She rose silently, her too slender form swaying and slow.  The grass clung to her ragged cloak, madness shimmering in her slit eyes.  I was playing a deadly game.  But disease and worse would be the outcome if I did nothing.

          "You dare mock me?  It was you who forbade us to eat the flesh of Man."

          "And in return your people have been given medicines, food, and shelter from the cold."

          She swayed closer to me so that the rising moon danced wetly over the scales layering her face.  "And the wet winds have changed that?"

          "Yes.  And no."

          Her thin lips curled.  "That is always your way.  The food was to be delivered tonight.  I see none."

          "Katrina has destroyed much of this city, R'lyeh.  There are hundreds in the Convention Center and the Superdome going thirsty and without food."

          She reared back like a cobra about to strike.  "So we starve, is that it?"

          I shook my Stetson-covered head.  "Not at all.  You'll just have to work for it."

          Her smile became filled with razors.  “Will it mean killing?”


          “Good,” she hissed.



  1. Consider them clean up.
    Screwing each other over a dollar - just like that line in Aliens about the percentage. Clever!

  2. Excellent story. It's just as well that chickens are probaby the nearest things we have to raptors today!

  3. That seriously creeped me out, just the feel was enough to make me intrigued! Is this an excerpt from something larger?

  4. Alex:
    It was my tip of the Stetson to ALIENS ... also a subtle way to give the reader another impression of the deadliness of the Soyoko.

    Raptors would probably like chickens ... as appetizers! :-)

    I was going for a creepy mood so your words made my morning. Yes, it's an excerpt from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE - a tale of what slithers and creeps from the shadows when the lights went out in New Orleans after Katrina -- and of the two men who try to stem the tide of madness.

  5. I've heard about those two men. I like Renfield's comments to Sam. He's very succinct. And a good man to have your back. Magda too.

    Excellent excerpt, and those raptors creep me out, too. (It doesn't lessen if I think about mansize chickens either (but they wouldn't scurry as fast as raptors, would they?)

    Good luck with the Monster Madness!

  6. I love where you ended the excerpt. Leaving us very intrigued.

  7. Looks like I'm going to have to go book shopping again.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  8. D.G.:
    Man-sized chickens would scare the chicken fingers out of me! I like writing about McCord and Renfield -- My Spenser and Hawk!

    Leave 'em wanting more is good recipe for success. :-) Thanks for liking my post!

    I think you'll like FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE -- spooky and reflective at the same time (you'll see where Victor gets his philosophic bent!) :-)

  9. You describe them well, and they are sinister. I love unique monsters.