So you can read my books

Thursday, August 13, 2015

YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DARK_An untold tale of Victor Standish and Alice

 {Image courtesy of Leonora Roy}

"I shall tell you a great secret: do not wait for the Last Judgement; it takes place every day."
 - Albert Camus


Come with me to a midnight picnic in a cemetery.

Victor Standish and his ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth, are having a midnight picnic beside the crypt of Marie Laveau:


“You do not know the dark, Victor.”

Alice’s eyes were blue fire, her translucent skin spun moonbeams, her teeth sharper than regrets.

I flicked my eyes over this midnight graveyard as empty now as it usually was in the light. 

Few were those who cared enough about those lost to death.  Adults these days shed all their yesterdays.

Guess because when the future turned out to be a cruel place, no proof of a better past was wanted. And then, the loss would be survivable. 

I smiled bitterly. I knew all about lying to yourself.

I forced a laugh, “Say again? I’ve lived years on the streets. I know the night all right.”

Alice gestured at the cemetery all about us. “You know city darkness … which is never fully black.”

She shivered. “There is power in the night, terror in the darkness. Here there are … things that do not believe in wrong or right … only prey and hunger.”

I gestured to the small basket in front of her on the sheet spread on the grass. “Speaking of hunger, I got you finger sandwiches.”

“What?” murmured Alice in her odd British accent.

“You know that child molester who got off on a technicality today?”


“Well, let’s just say that he’ll never play the piano again.”

Alice’s strange eyes hollowed. “Y-You?”

I shook my head. “Elu … which is where the rest of the pervert went. Elu gets hungry, too.”

Alice sighed, “Is he going to attend this ill-advised picnic as well?”

I faked hurt. 

“Ill-advised? This is romantic with a capitol R. We first met in this cemetery, remember? Right here. In front of Marie Laveau’s crypt.”

“That night almost killed you, Victor! There are no thresholds in a graveyard! Nowhere for you to run to safety. Oh, no!”

I turned around to follow her horrified look. Marie Laveau flowed across the withered grass towards us.

Her face was glowing like an instrument of dark grace. She never died, never used her crypt. Guess she just thought we lowered property values.

I gestured to our right. “The addiction counseling center is that way, Fright Face.”

Marie husked, “You always a smartass, boy?”

I shook my head. “No. Sometimes I sleep.”

Alice whimpered as she looked to our left. The shade of her insane mother rose like mist from Hell's open gate in the center of a ring of black mushrooms.

“No, not Mother. Not her!”

Alice’s mother smiled a thing of nightmares. “I shall show you both pain like you never imagined.”

As if. 

There were more flavors of pain than false promises in a politician’s head. In my life, I had tasted most of them. It was part of the deep music, the big game.

I took Alice’s trembling fingers. “Everything important that will ever happen to you will involve pain. Like getting rid of in-laws and pesky neighbors.”

Marie laughed, “You be a fool!”

I shook my head. “I be Death’s son. And her I did invite to the picnic.”

Mother, in her traditional black robes, billowed behind Alice’s mother. The wraith blurred into smoke. Mother inhaled sharply, making a face as she consumed the essence of Alice's mother.

 “Tasted bad as I knew she would.”

Marie Laveau backed up, her palm held out uselessly. “The Gray Man say I can’t be dying!”

I turned to Alice. “Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is. And it’s more common.”

Mother flowed to Marie faster than I could blink. She wrapped a sinewy arm around the voodoo queen. 

 “Death is a door one person wide. Let me show you what’s on the other side, waiting.”

Then, faster than fingers become fists, the two of them were gone.

Alice turned to me. “You planned this?”

“Ah, planned might be too detailed a term to use. I just thought if I made us big enough targets, those two would stop hiding in the wings.”

I winked at her. "Now, we can get back to our romantic picnic."

Alice gasped, “And if your mother had decided to let us picnic alone?”

I made an uneasy face. “It’s not good to hold on too hard to what-if’s. You’ll get muscle cramps.”

She lunged for me. “I will show you cramps!”

I sprang up, racing between crypts and tombstones as she flowed after me. “Your finger sandwiches will get cold!”

As we darted between mausoleums, Alice smiled wide. “Your fingers look warm to me!”

I sighed. Victor Standish, saving the world one stupid suicidal stunt at a time.


  1. Good thing he planned on the finger sandwiches as well.
    Excellent piece, Roland.

    1. Now, if Victor can just calm Alice down and save his own fingers! :-)

  2. Ha. Love the finger sandwich reference. Love the writing and the story.

    1. I'm glad you like the writing and the story. Yes, Victor is a scamp all right. :-)