So you can read my books

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


{"I am Captain Samuel Durand McCord!

Armies have fallen before my strategies.

Empires have toppled before my campaigns.

And before this night is over,

demigods will die by my hands!"}

{Samuel Clemens, ghost, here. Roland's burnt journal has opened to pages still smoldering.

On the charred pages, I read where DayStar has thrown Roland deep into the bowels of Hell,

to where Samuel McCord is fighting his way through nightmares in order to rescue the kidnapped Rind, the Angelus of Death.

Let Roland's still smoking words tell the rest of the story ....}

The darkness thinned, though I still fell through billowing black clouds. I went cold. I heard Sam roar the words I had written in my novel, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE, in what seemed another life.

I saw him as I fell towards the spiraling balconies that descended deeper and deeper into the Kol Basar, that realm some called Hell.

To my left was a heat-glowing red maze of stone.

To my right was a flat plain of erupting flames and burnt ground.

Beneath me, Samuel McCord was plowing through nightmarish creatures like a force of nature.

Forget Bruce Lee. Forget Jason Bourne.

Samuel McCord moved like a blur, twisting back arms, evading blows, and sending creatures reeling to the steaming marble.

I was about to land right next to him when he leapt to the gleaming bronze railing in front of him and jumped off into the darkness ...

to where he thought he saw Rind being carried away.

No! I had been so close to reaching him.

I landed with a painful thud on an ornate marble table. Oof!! Damn, that hurt.

A being, half goat/half man jumped on me. "Filled!," it bleated. "You are filled!"

"Yeah, snuggles. That's why my eyes are so brown."

I thrust out with Marlene's saber, running him through. He bent over double, then squealed with joy. "Healed. I am healed."

And with that, he blurred and shot straight up into the darkness. I stiffened. My sword still healed? But he'd had no wounds. What had I healed?

Two strong hands grabbed the front of my trenchcoat, slamming me into the marble wall behind me. I felt the stone crack beneath my aching back.

Though my scribbling in my journal earlier had given me this being's toughness, the breath still gushed out of me and the saber tumbled from my fingers.

The winged man in chestplate and short toga snarled in my face, spittle spraying my cheek.

"His soul, damn you. His soul."

An angel. A fallen angel. He grabbed my neck as if to snap it.

When a child, I had been deserted on the roughest street in Detroit by my alcoholic father.

Maudie, a wheelchair-bound street person, had taken me under her wing, caring for me for weeks.

I remembered one of her constant sayings :

"Hit where the muscle isn't."

I cupped my hands and clapped with all my might over the angel's ears. It takes only 4.4 pounds of added pressure to rupture an eardrum.

And because of what I had written earlier in Meilori's, I gained the strength of all I met here in the Kol Basar :

even a fallen angel.

The angel gasped and clasped both ears. I sliced the edge of my left hand against his throat and followed through by slamming my right palm against it with all my might. He gagged and reeled backwards.

The echo of Maudie again snapped in my ear : "Hit and run, boy. Hit and run!"

I ran.

Another fallen angel appeared out of nowhere to slam me sideways before I could snatch up Marlene's saber.

I skidded across the black marble floor with the snarling winged demon right on top of me.

I was still moving from the force of his rush as I grabbed his voice box with my right fingers, pulling back as if to tear it from his throat.

Suddenly, he had other things to worry about.

Marlene's saber was right in front of me. I frantically reached forward.

Another winged chest-plated demon seized a fistful of my hair. He wrenched me to my knees.

I heard Maudie yet one more time :

"Forget the balls. Bust their pelvic bone. Their guts gush right on out through the break. That always rattles the turd-heads."

The pelvic bone is hard to break ... normally.

But a sudden blow of sixteen pounds of impact can do it. And I had an angel's strength ...

and the idiot had positioned me at just the right level.

I slammed my open right palm halfway between his belt buckle and his groin with everything I had. He grunted.

Leaning back on both palms, I swung out with my legs, knocking his own out from under him. He hit the marble floor on his back hard and screamed.

Finally, a break in the fighting, allowing me to snatch up Marlene's saber, I scrambled to my feet. I stiffened.

I was surrounded. Nowhere to run. Hundreds of creatures hurled themselves at me.

I was a dead man.

I heard a thunder of pounding hooves behind me. I turned.

And I beheld a pale horse.


  1. I would have liked to meet Maudie. She sounds tough and wise. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. Isn't it amazing that we survived our childhoods?

    I love Sam's middle name. My fave list of male names are Alex, Sam, Jack, Michael, Eric, and now, Durand. I'm gonna have to go and check out its origin and meaning....

    You write great fight scenes, btw. Very intense-I can see it happening in my head.

    Ah, a pale horse!!!!! :(

  2. Words Crafter : I gave Sam my own middle name. My mother named me Roland after the hero of the French epic poem, THE SONG OF ROLAND. The hero was the greatest knight of King Charlemange. His pride led to the death of the men who trusted him and of his best friend. His sword was called Durandel.

    Mother Americanized it to Durand. She taught me through my name that a hero is indeed a hero when he thinks of others more than himself. And his greatest weapon is his heart - what lies in the middle of him.

  3. Wow, you mother was indeed a wise woman....

    I have heard of that poem. Now, of course, I have to check it out.

    Well, you have a cool middle name!