So you can read my books

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It was the witching hour at Meilori's

when lost souls entered, seeking death or peace ...

or both.

Mesmer purred in my arms, and I soaked in the wonder of having a living cat in my arms again after a 175 years as a ghoul.

She nuzzled her head against my throat, tickling me.

One last smile before dying.

I approached Captain's McCord's table in the shadowed corner. Tall, dressed all in Western black, he watched my arrival with the eyes of a wolf protecting his young ... against me.

There was an air of the high, lonely mountains to him.

I could picture him astride a horse on a jagged cliff, his eyes fixed on a distant horizon, searching for a peace that would forever elude him.

If I were going to be killed tonight, it was fitting that it would be at the hands of a kindred spirit.

He rose with a coiled grace, sweeping off his Stetson and pulling back a chair for me to sit. "Miss Wentworth, if you would do me the honor."

"Alice, if you please, Captain. My last name is but a bitter joke of the irony of what my life has become."

He frowned, and I said softly, "The worth of my soul went with my humanity a very long time ago."

He flicked sad eyes to his gloved right palm as I sat down. "I've found that the worth of your soul depends,

not on your circumstances, Alice, but upon what you do with them."

I nodded to the dancers in front of the blonde Diana Krall playing the piano and singing, "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

"I save my dancing for the dance floor, Captain. Kill me and be done with this dancing with words."

His wolf eyes narrowed. "Whatever gave you the notion I was going to kill you ... and in front of Victor at that?"

I looked to the piano. A sweet sadness filled me. There, indeed, was Victor, laughing that gypsy laugh of his, winking at Diana as his hands flew across the keyboard darting in between hers.

"The manager of Meilori's told me that The McCord demanded I come to his table."

He sighed sadly. "I asked Toya to request politely that you come see me."

Mesmer yammered strangely, and the Captain chuckled, turning to me. "Mesmer said for Toya that was polite."

I was suddenly adrift, after having resigned myself to die. "Y-You do not wish to kill me to protect Victor?"

"Oh, I want to protect Victor right enough. But from the Shadowlanders who've heard of his tangle with the Amal and his romance with you."

"Y-You do not mind our relationship?"

"Hell, yes, I mind. You're a ghoul, girl, and Victor's a walking Happy Meal."

"But ...."

"But I trust you, Missy. I've watched you these past decades. You prey only on those who prey on others."

He smiled crooked. "Actually, I look on your special diet as a community service."

I felt my face become stone. "You saw what my mother did to me and did nothing?"

"I was aboard the cursed ship, Demeter, at the time, Alice. I came back to New Orleans the night after your step-father's ... death."

My own eyes narrowed. "And what did you think of that?"

"Two words : Bon Appetit."

It struck me funny, and I giggled despite my former fear or perhaps because of it. "You are nothing like I expected, Captain."

"Samuel. Call me Samuel."

I looked across the crowded dance floor to Victor, who winked wickedly at me. I winked back.

"Samuel, he has acquired so many enemies in the Shadowlands because of us. However will we protect him from them all?"

"We'll train him as best we can and fight the darkness ... until we can't."

I turned to him and smiled sadly. "As Victor says ... sounds like a plan."

"One more thing, Alice."

I grew cold, and he reached out and squeezed my right upper arm softly. "I never want to see fear on that lovely face again."

He smiled so sad it seemed a raw wound.

"No matter how this turns out with you and Victor, Meilori's is your home now. And I'm your friend and protector. Victor made you family, Alice."

He winked at me. "And family always face their problems together. You're not alone anymore."

The aching emptiness I had carried inside me for so long slowly ebbed, blurred my vision, and bled down my cheeks.


  1. It's funny, but I can envision this book with a few black and white illustrations dotted throughout - don't ask me why.

    There is an "old soul" quality to your writing. It makes you unique.

  2. This was so fascinating. I know I've come in the middle of something and have no idea what's happened, but I loved this scene. For what that's worth.

  3. Me too. I've come into the middle of it. No idea what's going on but am intriged.

  4. Oh, I like this happy turn of events:)

    And so much great dialog: "Actually, I look on your special diet as a community service."

    Haha, I didn't realize she only dined on the bad guys. Good. Keep the story coming...

  5. "Special diet" lol.

    Charles Bronson once said in "Death Wish" that if everyone scrubbed just a little bit, the world would be a cleaner place. Charles should hook up with Alice.

  6. To heal an infected wound, often, one must pull of the scab and squeeze. This causes a tremendous amount of pain, even though it's healing....for those walking around with wounds unseen by the naked eye, finding a place to belong, a place to be safe, or even just a voice of support, is like having that scab ripped off. The squeezing hurts almost as bad as the pain they're used to....

    I just love Sam....