So you can read my books

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


{Wolf Howl has led his hunters to the wilderness

where cannibals have released the undying spirit of the Wendigo,

hoping they will act as diversions as he battles the creature.

But the greed of the human cannibals has robbed him of all but the Mossad's best assassin, Shadow, who refuses to help him hunt the creature ....}

I said, "Both the cannibals and the Wendigo are after your flesh, too, Shadow."

"Because you lured us here."

"The Mossad trained you from Abby's age to be their best assassin. Tonight we find out if their training was good enough."

"Damn you."

"I didn't ask you to hunt me. Your choices, not mine, have shaped your destiny."

The Wendigo howled again. I spun around, raising my left hand in a fluid gesture. The twisted seat slowly eased off Larry Cedar Face.

He scrambled painfully out from under it. It looked like his own right knee had seen better days.

I tossed him back his gun. His mouth dropped. He held the gun, then looked at me with narrowed eyes.

"You can waste those bullets on me, or you can save five for the cannibals and the Wendigo."

His hand closed about the gun, his finger slipping across the trigger. "What about the sixth?"

"Save that for yourself."

He paled, and I said, "Keep these survivors in here. Make the Wendigo and the cannibals come to you."

"Where will you be?"

"Out there, taking them on. If the Wendigo or the cannibals get into this bus, then you'll know I'm dead."

He sneered, "And why won't I think you're off limping the hell away?"

"Because he is the last Lakota."

The trilling of the words was as if a rippling stream had been given life and voice. The words had come from behind me. I slowly turned around.

Gaia. Estanatlehi. The Turquoise Woman.

I smiled.


Abby scrambled to her feet, squeaking, "Shit!"

Shadow rasped, "Rasha."

Turquoise eyes flashed. "It is you who could more fittingly be called aggressively evil, assassin."

Taller than even the Wendigo, Estanatlehi stood as majestic and mysterious as the moon whose cold fire seemed to burn within her long hair.

Hers was a face of shadows. Though not seen clearly, still it was terrible and beautiful beyond any singing of it. Few had ever seen it. Fewer still had lived to speak of it.

Her long white buckskins shimmered as if spun from gathered stardust. The fringe along the skirt's hem swayed lazily to a breeze I did not feel.

As slim and slight as the branch of a birch was her ghostly form. Her shoulders were the whites of mountain peaks. And her searching eyes were the turquoise of a summer sea before a storm.

Larry Cedar Face growled, "You are not Estanatlehi. You are the figment of Wolf Howl's diseased mind."


"Yes. For if you were truly Estanatlehi, you would have shown yourself to my People long before now."

Her long fingers gestured. Larry did some howling of his own

as winter's frost began to bead and layer his face, then his entire body. Thunder rumbled angrily above us as eyes as empty of mercy as the sea is wide studied him.

"When you can breathe out the gales of winter, mold the very ocean to your heart's desire, and send fire lancing across the skies, then you may question me. But even then your tone best be gentle."

"GrandMother, please."

She gestured in a fluid wave of irritation. The frost stopped its advance, though it stayed on Larry's body. With her eyes she dismissed him as if he were bad meat.

"Do not bring my attention to you again."

Shadow whispered, "Oh, Drew, your power and illness grow worse."

"Killer, you have the comprehension of a gnat. I am not some projection of a diseased mind, nor am I some wretched creature of the shadows."

She grew taller, more majestic, the light and sheer power of her making me squint and feel a tremor deep in the marrow of my bones.

"I am the Day. I am the Night. Fool, I am the World!"

Abby rasped, "And you're humble, too."

Again thunder rumbled above us. "Have a care, whelp. Unlike my GrandSon, I have no mercy."

Shadow advanced towards her. "And if you were as powerful as you claim, you would kill this Wendigo yourself."

Thunder grew louder above us. "If you build a boat, do you swim beside it?"

Shadow shook her head. "I'll tell you why you won't kill this Wendigo. You cannot fight yourself. This Wendigo is only a physical manifistation of Drew's unreasoning Id as you are the projection of his anima."

Abby snorted. "Enema? I thought you were worried about Mr. Drew's mind not his butt."

I laughed and mussed her blond mop. "According to Jung, the anima is the unconscious feminine characteristics of a man."

Abby looked skeptical. "Uh huh. Young?"

"Young spelled J-U-N-G. He was a Swiss psychiatrist who sought to understand what made us tick through exploring mythology, world religion, and philosophy."

"Oh, he sounds like your kind of guy alright."

She turned to Shadow. "So Mr. Drew's nuts. Why should you care? It's no skin off your nose. Why do you want him dead?"

"I do not want him dead. I love him, you fool! But Israel knows he is too unstable and powerful to be allowed to be co-opted by one of our enemies. For my country to live, Drew must die."

"You're the one that's nuts, lady. The whole world over every country is pointing its missiles at every other country. And Mr. Drew is too unstable to live? Hell-lo! The whole blasted world is unstable."

"It is a balance of death. Drew upsets that balance. Every intelligence agency believes it to be so."

I shook my head. "And that makes it truth?"

Shadow's face seemed all eyes. "I will not ask Pilate's question."

I shrugged. "He didn't mean it anyway. He didn't stay for the answer."

Abby hushed in a breath as Estanatlehi seemed to float more than walk towards me.

GrandMother trilled, "The Wendigo is coming. So are the rabid two-leggeds that gave it birth."

She reached out and lightly smoothed away wrinkles on my flannel shirt that were not there. "Your years end this night."

A chill took me at her words, but I took her hand gently.

"To every Lakota there comes that last battle. You taught me it is the most important one, for it reveals who we are by our facing it with dignity and courage or quaking from it in cowardice and deceit."

I smiled sad. "You also taught me that there is no death, only a change in worlds."

Shadow's eyes seemed jade quarter moons waiting to rise. "I will go with you."

I cocked my head. "Why?"

Her voice was little more than a husk. "You needed a diversion, remember? Besides, perhaps you could use some company when you change worlds."

Abby grumbled, "Either one of you starts to quote Yeats, and I'm gonna throw up."

Another wolf howl sounded in the night. Abby shivered. I ground my teeth. Who would look after Abby if I died out there?

Estanatlehi's cold gaze fell on the girl. "I will watch her for you."

Abby muttered, "I feel better already."

"Dead or alive, Abby. I'll be back."

"No offense, Mr. Drew. But if you're dead, you can keep to yourself."

Shadow spoke low. "Remember your place, girl."


  1. May I please, just for one minute, be a petulant child?

    *stomping my feet, a scowl on my face, lower lip thrust out in defiant anger, fists balled at my side-"Why, Mr. Roland?!! Why must you kill off good men? I know it's selfish of me, but I want them HERE!!! I know about honor and different worlds and all that, but we need them here, too!)*

    Thanks. Just had to get that out. Now. I really really love that Abby. And Shadow is growing on me. The Grandmother...well, she is what she is, but I think she does feel something for Wolf Howl. These are some creepy, broken, frightened, and determined characters.

    Know what I think? This would be a fantastic novella....'s the avatar Gypsy doing? And how are you doing?

  2. Yes, yes, Roland - perfect novella. Self-publishing is looking better to me all the time. Novella length is popular in the e-biz. Think on it.

  3. Words Crafter : Thanks for liking my story so. I do not know if I ePublish this as a novella if I will be able to use the Turquoise Woman in any of my other works to be published in print. She appears in most of my other novels in some form or fashion.

    Wendy : I am tempted. But only 8% of America's readers have Kindles or eBooks. That's not very many readers. But thanks for the thought. I am mulling it over.

  4. Abby sounds so real and cute, every time Drew mussed her hair and tweaked her nose...