So you can read my books

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


For Jacee Drake and her AT FIRST SIGHT BLOGFEST :

I sat with my back pressed against the tomb of Marie Laveau. I was safe here.

At night the cemetary held only the dead. And the dead couldn't hurt you ... except with their memory.

Midnight was heavy in the humid air. Fingers of black fog weaved around my shoulders as if to whisper some secret only the dead can know.

Yeah, I talk funny for a kid. Try spending all your time in the library for the air conditioning and a safe place to sit and see what it does for the way you think.

And now, I was back on the streets again.

I was not going to cry. I wasn't. I looked up at the dim stars.

They blurred and bled down my cheeks. All right I lied. I was crying.

After years of scuffling alone on the streets, I had finally found a friend. A creepy friend to be sure. But a friend.

Now, I had screwed up and lost him. Sure, Captain Sam was undead. But who said friends had to be perfect?

I stiffened. Something all misty was oozing out of the tomb in front of me. It slowly took shape. I frowned. What the?

It was a girl. She looked to be my age : thirteen.

But she was dressed in a black Victorian style dress. She was kinda pretty ... if you were into undead girls.

She spoke as if her vocal chords were all rusty :

"Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold."

She was trying to scare me. And doing a damn fine job of it, mind you. But then, it hit me : she oozed through that tomb.

She was a ghost.

And ghosts were all misty. They couldn't touch you. She was just trying to yank my chain. Well, I didn't scream like a little girl for anybody.

I jutted my right forefinger at her. "Coleridge! The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner."

She took a step towards me, and leaves crackled under her foot. Uh, oh. She wasn't a ghost. She could touch me.

She smiled. Red-smeared sharp teeth. Oh, great.

A ghoul.

What was it with the French Quarter? Was the whole damn place haunted?

I still wasn't screaming. I had a mind. And I had my feet.

If one end didn't solve this problem, the other end would.

I smiled as an idea suddenly came to me. Sure it meant grief to some other people. But they were really bad men. They had much more meat to them than a scrawny street kid like me.

And better them than me.

She brushed back a stray lock of fine-spun gold from her eerie electric-blue eyes. "You're aren't afraid?"

"Oh, I'm scared shitless."

She giggled and studied me. "But you see a way out for yourself, do you not?"

I stumbled to my feet, spreading out my hands. "Hey, I'm Victor Standish. I always have a plan."

Those eyes seemed to be suddenly seeing me as more than a meal. "I am Alice, Victor. And just what is this plan of yours?"

I winked at her. "How would you like to add drug dealers to your diet, Alice?"

She glided to me faster than I thought possible, looping her arm through my right one. "I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

I patted her cold, cold hand, trying not to notice her long, sharp fingernails that matched her teeth. "I think so, too."

I looked up at the face of shadows in the full moon. I smiled wide. At least I wasn't alone anymore.

Sure she was a ghoul. But who said friends had to be perfect? And she was kind of pretty.

If you ignored the blood on her teeth.


  1. Hmm... Alice sounds interesting!

  2. That was great! Loved the ending line:) Also, perfect video choice.

  3. I didn't enter this one but thought I would pop by. Nice entry and perfect for the fest.

  4. Roland, you have an award at my blog!


  5. That was creepy, the story & the video.

    Hey I seem to be following Jai around today...humm

  6. And just like that, he not only had a new friend, he had the love of his life. See what strange places we can find what we were wishing for?

    Victor is really a special kind of guy. I would adopt him if I could!

    I always love finding out how people meet-this was one of the most interesting 'hook-ups' I've ever heard about. Well done.

  7. I personally would find it hard to look past blood on someone's teeth. But then again, I've never fallen for a ghost. This part gave me shivers:

    Fingers of black fog weaved around my shoulders as if to whisper some secret only the dead can know.

    Great entry, Roland! Gotta love the creep factor.

  8. I loved the writing, but then I got side swiped by the video. Taylor, she ain't looking so hot!

  9. Samantha : That will teach Taylor to go out with an actor who plays a werewolf!

    Amanda : I kind of like that line myself. And Victor, having lived on rough streets, has seen terrible things. He looked past the blood on the teeth to the loneliness in the heart.

    Words Crafter : Victor is shaping up to be one of my favorite characters, too. His WIP is still in its infancy though.

    Paige : It's the month of Halloween so I guess the creepy just sneaked in. Don't be a stranger.

    Jai : Thanks for the award. It means a lot coming from you.

    Wendy : Sometimes these blogfests just slip past me, too. Thanks for liking my entry.

    The Golden Eagle : Quick thinking is Victor's chief strength. Glad to see you again. Don't be a stranger, hear?

    Misty Waters : Yes, the last line is a reflection of who Victor is : a joke on his lips, loneliness in his heart.

    Misha : Alice is certainly a contradiction : a heart hungry for love, an appetite yearning for human flesh.

    Thanks, everyone, for commenting. I'm off to the blood wars now.

  10. Hehe...if you ignored the blood on her teeth. Classic. We should all have such lovely friends ;) Nicely done, Roland.

  11. Awesome post. I love the voice of your MC.

  12. Creepy but with an amusing voice. Nicely done!

  13. I can always count on your unique take on a situation. Loved the post!

  14. Hahahaha, I'm growing fond of Victor Standish and this post is chilling. I could feel the fingers of black fog weaving around his shoulders. Excellent job! :D

  15. LOL omg that was great! If you ignored the blood on her teeth...ROLF!

    Great entry, and what a first meeting!

  16. Didn't enter, but HAD to read what you posted. Never dissapointed. So weird that he feels safe backed up against a tombstone. And the fine spun gold hair aganst the jagged teeth...creepy!

  17. You have such a way with words, Roland! I loved how the stars "blurred and bled down my cheeks". You never fail to deliver!

  18. Hi,

    Ha ha, loved it!

    He's such a cool dude and reflects the bravado of a thirteen-year old kid, not to mention streetwise influence saving his neck! ;)


  19. Francine : Glad you enjoyed it. Victor's a 13 year old Ulysses in a world he's long since stopped expecting to make sense.

    J.C. : It's always nice when you stop by to visit. Victor, like Anne Frank before him, is a young poetic soul facing a nightmare existence.

    Raquel : For Victor, life on the streets is filled with so many predators from gangs, drug dealers, drug addicts, and other lost souls that a quiet night at an empty cemetary seems a sanctuary. It makes my day that you like to visit to see what mischief I've come up with.

    Tessa : That's life for Victor all right : an item on the menu one moment, a candidate for boyfriend the next!

    Brenda : Victor Standish is like a junkyard puppy, all bravado and fast feet. It's always good to check and see a comment from you.

    Cinette : There's so much out there in the blogverse that I try to at least offer a new take on the world. Thanks for appreciating my world of weird.

    Mara : Even in the creepiest of situations, a sense of humor can save your sanity ... a bit.

    Christopher : I worked at getting Victor's voice with just the right mix of bravado, fear, and humor. It means a lot that you like it.

    Carolina : Sometimes we try to cut pie wedges out of our friends : I'll accept this in you but not this, not realizing friendship is all about acceptance and seeing the whole person. I'm happy you like the irony Victor sees in the world around him.