So you can read my books

Friday, October 15, 2010


Tessa wants us to write outside our comfort zone. Oddly enough, so did my best friend, Sandra.

I complained to her a dozen times too many about Justin Cronin telling not showing his novel THE PASSAGE.

She challenged me to write a short story doing what did Justin did but better. Obviously, he was aiming at something he missed.

Could I do any better?

And so the short sequel to THE COLOR OF HER THOUGHTS {and my take on the end prophecised for 2012} was born. Here are the first three pages ....}


From the cliff of our birth we keep falling, falling. Our fingers reach out for something to hold on to.

Money. Power. Sex.

But they are lies, mirages without substance. We are in free fall. Despite the lie we tell ourselves, we all hit bottom. Yet somehow it always feels like a betrayal.

You would think that we would finally realize the truth. But what is it that the white historians say? The past is prologue.

We First People knew better. The past is only a footnote. As Man is but a footnote in the ancient history of GrandMother Earth.

She existed long before Man peered with bewildered eyes out of his cave. She would be here long after his useless monuments to himself had crumbled back into her soil.

Darkness was descending. And soon would end Man's strange history. Would he, like the dinosaur before him, stare fearful and uncomprehending into the storm that swallowed all his preconceptions into oblivion?

The lights to the room flickered. An odd coldness settled upon me. I had been sensing it for years. It had to begin sometime. And now it had.

Night pressed in on the window. Wings, large and leathery, beat my death song in the darkness. I looked at my wrist handcuffed to the railing of the hospital bed.

White Men. They had always made my life interesting. Why shouldn't they make my death the same?

I looked out through the locked window. Nothing. Not yet. But I sensed a straining from beyond the glass, from beyond what the White Man foolishly called reality.

Man sought to explore that imagined reality as he struggled to roam the stars in ships. I shook my head. He was already on one.

The living planet who gave him birth.

She sailed through a sea of stars at speeds Man could only dream of attaining in his fragile vessels of steel.

Like the most agile of ballerinas, GrandMother Earth spins on her toes at just over a thousand miles an hour.

With the Northern Lights in her wake, she swims through the icy void around her father, Sun, in strokes of over sixteen and a half miles a second.

While Sun holds his daughter in his mighty arms of gravity, he speeds towards a dark destination in a gait of some twelve miles a second.

It is a wonder our noses don't bleed and our heads fly from our very shoulders.

The White Man had become arrogant in his mastery of science as the dinosaur had become confident their rule would never end.

But I had seen the rules of science grow dark with the dawn of quantum mechanics. In the microverse, the same rules did not apply. In fact, often they were reversed.

Why did the White Man feel it would be otherwise in the macroverse?

In my bones I felt GrandMother Earth was just now at the edge of seas where different rules applied.

The freakish weather pointed to it. Energy blackouts were on the rise. Insanity's bloody crimes were daily shouted from the headlines.

GrandMother had taught the First People how to survive in such a realm. The White Man in his arrogance and greed had succeeded in nearly wiping us from her shores.

Most of her teaching to us had been lost.

Was I the last to know it as she had taught it? If so, it would be poetic justice, for the White Man wanted me dead. He would certainly get death.

Killing me would signal the end for him and the rest of Twilight's children.

I stared into the alien depths between familiar stars and whispered, "Weep not for the dead nor mourn him. Rather weep for him who goes away, for he shall return no more nor see his native country."

They were the words of Jeremiah, speaking of another enforced exodus. Jeremiah. I made a sour face. Though the White Man claimed him, he was mostly forgotten ...

or dismissed out of hand as a relic from the past. He was much like the Lakota in that.

The Something beyond the window laughed. The sound rose, spindled, and twisted like icy smoke from the funeral pyre of Man.

The straining stopped outside the window. The cold presence swept away into the night. It was gone.

For the moment.

Death was both patient and impatient. The presence would be back. After all, it had all the time in the world. And Man? He had squandered most of his.

And me? I could not win. But perhaps I could lose more slowly. A darkness within whispered I had best try for this was my last hand.

What had Thomas Wolfe written at his last?

I said the words low, "Something has spoken to me in the night, burning the tapers of the waning year. Something has spoken in the night, and told me I shall die. I know not where."

The door to my hospital room opened silent and quick. A chill filled the darkness within me.

The Mossad assassin, Shadow.

She stood in the doorway and looked at me with haunted green eyes. In her mid-thirties now, she had been a lost angel at twenty when I had spared her on the Isle of Skye. Now she was just a fallen angel, no longer able to remember the scent of lost innocence.

There was a solid finger-wide streak of moon-white at her right temple. GrandMother's Sign. Estanatlehi always marked those she chose to heal.


  1. Biographies are mostly tell. I cannot and will not read them if they're not witty, poignant, intriguing, or something. Because they lack 'show' for the most part, they have to be really well done and not just a dry recollection of thoughts and happenings.

    An all tell book would make me crazy if I had to read it.

    Telling is fine when it's done well, like this.

    Deep. Provocative. Foreboding.....

    I love 'twilight's children' and the father-daughter dance analogy.

    If GrandMother healed her, wouldn't she be able to see?

  2. Words Crafter : Shadow's eyes are haunted because she sees too clearly now.

  3. Lovely and poignant, Roland. You managed to make the telling feel more like showing.

  4. Beautiful.

    If this is telling, I love it.

    Chalk up another for Roland, the master storyteller. :)

    I've missed reading your posts, that rebel, Olivia

  5. Hi,

    I concur with everything noted by previous posters.

    Breathtaking prose as always. ;)

  6. You certainly met the challenge, Roland. If you hadn't pointed out in the beginning that it was going to be all tell, I never would've noticed that nothing actually happened. Wonderful.

    Referring to GrandMother Earth as a space ship was just...just such out of the box thinking! I love it when I read something and gasp out loud because I've been given a completely new way to look at something. Thanks for that.

  7. Great stuff, Roland! You have such a smooth, poignant writing voice it permeates whatever you write. Even outside your box!

    A lovely piece, thank you so much for taking part in my blogontest! Finallists will be announced early December...

    But I see you've honoured me with TWO entries! YAY ME! *runs off to read the other entry*


  8. I have to admit, I'm not sure what you usually write, but this was lovely. His thoughts seem vital to the story and make we want to know more about how he and his people face the end.

  9. As always you sense of honesty and heart make they way into the reader's soul.