So you can read my books

Monday, October 11, 2010


Some of you have emailed me, asking to read all of


So here it is.

Hope you enjoy this week-long serial :


When she was thunder in the distance, I awoke. When her laughter was lightning above me, I knew fear. When both front tires to the bus blew, I saw her face in the night.

The Turquoise Woman was angry at the White Man. Again.

Luckily, I was not a White Man. Or not so lucky.

I was on the bus.

The Greyhound suddenly seemed to have become alive. It twisted upon the feeder road in ways steel should have had better sense than to try.

Metal cried out in protest. Me, too. As did the little white girl in the seat ahead of me. She suddenly stopped her screaming to turn around, her face pinched, her eyes wild.

“Do something, Mr. August!”

GrandMother’s words were mocking whispers in my mind, “Yes, do something, Sugmanitu Hota . It will make the game more interesting.”

The drug-thin blonde next to the little girl snarled, “Are you fucking nuts? What’s an old injun gonna do?”

Old Indian. I was one step lower in contempt than old man. How white of her.

The black driver swore under her breath. No white would have heard her. Unlucky for her I was not white.

“Idiots! They had to layer the damn road with the poppers. I’m going to kill them.”

If she lived. But that was up to The Great Mystery. For myself, I was going to take matters into my own hands.

The little girl whimpered, “Help me, Mr. August.”

“Yes, help her, GrandSon. After all, the whytes were so helpful to you at her age when you cried for help.”

“I am not a white man,” I muttered.

All things change.

The soft rain becomes sharp flakes of snow under GrandMother’s icy breath. They, in turn, become her silent tears when met with the warmth of her earthy embrace. And under Sun’s gaze they become spirit vapors that rise to her waiting clouds.

All things change.

Yet sometimes you can shape that change to answer your needs.

And I needed to get the hell off this bus.

I reached out with my Orenda, the fires of my spirit, and took up the raging momentum of the bus. Blood seeped from my nostrils. I ignored the pain burning hot in the marrow of my bones. I could do this. I could.

I looked at the fear-crazed eyes of the little girl. No. I would do this. There was no could to it.

I pulled in the reins of power through the filter of my will.

I rose silently as the sipapu swung open on the hinge of the re-channeled forces of momentum. The little girl held up trembling arms towards me.

Taking her in my own, I smiled. “Time to go, Wicicala.”

“Wi --? Wheeee!”

The last was torn from her as life became a revolving door. I focused on the ancient oak deep within the woods bordering the feeder road. The next heartbeat I stood there with the white girl in my arms.

My head spun slightly, but other than that there was no trace of the great speed of the bus to our bodies.

It was as if I had simply walked out of a house to step upon the front porch. No momentum remained to stagger or even push a trembling breath against us.

Sipapu’s took enormous energy to open. Not that my weaving of the wind had taken it all. I still had some left.

I left that bottled up within my Orenda. My head felt like it would pop. Let it. I was a hunted man. And some of my hunters had been on that bus. Others were waiting for me out here.

“Whee!,” gasped the little girl. “That was fun. Could we do that --”

The bellowing rumble of the bus as it tumbled over and over cut off her words. She looked with horror at the sight. She cringed at the cries of the passengers trapped within the flaming Greyhound.

“No! Sheila!”

“Your mother?”

Her face closed like a tiny fist. “She gave birth to me. Grandpa loved me, raised me. He --- died.”

“Everyone dies.”

“Even you?”

“Why not me?”

“Y-You’re a medicine man or something, aren’t you?”

“Or something.”

The screams continued. I felt her start to shiver. She looked up.

“Can’t you do something?”

“I could save one. I chose you.”

“Why me?”

“You asked.”

“That’s it?”

I nodded, eyeing coldly the dying of those who had thought life would meander predictably for long seasons. She took in a ragged breath. I felt her eyes study me.

“You hate whites, don’t you?”

I shook my head. “Hate is like taking poison and hoping the folks who hurt you die of it.”

“But you don’t like us.”

“As a whole, most whites are greedy and short-sighted. It leads them to do evil things -- to themselves and to others.”

“Grandpa was good.”

“He loved you, raised you, and taught you manners. He was probably one of the good ones.”

The screaming had fallen silent. The fires were engulfing the bus. I tested the air. Burnt flesh marred the crisp scent of Autumn. I looked down on the carpet of fallen leaves, mottled in the bright colors of strangled life.

“Where are the songs of spring? Where are they?

Think not of them, Autumn, thou hast thy music too.”

The little girl frowned. “Is that from one of your Indian wise men?”

“One of yours. John Keats, a man dogged by death and despair, yet never fully giving in to either.”

“You’re a strange Indian, Mr. August.”

“You’re not the first white princess to say that.”

“I’m no princess.”

“Reality is all perception. If I see you as a princess, then you’re a princess.”

“Says you.”


She sighed. I heard that sigh a lot. Usually from GrandMother.

I settled her on the grass. “Let’s go see if Sheila survived.”

She eyed me narrowly. “Do you care?”

“No. But some enemies of mine were on that bus. It would be nice to see just how many survived.”

She pulled up short. “What kind of enemies?”

“The traditional ones for a Lakota -- white soldiers.”

“I only saw that one soldier.”

“Not him. He was coming home from Iraq. These soldiers wore the clothes of sheep to hunt a wolf.”


“My name. Sugmanitou Hota.”

She frowned, and I smiled. “Wolf Howl.”

“I thought your name was Drew August.”

I shook my head.

“Fifty summers ago one hot August evening, a little baby was found abandoned on a picnic table in Drew Park. The orphanage where he was placed named him Drew August.”

She cocked her head as if my story re-awakened her own pain. “T-The name sounds pretty, Mr. Wolf Howl.”

I smiled sadly. “Just Wolf Howl. But you can call me Drew.”

“Ah, Grandpa said I should always call my elders mister.”

Her face brightened. “How about I call you Mr. Drew?”

Her blue eyes clouded. “Who named you Wolf Howl?”

“GrandMother. Said I wailed like a little wolf that night.”

She frowned. “I thought you said you was raised in an orphanage.”

“I was. GrandMother visited me when no white men were about.”

“How did she do that?”

“Very easily.”

She was walking a path that led to dangerous places so I spoke. “Have you known your --- Sylvia long?”

“No. She came the day of the funeral. Claimed me like lost luggage the sherriff said.”

She looked as if the memory tasted bad. “She told me the government would give her money for me.”

The bus had finally come to a fiery stop, the fingers of smoke rising from it to the skies like accusations from the dead. “It’s nice to have a plan.”

Her eyes glowed haunted in the growing dark. “Sometimes plans don’t work out.”

“I’ve noticed that,” I said.
I envision The Turquoise Woman, in her physical Avatar, floating serene in her oceans when I listen to this tune :


  1. Whoa, we get to meet a character with angst. It's very difficult to not be bitter from growing up with injustice. Wolf Howl may not be bitter or angry, but he's nobody's fool. I like him!

    Curious how we meet this little girl and, in just a few days, she's older and dying. I have to wonder what effect this has on Wolf Howl....

    The music is yummy...I could drift on that a while myself!

  2. Wow, I love this story. It pulled me in from the beginning. The voice and the dialogue are very poignant. I like how the story says what needs to be said in the fewest amount of words. You make the old Indian and the little girl jump off the page! Very good.

  3. Love the dialogue! I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

  4. A wonderful bit of writing Roland. The perfect way to draw in the reader. You've hooked me. The Native American magic is very believable.