So you can read my books

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I have a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

-Alan Seeger.

{I am Death. Cringe from me all you will, still will you and I hold hands ...

one day.

DreamSinger's skein of days is all but unraveled. DayStar has plunged him into the fires that are his home. All seems lost.}

I fell into the waiting flames. Behind me I heard Marlene's voice strangely garbled, "Now, Twain. Now!"

I heard the rustle of mighty wings. Then, talons tore into each shoulder. The red hawk had my left shoulder. The giant white owl had the right.

The hawk cawed in Twain's voice. "Damn, the boy must eat rocks."

Marlene's voice came from the owl. "You drop Roland, and I will pluck you bald!"

DayStar laughed above us, "Go where you will. He still dies!"

Twain-hawk grumbled, "I'd pay cash money to see him get his."

Marlene cried, "Hush! To my saber. I do not know long it will keep the portal to Meilori's open."

We flew through boiling clouds of hot smoke for long moments. A glare of bright light stabbed at me from ahead. There. I saw Marlene's sword. It seemed wedged in a tear in reality. I had written on it with Epona's blood : "This sword heals."

As I watched, the blood words slowly evaporated away. But the hawk and the owl flew with me into the opening just as it collapsed, taking the healing sword with it back into Hell.

"No!," cried Marlene as she tumbled onto the carpet, shimmering into her beautiful self, seemingly poured into her white Prussian calvary uniform.

"Yes!," cackled a withered voice from beyond my head as I lay sprawled on Meilori's carpeted floor.

Twain muttered, "Woman, you've killed us."

Marlene whispered, "He was not here when we left."

Twain kneeled by my side, tears streaming from his now human eyes. "Roland's poor face. No. No! Just like my brother Henry. I - I can't take it again."

But still he held my hand like he had held the hand of his fatally burned brother. It had almost shattered his mind. I could see it happening again in his eyes.

No. I might die, but still I would save my friend. "G-Gypsy. Find her. T-Take care of her."

He wanted to leave and didn't at the same time. Marlene nodded agreement. "Go, Clemens. I will stay ... u-until the end."

"Yes," croaked the voice past my head. "Go, buffoon. I have the one I want."

Twain left, giving a look at Croaking Voice as if hate was too small a word for what he felt.

A figure appeared suddenly to my right and flowed closer to me. Death. Her cowl hiding her face.

Marlene sobbed and stroked my throbbing face. "I have loved many times, Liebling. And yet never. Not until you. Until you."

I could have swam for hours in the blue mountain lakes of her eyes, but my ebbing strength said I only had heartbeats. A tear from those eyes splashed on my face.

"Always, Liebchen, it was about me. Until you. I look at you, and you glow with such a light that my heart swells so I think it will burst. Then, you turn and wink, and I think I do not mind if it bursts if only you smile at me one more time."

She broke into sobs. "One ... more ... time."

Croaking Voice laughed, and Death flowed right up to me. Her right hand slowly became a skeleton's. It didn't take my dimming vision to tell me who she was coming for.

Death bent over me, and Marlene hugged me to her breasts as if to stop Death with her own body. "Nein. Nein!"

She looked desperately all around as if for some way to save me. The laughter behind me got louder. Marlene drew a dagger from her boot top. The laughter stopped.

"Drop it!," croaked the voice.

Instead Marlene rubbed a section of her sooty white Prussian calvary tunic clean. She slashed open her palm, then dropped the dagger. The laughter came again.

Marlene laid me down and pressed my right forefinger into her bloody palm. "Liebchen, so many words you have written. I - I ask you to write but three more."

Her eyes were open wounds. "Just three small words. Not so many for such a one as you, no?"

I nodded, no breath left me. She breathed, "First word : Marlene's."

My forefinger trembled like a palsy victim's, and she husked, "I cannot help, Liebling. Your hand alone has the magic."

Mentally I heard Twain grumble, "Why not just ask the boy to write 'Mississippi?'"

I managed it as Death slowly bent closer. Marlene whispered, "Second word : Kiss."

I would have raised an eyebrow had I any left. I barely got the word written.

Marlene darted a fearful glance past me to Croaking Voice and husked, "Heals."

The laughter only got louder. I tried. Marlene's fingers coiled and uncoiled as if burning to help me. Damn it. I tried. But I only managed the L when my hand fell towards the floor.


Death caught my wrist. Marlene sobbed openly. I looked within Death's cowl. Only one wet, silver eye could I see.

Death tightened her grasp, pulled my wrist up, and suddenly twirled my hand with a flourish, adding "S" to the third word on Marlene's tunic.

The silver eye winked, and her icy voice whispered, "Catch you next time."

Marlene squealed like a little girl on Christmas morning. As Death flowed back a foot, Marlene bent and kissed me with such passion I would have lost my breath if any had still remained to me.

She sobbed, then her trembling lips parted. Her lids went heavy. And she kissed me, fierce, hungry, wild, just like she was deep inside her spirit. She crushed me to her. Her tongue touched mine.

I - I was nearly dead. I didn’t know if I had it in me to do this right. I touched back as hard as I could. I must have done not a half bad job because she ran her tongue along mine again.

She leaned her whole body into me, her lips crushing mine. I squeezed back. In my arms she felt so soft, yet hard at the same time. Her lips were soft, even as they pressed hard against mine.

And for one small magic moment, we were one. Not in body, but in the heart, the spirit, the very soul. We were one. And she was mine. Mine. Marlene was mine. Our first kiss was all I had hoped it would be.

And like a camera coming into focus, I was whole again.

"Good, traitor," croaked the voice behind me. "Good! You get to see him die twice."

Marlene's eyes became slits as she spoke one name as if it were a curse, explaining everything.



  1. "Hitler," wow that does explain everything. Stopped by to wish you a very Happy New Year, may the new one bring you total happiness!
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. Chills and tears says it all for me!

    Happy New Year, Roland. Thanks for a great experience these past months!

  3. Yay for bloodwriting!!!!!!!!

    Hitler. Hmmmmm. I can't think of anything torturous enough for him....I hope you come up with something completely of the scale...

    I'm smiling. Yay!

    Happy New Year!!!

  4. Another exciting segment! Well done, Roland.

    May the new year bring you all the beauty and wonder this world holds.... you deserve it.


  5. This gave me chills, it was great! I can't wait to see what you have in store for Hitler.

    Happy New year! Have a safe and wonderful celebration.

  6. Jules : Thanks for dropping by for a visit and the good wishes. Glad you liked the revelation of the master villain behind all of my avatar's woes -- and it wasn't even personal -- he just wanted to lure Marlene into Meilori's in order to kill her!

    Mary : I'm happy you enjoyed the post. You have a great New Year's Eve, too.

    Words Crafter : Hitler is holding the luger so things are still not great for Marlene! Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.

    Michael : May this New Year bring success for all your publication dreams! Have a safe, happy New Year's Eve!

    Heather : Glad you got such enjoyment from my chapter. Your post was so appropriate for this day. Have a safe, happy New Year's Eve! Roland