So you can read my books

Sunday, January 9, 2011


For a little haunting beauty :

Fallen's story continues from LIES THAT LOCUST TELL as she awakens in a British insane asylum ...

I drew in a breath from the cold breeze bleeding from the wounded window. The sharp tang of Autumn.

Oak. Ash. Thorn. Decay.

Rotting leaves, mottled in bright hues of strangled life. The dark and bloody soil beneath them breathed out its lineage. An aching sadness hollowed out my chest. The Misty Isles. Albion. England.

I whispered, the words feeling like dewdrops of blood on a wounded deer, "The lonely season in lonely lands."

"Oh!," whispered the girl sitting on the next bed. "You like Robert Bridges, too? No one reads him anymore, you know."

Not rising, I turned my head and studied her. A tiny field mouse of a girl. Bright eyes, so clearly wanting to be liked, so clearly showing they often hadn't been.

Those quivering eyes were mute witness to the fact that Man had plowed through her world. And unlike the poet Robert Burns, Man had not cared overmuch. How human.

I rose slowly to a sitting position. "Fragile beauty is like that. Easily destroyed. Even more quickly forgotten."

She cocked her head as if studying me. And it was then I noticed the corpse-yellow bruise covering the left side of her face. I felt mine harden. Her frightened eyes darted to my chest then flinched away. I felt the breasts under my dingy hospital gown burn.

And I knew. I knew. I had been touched, fondled without invitation or delight. And even more, this tiny field mouse of a girl had come to my defense. And had paid the price.

"You were my champion I see."

She looked miserable. "I wasn't able to stop him."

"Few humans in your position would have even made the attempt."

She kept studying me. I wondered what she saw. One human in a generation saw me as I was. The rest of the herd saw only what they were looking for. And I? What was I looking for?

I turned to the face reflected in the barred window. Certainly not that. Not that.

From beyond the wounded window I heard a mournful singing. Nightingales. Far off and forlorn.

To do a service for a Sidhe was a fearsome thing indeed, never to be done lightly nor without cost. But before the field mouse found that out I would do her a kindness. I smiled bitter. A breaking of tradition, true, but I broke every rule I could not bend.

I brought the faint, bittersweet song to the ears of the field mouse and murmured lines from the poet she so liked,

"Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams;

Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,

A throe of the heart,

Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,

No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,

For all our art."

She clapped her hands like a little girl. "Oh that was so beautifully done. Your accent is the oddest thing I've ever heard. Even more haunting than those nightingales."

She stuck out her hand. "My name's Clover."

"Of course it is."

"No, really. My Mum was a bit spacey I'm afraid. The last of the Flower Children."

"We might have gotten along then. I am the last of my kind, too."

She paled, lowering her hand and her voice until even I had difficulty hearing her, "Y-You haven't told me your name."

"Names are dangerous things, Clover."

"They're just sounds, that's all."

"No. True names are runes that foretell the end of those who hear them."

I ran my tongue over my needle teeth and decided to give this addled human fair warning. "Call me Fallen."


  1. Gorgeous Evanescence song! Love it, as well as the accompanying graphics and paintings. I also liked the tongue going over the needle teeth--I could FEEL that. ;o)

  2. Carol : Yes, I like that particular Evanescence song as well. And weren't those graphics evocative and haunting? Fallen could give a dentist a heart attack if she ever went to one! LOL.

  3. Intriguing, Roland!

    Those needle teeth actually made me shiver. Yowza.

  4. "I smiled bitter."

    The actions speak louder than words, here in this scene.

    It sets the mood of Fallen right away, almost fore telling the rest of the story. Nice.

  5. Poor addled human.
    I love the mood of this piece. Great job, Roland, as usual!

  6. Jennifer : Thanks for being intrigued. And yes, seeing Fallen smile would be unnerving, wouldn't it?

    Imagery Imagined : The singing in the winds reminds her of the golden bells she once heard in a realm that makes the world now about her a pale shadow and mockery of her past. Bitterness is the spice of all her days. Yet, it often blinds her to windows to that Light opening before her.

    Thanks for your expressive and encouraging comment. It means a lot. May your Monday be excellent. Roland

  7. Lydia : Thanks for visiting and leaving such a comment. Yes, to Fallen, all humans are addled. Her mind works on levels to which we are blind. It blinds her to our potential. She is much like me sometimes. She is my own cautionary tale to myself. LOL. Have a healing, slower paced Monday, Roland

  8. Nice moody piece. The end is perfect.

  9. Thanks, Holly, for liking the ending and the mood. May all your publication dreams come true, Roland

  10. How chilling! I really like fallen. I think she and I would get along splendidly. ;)

  11. Just beautiful....and what exactly happens if you do her a favor?

  12. Heather : Fallen is indeed chilling but with a lonely heart. I think you're right -- you and she would hit it off as friends.

    Words Crafter : Sidhe and gifts are dangerous combinations -- whether receiving or giving them to Sidhe. Obligations are set into motion that have mysterious consequences.

  13. I loved this excerpt.

    First of all your poetic stanzas are so incredible, Roland.

    I also loved that Fallen did break the rules to soother clover.

    She so cold, distant and bitter, yet she does have a heart.

    Thanks for sharing.