So you can read my books

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I placed a long forefinger to my lips in a silent order to hush and with the flat of my other hand pushed back reality a heartbeat.

The world became misty after-images.

Clover, showing all the memory span of a lightning bolt, started to speak. I pressed my forefinger against her open lips.

I kept forgetting the girl was daft. Poetry seemed to work best with her so I dredged up dreary Longfellow. Perhaps she would learn wisdom from his verse.

"Tell me not in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream;

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem."

Longfellow seemed to work. Or mayhap it was the door being unlocked and thrust open. The massive human walked oddly into our room. Clover appeared shocked that he seemed to look right through us. I winked at her.

She almost giggled, but my fingers closed about her mouth like a vise. She hushed. As shocked as Clover was, our guest was even more so.

He looked this way and that, his eyes widening more and more. He twisted his neck in a way that hurt me to watch and spoke into a wire mesh on his shoulder. If you could call what he uttered speech.

It was a wet series of clicking, clucks, and rasping of vocal chords as if he were trying to imitate chalk grating against a slate board. All in all, it sounded nothing so much as a human trying to chatter like an angry grasshopper.

And it unnerved me to no end. Clover had gone from giggles to aghast in a heartbeat. Nor could I much blame her.

A hollow version of his strange speech sputtered from the wire mesh on his shoulder. His eyebrows appeared to be trying to wrench themselves from his forehead. He twisted about sharply and walked back down the hall.

I had to literally drag Clover after me as I followed something I no longer thought of as human. It had even stopped trying to walk human. The being scuttled quickly down the dark hallway. I half-expected it to drop to all fours and give up the pretense of humanity altogether.

Clover hissed low into my ear, "Things are not what they seem! You think?"

"I take it you have never heard him speak thus before."

"I knew everyone on the staff here was weird. But not this weird."

Something was trying to claw its way back into my bruised mind. "I do not think weird goes far enough."

"You think?"

"I know."

"That makes two of us."

She seized me by the shoulders. "Oh, Fallen! Please do not make me go. You don't know what that thing has done to me."

The brute turned suddenly, hearing as he did Clover's plea, though muted by time's reprieve. I clamped a hand back over her mouth. The orderly studied the shadowy hallway, his glowing eyes blankly passing over us as the unseen wraiths we were.

Clover stood, rooted to the spot by her terror. So this obscenity had done unspeakable things to my field mouse, had he? Then it was past time that this unwanted intruder and his ilk discovered Gaia's shores held terrors of their own.

I turned to Clover, and she shivered at what she saw in my eyes, and I smiled wide. "Bridges it is that you love so, then Bridges it is that this brute shall receive. Though I doubt he shall be thankful for the gift."

Midnight held her shadows close. I glided through them, gathering up their magic as I went, until I walked beside the striding tormentor of helpless girls. With ghostly fingers I stroked his throat. He stopped full still, fright bright in his unhuman eyes.

He glared unseeing right at me, and I whispered in his ear,

"On such a night, when air has loosed

Its guardian grasp on blood and brain,

Old terrors then of god or ghost

Creep from their caves to live again.

Some have seen corpses long interred

Escape from death's control.

Pale decayed forms -- nay, have even heard

The shrilling of an insane soul."

And with that, I licked his naked throat and raked the points of my nails across the back of his soft neck. Only their echoes did he feel. But they were enough. He shrieked wet, shrill, and long. With maddened eyes, he splayed with slipping feet down the darkened hallway.

I turned to Clover, her trembling hand held up to her open mouth, and smiled. "Terror for terror."


  1. Oooo, chilling! I didn't comment on the last Fallen chapter because I read them both in the same day and just couldn't wait to get to this one!

  2. Okay. That guy was definitely creepy. Are you gonna let us know what's under his human suit?

    All things being equal, I'd rather face Fallen than that dude. At least she's straight the ones she likes.


  3. Heather : I'm glad you find these chapters chilling. Earth is being invaded. Humans are being evaluated by torture. Now, Evil is saying, "Not with my toys you don't."

    Words Crafter : Be careful of what you ask for. Soon you will see the true aliens ... or at least their larvae.

    Another co-worker has called in a personal emergency so now I must do the late, late shift -- which is why you haven't seen me here before now -- in fact, I'm still at work with cold-numbed fingers in my 10 minute break. Stay warm, everyone! Roland

  4. Suspense with a touch of innocence from Clover's reactions to the Longfellow.

    When I was reading this post, I thought about a movie script?

  5. Imagery Imagined : Quite insightful. I originally wrote this for a friend, teaching urban teens poetry in a refugee camp for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Debbie, my friend, said the teens were addicted to horror films and loathed her teaching poetry. I wrote this story as if it were a horror movie with poetry interwoven into it as seamlessly as I could make it. It seemed to me that a fallen angel would think in lyrical measures. Glad you're liking Fallen's tale. Roland

  6. I saw this piece very clearly, your imagery really enhanced the snippet and the poetry worked out truly beautifully for it. Fallen has many tricks up her sleeve, I have no doubt she stays with her mouse because she wants to, easily she could escape all on her own.

  7. Summer, you're right. She could easily escape the asylum. But escape is not her intention. She awoke in it with no memory of having gotten there. She wants to riddle out the answer to how she got there in the first place. And she owes a Sidhe debt to Clover. (And yes, again, you're right -- she has gotten to like her field mouse.)

  8. I love revenge.... it is sooo sweet, especially when it's a horrid creature.

    Torturers should always be tortured to feel the pain they inflict on others.

    As always I love your descriptions and poetry....

    AH, Roland. So much talent. Keep showing us your best. We love it.


  9. Michael : Thanks for the kind words. They mean a lot coming from you. Yes, I hate horror films where the monsters have it all their way. I love the ones where the tables are turned. Which is why I wrote Fallen's tale as I did. Thanks for appreciating it. Roland