So you can read my books

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for MAYHEM, VOODOO STYLE for Wendy T. Ryan's Blogarversary!

Join the fun :

{Excerpt from the third volume in the Saga of Victor Standish, SOMETIMES THERE'S NO VICTOR} [496 words]

(Victor and Alice have been flicked back to the year 1826 by the eerie supernatural entity, DayStar, like you or I would brush away knats) :

The blood moon leered down on Alice and me through thick, silent mists snaking above us. The mists were the only things silent across the grassy courtyard.

Drums beat wild rhythms as rocking black men chanted, their wide eyes glazed over. In the shadows of the huge bonfire, black dancers wheeled about, long machetes flashing in their fists.

I was so scared it felt like my skin was about to leap off me and do the Mambo with my skeleton. I knew where we were from pictures in that book on voodoo in early New Orleans :

Congo Square, across Rampart Street from the French Quarter. But a very primitive French Quarter.

I reached out and took Alice’s ice-cold right hand. My heart calmed. With her at my side, I could take on monsters.

With the musk of sweat, alcohol, and hate heavy in the humid night air, Alice whispered in that odd British accent of hers, “Victor, we are in serious jeopardy here.”

Now, when a flesh-eating ghoul says she’s afraid, even a mongrel like me knows that life has just hit a new high in low-down.

The drums suddenly stopped. And every wild eye turned to us.

I winked at her. “You think?”

A tall woman, her black face glowing with deadly grace, spoke soft, yet it carried out across the dancers and slithering snakes on the grass.

But none of them equaled the boa across her shoulders.

“You two do not belong here.”

Alice murmured, “Look at Marie Laveau, Victor. She is such a striking woman.”

I grinned crooked, “Even without the snake.”

A small, crooked old man limped to us. “She be right.”

He turned to Alice, his voice gaining an edge. “’Specially you, nzumbe.”

I stiffened. “That’s Myth Nzumbe to you, Fright Face.”

Alice lips got tight. “Is everything a jest to you, Victor?”

I gave her icy hand a squeeze.

“Never you, Alice. But you can’t let monsters see you sweat.”

Alice rose a prim and proper eyebrow. “I never sweat.”

The old man limped closer. “You be half-dead, now, Miss Nzumbe. Soon you be all dead.”

I shook my head. “Don’t count on it, Legba.”

He stepped back an inch. “You know me?”

“I know of you.”

“Then, you knows how powerful I be. I be the origin of life!”

I snorted. “Get real. That would be Elohim. And I’m pretty sure you’re not Him.”

Legba husked, “So sure are you?”

I nodded to the squirming reptiles on the grass.

“Pretty sure. He’s not real fond of snakes.”

He cackled, “But Erzulie is, and she be right behind you, boy. Erzulie, loa of Love and Death.”

I turned to face the tall black woman with scars on her face and smiled,

“That’s a new look for you, Mother.”

“No, child. ‘Dis face be veeery old. And you be in bad trouble.”

I winked at her and copied her accent, “Dat be an veery old story, Mother.”



  1. Very awesome, Roland. The words you were forced to use did not stand out like second cousins twice removed. They fit so perfectly with the writing I fear I my entry paled by comparison.

    Thanks for participating.

  2. ---"The blood moon leered down on Alice and me through thick, silent mists snaking above us. The mists were the only things silent across the grassy courtyard." Love the imagery!

  3. Smooth, sir, very smooth. I'm taken in.
    Great entry.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. love your dialogue in this piece Roland- when the old man was talking I thought of grafiki off of the lion king. :)

  5. Great work and well written. I enjoyed your words and imagery throughout.

  6. Wow, this is such a great line,"I was so scared it felt like my skin was about to leap off me and do the Mambo with my skeleton."---Such a great teaser, but I must tell you. It is so fun to read this outloud. My daughter just loved it :)

  7. Wendy :
    What are you talking about? Your passage was great. I wanted to know more about Kayla's dangerous war with the creatures out of myth.
    Thanks for the nice words about my entry.

    Siv :
    I'm glad you liked my imagery. I'm even more delighted you read my excerpt aloud to your daughter and that she loved it. That made my morning. :)

    Heather :
    That's Victor for you : smooth, very smooth - even in the roughest times! Thanks for enjoying his adventure.

    Summer :
    Yes, Legba is a rascal. But don't let his appearance fool you : there's more to him than meets mortal eyes. I am so happy my work reminded you of a classic like THE LION KING.

    Thanks, Josh :
    This was a fun blogfest, wasn't it? Being ill, yet being at work, too, leaves me with so little free time to visit all my friends. Roland

  8. Hi,

    Brilliant! I so love V & A, and the obligatory words slotted in without notice. ;)

    Hee hee, some of the words already existed within my excerpt: only two required as alternatives!


  9. Thanks, Francine.
    Being at work leaves me with little time to visit my friends. Sorry. And I have that convention all this weekend. Whew! Sometimes there are not hours in the day!

    It means a lot that you liked my entry. Voice and attitude - that's Victor, all right!

    I will get to your entry, promise, Roland

  10. Very nice! I could feel the fear in the old French Quarter streets.

  11. Nothing to add, just wanted to wish you a great and happy weekend, Roland!

  12. Wendy and SIv pretty much express my thoughts. Wonderful imagery. Always the perfectionist. Smooth and subtle phrases glided through the scene.

  13. Nicely written! It's always a joy to read your writing, Roland. :)

  14. Amazing job, Roland! Not only did you work in Wendy's 'M' words seamlessly, you managed to write about two of my favorite Loa, Papa Legba and Erzulie. So do you believe Marie L. was one woman, or was it a woman and her daughter in the same role and that's how she managed to go on so long?

  15. VR : I personally think the daughter lived the role of her mother, fostering the legend of the long-lived Marie Laveau. In my novel, NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE, I have the daughter grow old as Marie drains her of her youth. In that novel, Marie is still middle-aged appearing in the year 2005. McCord lets her alone in her life-draining because she preys on criminals.

    Lydia : That's really nice of you to say.

    Michael : Your own entry was elegant and evocative. Great bit of prose poetry.

    T.D. : That book is headed your way. Gypsy just cost me the price of a used car. I am flying on vapors at the moment. But next paycheck, it is heading your way. Sorry about the delay getting it to you in the Carribbean.

    Marsha : your praise means a lot to me. Thanks.

  16. Well done Roland :) I really liked how you used "Myth" as a lisp. I had to smile at that.


  17. an oil painting, each stroke applied with masterful precision, I pictured the entire scene with vivid clarity, as always;)

    Well done, Roland.


  18. Thanks, Donna :
    I was concerned some might think it a myth-take! LOL.

    Elliot :
    Your words were a great way to start off the morning, right before I go to speak at that Sci-Fi Convention. Wish me luck, Roland

  19. Nice excerpt, as usual, Roland! Love the moon leering, etc. :) Have a GREAT weekend!

  20. Completely brilliant! Of course, now I have to go look up these people. I don't know much of the history of New Orleans. Creepy cool, though.

    I really hope Victor gets published soon!

  21. Thanks, Carol :
    I've seen that leering moon while walking the Katrina-devastated streets of New Orleans. Brrr.

    Jo :
    Thanks. It's hard to be cool writing with presentations to give buzzing in my head. Glad you liked my post.

    WordsCrafter :
    I really hope Victor gets published soon, too. He was a big hit with my audience at the convention today. They wanted me to bring Alice tomorrow. But I reminded them that when she eats finger sandwiches, it can get messy!

    The history of New Orleans is so fascinating, influenced as it was by being governed by the governments of Spain, France, and finally America during the most stunning and evolving time on the world stage. Roland