So you can read my books

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Francine and Denise are starting a novel blog-challenge :

Be at the ground floor of romance. That sounds like a winner, doesn't it?

Your prose should only be 400 words. Alas mine is 437. Leave it to a man to bend the rules!


Samuel McCord, the man with death in his veins, is walking the Tulane campus ruined by Hurricane Katrina. His best friend, Renfield, is talking about the magical dance held on these grounds in the early 1930's.

Renfield should have known better than to talk of McCord's lost love on a night of a mystic full moon :

Renfield said. "Remember the last dance of the night, Sam?"

"Yes, I remember. Don't understand it. But I remember it."

"Why did Meilori shush you off like that to dance by herself -- as if someone invisible was dancing with her?"

"Haven't a clue. But it was a sight. She was so graceful, so full of sad love."

Renfield nodded. "Sad love? I could never pin down the expression on her face until now. But sad love says it all."

"All. And nothing. I still don't understand the why of it. Just that she was so hauntingly beautiful as she danced."

Renfield made a face. "She could have been washing clothes on a rock, and you would have found her beautiful."

Misty shapes began to form all around us. Young Louis Armstrong, cornet under his arm, slapped my shoulder.

“Glad to be here, Sam.”

Dizzy Gillespie shimmered beside him, his trumpet sparkling in the starlight.

Louis mopped at his forehead with a handkerchief.

“You owe someone a last dance.”

He turned to Dizzy. “we’ve got us an Empress to play for.”

There was a movement of shadows to my left, and Renfield breathed, “Dear Lord.”

Meilori’s shade danced open-armed in front of me.

What does love look like? What is its color?

A white flash of fright. A billowing wave of warmth, its reach beyond the microscope and further than the length of hope.

Is it a jewel sparkling in the night? Or a whisper murmuring within the corridors of the heart?

Once more Meilori danced across the velvet grass, her empty arms beckoning to me. Her soft voice carried like a specter in the dark.

Her words brushed by me and into my soul.

“Beloved, one last dance.”

And I finally understood her dancing empty-armed that magic evening so long ago.

She had seen me, as now I saw her. Perhaps she thought me the ghost of a future me, dead and searching for her.

And not understanding completely, still she took me in her arms.

As I, not understanding completely, now took her in mine. She smiled, brushing soft lips against mine. The ghostly music was a heart-clasp of sound.

Love is not a shy beast to be caught but a rare moment to be treasured. It burns within each cell, a living seed of hope. Its rays invisible to most, seen only by the searching heart.

Meilori was in my arms, and her love made me whole once more. She lightly kissed me. I almost felt it.

We danced through the embrace of shadows. And for a very short moment, I was home. Home.


  1. Hi Roland. YOu are quick off the mark. Great that you joined us. The first official challenge is to be posted Friday 13 - topic 'Dire Moments.' See what you can come up with for that one!

    'The embrace of shadows' may work quite well for next Friday also.


    Join the new Romantic Friday Writers Group.

  2. 'Sad love' is so evocative. A beautiful piece, as always, Roland.

    See you in the Friday Romantics!

  3. Denise :
    I'll see what I can do. Dire moments, huh?

    Margo :
    Good to see you back. I tried for evocative. Thanks.

    Johanna :
    I'm glad you liked it.

    Jo :
    Sad and beautiful. Sometimes love works out like that.

  4. Hi,

    Hauntingly beautiful prose!

    Good to see you aboard the Good Ship Romancer . . . ;)


  5. Love your references of the great musicians long gone. Weaving them into a haunting love story is evocative prose.