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Friday, October 7, 2011

ROCK CANDY CUTS_Friday's Romantic Challenge

The distant clock tower is tolling midnight once again. The rolling thunder is as hollow as its bells.

As hollow as many of us are, carved out bit by bit by the razored acts of betrayal and disilusion.

This is the month of the carved pumpkin - the symbol for the state of love in our hollowed-out world.

Denise and Francine have given us the prompt ROCK CANDY :
Here is my entry :

Evil often wears sex as a mask. The Venus Fly Trap is rather pretty ... at a distance.

I watched a pretty girl in a pretty short skirt arguing with Captain Sam at his table. He kept shaking his head at her.

He was a gentleman and all. His Stetson was off, sitting on his rune-carved table ... just like she was a lady.

Ada Byron once pointed this famous rock star out to me. "Victor, to say she has the morals of an alley cat is to insult alley cats everywhere."

I smiled so bitter it tasted of salt. I figure the last man who thought her a lady had been blind. I looked around, trying to spot Alice and wash this bit of empty soul from my mind with the sight of the reason I took each breath.

I looked at the black rose on the table beside me. Since Maija, it was the symbol of our love and our trust in each other.

Great. Miss Lust R Us was walking towards me, her hips swaying like the lazy swell of the tide on some island beach. Her shiny skirt was so short it could have been mistaken for a wide belt. Her top was more bra than blouse.

She tugged down on it to give me a good glimpse of her ... flotation devises.

"I'm Rock Candy," she breathed, wetting her open lips.

"Of course you are. And they sell lip balm down the street."

She pouted, wiggling without moving, "Victor Standish, your wit will not save you. Your lout of a mentor has refused to let me sing at Meilori's."

"It's his club."

"As you are his beloved ward. I am going to destroy you."

"Lots of luck with that, she-bitch."

"I am Circe's daughter, fool. No mortal man can resist me."

She raised her eyebrow. No! My mind was fogging, my will draining. Rock Candy smiled like the succubus she was. My eyes tore themselves from hers, falling on the black rose I intended to surprise Alice with.

I heard Alice's voice within the crypt from the midnight I first met her :

'I feel tears bleed from my dead eyes. I will find flesh to tear and rend. I always do.

But love? Never. Never will there be love for the thing that I have become. Never.'

Then, I saw the memory of her walking into Meilori's next to me for the first time :

I saw Alice’s eyes light up upon walking into Meilori’s. She looked like a little girl on Christmas morning. Her jaw dropped in wonder, and she squeezed my arm in joy. I smiled ear to ear. I caught Ada looking at us and brushing away a tear.

I heard Alice murmur, “I could cry such tears as angels cry.”

“Milton’s PARADISE LOST?, “ I asked.

“Close but no. It is from Milton’s LYCIDAS.”

“You’ll have to read it to me sometime,” I said.

Alice turned neon blue eyes that seemed both happy and sad. “No. Rather I would read you something Christina Rossetti wrote.”

She leaned in close and whispered,

“Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live

My very life again though cold in death :

Come back to me in dreams, that I may give

Pulse for pulse, breath for breath.”

And just like that, Rock Candy's spell was broken. I looked at her sad. She would never have what Alice and I shared.

"Good ... not in the moral sense, of course ... just not good enough."

"Impossible!," gasped the succubus.

Suddenly Alice was beside me, her hand going for mine. The other had the black rose in it.

"Nothing is impossible for my Victor!"

I squeezed her hand. "No, Alice, nothing is impossible for US."



  1. Not even the lucious Rock Candy can come between Victor and Alice! A wonderful piece, Roland.

  2. Beautiful how love breaks through any spell. By the way, I loved the cover image.

  3. Hi,

    Victor & Alice: a force to be reckoned with, and you are so going to get a reputation for being an old romantic! ;)

    Mine's male POV this week: US special agent. :o


  4. Hi Roland.
    Your writing continues to amaze me. The tension is high and you give the reader just enough to feel what your POV is feeling. I loved all the quotes too. Excellent piece.
    N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

  5. Thanks, Margo :
    That means a lot coming from you. There is lust. Then, there is love. Francine is right, I am romantic enough to believe one always trumps the other in the end.

    Ruth :
    I'm glad you liked the cover for Victor's sequel, MORE THAN A NAME. I'm still writing it. At the moment, Alice and Victor are on their first official date in the French Quarter when DayStar shows up as ... chaparone!

    Francine :
    You found me out! I'm heading to your blog -- if that ringing phone is not my work demanding I show up early! Merde!

    Nancy :
    Your praise takes the edge of my work, indeed, asking me to come in early (and stay late, of course!)

    Those quotes and scenes do take place in Victor's first book. (Shameless plug! LOL)

  6. Alice beats Rock Candy, hands (and claws) down!

    Consider flipping these two sentences: He was a gentleman and all. His Stetson was off, sitting on his rune-carved table. I think with the sentence that follows about her, it might flow better.

    Or not. Love the continuing black roses theme.

  7. Love the artwork--sort of gothic zombie love

    But pretty.


  8. I wondered how he was going to break the spell. Love trumps all :-)

  9. Beverly :
    Every bit of advise is appreciated. The black rose motif looms large in both my YA fantasies. Glad you liked this excerpt.

    TirzaLaughs :
    Zombie love. What else in New Orleans? LOL. I'm very happy that you like Alice and Victor's cover.

    Sarah :
    In a way, Rock Candy defeated herself by choosing the wrong victim! Love makes for a hard opponent to beat. Thanks for the Ada Day link you sent me!! Roland

  10. Dear Roland,
    Wonderful story. Nothing can come between Victor and Alice, not even an evil beauty like Rock Candy! (Clever name for a temptress!)
    Like the black rose theme too.

    I adhere to the principle that I should not read anyone's post until I have finished writing and have posted my own story. (For better or for worse!) This week I was not sure I would be able to get anything posted. It is no great piece of writing, and I posted just 20 minutes before the linky closed. This is why I am so late leaving comment.

    Now that I have read all of the other participants' texts, I realise that I should allow myself more fantasy. I need to use my imagination more. I may even return to the faeries!

    Best wishes,
    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 22-'Rock Candy'