So you can read my books

Friday, October 28, 2011

UNDER A VOODOO MOON_Friday's Romantic Challenge

It is midnight by the bayou bordering my apartment. The tolling has died but for the echoes.

Lady Night whispers, "Little Lakota, you think you know. You do not.

The world is not what you believe nor what you wish.

Life has its hungers. So does Death."

Denise and Francine have given us the prompt, HAUNTING, for tonight's challenge.

My entry, UNDER A VOODOO MOON, is , not too surprisingly, from Victor's sequel - THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH : UNDER A VOODOO MOON.

(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. Place Congo was its name this far back in the past.

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 dry, “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 took their legs away, remember?”

He cackled, “But Erzulie be fond of dem, 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 veeery old story, Mother.”
Katrina sent shock waves through the economy of New Orleans that nearly submerged the city and its valiant citizens. I have donated 100% of the past two months profits of THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH to the New Orleans SALVATION ARMY.

Of every copy of LEGEND I sell from now on, 10% of the profit will go to them as well. So not only do you get an eerie, absorbing story, you help the hurting in New Orleans. How neat is that?


  1. Hi,

    Victor has such faith in Alice! But even a ghoul can have inner fears... Love that aspect, and by jove they're in deep poo-do!

    Another great snippet, R. ;)


  2. Victor and Alice are neck deep in it now! I love the atmosphere of this one, fantastic! And that's so wonderful of you to have donated so much, and to continue to do so! You inspire me. :)

  3. Francine :
    Love your new photo for your Avatar. And yes, they are in deep poo-do under a voodoo moon! Victor has faith in Alice while she has her doubts.

    At the start of VOODOO MOON, cruel intelligent raptors place a baby in Alice's arms while she is starving -- all to watch how long it will take for her to break.

    Of course, it is Victor to the rescue as he leads the enraged raptors a chilling gauntlet over the moonlit terraces and roofs of the French Quarter!

    Thanks for liking this snippet!

    Heather :
    New Orleans, its lusty inhabitants, its haunted French Quarter, has given so much to me in a dark time -- it was time for me to give back. And it is you who inspire me, Roland

  4. That one sent chills up my spine :) Well done Roland.

    That is generous of you to donate your profits to the victims of Katrina. I'm glad you participated in this "Haunting" feature :) Your creatures and scary.


  5. Donna :
    I'm happy (in a macabre way) that you found this chilling. Victor does his best when scared spitless. When your mother is the Angel of Death, you get that way!

    It is the Lakota way to give when blessed. I was going to keep silent about giving to the Salvation Army, but my friends urged me to make it public so that others could join in the rewards of giving to those who hurt, Roland

  6. You hit that accent perfectly. I love how you paint the mood of this passage so well. It's so generous of you to donate to the SA.

    Thanks again for your congratulations Roland!

  7. Hello.
    I really enjoyed the lingo of this, even if it gave me the chills. Victor sure does have one wicked sense of humor.

    Another fine snippet, Roland!

    This Unknown Spirit

  8. Dear Roland,
    Your text-snippet is perfect for the Halloween-theme! I was starting to worry about Victor and Alice. Yes, your text is chilling!

    Thanks for your encouraging words about my story. You might think that I copied or was inspired by your odd-couple, Victor and Alice, for my Drucilla and Chester, but I did not think of the connection until I read your comment.

    Actually, it was the cats (I have five right now) who decided. I rewrote my story five times, and each time they read it and kept mewing 'More cats! More cats! Or we'll scratch your eyes out!'

    None of my other fictional characters wanted to help me write a Halloween-Spooky story. The cats jumped at the chance!

    I think it is great that you are helping the victims of Katrina through the Salvation Army. My father always spoke well of the SA.

    I'll be back with REWers in December. I don't think that I can take the time to participate in NaNoWriMo in November. I have an essay to write that I have put off far too long.

    Take care, Roland.
    Best wishes from

    For the benefit of other readers:
    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 25 - 'Haunting'

  9. Anna :
    Oh, I never thought you copied from Alice & Victor -- anymore than I copied from Edward & Bella!

    The supernatural world is just too ripe with possiblities for all kinds of mortal/undead romances to ignore as a writer, right?

    Gypsy was my inspiration for long years before she went to the Land Without Shadows to wait for me to catch up.

    Like you, I will not participate in WriMo or NoMo or whatever it is called. I have a real novel to finish in November. I want to have it out by my mother's birthday December 2nd. She is waiting for me beside Gypsy in that Land that knows no shadows.

    But don't stay away from my blog for a whole month!! I would miss you, Roland

  10. Lydia :
    The supernatural and I have a feeling for the other. And New Orleans helped me at a time I needed it. Now, it is only fair that I return the favor and let my friends get in on the act! And congrats again!

    Andy :
    Thanks, Andy. Yes, Victor has a wicked sense of humor. It has been his chief defense from the darkness he has lived in for so long. I'm glad you found my snippet fun and haunting! And I am taking a fast break while I still am at work. Whew! Roland

  11. You're a generous guy, Roland.

    I love how you mingle humor in a serious and scary excerpt. Well written. I hope all is well with you.

  12. Nancy :
    I think humor adds to the depth of horror sometimes by its contrast and breaking the non-stop tension. I am hurriedly working on UNDER A VOODOO MOON as we speak. May this Halloween be all treat and no trick for you! Roland

  13. Love this line "With her at my side, I could take on monsters" and this one's brilliant "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."
    Love the way he shows no fear!

  14. Hi Roland.
    How goes it? Just a reminder that you'll need to refollow us at our new RFWer site so you can keep in touch with out news!


    Denise <3

  15. Denise : It appears that I am one of the 17 new followers already. December 2nd is my mother's birthday, so I am looking forward to doing that December post, Roland

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


  17. Ruth :
    Yes, poor Victor has it bad for the ultimate bad girl, Alice the Victorian ghoul -- and according to Sister Magda, that ain't good!

    Thanks for visiting and staying to talk, Roland