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Monday, December 10, 2012




          I am Ada Byron.  I died and willed myself back to a semblance of life.  I did the same for my lover, Margaret Fuller, she of the existential mind and passionate embrace.

       On this fine New Orleans morning, I may well die again.
  Odd.  I can almost feel young Victor’s eyes on me, his hand on mine, those laughing gypsy eyes telling me that he has a plan, that everything will be all right.

I smile demurely over my dining table at Margaret and my uninvited guest: Abigail Adams, President of America Corps, the ridiculous name for America’s Revenant Empire.

She sips her tea cup full of O Negative blood that I keep for Renfield and smiles with red-stained teeth.  She is dressed in a black business suit much like Margaret’s.  But her satin blouse has a frilly jabot like my own.

I know that her private quarters are done in an exact replica of the bedroom she shared with her husband, John, when he was the second president of the United States. 
I would have pity for her had she pity for any who stood in her way of Empire. As it is, I have only the guarded respect one has for a rattler coiled to strike.

Her smile broadens, cheapens, loses all authenticity.  “This need not end badly, Lady Lovelace.  We three here are each from the same era and morality.”

To my left, Margaret speaks harshly.  “This need not have happened at all, Madame President.  There was a time when you would not even have thought of invading another’s home at all.”

Abigail sighs.  “The times have changed.  All is adrift.  Humanity has lost its mooring.”

I laugh without pleasure. “Humanity, Abigail? You have not the slightest idea of what that word means anymore.”

“And you do,” smirks Abigail.

“Yes, because of Samuel I do.”

“It is you,” I continue, “that seems to have a broken compass, Abigail.”

“Life for Margaret,” stonily speaks Abigail.  “Or death.  Your choice.”

“No.  Yours, Madame President.”

“Yours,” insists my uninvited guest – and as a revenant, just how did she accomplish that feat?  Perhaps madness confers certain abnormal abilities in a revenant?

Abigail raises her haunted eyes to meet mine.  “All you have to do is convince that stubborn McCord to see the light and join my crusade to repel Empress Theodora’s troops from these shores.”

“All,” I laugh.  “Do you not want me to give him a Judas kiss while I am it?”

Margaret leans forward as if to convince with her not inconsiderable presence.  “You know Samuel as well as we do, if not better, for you have known him longer.  He will not consent for any armed or undead conflict in his city.”

Abigail goes even paler and statue erect.  “His city?”

“Yes, his city,” I whisper.

I gather my scattered wits and continue, “Your own husband made him swear to protect New Orleans.  Why do I have to tell you this?  You were there, hiding in the shadows, Madame President.”

There was a soulless giggle from the foyer door.  We turn.  I sigh.  Things have gotten … interesting.  I stiffen.

The ghoul, Alice Wentworth, looks at us with blue-fire eyes.

 I feel Victor near.  In this room.  But how can this be?

“President?” Alice sneers.  “Empress is the true title.  Empress of the American Revenant Empire.”

I look at Abigail’s narrowed eyes.  Eyes which have looked calmly at men being sucked dry of their blood by cruel, cold, efficient machines as she murmurs,  “I preside over America Corps.”

Abigail places down her drained blood cup with a deadly grace.  “So, ghoul, where is that perversion that would join his loins to yours?”

At those words, the scamp in question slips from the misty body of Alice.  And Victor Standish, the fourteen year old Ulysses, laughs that reckless laugh of his.

 Victor smiles, waving his fingers in front of his face as if they were a fan.  “Is it hot in here, or it is just me?  Joins loins with Alice?  Whew!  That’s a pretty hot image there, your worshipfulness.”

The smile drops from his lips.  "And if you haven't noticed, Your Hind-Ass, your moral compass doesn't exactly point North anymore."
{Then, of course, with the intrusion of Victor, things get even more interesting.}
More on the woman who wrote the first computer program a 100 years before the invention of the computer:


  1. And she was a Byron - now that is really awesome.

  2. Alex:
    Yes, and despite her mother's attemepts to dampen her father's spirit within her, Ada was a gypsy at heart. I love having her in Victor's and Samuel's world. Happy ALEXFEST DAY!

  3. Thanks for sharing your writing Roland. I hope all is going well with your writing.


  4. Donna:
    I just wanted to make Ada heroine of the day in honor of her birthday. Alas, only 3 copies of THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT have sold, and one of those have been returned!

    I'm probably going to cancel my contest due to lack of interest. Some have talent it seems ... then there's me. :-)

    May your Christmas season be healing and happy, Roland

  5. I wasn't familiar with this lady, Roland, so I've learned something new. I wouldn't have liked living during this time, I don't think. Even without a rabid Abigail Adams.

  6. D.G.:
    She was (or is in my mythos) a fascinating woman. She loved to gamble, believing in the existence of ways to "beat the bank." Needless to say, she racked up substantial gambling debts. Her life would make a fascinating movie.

    Like you, I think the early 1800's is fun to visit in an air-conditioned movie theater but to live there would be a pain!!

    Thank you for visiting my cyber-home again. I always enjoy your visits and comments. Roland

  7. Interesting and passionate woman of her time. Thanks for the insight and stop saying things like you can not write because that my dear friend is just not true! I certainly did not return my copy, how can you return a kindle book and why would anyone want to? I like you have been working a lot lately and there is no time for reading in the kitchen but I promise your book is first on my list when things slow down. Keep your spirits up Roland!

  8. She sounds like an incredibly interesting woman. Thanks for sharing your writing. :-)

  9. One cannot suppress another genetic coding . I do know that from my five daughters. They are what they are.

    Hugs and chocolate,