So you can read my books

Saturday, April 27, 2013


there was a

Ghost in the night.

It was that moment between waking and dream. I was sitting on my apartment terrace. The night spoke to me in its velvet silence.

Owl happily was not speaking my name. He perched on the cypress branch opposite me, studying me as I was admiring him.

Brother raccoon scurried in the bushes below, carrying some prize in his front right paw.

My ghost cat, Gypsy, twitched her tail on the window sill, the mysteries of the ages whispering in her half-closed, green eyes.

My own eyes were heavy. Too many miles driven. Too few hours slept.

I put the period to the last sentence of my blog post about Marlene Dietrich with the troops in the front lines during WWII:

One afternoon after VE Day, she was walking through a little French village. All around her was rubble, and she couldn't understand why -- all the buildings along the street were still standing with curtains blowing frilly and snapping clean-crisp in their windows.

Then, she looked through one of the windows to see that there was nothing behind it. The fronts of the buildings were still standing, but everything behind them had been destroyed. There wasn't a single living person past the false fronts of those caricature buildings.

Only one lone doll lay forlorn in the rubbled middle of nothing.

With her face cupped in trembling hands, she stood in front of that window, weeping silently, refusing to be comforted ...

"... for there is no comfort for the dead," she whispered.

Beside me a husky voice intoned, "Keine Komfort für die Toten."

I went cold and still, sliding my eyes as far to the right as they could go without moving my head. My mouth became salt.

Marlene Dietrich.

In a frilly black night wrap and not much else.

She was perched over the top of a wavering, insubstantial leather chair like a cougar ready to strike.

"You write so beautifully of me. Why?"

"Y-You were brave, selfless -- entertaining the troops on the front lines with a death sentence from Hitler on your head."

I cleared my fear-thick throat. "People have forgotten that."

She reached out and stroked my cheek with chill fingers of mist.

"It is not important for the world to remember me -- only that I did not forget myself when I was needed."

"And words like that are why I write of you."

Marlene fluffed my hair with ghost fingers. It tickled.

"Do you know what they call you in the ShadowLands, liebling?"


"Sänger von Träumen -- DreamSinger."

"I - I don't understand."

Her ice blue eyes hollowed. "One day you will."

In ghost whispers, she murmured, "Death and love."


"I thought I knew them, liebchen. I was so sure. I died. Then, I saw life with new eyes."

She leaned forward, her eyes suddenly sparkling. "See you in your dreams, liebling."

And like a cloud robbing me of sunlight, Marlene was gone. I was alone. Well, not quite.

Gypsy was in my lap, yawning. It takes a lot to shake up the granddaughter of Bast.
Take a 99 cent chance on GHOST OF A CHANCE  for Marlene, will you?



  1. hey Roland! i saw your link on facebook and came over for a visit. what atmosphere! and Gypsy!!!!! i love her, and i'm glad she's still around. i've ready my copy of GOAC all the way through twice! i love love love it :) are you getting any rest?

    i didn't know you'd published more books! i'm behind now....

    take care of yourself!

  2. The Words Crafter:
    Gypsy, ghost cat, is still around.

    She made a brand new appearance in Tuesday's post when the ghost of Robert Frost appeared, waking the two of us up with his pronouncement that "poetry is dead." She even spoke!

    I've missed you! :-)

  3. Wow... Nice to see Words Crafter again after so much time....

    Love the atmosphere in this piece. Marlene's ghost is one of my favorites.

  4. Michael:
    It was nice seeing Words Crafter here again, wasn't it? She has a new blog, THE JOURNEY SOUTH. You can find it in my sidebar of blog listings.

    Marlene's ghost is one of my favorites, too. But what happens in my dreams stays in my dreams!

  5. yikes!!! i don't know where to start! ok, first, thank you so very much for the new VS book! you really didn't have to do that, but thank you.

    you found my new blog? weird. did you read how it started? i'm not even sure what i'm supposed to do with it...i only put part of the story on the about page....

    it is nice to be here :) and thank you again for my new book. you know that i'm not going to get anything done tomorrow, hahahaha

  6. oh ps!!! i read your tuesday post and left you a comment!

  7. Words Crafter:
    No, I haven't read how your new blog got started, but I will. I put it in my sidebar of blogs I read, hoping to get you new readers.

    As for what to do with it: have fun. I'm going to my Tuesday post to see your comment. Gypsy, my ghost cat, is coming with me. :-)

  8. Oooh, so Marlene is still around. Sounds like she has something in store for you. I've been wanting to pick up Ghost of a Chance. I'll have to do it tomorrow when I'm at my own computer. A lovely piece of writing, Roland, as always :)

  9. Gwen:
    Much to the consternation of Hemingway's ghost, Marlene's ghost still visits me! :-)

    Thank you so much for buying GHOST OF A CHANCE. I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for calling my post lovely. The ghost of Gypsy takes all the credit! LOL.

  10. Delicious ambiance, Roland, all sumptuousness and mood. But I'm pretty sure if Marlene's ghost walked into my white box of an office, the place would suddenly become richly atmospheric, too. She had that magic.

    VR Barkowski

  11. VR:
    Marlene's ghost, as well as herself when living, did, indeed, have a kind of magic. Her ghost just fluffed my hair with those chill fingers of mist again. :-)

    Thanks for liking my little look into the supernatural aura around my apartment terrace at night.

    Have a healing Sunday, Roland

  12. Loved this! Got Ghost of a Chance on my Kindle. Its waiting to be read.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  13. Powerful piece. Those buildings in rubble, like empty skeletons.

  14. Never forget the gorgeous and fiesty and utterly brave Marlene!! And such cheekbones!!! Awwww lovely angely Gypsy! Glad she's looking out for you, Roland as all angel kitties do! Yay! Take care

  15. Nicely done, Roland, as always. I remember seeing her in Destry Rides Again, one of Jimmy Stewart's first films. She leaves an impression, doesn't she?

  16. Shelly:
    GOAC is my paranormal NORTH BY NORTHWEST. It seems to be popular with those who read it.

    Your husband and you are in my prayers. Your own immune system is under assault with all the stress you're enduring so be careful. :-)

    Yes, those non-stop three years on the front lines with the troops left Marlene a haunted changed woman. There was no treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in those days. She was a hero in a time of heroes.

    Didn't she have cheekbones to die for! With an imagination like mine, it is easy to see Gypsy padding through my apartment, pounding up on a window sill to peer down on me. :-)

    She left an impression on Jimmy, too, as she flirted ceaselessly with him! The ghost of Marlene blows you a kiss. :-)