So you can read my books

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Very little survived my house fire:
not my dog, Hercules, nor my cat, Pebbles ... nor my writings.

Or so I thought.

Digging through my boxes still unopened from my move to my new apartment, I was searching for a small book I thought I still had.

And I discovered a smoke-stained Notebook with the hand-written novel, MYTH AMERICA,

whose hero was my very first construct:

the eternal Mountain Man born in Virginia when it was called Raleigh's Country --

now living in the America wastelands of nearly 200 years from now.

I am tempted to transcribe and publish it since to me it holds up rather well.

What do you think yet again?

{Deirdre Manes, the Nightchaser, courtesy of the genius of Leonora Roy}



“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

- Henri Bergson

I sighed.  My eyes were good but not even an eagle could read the tiny print in this twilight.  I closed the small book and slipped it into the inside pocket of my buckskin jacket. THE PHILOSOPHY OF WILLIAM JAMES was the title.  Each chapter started off with a quote from the philosopher who fascinated James, Henri Bergson.  I had a stash of such books hidden all over the desert.  But I always returned to this one.

The rising sun cast hot ghosts of gold across the bruised dark of the horizon.  Were any ghosts skulking behind the Joshua Trees waiting for the dying sun to slip into sleep so as to greet the welcoming rays of the rising moon?  I shook my head at myself. 

Trees and houses were not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the landscape on which we stand, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.

Not ghosts of ectoplasm but specters of words and actions that haunt and claw worse than any spirit could.  Any man could give birth to a legion of such ghosts.  I spawned more than a few myself.  Were any still living who were haunted by not being able to forgive my past words and actions or forget them or both?

Sam nudged my hand.  I smiled.  The old beggar.  The only vampire wolf in existence.

I made sure of that.  What had those scientists been thinking?  If a pack of such genetically engineered wolves had made it to the outside world, Hell would have had a suburb on earth.  I snatched the only puppy they had created, destroyed their research, and killed all but one of the scientists.  The last one served to feed Sam.  Who would have guessed a puppy could drink so much?

Sam nudged my hand again.  I took the canteen of blood from my belt and poured the white wolf a lap or two in the hollow of the rock shelf upon which we perched.  His anvil head lowered, but his eyes never left the desert around us.

For long moments he lapped.  His great head rose, and his unreadable eyes flicked to me.  I sighed.  The big ninny.  I took out a rag from my back pocket and wiped his mouth and chest clean.  He licked my hand with a blood-smeared tongue.

Loping away a few paces, Sam sat on his haunches, studying the rising moon.  The night winds whispered its mocking secrets to him.  The icy moonbeams embraced and fired his strange eyes.  Damn those scientists.  They had tinkered with Sam’s brain capacity as well.  Then, they left him with a mouth and jaw incapable of speech.

He scanned the endless depths between the stars as if wondering why a wild spirit like his had to live as he did, driven by desires and questions that he could not voice.  His face tore at me.  He did not understand why he felt compelled to live as he did.  A soft mewing began low in his throat.  Finally, Sam could take it no longer, and he raised his head to sing mournfully to the moon, another seemingly lost spirit in the night.


  1. So sad about Hercules and Pebbles but glad you found your story. The canteen of blood made me jump but I think that's what you intended. Bravo.

  2. I've copied to word to read later coz little people are complaining of growling tummies but I wanted to say from the few sentences I read i was reminded why I enjoy your books R. You writing reads like poetry.

  3. The Desert Rocks:
    Hercules and Pebbles are waiting for me ... with complaints no doubt even about Heaven! :-)

    Yes, I wanted to jolt with that canteen of blood. Thanks.

    Blogger burbed and sent this post backwards instead of forward, but I am glad you still found it. Thanks for such nice words about my writing, Roland

  4. Is this how Sam came to be what he calls himself - a monster?

    If so, I think this book should be revealed to your readers. I've always wanted to know more backstory about Sam, as many other readers may.

    So sorry to hear about the animals. I've had many pets over the years and I become quite close to them, especially cats.

    Animals are our companions, not our status symbol of who we are (I'm talking celebrity pups here). Companions are to be treasured, they get us through life.

    I have had fire scares (two in my twenties), but I've never lost everything. How brave of you to pick up and start over. It's how we recover from bad times that shows what we are made of. I'm very fire safety aware because of those experiences.

  5. D.G.:
    Samuel McCord has always been human ... more or less.

    Sam in MYTH AMERICA is a genetically engineered wolf made for the military that Silver freed from a living hell.

    But Silver is a prototype for Samuel McCord, a thinking man who considers himself unfit for the world until the world descends into madness.

    My best friend, Sandra, helped me be brave ... in truth there was nothing to be done but to carry on the best I knew how.

    Losing my pets hurt as you know from sad experience yourself.

    I'm glad the fires in your past were only scares and not full-blown nightmares as they were with me.

    I'm going from Victor's stand-alone MORE THAN A NAME to this novel -- so both are going slowly. :-)

  6. You have so got to publish this Roland. Love the idea of a genetically engineered wolf who drinks blood out of a canteen. Yes Yes Yes.

    so sorry about your companions. I've lost so many, I keep their pictures on my fridge to remind me how much I have been loved.

  7. Anne:
    Hercules and Pebbles lurk in the dark recesses of my heart still. MYTH AMERICA will take a bit of polishing, and I am writing my Victor stand-alone MORE THAN A NAME at the same time as well ... then, there's this pesky thing called work! :-)

    The love which our furred companions give us is so fleeting. Perhaps it is to remind us of the fragility of all things precious in our lives.

    Have a great new week, Roland