So you can read my books

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Join the fun:

The theme is VACATION  {580 words}

(Victor and Alice have been flicked back to the year 1834 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.

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?  Hey, Alice, just think of this as a free vacation.”

Alice glared at me.  "Vacations are supposed to be breath-taking not life-taking!"

I grinned.  "What did you expect for free?"

"I expect to snap off a finger sandwich should I be able to get you alone!"

"Oh, sure, blame the guy when a vacation turns out sucky."

 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 constrictor across her shoulders.

“You two do not belong here.”

"Wow" I whispered.  "I can't even meet the minimum requirements for a voodoo sacrifice.  Bummer."

 Alice murmured, “Look at Marie Laveau, Victor. She is such a striking woman.”

I grinned crooked, “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 cackled, “But Erzulie is, 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 veery old story, Mother.”

Alice glared at me.  "This is the last vacation I let you take me on."


  1. "life has just hit a new high in low-down"


  2. Hi Roland. I don't blame Alice. This would be the last vacation I'd let Victor take me on too! So many creepy creatures! But Victor is so sweet: 'With her at my side, I could take on monsters.' Aw, shucks.
    What can I say about your writing Roland? Always lyrical, always flowing.

    Thank you for taking Victor and Alice on vacation for the inaugural blogfest for WEP.


    PS...I directly linked yours Roland, knowing your penchant for blogging every 5 minutes! Otherwise people will be trolling around trying to find this post.

    Hope you have no objection.

  3. Wouldn't be my choice of vacation either - I know little of voodoo, and I'm fine with that.

    The snakes are a definite turn-off(I agree with 'Indiana Jones' about that one).

    I noticed a few people posted about Elmore Leonard, after I saw yours. The old guard is diminishing.

  4. That sure did turn into a sucky vacation. haha. I like Victor's witty repartee with all his enemies. ;)

  5. Not my idea of a holiday resort. Great writing as always, Roland, I still read your writing with my heart beating fast and always in daylight!

  6. The Armchair Squid:
    Victor does have a way with words when he's scared -- which is most of the time!

    No objections, of course. I do blog twice some days but not often when I am working -- which is what I will be doing for 5 fast, frantic days now!

    Victor and Alice were glad to be there for the inaugural blogfest for WEP.

    I'm more lyrical than Mr. Leonard but I hope there is room still for prose like mine. :-)

    Yes, the Old Guard is dwindling down. Sigh. First Robert B. Parker. Now Elmore Leonard. :-(

    I certainly would not want to pet a snake either!! And voodoo sounds romantic ... from a distance. Alice could tell you of its horrors close up and way too personal!

    I could do without a vacation like that, too! Victor's snark is his way of keeping his sanity in frightening situations -- which is most of his life!! He's happy he makes you laugh. :-)

    No. a voodoo ceremony is no place to crash! Thanks for the nice words about my writing. I read Stephen King in the daylight, too!! :-)

  7. The interplay between Victor and his mother made me smile. And I love that she still tells him he's in trouble! Ha!

  8. Words Crafter:
    Victor and his mother have definitely a unique relationship! You should see what she does to him at the end of THE RIVAL!

  9. Wow! Suspense-filled, spooky with vivid imagery, great voice and flowing dialogue, all wrapped up in a special brand of humour!
    Great stuff!
    Writer In Transit

  10. Hi Roland
    Well written and so funny. Loved it.

  11. This could be fun! He doesn't seem worried at all and I like their spunk! Especially her comment at the end, "This is the last vacation I let you take me on." Great!

  12. Michelle:
    Victor's sense of humor is the thing that keeps him going in bizarre situations. I'm happy you enjoyed this little jaunt into the supernatural world of voodoo. :-)

    Thanks. If your back is against the wall might as smile while you can, right?

    Victor tries to have fun in the darkest of times -- especially with a ghoul friend like Alice! Glad it made you smile.