So you can read my books

Sunday, November 24, 2013



Vivian Hightower wiggled without moving as she sat across the table from me. She was sure of her sex appeal. She shouldn't have been.

I was married to an Empress, of whose beauty sonnets had been written by Shakespeare and Keats.

I have called Meilori beautiful, and those of you who have read that word think you know what it means. 
“Beautiful” evokes paintings of the masters in your mind and perhaps some face of an attractive woman from your past. 

Meilori was of another time, another realm. 
To see her was to believe in the stuff of magic, perhaps even to catch glimpses of unicorns in the distance, to hear lost faes’ sad laments in the twilight. 
To see her face would break your heart with longing and yet heal that heart at the self-same time.  And from that moment on, your heart would beat twice as strong as before.

"Captain McCord, I'm surprised you are agreeing to this taped interview. My last one destroyed the career of your policewoman friend."

She cleared her throat at my silence, turning on her tape recorder. "They say your jazz club, Meilori's, is haunted."

Vivian narrowed her diamond eyes. "You aren't speaking."

I looked at her from under the wide brim of my Stetson. That I had not taken it off when she sat down should have been a warning.

"You haven't asked any questions, Miss Hightower."

"Oh, in that case: What is your biggest vulnerability? Do others know this, or is it a secret?"

I smiled like the last wolf I was often called.

"Now, my hunch on that might be dead-on, Miss, or it might be full of worms. But Mama McCord didn't raise any sons dippy enough to tell it to a vicious reporter ... on tape."

"Be that way. What do people believe about you that is false?"

"That I am a hero. In all the ways that count, I am a monster."

She wet her lips. "Wh-What would your best friend say is your f-fatal flaw?"

"Father Renfield believes me not believing in God anymore is that. Coming from a vampire priest that is saying something."

Vivian snoted at the word "vampire." "What would Father Renfield say is your one redeeming quality?"

I smiled sad. "That while I say I'm agnostic, I act as if I still believed ... which means to him that deep down I still do, for what we do, we believe."

She outright sneered at that. "What do you want most? And what will you do to get it?"

I bled a sigh. "Not a what but a who, Miss Hightower. My wife. And I will do nothing to get her back. Love forced is no love at all. On either side."

She turned off the tape recorder, and I asked her a question.

"When I said that you could come to my table, did I ever say anything about you leaving it alive?"

I tore off my right glove that kept my cursed palm from touching innocent flesh. I reached out and grabbed her satin throat tight.

Shock filled her eyes.  Her petty, shallow memories slithered across my consciousness.  I felt dirtied by their touch, endured them as the price of ridding the world of her.  She withered before my eyes.

"I am a monster, Miss Hightower, in all the ways that count. But I only kill other monsters."

Piece-Full, my Grim, flowed from the shadows to tear and rip at her jerking body.  The other customers averted their eyes from mine.  After all, Piece-Full had brothers.

(For the eBook)

If you want to see what McCord looks like :


  1. Hmmm. . .good thing Meilori's has its guardians. And, one should not annoy those guardians. Point taken.

    Hope the work on the new novel is progressing well.

  2. D.G.:
    Thanks. I'm at 31,000 so far. Hopefully, I can get a few more words done on my one day off tomorrow! But laundry looms! :-)

  3. Excellent fragment! And, yes, I enjoyed seeing McCord... I had imagined him older, but it's nice to know the face you have in mind for him. :-)

  4. Excellent fragment! And, yes, I enjoyed seeing McCord... I had imagined him older, but it's nice to know the face you have in mind for him. :-)

  5. Vesper:
    His white hair makes him look older. His face is a Westerner's face, seamed by the wind and sun. I tried for a look that came closest. I think of a white-haired Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under. :-)