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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

THE KISS_ WEP Post

 


From 

BEWARE THE JADE CHRISTMAS

(761 Words)

Have you ever held someone close and watched the light slowly, so slowly drain from their eyes? 

I lost count of those in my own time in the second war to end all wars.  

As an O.S.S. agent, I knifed countless sentries, holding my hand over their mouths to keep their last sounds to themselves.  

I can only imagine what someone whose mind was not sociopathic would have felt.  I felt nothing, no thrill, no sadness.  Nothing.

Until Ingrid Durtz.

Against my direct orders, she came back for me that night. 

It was clear suicide to do it.  She did not care.  Ingrid loved me though I could not love her in return.  

Or I thought I couldn’t.  A hell of a thing to discover I’d believed incorrectly when it was too late.

I held her so tightly as she slowly bled out.  The bullets whined past me, and I cared not a bit.  

The feathered wings of ice fluttered against the inside of my chest, and it occurred to me that I might not fully understand what it meant to be sociopathic.

That was the lesson of the Great War: that none of us understood what we thought we did.  The truth of us was an onion, and life had a way of peeling layer after layer away while we wept.

The Christmas Eve that starts off this tale had been one of unceasing cold rain from sunrise 

until the gradual brightening of the vague white light outside the Le Prete mansion indicated that the sun was nearing its zenith.  

No White Christmases in New Orleans. 

We were in the third month of Hitchcock’s filming, Murder by Moonlight, his eerie take on the Sultan Murders in the early days of the French Quarter.

 Principal photography was nearing its end which was fortunate since most of the crew were nearing the end of their endurance and sanity.

Of course, they had been at that point after the first day and night of the shoot.  

The murders of several crew men that fateful night were still being investigated by the local police.

 They would not solve them.  Supernatural beings, even in New Orleans, could not be brought up on charges and tried in a court of law.  

Hard to slap a pair of cuffs on creatures who would tear out your throat in the attempt.  But those particular demons were three months gone.

I tried to forget the law of science that stated nature hated a vacuum and always sought to fill it.  Could that apply to the supernatural?  

I didn’t press my luck and spent the nights in my room at the Ponchartrain Hotel.

The visiting spirit of my dead lover, Ingrid Durtz, enjoyed the jazz played in the hotel’s club. 

Yes, Ingrid, the woman I discovered I could love only when she lay dying in my arms.

Science is a hollow know-it-all that proclaims surmises as certainties. 

The Gates to the Endless Gulfs had parted that harrowing night, allowing creatures of nightmare access to our plane.  

A few human souls slipped in as well.  

I could only surmise that Ingrid’s soul somehow sensed I was close to dying again, and in she rushed … into a body most like hers.

No one at Hotel Ponchartrain noticed.  

Who looks for ghosts in a jazz club?  Especially when they possess the body of a lovely police detective in a provocative emerald dress?

What do you say to the woman who loved you when you were convinced you were incapable of love?  

A woman who died saving you only to leave you with the numbing realization that you were capable of love after it was entirely too late?  

What do you say to her when you find her mind and soul housed in another’s body?

That first night after the Le Prete murders, we had a wide-ranging conversation; 

we talked about love, fate, and everybody’s inability to truly leave the past behind. 

It had been an ugly end to a woman beautiful both inside and out. I had gotten my head and heart handed to me. 

And it was all said in a simple kiss that had my lungs feeling as if they were going to burst through my chest. 

Even though I do not cry that was when the valves opened, all the used air expended into the atmosphere, and all the fresh poured in, filled with limitless new possibilities.

Perhaps Ingrid is right when she says, ‘A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.’

{The truth behind Ingrid's ghostly return will be explained in the 4th book of the Dark Hollywood series, NIGHT SEASONS.}

(If the weather disasters will ever leave me alone, I will finish this!)

I hope you enjoyed this entry of mine after Covid-19, Hurricanes, and Winter Storms have battered me.

37 comments:

  1. A great tale interspersed with past historic events. Always a great read. Love your character, Ingrid. Also love her definition of a kiss.

    Getting so many unique takes on THE KISS. Thanks for yours, Roland.

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    1. I can only imagine what unique takes will come from this prompt. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Glad you liked mine. :-)

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  2. Past and present do connect, in the most unexpected ways sometimes. A fascinating story.

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    1. Thanks,, Olga. The rolling blackouts may keep me from visiting much today. :-(

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  3. Hi Roland - interesting take on the prompt - a cruel way of life ... well done on using your unique take on storytelling. Thanks - Hilary

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  4. Intriguing as always, Roland. Glad you're safe & hope things are looking up on your end!! Take care!

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    1. Well, my car's tires are buried in 5 inches of ice, the power is out, the water is shut off -- and I have to be at work. Situation normal. :-)

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  5. I love that last line, ‘A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.’ Excellent choice for the prompt. I look forward to reading more. Hope you continue to stay well through the weather and everything else.

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    1. Me, too. Trapped in my apartment, I am running out of food. This being quarantined by the weather caught me by surprise!

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  6. This quote: "The truth of us was an onion, and life had a way of peeling layer after layer away while we wept." Love it!

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    1. I have often felt that way this past turbulent year for sure! Thanks, Steph, for liking my post.

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  7. Stay well and warm. Unbelievable times!
    Loved your story. Ingrid as a ghost bring much to her lover.

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    1. Ingrid makes him whole ... or maybe the two of them together do the same for one another? Hi, Yolanda!:-)

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  8. 'For each man kills the thing he loves'... reminded of Oscar Wilde by your entry.
    Powerful and thought provoking. Loved the definition of a kiss too. Great use of the prompt.
    Stay safe, warm and well.

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    1. Warm is my goal; safe too! ;-) Though driving in this cold with unsafe drivers around me makes it hard! I am glad you enjoyed my post, Nilanjana.

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  9. I protest strongly to the misleading statement about science. It can have severe implications though it refelcts mindset of a nonbeliever of science.
    The narration seemed clumsy. There is mystery but the clues did not hold.

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    1. It is always a challenge to write through the eyes of a different mind. I will try to improve my narrating skills. The mystery and clues are part of a greater whole (my novel.) Thanks Sanhita, for caring enough to comment and give me hints to improve. :-)

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  10. I love this. So sad, but full of self discovery. Well written as always.
    Nancy

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    1. The most memorable kisses are the sad ones. Thanks for liking my post. :-)

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  11. Thank you Roland for this beautiful story amid a tragical context.

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    1. Thank you Susan, for liking this and taking time to comment.

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  12. Interesting take, and jumping from one scene to another keeps me on my toes, at any rate. I love that quote from Ingrid near the end. Is that hers, or did someone else say it first?

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    1. I took that kiss quotes from Ingrid Bergman upon whose personality I based Ingrid Durtz's. :-)

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  13. My heart aches or him, Roland. Beautiful imagery with dark and mysterious undercurrents.

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    1. Lucas is Dexter done as a Byronic hero. :-) I m happy you liked this post.

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  14. I guess it's true we don't always know what we have until it's too late. Your tale is intriguing and wonderfully told. Well done!

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    1. L.G. thank you so much for your comment. Covid, 2 hurricanes, and this winter storm all taught me we really don't appreciate what we have until it is gone.

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  15. You kept losing me in the time shift, but the hints of that bigger story of Ingrid's death were intriguing, to say the least. I'm just not feeling quick enough to follow the shift.

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    1. I'll have to work on my shifting ... oh, wait, that's what my supervisor tells me but he uses another word that rhymes with "shift!" :-) Thanks for commenting, Rebecca.

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  16. Wow! This tale gripped me from the first line. The main character and Ingrid are both intriguing and I enjoyed the tense and mysterious atmosphere. This would certainly have me turning the pages to find out what was going on. The imagery is fantastic too. I liked this part particularly: "The truth of us was an onion, and life had a way of peeling layer after layer away while we wept." Brilliant.

    Which is the first book in this series? I'd like to purchase it.

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    1. Your comment made my morning, Antice. :-) As thanks, I am sending you the audio books of the first in the series, FRENCH QUARTER REQUIEM, and the 2nd, BEWARE THE JADE CHRISTMAS.

      There are 4 in the series counting Book Zero: HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS in which you meet the mysterious studio head, McCord, and his deadly wife, Lady Meilori. The last (so far) is RAZOR VALENTINE. The Kindle versions and the print versions all have photographs scattered through them. :-)

      Thanks again, Anstice. You made the morning of a weary rare blood courier going off to work solo today!

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    2. I had a lovely surprise when I checked my emails this afternoon! Thank you so much for gifting me those audio books, Roland. That was so generous of you. I'm glad my comment cheered you up. You also made my day with your kind gesture. I can't wait to listen to them and will write up reviews when I'm done. Thank you again.

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    3. Glad to have made your day. :-) I hope you enjoy my audio books. Thanks for planning to write reviews.

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  17. I loved the drama and passion of this. Wow. Just wow. Of course my jealous writer's soul wishes I had thought of something so fabulous.

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    1. That is so great of you to write. I am off to visit you now, knowing I will find equally fine writing. :-)

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  18. nice.

    what can i say? just wonderful.

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