She lives in the wind
or so the riot tells me.
A golden flame, a pale rapture, an elemental catastrophe,
all of this, and more, the riot will say.
An invisible trail, she leaves,
on the streets we have walked, in our rumbled bed.
But she is never lesser.
Her hours of toil beget mere moments of calm,
for there is no taming her, only the lie thereof.
She walks never straight, but in tangles, in weaves,
and on wild paths only the trees can name.
She lives in the wind
or so I’ll say
from now until the end of everything.
Many will try, and many will dream of her at peace,
only for a moment’s breeze to unravel her.
to take her skyward.
to unleash her.
The riot, she is.
In body, in spirit.
And those who would tame her,
had best beware.
Soaked to my very bones, I stood in the mansion’s foyer. My boots left puddles on the shadowed stones, and my shirt made a storm of its own, raining dark water in a circle around me. All the lights were off—the maid had scurried back to her tower for the day.
If only it were safe, she could’ve used the cellars and stayed dry.
But then, it wasn’t safe, I knew.
How long I lingered in the foyer, I could not have said. Though only early afternoon, the grey sunlight dripped through the windows as if declaring its retirement for the day. I felt timeless. Motionless. Barely alive. The only sounds in the world were the rain’s battering of the windows and the thousand thoughts in my head scrambling over one another just to be heard.
I hadn’t slept in the last several days, and thus I hadn’t dreamed. Too long into every night, I’d been consumed with painting canvasses that grew darker with each brush stroke. The source of my dark inspiration had begun to worry me. My suspicions were no longer shallow puddles, but rather oceans of doubt.
Someone…or something…lay beneath Carrick.
Stealing my work.
Locking my doors.
Darkening my mind.
Blackening my paintbrush.
Still dripping with rain, I pondered what to do:
Call the police? Tell them, ‘Hello, officer. I’m Alex, and there’s a pale-eyed demon in my basement.’
Sell this place? Leave it behind like Clara said?
Only one thing was certain.
Geoff can’t come back here until it’s safe.
I studied the foyer’s high, high walls. Weathered tapestries bearing coats-of-arms I didn’t recognize hung from blackened iron rods. Plaques commemorating events of which I’d never heard clung to nails long ago hammered into the mortar.
Above the hearth, which hadn’t been lit in ages, something else was fastened to the wall.
* * *
This teaser is from my upcoming mystery/suspense novel, The Fall of Castle Carrick. It’ll hit stores this summer.
Check back for more excerpts soon to come.
Having a few friends over?
Throwing a party?
In need of a little something to ignite a conversation?
444 Questions for the Universe is the ultimate ice-breaker. Put it on your coffee table, invite a few friends over, and watch the night’s discussions catch fire.
Am I dead, I asked her?
In a box, I did molder,
rotting, shapeless, my nightly sleep.
Dead, but dreaming, of what waited
beyond my comfortable dirt, beyond
my opulent world of worms and disquiet.
But when they asked, wake me none I said
until the day my box is broken.
And then the first of dreams
drained through the holes where nails once lay.
I listened. I woke. And pushed away the cold dirt.
My insides, new, pumped with raw life,
and I recalled the days I’d never lived.
The moon, she burned my face. My eyes, she scalded
with such light my box never allowed.
Still hushed, she bade me walk beside her,
and her smile drank away my grave-dust.
For hours, we tread lightly
On the shadowed fields, unseen.
Of the world below, of worms, of coffins, she asked,
and for the moon, we floated high,
in the wind, the light, and nothing.
But to the silver jewel, we never did come,
for at last, she saw the dusk within,
and feared, with me, the sun
would not rise.
Quickly, we climbed back down.
The dirt waited, starved of me.
Where now will you go? the dream asked me in lament.
To sleep, I said. My home, it is,
in my tomb, dead but dreaming always.
Down, she lay me, shining no more, but gloaming
as I slid into bed, shivering.
Again, I’ll see you? she asked.
Long from now.
101 Questions for Humanity – The supreme coffee table book for armchair philosophers. Designed to provoke, question, and challenge. Crack the cover open during big parties, small gatherings, or lonely nights on the couch. Once you taste one question, you’ll want to devour them all!
Here’s a sample.
101 Deeper, Darker Questions for Humanity – The latest volume in the Coffee Table Philosophy series flips the switch and turns down the lights. It’s the ultimate conversation-igniter. It’s got questions and scenarios to light up big parties and small, intimate gatherings. If you’re smart, and you ARE, this is the book you need to bring the fun. 101 pages. 101 deeper, darker questions. The conversation starts now.
Here’s a deep, dark sample. 🙂
101 Questions for Midnight – For those who favor their questions cold, hard, and serious. Meant for small parties, huge gatherings, or lonely evenings under the stars. Each page contains one Question about Life vs Death, Good vs Evil, Morality, Sex, etc. So turn down the lights, pour yourself a drink, and settle down into a darker brand of entertainment.
A sample from the popular blog 10 Things to ask yourself Tonight.
The Ultimate Get to Know Someone Quiz– It’s the most entertainment you can squeeze into 101 pages. Pass it around to friends and family. Bring a copy to your breakroom at work. Crash a party with a few copies in hand. Inside you’ll find a ton of fun, quick questions designed to shine a light on your friends’ and loved ones’ hearts and minds.
The Little Book of BIG Questions – Thinkers, questioners, and science buffs, behold! The Little Book of BIG questions contains more than two-hundred unique conversation starters and thought igniters, all in the form of fun questions. It’s the book for every coffee table. It’s meant to be read in the company of others…or all alone beneath a starlit sky. We all want to know the origin of the universe, the reasons why life exists, and the driving forces behind humanity. Use this book to light the fire in your mind.
Sample questions are right here.
444 Questions for the Universe – Having a few friends over? Throwing a party? In need of a little something to ignite a conversation? 444 Questions for the Universe is the ultimate ice-breaker. Put it on your coffee table, invite a few friends over, and watch the night’s discussions catch fire. Meant as a party book, quiz book, and philosophy book rolled all into one, 444 Questions will guide you through hours of energetic, intelligent, and FUN conversations.
101 Sex Questions – 101 Sex Questions is a deeper, sweatier take on philosophy. Meant for hot nights with your partner, candid conversations with a lover, and parties during which (almost) everything goes. Includes questions on relationships, love, and of course, TONS of smoldering sex. Like a quiz book…but for your libido.
Just read the samples to find out for yourself.
101 Questions for Single People – We live in a Swipe Left Society. Dating’s never been easier. …or harder. 101 Questions for Single People takes a lighthearted look at the issues of dating and relationships in the modern world. Flash it to your friends, at a party, or at a crowded bar full of strangers, and watch the room light up.
A tiny sample of what you’ll find in this book is right here.
101 Questions for Couples – 101 pages. 101 questions for lovers. Call it whatever you’d like: romance, passion, true love, love at first sight. It’s ALL love. And the old saying is true. It takes two to tango. 101 Questions for Couples is meant for road trips with new lovers, romantic dinners at home after the kids are asleep, or fun conversations after twenty years of marriage. Read a few questions to the special person in your life. And thank us later.
101 Questions for Single Parents – This book is for you if…
…you’re a sleep-deprived single mom who can name at least 50 Pokémon but can’t keep your kids’ names straight or remember where you parked your car at the grocery store.