Watch for it on Amazon in the coming weeks, as I finish the final galley proofing process and green-light it for sale. This is Book Two in the Dead to Love series. I look forward to having any and all of you who are reading this update buy it!
Watch for it on Amazon in the coming weeks, as I finish the final galley proofing process and green-light it for sale. This is Book Two in the Dead to Love series. I look forward to having any and all of you who are reading this update buy it!
Released in April 2014, and available only on Kindle and Nook until now – my romantic thriller and slice of Hollywood satire is now available in paperback format through Amazon. Concerning a group of people who converge in Los Angeles and Hollywood, Thespia’s Abandon tells the story of an A-list actress and screenwriter who come to realize they are controlled by forces of darkness operating through one of the biggest movie studios in Tinsel Town – Zion – but, with the help of friends in the right places (a poet-revolutionary, new age author and his clairvoyant wife, and a “star-child” from outer space), overcome the odds stacked against them, managing to topple the evil “Emperor of Hollywood” and his political controllers in an apocalyptic climax you’ll have to read to believe.
Hello WordPress readers! I would humbly encourage you to consider buying/reading my new novel, “Dead to Love,” a “supernatural thriller,” though so much more than that (I hope). With elements of sci-fi/fantasy, romance, horror and suspense, my story weaves an essay on family, children, community, and justice against a backdrop of demonic conspiracy, quantum spirituality (spiritual science), and a world on the brink of apocalyptic transformation. This is to be the first book in a saga one might compare to a Lord of the Rings for our times (again, I hope). Vampiric cops, ghoulish priests, malicious doctors, fairy underworlds, flying unicorns, legions of celestial warriors, and a woman at the center of it all who realizes the otherworldly powers of an avenging angel – these things and more comprise Book One of a series which encompasses far-flung fantasy as well as everyday reality, with mind-opening results.
Thanks in advance for your patronage of my work, everyone, and may you find a thrill on every page!
Please enjoy this excerpt from my latest novel, entitled “Dead to Love,” a fantasy thriller with a slightly sci-fi edge about a psychic whose disappeared daughter, she discovers, is the victim of an ancient network of vampiric beings, as many other missing children in and around her community have been. Said psychic/housewife/mother transforms into an inter-dimensional, time-traveling avenging angel who takes down the network of vampires in her hometown, visits a fairy world in the inner earth, a distant planet helmed by a fellow potentate and angelic avenger, and ends up a kind of messianic leader on Earth who leads a revolution and war against the elite rulers who have worked in collusion with the vampire beings for eons to suck the life force from the human race and ecology, for their own power-mad ends.
I am also looking for a graphic artist to design the cover, or to even turn this into a graphic novel, so please comment or email me if interested at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
Part Three: Insurrections and Resurrections
I don’t know how much time passed before I finally woke up behind my own eyes again. It could have been one hundred years, or ten minutes. I had vague hints left in my head of perhaps time and space travel, and the sense that they were boasting of their cosmic pockets of dominance, showing off their handiwork in the form of slaves and the results of their brutal impositions and abuses of power in locations like our humble little hamlet. I figured they had wiped my memory of most of what I had seen, but leaving behind streak-like remnants of themselves upon the windows of my mind.
I came-to in my body like brass that awakens as a bugle, the sunlight on my arms like writing on a chalkboard saying, “Here is a body. Your body. You have come into the world again.” Indeed, the sun was in its body, smiling down at me through a dead tree on a spring morning. I was still lying where I had passed out, next to the Owens farmhouse. I went to sit up, and cried out due to a pain in my spine, and Florian came running to me from around the side of the house.
“Connie! You’re alive! I knew you would make it,” he exclaimed, in a great rush of pathos, as he knelt down beside me, caressing my fallen-asleep arm.
“Where are…” I began, still trying to wake up my body and brain and get my bearings.
“Where are…what? Who?” Florian asked.
“The children. Are they okay?”
“I just checked on them a couple of hours ago. I told them to stay at the house until we returned. I knew we would both return, that you were fighting them body and soul,” Florian enthused.
“Where…are they? The monsters?” I queried, with a tremor in my voice.
“Disappeared. I guess we succeeded in evicting them…at least temporarily,” he said.
“Did you see a ship beam them up, or did they just vanish, or…” I queried him.
“I saw strange lights, then felt their darkness was gone,” he replied.
“How long have I been here?”
“Three days,” Florian said. “I thought you were either comatose or close to dead at times. But something told me you would pull through.”
“Let’s go see about the children,” I said, slowly standing up, breathing deeply the blue canopy of spring air.
Florian nodded, helping me stand up, and we walked together across the sunny field full of dead trees to collect the children and deliver them safely back to their families. As we walked, my mind was a moody sea of other-worldly, diabolical images – afterimages seared into my head from my off-planet journey. Although I wanted to determine just what it was I had seen and experienced while trapped in the thing’s head, the recall was painful – and horrifying. It was a kaleidoscope of jarring, inhuman images, symbols, and viscera that had only compounded my existential nausea. Florian must have seen this as we walked, as he lovingly helped me at every step. Smiling as he did so, even though my head was brimming now with the unholy sights of these beings coldly and scientifically calculating what must have been the brains and breath – spiritual weight? – of many children – likely not just from Sheldon Vale. I had the distinct feeling as we walked that they were working out a way to create or clone humans and use them as a slave race. I remembered telepathically picking up on one of them thinking, “When we can clone and replace them, we reduce our thumbprints to virtually zero, and keep the originals for study and slavery.”
I shuddered and kind of bent over a bit under the weight of this notion. Florian grabbed my arm, and suddenly I felt like a Jewish person in the Third Reich pogrom being escorted across some dead waste toward her doom. A feverish dread overtook me then, and I began to sob softly, the tears clashing with my newfound joy at being back in my body and out of the Alf-thing’s head. Florian offered his deep sympathy and support, and somehow we made it across that godforsaken field to the house where the old farmer’s corpse still slept.
“T-too much horror. Too much death here,” I stammered. This planet is inhospitable. Hostile to life, I thought, but didn’t say.
“I know,” Florian said, hugging me close. I was so grateful to him for not trying to explain away or soften my statement, but just accepting it.
I savored being held in his warmth – which I could see now as a copper-orange radiance – as we ascended the sloping yard grown with high grass, and the walkway that led to the front door. I could hear children’s playful chatter from inside – and being suddenly hushed at hearing our footsteps approach. As Florian pushed the door open, his son stood in the middle of the gaggle of children, looking very much like some Peter Pan with his Lost Boys (and Girls). I was suddenly overjoyed to see them all, and hugged them, trying to control my sobs so as not to scare them even further. I caressed and stroked their heads, answering their by turns precocious and innocent queries into where I had been.
“Did the aliens take you away? Sebastian said they took you away. Just like Fiona,” said Tommy.
“They tried, hon,” I said. “But weren’t strong enough to get me.” Though the mention of her name plunged me into a momentary grief again, the kids seemed invigorated and put at ease by this announcement, which lifted me up. I told them they would be going home soon, that Florian and I would be taking them back to their parents that day. There was a somber mixture of gladness and gloom floating around, like the heavy clouds that hung over the pastureland where our reconnoitering broke from its lunar flanks toward some measure of normalcy.
Or, so we had hoped.
“Les is gone,” Sebastian said in a disturbed, excited way.
“What do you mean, gone?” I asked, perplexed.
“His body is gone. Go look,” said he, pointing urgently up toward the room where we’d left his body.
I did just that, ascending the staircase in a slightly wobbly fashion, still adjusting to being back on Earth after my “kidnapping”. Florian followed me closely, as did Sebastian, Tommy, and Ariel, a girl of about ten. I stood in the doorway of his bedroom looking at the bed with its slightly-ruffled bedspread we’d lain him atop of. At first I couldn’t accept what I was seeing, as my mind raced with the possibilities: Did he rise from the dead like Lazarus, or some zombie? Did the aliens come for him during the night?
And then I recalled his words the day before: “I have a whole closet full of books that could tell you a story” – about the UFOs, aliens, whatever they were. I stepped into the closet where earlier he had pulled a gun from a shoebox, and saw a pile of books on an upper shelf, flanked by two old banker’s boxes. Pulling aside some hanging clothes, I spied a few more boxes on the ground, amongst haphazardly dispersed pairs of old shoes and boots.
“Hmmm,” I said aloud, as I pulled one of the boxes out from its dark, dusty hiding place.
“What have you got?” asked Florian.
“I don’t know. Les said he had books that could tell the story about the aliens. I just want to look through and see if there’s anything that can tell us something useful about these beings,” I said, extreme curiosity dripping from my voice.
I pulled out a large notebook, and began flipping through it, soon hushed into utter amazement at what I was reading. Florian could tell by the sounds I was making that it was something incredible.
“What?” he inquired, matching my own curiosity, then repeated his query a few moments later when I refused to answer.
“It’s…I mean, this guy…okay, here’s a passage: ‘My conversations with the cosmic time-traveler who claims to be a teacher and oracle for humanity who is millions of years old and who calls himself Onquoristhenes Barl, or just Quoris for short, have altered everything I knew, or thought I knew, regarding human existence and life on Planet Earth. Since he arrived, one month after Carol’s passing, he has revealed our true human origins, purpose of life on Earth, and also who and what the aliens that operate via the ancient vortexes are – one of them being right here, next door at the Owens farm.”
Florian stood next to me, looking over my shoulder and reading silently along with me in mute amazement.
“He explained that as an immortal “way-shower” and tenth dimensional tracker of these beings, he had been witness to their first colonization of Earth long before the first humans were present – about five million years ago.” I turned to look at Florian shrouded in amazement, His eyes returned the sentiment, and began scanning the old man’s closet for more written records of his interactions with supernatural beings. He pulled a box off of the top shelf, and walked out into the room and placed it on the bed, fingering the books and papers contained in it.
I continued: “He gave me instructions for warding off the evil ones in what he called the ancient tongue or Universal language – Obrez och izz machem azzdel mog paz ib, repeated again and again until they disperse, for instance, is a very ancient protection spell against them. He also informed me of how to summon him, in case he needed protection or aid of any kind: Ma’az zoll higun b’el maz Onquoristhenes Barl mogeb.”
I hadn’t considered the summoning power of what I was saying as I read out of Les’ notebook – even struggling in places to pronounce the words as I did. I just read out the words. Then, as soon as they’d come out of me, I looked across to where Florian sat upon the bed, whose eyes gave me a kind of “Uh-oh” look that I’m sure I must have been sending as well. We sat in a crushing silence for a long moment, expecting this warrior to appear. Who was this immortal protector of the innocent from evil which a nice, now dead and disappeared old man had written about? I thought.
We sat there a few minutes more, eyes darting about the room, expectant of the visitor, going to the window to see if he may arrive in a ship, holding our breath.
But, indeed he did not show.
“Maybe he didn’t show up because I did not have an intention to summon him when I read the words,” I supposed.
“Or, perhaps they were meant to be spoken only by the old man,” Florian opined.
“That could be. Nonetheless, his writings are incredible. I want to take some of these with us to read,” I declared. “They probably have information we can use in our battle against…them.”
“I just hope he has no family who will come looking for him, and who will find some of his personal belongings rifled through,” Florian cautioned.
“I sense he has no one left. At least, none who’ll be urgently looking for a man who’s now disappeared. And, not before I can get these notebooks back here.”
“Where do you think his body went?” Florian inquired abruptly.
“Well, my instinct tells me his nefarious neighbors stole the body for reasons all their own,” I replied, gesturing toward the Owens farm. A strange heat thundered through me just then, causing my heart to skip a beat. I swooned, and Florian rushed to my aid. I assured him I was fine, but he insisted on me lying down on the bed. I thought nothing at the time of the fact that the body of the old man had been laid there less then twenty-four hours before. I closed my eyes and quickly drifted into a strange dream-like vision. Or, vision-like dream.
In it, a mysterious, yet benevolent-seeming figure appeared before me in a kind of crystalline cloak, who gestured for me to follow him. And as I did so, great towers were felled by the staff he waved all around him, the buildings falling into what became a great, Eden-like garden. It seemed like we had walked hundreds of miles, though it felt effortless, like watching a sunrise. The garden gave way at one point to deep, thick, dark forest. We walked a little ways, and then he rested against a mind-bogglingly huge oak tree.
“I am the one you have summoned, but I knew you long before you spoke the words today,” he said. “There are many earth-saviors upon Planet Earth right now, Constance, and you are one,” he said, with high wonder in his voice. “Your life on Planet Valtane-IV is not a dream or hallucination, as you have feared. No, it is simply one of many places in which the expression of you exists. And you are not dead to love, as you have suspected of yourself, yet rightly of so many,” he added.
He pointed his staff upward in the low light towards the upper canopy of the great, old trees, his gaze following the line it traced, then making its way back to meet mine.
“Now your many selves have come together as one to fight this final battle with evil, personified by the ones you have been battling,” he continued. “Your powers have been enhanced one-hundredfold. You will be able to read minds, become invisible, alter your shape, and perform really anything you can conceive of – only because you have attained the proper level of benevolent intentionality and heart frequency,” he informed me.
He then turned and reached inside what must have been a door in the oak, retrieved an object, then turned, and I saw it was a thin crown of gold or some other precious metal, which he placed upon my head.
“And now you truly are an empress, in the true sense of the word. An empress of world-changing love. The cosmos is like a waiting lover, breathless with anticipation,” he spoke, a smile of innocence and wonder rising upon him. I could only emote the feeling his beatific smile aroused in me.
“Now, you are free to do your work for the people and all life on Earth, by the powers that bid me to you which exist at the center of the Universe, Galactic Crown, and everywhere,” he said, then touched the crown of my head with his staff. “Go, Constance, and do well in your sacred work, with a laughing heart. I will meet with you again soon.”
With that, he kind of spiraled his staff around me and in a flash I was back, snapping my eyes open back in the old man’s room, Florian’s heavy, concerned face hovering over me.
“Wow, that was a trip,” I declared.
“Whew, you came back. I thought we’d lost you there, again,” said Florian with a hard-bitten smile of relief.
“I just saw…Onquor…whatever his name is, in a vision just now,” I declared, sitting up quickly. “I want to look through the rest of that notebook,” I continued, going to the closet where I’d dropped it.
“So he showed up in your hypnotic state…not in person, then, eh?” Florian asked, with something like disbelief or skepticism. “Are you sure it was him, and not…one of them?”
“Positive,” I rebutted. “He crowned me, conferred special powers on me to…read minds, shapeshift, et cetera. Took me through a crumbling city of towers which became an Eden, then to the most beautifully mysterious forest I could ever have imagined,” I said, with true wonder pouring from me. “I feel renewed, rejuvenated, unbelievable!” I exclaimed, with a new fire surging through me. “Let’s collect the children and get them back home where they belong,” I said, gathering up three of Les’ notebooks, and joining the children, who were anxious to be getting home.
It felt like a pilgrimage, the eight of us walking like a large family across the verdant fields, back across the edges of the desiccated Owens farm (we of course wanted to keep the children as far away from that place of dreadful evil as possible), eventually to the highway road Florian and I had zoomed down just days earlier in search of the beasts – though it now seemed like a hundred years ago. Florian’s Mercedes still sat where we had left it. We all perfunctorily piled in, the eight of us easily fitting into the roomy sedan.
“I remember hearing music in my head when I was…away. And, it wasn’t coming from them. Did you sing to me, Florian?” I asked. He smiled, looking down, two of the smaller children between us looking curious at my query.
“I sang, I talked to you, told you old stories…yes,” he replied, smiling a sunny smile at me as he started the engine. “Anything to keep reaching you, keep you connected to the earth. I wasn’t prepared to let you go, Connie,” he admitted sweetly. “I knew love would keep you here. That it wouldn’t let the wolves drag you away.”
“I feel…clarified,” I said, the colors leaping out like never before. Watching the children jostling for space in the car, I felt alternately sad for the tragedy of their being incarnated in such a maligned world, and also hopeful that they were part of a new generation of warriors against the dark cabal on Planet Earth. These were strong souls – strong enough to handle what they’d been through, and worse, and had come out the other side even stronger.
“Clarified? How so?” Answered Florian, steering back down the highway into town.
“I feel like…being in that thing’s head and assimilating their technology, hieroglyphics, their agenda, just…kicked off something extrasensory, otherworldly in me,” I replied, as I gazed out my passenger window at the leafy whirl of spring dancing in the morning wind. I could read the auras and life force energies of the trees, and even dark and light spots over the rural homes indicating, apparently, the general health of the house, or those dwelling in it.
“So, they kind of…kidnapped your spirit and took you for a ride, is that it?” Florian asked.
“I think what Alf was trying to do has backfired on he and his gang completely,” I said. Florian gave me a square look and raised his eyebrows at that.
“Hey, we need to know where all you kids belong, so…you just tell me where your homes are and I’ll let you off there, okay?” Florian queried the children. There was a strange silence after he asked.
“Do all of you know on which streets you live?” I asked them. The little girl who sat beside me, Gloria, shook her head.
“I’m only two blocks from the school,” said another girl, Ariel. The other children chimed in with their places of residences somewhat reluctantly, which I picked up as a collective message to us that they were not comfortable with that prospect.
“We would love to take care of you, dear ones, but you really belong with your parents,” I said, as some of the children hung their heads. “If you’re afraid because you were taken from your homes, do not be afraid now. They won’t come for you. I have forbidden it. Your parents will be happy to see you,” I added, smiling.
“You promise?” asked Tommy.
“Promise. Now let’s get you all home.”
And that’s exactly what we did, letting each child off at their homes, after making sure there was someone there to receive them. For two of them we had to discern where their parents worked and drop them there. The parents of four of them were extremely glad to receive them, pouring out their gratitude effusively. No one answered at Ariel’s, so we took her home with us.
“Just until we can get you home, sweetheart,” I said to her innocent face like a trusting flower.
Home was for me now apparently Florian’s, after this exchange in his driveway when the four of us pulled up:
“You’re not going back there, I won’t let you. I insist you stay with us.”
“You’ve seen that I can handle myself very well with these monsters, Florian.”
“I’ve seen it, but I won’t allow you to risk his return if I can help it.”
“I’ve seen his mind through and through now, and can unravel him with a word, but if it will make you feel better…”
“It will,” he replied with a very authoritarian insistence.
We all piled out of the car and up the path to Florian and Sebastian’s house.
“You’ve been awfully quiet, young man,” I observed of Sebastian as the thick wooden front door swung open, held by Florian as we stepped inside. “What’s on your mind?”
“Oh, just listening to the cosmos, Mrs. Girard. To life,” he replied, as he made for the living room couch and plopped onto it with a thud of relief.
“This, from a fourteen year-old?” I marveled, gazing at Florian, a sly, proud smile sneaking up his face as he removed his coat and hat.
“He’s beyond his times, surely,” Florian said, as he disappeared into the next room and put his Luger away in a safe. I followed him in there, Ariel close on my heels.
“Fiona is the same way,” I stated, firm in my usage of the present-tense and feeling deep within me that she would be returned safely to me. “An old soul, certainly.”
“We can only hope she will return to us body and soul,” replied Florian.
My eyes swept across three rudimentary but alluring paintings. Florian saw this just as Ariel tugged on my dress complaining she was hungry.
“Those are Lisette’s. So she’s always with me in my dark hours. Let’s get something from the kitchen for the kids to eat, shall we?”
“Okay…they’re nice, her paintings,” I remarked. “Playful, childlike. But, fierce.”
“Just as she was,” he said.
We all stood there a long moment looking at the paintings, Ariel included, then adjourned to the kitchen and as the sun fell through the plum, cherry, elm and oak trees so familiar to me, we let comforting smells of cooking a hearty meal enfold us. Strangely, this felt more like a family, a spirit of unity, then my own family had. I let the spirit of celebration and unity dance like a dervish as after eating we joked around, played impromptu music on Florian’s piano, drums, and other instruments he had laying around his living room. Sebastian sat down at the piano during this beautiful burst of spontaneity and played what sounded at first like a Chopin piece, but which I came to realize was his own. When he finished, I asked, “Is that yours?” to which he merely smiled humbly.
“That’s for Fiona, wherever she is. Maybe she will hear it and will return to us,” said he, and my heart paled, caught itself, then smiled.
“Hope so,” I said, wanly.
Soon after that Ariel and Sebastian wandered out into the backyard area, no doubt to wonder at spring’s industry budding in the gardens and on the trees. Watching Ariel excitedly bounce around the yard through the sliding glass doors, I couldn’t help but think of Fiona, though my sadness was brightened by the sheer joy I felt being back on solid ground and in my body. Life itself buoyed what could have been a sad moment as I watched the children with whom I felt a kinship play in Florian’s backyard.
“Nice to have a moment alone with you,” Florian said from the kitchen. “Can I get the empress, destroyer of evil, something to drink? Beer? A glass of wine? Mineral water, perhaps?”
I told him wine sounded good and asked what kind he had. He said he had a good bottle of 2006 Bordeaux in his wine rack, and I said that sounded wonderful. As he opened it and poured us each a glass, I wandered his library again, pulling the occasional collection of poetry or treatise on mysticism or magic off the shelf and flipping through its enthralling pages.
“Here we are,” said Florian, handing me a glass as we sat down in the living room.
“Danke schoen,” I said, accepting the libation and tipping my hat to his German ancestry.
“Bitte schoen. Nice to see the children playing out there. Sebastian’s usually hiding away somewhere studying or writing,” Florian remarked.
“Yes, it is. Though seeing Ariel running around…”
“Reminds you of Fiona, I know,” Florian comforted. “She will be returned to us, I feel it.”
“Yes, so do I,” I replied. The wine was touching something deeply Gallic or Romantic or ancient in my blood. It made me think of errant knights and rogue nobles playing with courtly love and sophistry. Was I just trying to distract myself from the hard truth – that my life had just fallen to pieces?
“You know, I swore after Lisette and the anguish her loss brought me that I would never, ever love again. That it would be just me and Sebastian, but…”
“But,” I urged him, after a long pause.
“But, I never counted on you, Connie. For years you were just the neighbor next door. The wife of a man whom I even knew in a cursory way was beneath you. But, I never gave it much thought, you know?”
“Yes, you busied yourself in your gardens and greenhouse. I could tell the time and seasons by you,” I revealed, laughing. Florian echoed my levity. “We called you ‘The Gardener’.”
“I can think of worse names,” he countered, with a deep smile and another quaff of the wine. I must have looked worried he might be offended, for he added, “It’s a compliment, my dear,” with a devastating smile. My thoughts spun wildly as I drank down the excellent ferment, which I commented on.
“This particular selection comes to us from the Haut Medoc. There’s an expression in this Chateau that’s more fulfilling than sex or religion for me.”
“It’s superb,” I agreed. “Alfred never liked wine. It was always beer or vodka breath. Eventually I was so disgusted with his drinking that I myself stopped altogether. Nice to experience something positive in the alcohol world.”
“Oh, you’re a non-drinker? I’m sorry to corrupt you,” Florian replied, looking genuinely worried.
“Oh, no, no…I had no good reason to drink. Never went out, buried myself in my work, took care of Fiona, was a homebody. I’m happy to have rediscovered it. I used to imbibe in my younger days. I did drink some good wine in college once or twice.”
“Good. Well, I’m glad that’s all over between you and that monster…who probably couldn’t name one cultivated grape, the troglodyte.”
“Right. I should check on the kids,” I said, getting up.
“Oh, well let’s go together,” said Florian, following my out through the sliding doors.
Not seeing the children at first, I got a bit concerned. Perhaps we shouldn’t have let them out of our sight, considering that there were parasitic alien creatures still flying around the area. Suddenly I was nauseous as we walked the huge gardens. I paused to sit on a low stone wall as my head spun.
“You okay?” asked Florian.
“I think so. Just a bit dizzy,” I told him, though I truly felt awful.
A moment later, after Florian had begun rubbing my back, the children came running out of the trees.
“I saw Twirl,” Ariel announced.
“What did you say honey?” I asked Ariel. It took me a moment to parse her words.
“I said I saw Twirl. She comes to my house, too,” she beamed. “She lives in the trees.”
“Well, honey, that’s amazing. Twirl is a fairy, right?”
“Yes,” was Ariel’s matter-of-fact reply. “She helps make the trees big and the fruit grow.”
“That’s really interesting,” I replied. I exchanged bemused looks with Florian and Sebastian. “Fiona had an imaginary friend named Twirl. Could she be the same?”
“I would think she has to be, unless…” Florian surmised, and trailed off.
“Yes, I would think so. She must be,” I agreed, suddenly recalling the days when Fiona, too, would come running into the house and say “a girl named Twirl lives in the trees,” and at about the same age as Ariel.
“Wow, that’s cool. A real live fairy, huh? I think I did see something…but it was only a quick flash of light,” said Sebastian.
The trees answered us with a beautiful, green silence after Sebastian’s comment. Gathered in our silent marvel, sun flares exploded in the periphery of my vision. It was, I surmised, the corona of the quantum field also answering our sentient presence. I simply let the light fill me up, energizing me through my eyes and skin. Soon, my nausea and dizziness passed.
“There is something deeply mystical about the trees back here that I’ve always loved,” I said, looking to Florian, who was gazing back into their newly-budding, rioting mass. “Something sacred to counter the alien evil that’s infested this place.”
“There are real fairies in our trees; ugly demons, including your husband, have invaded our town and kidnapped and tortured our children, the ring of fire is going berserk, there are about seven revolutions occurring in as many countries right now…I wonder what else can happen?” Florian asked in a hush as the children ran ahead of us into the house.
“I don’t know,” I truthfully replied. “You know, for such an introverted, studious young man, Sebastian certainly knows how to let his inner child run loose,” I observed. Florian let out a knowing laugh.
“There are two sides to him. The serious one, and the energetic child. I think being around these other kids has been good for him,” he agreed.
“So Ariel’s neighbor didn’t know where her parents worked?” I asked.
“No. In fact they hadn’t seen them in many days,” Florian answered.
“That’s strange,” I said.
Stepping into the house, I went over to Ariel, who was sitting on a kitchen chair.
“Ariel, where do your parents work?” I asked her.
“They used to work at the school, but now they work at home,” said the somewhat pixie-like child.
“Oh, they lost their jobs? During the recent teacher layoffs, is that it?”
She merely nodded, looking sad. Her dark blond hair fell around her face in an unkempt way. I placed a hand upon her head, both in a comforting fashion, but also in an intuitive, empathic way. Perhaps I could see through her mind, use her energy as a compass to possibly ascertain where her parents were. I had done this in some of my in-person psychic-clairvoyant sessions. Sebastian flipped on a lamp, as it was now dusk, and sank into a reading chair in a corner of the living room with a book on the Roman Empire. I closed my eyes and felt into Ariel’s own quantum field.
“What are your parents’ names, Ariel?” I asked.
“Um…Gary and Reb-becca,” she responded hesitantly in a tender, innocent drawl.
“Okay, I am going to try to find your mommy and daddy now, Ariel. I’m going to keep my hand on your head and try to see where they are,” I told her.
“Okay,” she replied, seemingly understanding.
Almost immediately after this exchange, I got the “download” that they had been despondent after her disappearance a few weeks back, and had embarked on a statewide search for her, to no avail. I could feel their great desperation and grief, and that they had almost given up hope. This insight had come to me much quicker and more vividly than any I had done before. Being behind the thing’s eyes had clarified me.
My new novel, “Thespia’s Abandon,” follows an actress, screenwriter, and revolutionary in L.A. as they battle the forces of darkness, find themselves, and transform their world. It currently needs the good graces of a competent literary agent who’ll take what I believe is a story for our times under their wing, and find it a publisher who specializes in romantic thrillers with a dash of black comedy and satire.
If you would like to read it, let me know and we can correspond and I can send you a pdf file of it. It is copyrighted, and looking for constructive feedback. Please also contact me if you know of a good, trustworthy literary agent as well!
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Stavros Luka walked confidently into a production meeting at the Zion offices with Ivan Learner, Larry Savage, and Scott Levin – Zion’s ace-in-the-hole for box office pull – with Savage’s assistant Dawn Peters joining them. Upon entering Larry Savage’s office, Ms. Peters had snootily asked Luka, “And you are…?” to which Zion’s new star screenwriter answered, “Oh, me? I alchemize the mundane into art and screen magic. I’m the writer,” with a million dollar smile and burning eyes that had shook her normally preternaturally all-business manner down. “This way. Please have a seat,” she’d said, upon regaining her composure, showing him into a conference room, where he sat alone, waiting for the rest to join them and silently cursing them for making him wait on them. What are they, doctors? Leaving me in terse anticipation of some examination? thought he.
Then, soon enough, the others joined him, the meeting itself set specifically to determine a director for the project, along with some other preliminaries germane to production, such as production assistants, designers, etc. Much of the meeting dealt with assigning these tasks, with great tedium – only broken when Luka loosened the room up with a couple of jokes.
“Scott has made us over $100 million with his directorial eye,” said Larry Savage proudly, looking particularly suave and cadaverous at the same time. Luka marveled at the walking paradox.
“We think he’s perfect for Sun and Flesh – not simply for that reason alone,” Savage continued.
“May I say something?” Luka asked.
“Well, that’s why you’re here, Luka. To give us your input,” Savage said with slight derision.
“Thank you, Larry. I have no doubts that Scott’s big box office allure will likely help make this project a success, but…”
“Yes?” Ivan Learner leaned in inquisitively.
“Well…I just don’t think he’s got the right vision for this particular story,” Luka declared plainly.
“Why not?” answered a slightly-offended Scott Levin.
There was an awkward silence as Larry Savage cleared his throat.
“No offense to you and your talent, Scott, but I just don’t think your particular style fits with what this story demands,” Luka explained.
“And what style is that? I directed Shadowman A.D. and Laugh Riot, two of the last decade’s most successful films. How much style do you need? Pardon me, but who is this guy again?” Levin asked, frothing with real indignation and looking at Learner and Savage with incredulity.
“Uh, pardon me, Scott, but have you even read my script in full yet? I’m just curious.”
“I’ve read most of it, yes, and plan on finishing it in the run-up to pre-production. What’s the problem here?” Levin asked, looking intently at all the potentates at the table.
“Now hang on here. We’re getting sidetracked,” Larry Savage declared, playing school headmaster. “Luka, you’re out of line. You’re a first-time screenwriter, and Scott knows very well what he’s doing. We trust in him,” he clarified with a slinky grin. “Now, we do appreciate your input, but if you were an established, proven screenwriter, we would be taking your advice a little more seriously. Zion Studios’ films have grossed nearly a billion dollars in its decade of existence. With all due respect to you as a creative wellspring, I believe we know what’s best here, and that’s having Scott behind the lens, okay?”
“Okay, Larry. You guys call the shots, it’s true,” Luka admitted.
“And we gave you a very healthy figure for a first-time movie script, I think,” Ivan Learner added. “For us, your script is sufficient input – as well as any needed re-writes – but, we wanted you here today just to be aware of our production choices, not tell us our director was a bad pick,” he finished with a superior smile.
“Gotcha,” Luka conceded. “I didn’t mean to say he’s a bad director, just-”
“I think we got your gist, there, Luka,” Savage said. “And if we can get on to other business-”
“May I say something here? Thank you,” interjected Levin. “Honestly, Luka, I think your story is the perfect chance for me to craft a more stripped-down, Indie approach, and to do something hewn more out of a real vision of the world.”
“Really?” Luka stared at the director dumbfounded.
“Really,” Levin replied sharply.
“That’s great to hear. But, I wonder if you’re just saying that because of the big money involved, as well as the involvement of Miranda Mills, or if you really want to change up the game and do something with a real artistic vision. Because Laugh Riot to me was not artistry. It was a big budget pacifier designed to compete with Disney and Pixar for the popcorn-munching mass market,” Luka extolled honestly.
“Gentlemen, let’s not get lost in a semantic go-around here again. We’ve got a month here to finish casting, and do our pre-production checklist, so – Scott has the helm, and we’ll be lensing here at our back lots and in Belize for Palomar,” Savage mediated.
Suddenly, the sounds of shouting voices four stories below them on Wilshire became apparent to everyone in the room. A man with a bullhorn was saying something they couldn’t quite make out.
“What on earth is that? Dawn, can you see?” Savage directed his assistant, who went to the window.
“It’s a big mob. Like twenty or so people, with signs. A big, burly guy with a beard and megaphone. Here, I’ll open the window,” said Dawn, doing just that.
“This is the death of culture. And Zion the head vulture!” came the man’s megaphone shout. “Mind control and terror as entertainment. Propaganda, popcorn sales, extortionate tickets for garbage schlock! Don’t buy it! Boycott Zion, Paramount, Twentieth-Century Fox, and put them all in the stocks!” the man railed.
After a few minutes of everyone listening to the man’s amplified protest, the sound of a police siren was added to the din. Luka went to the window and saw four police units at the curb, and several uniformed cops tangling with protesters – one of whom was tasered. Other units soon arrived, and police were trying to subdue the crowd, which was made up of mostly young people, and who were in a riotous mood. Luka and Dawn – as well as other observers in the building and on the street – watched as police engaged in fisticuffs with the protesters, tasered a couple more, and seemed, though, to be increasingly outnumbered, as more and more bystanders rushed in to aid the protesters. One man in a suit rushed up and shouted, “Zion should be boycotted! The shit they peddle as entertainment! You should be arresting them!” he shouted, pointing up at the two sticking their heads out the window. The police were getting back as good or better than what they were dishing out, and began looking frantic. Luka marveled as the mob by this time had more than doubled, with more people stopping in cars and on the sidewalk to either watch the melee or join in.
“Okay, well, let’s get back to it, shall we,” said Larry Savage, finally. “Let’s close those windows and finish our meeting. Dawn, will you go down and kind of…make sure of what’s happening with police and security and everything?”
“Sure,” she said with complicity, making to leave the office.
“I’ll go with her,” said Luka. “I want to get a closer look at the chaos.”
“Okay, I guess we can meet later if we need to. We’ll call you, Luka,” said Savage with pronounced certitude.
“Right. Everyone,” he said, departing fast on Dawn’s heels, they making desultory conversation as they headed down together in the elevator.
Once down in the lobby, the scene on the street was one of a full-blown riot. They stood behind the glass lobby doors watching as the bearded man with the megaphone shouted “orders” to his “troops” like he was Alexander the Great or Napoleon. He knocked a cop down with his megaphone who was trying to bully and arrest him. The man was then tasered, although it seemed to have little effect on him. By now dozens of people had joined in the protest, and were keeping the cops at bay. As Luka and Dawn watched in amazement, the cops shortly thereupon withdrew, like they did during the L.A. riots of 1992. The leader rallied his “troops” with strong words of persuasion, saying, “The movie studios are just the beginning! Tomorrow it will be the so-called halls of justice, our modern-day Bastille, to free our imprisoned brethren across this land, and then, with our great army made of all the disillusioned and marginalized, we will take D.C. itself and put these henchmen of Moloch to rest!” Cheers went up, the crowd absolutely energized. The age of wireless communication also allowed for those in the fray to spread the word fast to theirs, and theirs, and theirs, who were all soon joining in.
“We will finally put this Satan into the ground and begin building the new society!” shouted the leader. Luka went out at this point and approached him, though the man was too worked up to take notice of (or care about) the haut-couture dressed man trying to get his attention. He went on rallying his small army, as Luka was absorbed into the tumult. Eventually, there was a tense standoff between the growing angry mob and SWAT team police reinforcements, who were doing their best not to further agitate the mob, but defuse the situation as best they could. The leader of the mob, who Luka identified as “Buck,” due to multiple people calling his name, was targeted by the police as the instigator. Their own bullhorns pleaded with him to give up, but he was defiant, shouting back his own demands for himself, his people, and his country. Given one final ultimatum that if he did not disperse his mob, they would begin firing rubber bullets and tear gas, the crazed – inspired might be a better word – crowd began breaking up in separate directions, without the reaction the police may have imagined. The broken-off factions each found new neighborhoods nearby to stir up, resulting in many parts of West Hollywood and L.A. becoming hotbeds of vociferous protest, though with relatively little structural or property damage done, compared with the ’92 riots. Mostly graffiti art and strategic “flash mob” infiltrations of certain places and types of businesses. Buck’s message of a new society doing away with the corporate lie was spreading – fast – and all the cops could (mostly) do was “babysit the revolution,” as Buck put it to his followers.
Luka finally found an audience with the hulking poet-prophet revolutionary, who, when finally up close, he recognized from his performance at the Kimera Club.
“Hey, I saw you perform at the Kimera Club the other night. Great stuff,” Luka said. “But, why are you doing this?” Luka asked him.
“Who are you?” Buck retorted, suspicious, looking him up and down.
“Oh, no, I’m sympathetic to your cause. I think corporate fascism should die, too. I’m just curious as to what your special motivation may be.”
“My special motivation? Because this is who I am, and what we all must become, my friend,” Buck answered, looking very Christ and Buddha-like together, a beatific grin sprouting upon his broad face.
“I agree. We must become as laughing children, with innocent hearts, as someone said recently,” Luka responded.
“Who said that? That’s exactly what we-” Buck replied, but at that exact moment he was hit in the head with a rubber bullet, sending him to the tarmac.
“Goddammit!” yelled Luka, as several of Buck’s associates scrambled to pull him to safety. Luka helped them drag Buck to a nearby alleyway, where one of them ran and brought his van over in a flash. They loaded him in, the rest of the mob tangling with the now attacking police, giving him time to escape.
“Where are you taking him?” Luka shouted. The driver gave him a suspicious look.
“Who are you?” he interrogated, as he eyed the now-violent melee unraveling before him.
“I’m…a writer. I want to do a story about him,” Luka answered, as the man searched his eyes for honesty.
“Okay, come with us,” the driver said, as he backed down the alleyway, and out onto the adjoining street. “We’re going back to the safe house. I’m Danny.”
“How far is it?” Luka inquired.
“Several miles,” Danny replied.
“Can you get me back to my car later?”
Buck made a groaning sound and everyone in the truck heaved a sigh of relief, calling out to him all at once.
“Ouch. Goddamn, that hurt,” he stated, sitting up. Rubbing his left forehead, he said, “This is war, I guess. It’s on.”
Back at the “safe house,” Buck resurrected his and Luka’s conversation from the street.
“Who said that? Where did you hear that? It sounds so…” Buck began.
“Familiar? That’s probably because it’s part of the star guardians’ message. The UFO message given in New York and-” Luka replied.
“And Mexico City and Jerusalem. Yeah, that’s right!”
“Yeah, my girlfriend and I were actually there in Central Park a couple of weeks ago when it happened. We heard the message first-hand,” Luka explained.
“Is that so?” Buck answered, putting an ice pack someone handed him to his head. “It’s happening. Our star friends are finally intervening.”
“About damn time,” said Luka. “And perfect timing for your crusade.”
“He wants to do an article on you, Buck,” said the driver.
“Yeah? Are you a reporter?” inquired Buck.
“Not exactly. I’m a screenwriter,” replied Luka.
“Screenwriter?” he asked incredulously, with a pause. “Really? What’s your name? Who have you written for?”
“Really. Name’s Luka. Stavros Luka. But, just Luka. I was meeting with Zion Studios heads today when your protest started. I was in the window watching when that guy in the suit shouted us down, so to speak,” he recounted, laughing. Buck let out deep guffaw, coughing as he did so.
“Yeah, that was classic. He wasn’t even with us,” Buck recalled, amused.
“But then he was. It was great. You really have an uncanny knack for stirring people up, man,” Luka observed.
“So, you’re a screenwriter, eh? Working with Zion? On some new video game movie, or jingoistic recruitment film, or something?” Buck asked, derisively.
“No, not at all, actually. I’m changing the game on them with this one. And, I’m right with you about the state of Hollywood movies, brother. Absolute shit,” Luka replied in a pointed but understanding manner.
“Well, you don’t look like the kind of guy who’d write that shit, anyway. I always picture narrow-skulled simians in tiny rooms with old typewriters, scuttling along like claws on the floors of lost oceans. Living in total fear of writing anything challenging; anything that doesn’t smell of box office lucre,” Buck rhapsodized, taking the ice pack from his head and swooning a bit.
“Are you alright? Hope it’s not a concussion,” Luka remarked.
“I don’t think so. They can’t kill me. If life on the streets of L.A. for twelve years hasn’t killed me, these baby Hitlers certainly won’t be able to get up that early in the morning. Too busy jacking their guns off,” retorted the hirsute muckraker with the knotty forehead. Everyone in the room laughed.
“This is my latest manuscript, by the way. It includes my latest poems, such as Tech Holocaust and Blanched Opus,” Buck declared.
“Oh, yeah, I heard you read Blanched Opus at the Kimera Club the other night,” Luka replied. “Very…stunning. Amazing stuff there.”
“Yeah, that was a raucous evening,” Buck said with a chortle of amazed recall. “It was a beautiful, hedonistic, positive anarchism, and a joyful romp.”
“Definitely. Can I see it? Your manuscript, I mean?” Luka asked. Buck complied immediately, passing him the sheaf of poems. Luka flipped through them, reading a page and a half or so of the seventeen-page Tech Holocaust, which by his reckoning was a sword of fire through the heart of the technocracy.
“It’s funny, I allude to some of the points you’re making in your poetry, like the salvation of man lying strictly with himself, and altering his consciousness and priorities on this planet. Eschewing technology for acts of humanity; the importance of the plant and animal kingdoms in our salvation, et cetera. I couldn’t agree more with your weltanschaaung,” Luka complimented and opined.
Others in the house were soon drawing Buck’s attention away from their conversation. Talk of protest planning and strategic moves like sabotaging media outlets and other of what Buck’s group saw as the “evil apparatus of the cabal” ensued. As this group-gab happened, Luka checked his cell phone, which had a couple of text messages from Miranda and one voice mail from his father, asking if he would be coming home for the holidays. The texts were short and sweet: “Hope u r doing well and meeting went okay. Kisses, M :-)” and “Thinking of you as sunset paints the horizon beautiful, strange colors and I feel all alone”.
Soon, Buck and his entourage ended their deliberations.
“Well, I think I need to lie down for a while, Luka. Let’s meet somewhere soon, I’m interested to talk with you more about films and aliens and the like. I want to hear about your Zion flick. But, for now…” Buck bellowed grandly as he stood up, aiming for a bedroom, “I must confer with Morpheus. Let’s make it Renaissance Books. Friday at 8, I have a poetry reading there. Au revoir,” he finished, smiling, and going into the bedroom and closing the door.
They all stood looking at one another, Buck’s sudden absence causing a pronounced vacuum in the room.
“He’s uh…very persuasive, isn’t he?” Luka asked no one in particular.
“He’s a new messiah, is what he is,” replied a thin young man, looking admiringly at Buck’s closed bedroom door, decorated with .
“That’s very possible. I wouldn’t be surprised,” Luka replied. “Can I get a ride back to Zion?”
“Probably still too early for that at this stage,” declared another young man, switching on a TV and finding a live newscast about the riots. “There’s still a lot of activity going on down there.”
“Well, then to my place out in Westwood?”
“They’re saying not to even go out if you can help it. The protests have spread all over the city,” remarked the one who’d turned on the TV.
“Wow,” Luka marveled, his eyes glued to the TV set.
“Maybe you’d better just crash here. There’s plenty of room,” said Danny.
“Nah. Thanks, though. I think I’ll grab a cab,” Luka replied. When the fourth cab company he called said they weren’t running any cars due to the riots, he exhaled in frustration and disbelief. “I guess I’ll have to take you up on your offer,” he said, flopping down on the couch. He wondered if his car would even still be intact, as he was only parked a half block away from where the SWAT teams had set up. He noticed that it was the day before Halloween, thinking that the media would likely paint out Buck’s brilliant “viral protest” as merely Devil’s Night mayhem. He also noted that tomorrow Malachi DeGrassi would be performing at the Greek Theater. Would he even be able to make it there? The whole world was turned upside down now. It was only mid-afternoon but he was inexplicably tired. He closed his eyes and followed Buck into the arms of Morpheus.