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Kabbalah Spirituality and Native American Folklore Combine to Create Unique New Novel

Debut Novelist Spins Mystical Tale Set in Modern-day America

KEARNY, N.J. — Science fiction and fantasy fans will enjoy debut novelist D.E. Bartley’s Birthing the Lucifer Star (published by AuthorHouse), a mystical tale of one woman’s journey into the jaws of hell itself and the Lakota medicine man who must save her.

Inspirational speaker Shirley Cohen spent her young life as a Daughter of Jacob. For years, she studied the Kabbalah and now has a deep understanding of its mystic power. But a horrific ritual of the Masonic Order convinces her she has been introduced to the angel of the lesser light, Lucifer. Two years later, while living in New York City, Shirley’s life takes a drastic turn. This change is ignited by the death of Dan Ghostwolf, a Native American man who sends her a strange quartz crystal with unspeakable power.

After receiving multiple visions, Shirley feels compelled to travel to North Dakota, Ghostwolf’s home. She drives to the Dakota badlands and meets an elderly medicine man, Eagle Flying Bye, Ghostwolf’s grandfather. But Eagle Flying Bye has revenge in his heart, having blamed Shirley for the death of his grandson and has summoned her through her dreams. When he sets a trap for Shirley, one that awakens the great serpent Uktena, he doesn’t realize the ramifications of his vengeful deed. Shirley becomes the bearer of Lucifer’s light and an unwilling aid in his quest to climb to the heavens and set himself as the brightest star. Only Eagle Flying Bye can save Shirley’s life—and her soul.

Bartley’s in-depth knowledge of Hebrew mysticism and Native American folklore creates a strong, compelling story with multi-dimensional characters and a twisting, unexpected plot. Through vivid details and a wealth of spiritual information, Bartley tackles difficult questions on existence, reality and duality. While she believes “the answer(s) might not please everyone,” she also says that to bring about change, “the tough questions have to be asked in order for the truth to reveal the answer.”

Bartley’s is a unique, new voice in the sci-fi and fantasy genres and her new novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star, would be a welcome addition to either library.

D.E. Bartley is a sci-fi flash fiction writer, a poetess, and an artist of many different media, and genres. An avid photographer and horticulturalist, she is published in

e-zines and literary magazines.











Get free preview of my newest novel here:

If anyone would like to read some of my work, please email me at castdcas@aol.com and I will send you a free ebook of my latest work scifi sundays with the hipriestess 5 cent tales..
by d e bartley. Make sure to tell me if you want it in word or pdf format thank you



hyperlinks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11567
http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=27255
http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67957

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Announcing the release of the new novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://forms.listwire.com/7662/4810.js"></script>
My book "birthing the lucifer star is now on sale."

 

Please visit my website http://hipriestess.com/blog to read scifi sundays with the hipriestess. 

. I am selling the book on kindle, as an ebook, at amazon, lulu
and myebooks.com and you will find my book, hard copy on sale at every major bookstore.

hyperlinks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11567
http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=27255
http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67957

So buy my book, or promote it through amazon. If you are an amazon affiliate, you can create an amazon widget with my novel, "Birthing the Lucifer star" and post it on your website.

My deal is this, buy the book and get 15 mlm ebooks for free.

 

Birthing the Lucifer star,  Book review

Do We hear the call?? In our everyday reality, the great spirit calls us to redeem ourselves and those around us from the ruler of this world. If you heard the call, what would you choose. For many are called, but few are chosen. Those who hear and answer the call do so to the peril of their very soul. Follow the woman of the wilderness and the hero, a great warrior of the first nation, as they risk life and limb to redeem first themselves then all of turtle island...

A sparse, mythical writing style and complex storytelling ensure the success of D. E. Bartley's portrayal of a celebrated Native American warrior who rediscovers his divinity, and a Brooklyn daughter of Jacob who wanders the wilderness trying to answer the call.
 
EXCERPT:
 
 
 Chapter 15: Secret Bilderberger Meeting
The Lords of Belgium sat in conference, reviewing the current state of the economy around the world. Sir Rothschild was receiving the reports of his lesser chief, the royal crown of England.
"My faithful servant, what is your report?"
"Sire, I bring disturbing news from the American sector. The production targets on the flu vaccine are being met, but industrial progress is slow. Asia, meanwhile-they are much closer to their targets and have been making greater progress."
"What should I see as disturbing in that last report?"
"Sire, if you will recall, the Americans are leaderless, their President, is our puppet, so no one really takes him seriously %u2026 They have been making these improvements on their own initiative. As they clearly are outstripping India and China, where there are strong leaders in place, they are gaining pride in their own progress, their own initiative."
"I see. That could be grave. The dollar has not yet reached its intrinsic value of zero. Confidence in their own capabilities could cause them to resent the taxes and levies they pay to us %u2026 damned Americans refuse to be subservient."
"In fact, sire, there have been inquiries regarding certain levies of ours. Complaints have been made that certain line items are excessive."
"Then we need to take action. Tell me: has their progress been steady?"
"For the most part, sire, yes. However, in the last reporting period, we note a leveling out. Some discontent with this is evident in the tone of the reports; there have even been rumors that certain states want to create their own greenbacks."
"Then we have our window of opportunity."
"Sire? I don't understand."
"My faithful servant," the Lord Rothschild said, a tone of deliberate patience in his voice, "please recite for me the mantra of progressive evolution."
"Evolvement is not a steady upward curve, but is a series of steps punctuated by periods of little or no upward movement, known as plateaus. When a table is reached, it is important not to forsake the methods bringing progress, but to persevere and accumulate the incremental improvements that will finally break out of the plateau and once again bring upward mobilization."
"This is what brings us our opportunity to institute change to our benefit," the Lord Rothschild stated.
The queen was clearly perplexed. "Change, sire? I thought the mantra of progressive evolution dictated steadfastness, patience, and perseverance?"
"Recite for me the mantra of reconstruction."
The queen stood silent, at a loss. Across the table from her, Warren Buffett stood up, smiling smugly. "Reconstruction is good when instituted and controlled from above. Altering the status quo from below becomes good only when it is accepted and taken under direction from above."
"Very good, Warren; you may sit down. Now, explain how this fits the current situation."
Ben Bernanke stood, was recognized, and then spoke. "The current situation allows us to invoke the mantra of reconstruction to our advantage. We can accomplish our objectives by instituting a change of our own that will co-opt their change and bring it completely under our control."
"Most excellent, my loyal servant. I see that you, at least, have been paying attention. Put yourself in for a raise. I will approve it."
"Thank you, sire!" Bernanke wiped a tear of gratitude from the corner of his eye.
Lord Rothschild gestured, and his underlings sat down. "The Americans cannot be allowed to continue to self-govern and question our legitimate rule." He smiled coldly. "Therefore, we need to create a large enough altercation to shake their little world. The silly mass shootings being blamed on Muslims are just not viable; the Americans are seeing through these black ops. However, there will be a new sun in place by the time the current plateau is overcome, and we'll see that the credit for this incredible feat or progress falls to us. Thus, we will reassert our control, and the questioning of our levies will cease. George, when does Cassini II launch?"
"It launches in just 7 days-a most wise plan, sire," said George Herbert Walker Bush. "We will show them our power and confirm our control."
"Thank you, George. The Cassini is equipped with two tons of plutonium; we have directed the ship toward Jupiter, and hopefully the nuclear fission will be enough to create a sustainable blaze, creating a new sun. It is imperative that we get this right. Does anyone have any questions? No? Good. Then this meeting is officially adjourned."
 
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroe's always remember

 

I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sound of the dove come from the old millpond. The dove's mournful call stopped, and then I heard death coming down the country road that ran passed my grandparent's farm. It broke the Sunday afternoon apart and silenced the dove.

My grandmother’s name was Gloria Roberts. My grandfather was already dead by that fall, finally killed by the gas that began to eat his lungs in the trenches of France in 1918; buried with his Croix de Guerre.

My grandparents lived in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina, in a place with a name you couldn't find on a map. They lived in the midst of horizon-to-horizon tobacco fields that grew over my head; hid me in forests of green like the jungles of Tarzan, and where I ran wild, invisible to the world, feeling the hot sand of the fields between my bare toes.

I was ten year old, sitting on the porch of my grandparent’s house and dreaming a boy’s dreams, when the call of the dove stopped.

I heard screaming metal, an engine trying to tear itself apart, howling like a tortured animal. I looked toward the road. I could see the small white dot of my grandmother’s mailbox, atop its post and leaning a little to the right, on the other side of the road.

Then I saw it. It came from the left, a flash of blue. And it began to fly. If left the ground and climbed toward the sky over the tobacco fields, trying to fly over the ditch by the side of the road. The sky and the car were almost the same pale-blue color.

Halfway up the arc of its climb, the car rolled, like an airplane doing stunts. I could see the workings beneath it. They were lewd, as if the car was naked. The car seemed to hang at the top of the arc, its black belly exposed, and then it fell.

The car fell into the ditch and kicked up dirt that floated and drifted in the air around it. It landed on its top and the wheels kept spinning. The roaring engine died when the car hit the ditch and I could hear the spinning wheels. They made a rumbling and whirring sound.

I jumped off the porch and ran. I don’t know why I didn’t run to find my grandmother. She was in the garden in the back of the house, bent over her black-eyed Susan’s. But I didn’t run for her, I ran toward the upside down car, its wheels starting to slow down now, but still spinning. I was thirteen years old and I was running toward death. But I didn’t know it.

There was a breeze ruffling something; making something pink move and dance. I kept running. I saw a woman lying on the white line in the middle of the road. The breeze was moving parts of her pink dress.

I stood in the middle of the road, breathing hard from the running, and felt the heat from the asphalt on the soles of my bare feet, like standing in my grandparent’s fields. I looked down at the woman in the road. She was an older woman; she was a thin black woman dressed in her Sunday church best.

I looked both ways down the road. There were no other cars. The whole world was filled up with me and an elderly black woman in a pink dress lying like a rag doll in the middle of a road surrounded by North Carolina tobacco fields.

Then, a car came. I didn’t know it was there until I heard the door slam and a man came toward me.

“Son?” the man said. “Better get out of the road, boy. I’ll go on down to Pappy yoke’s Store and call an ambulance. You’d better get out of the road, son.”

“I know,” I said.
“You Van Robert's grandson?” the man said.

“Yessir,” I said. Now, I wanted to cry. As long as it was just me and the woman lying in the road, as long we were all there was in the world, I didn’t think about crying. But now, I wanted to cry.

“"You’d better get out of the road, son,” the man said again. “You come on with me; there ain’t nothin’ you can do for her."

“No,”" I said. “"Somebody’s got to keep the cars from running over her."

"You reckon you can handle that, boy?”"

"Yessir,"” I said.

The man looked at me and said, “I reckon you are Van Robert's grandson. You just stand on the side of the road and wave ‘’em down. There ain’t likely to be any on this road on a Sunday, and I’ll be right back."

“The store ain’t open on Sunday,” I said.

“"I know, son, but they live in back and I know your gramma ain’t got a telephone."

The man got into his car and drove toward Pappy "yoke ’s Store, but I didn’t watch him go. I didn’t watch him drive around the woman lying in the road.

Because I saw the woman’s eyes. Maybe they were closed before; maybe that’s why I didn’t see them sooner.

Her eyes were open and she was staring at me like I was the only thing in the world. Her mouth began to move, too, like she was talking. She was staring at me, her eyes wide-open and not blinking – staring at me and her mouth opening and closing. She was talking to me, but she couldn’t make the words come out.

I looked up and down the empty Sunday road; I don’t know what I was looking for. Maybe just for someone to come and take this woman away, to rescue me from her staring eyes and her silent moving lips.

But, I had to look at her, to look straight back into her eyes – I had to – because I knew that if I looked away it would be like I just left her to die. So I looked back into her eyes, trembling and wanting to cry again. And her mouth kept moving. Talking to me. Telling me not to leave her. I felt that inside. I didn’t have to hear it. I knelt beside her and held her hand and would not leave her.

When I heard my grandmother holler, I jumped. For a second I guess I thought the sound came from the woman on the road. But it was my grandmother.

She was waddling down the dirt road from the house as fast as she could go. She hollered again; “”Lawd God a-mighty!” as she came, trailing little clouds of dust at her feet. My grandmother was a great fat woman with huge all-encompassing breasts and upper arms as big as a pro-wrestler’s. She could envelope the whole world, hold it all tight against those huge bosoms. “”Lawd God a-mighty!”” she yelled again, even though her mouth was bulging with snuff.

Then my grandmother stood next to me on the road, breathing hard. She put her hand on my shoulder. “”Charlie?”” she said, and I started to cry. If she hadn’t put her hand on my shoulder and called my name I would have been all right. But now I was crying.

The woman lying in the road kept looking at me, her eyes never leaving my face.

“”We got to get out of the road,”” my grandmother said.

“”No,”” I said, and my grandmother kept standing in the road beside me until the man came back from Pappy Yoke’s store. The ambulance was right behind him. The highway patrol came too and the road was full of cars, blue and red lights flashing; all gathered around the old black woman lying broken in the road in her pink dress.

They put the woman on a stretcher. She didn’t move until they rolled her into the ambulance and she turned her head a little so she could keep looking at me. I heard one of the ambulance attendants say; “Nice Chevy. Too bad she tore it up like that.” Then they were all gone. All the cars drove away and the flashing lights were gone and silence fell again, like a blanket, over the tobacco fields. Not even the sound of the dove over at the old millpond. The woman couldn’t look at me anymore.

Nobody ever taught me how to pray. But I tried to learn that night. My grandparent’s farm was nine miles from Snow Hill and at night it was swallowed in darkness. I could lie at night and hold my hand to my face, almost touching my nose, and not see it.

That night, in my feather-bed, I looked at the blackness over my head and tried to pray. “Dear God, please help that poor old negro woman,” I said. But my prayer didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went up into the darkness over my head and disappeared.

I don’t remember how long I prayed like that. But I do remember why I stopped.
I stopped when I saw the woman’s eyes, shinning in the dark above my bed. Luminous, and staring at me. The woman’s eyes stayed in the darkness above my bed until morning; they melted away with the first dim light that seeped into my room.

I watched them all night. I could have reached up and touched them. But, I just lay there and looked back at them until morning came.

It was when the first filmy rays of light broke into my room, when things were just beginning to turn into clumps of gray, that the woman spoke to me. “”My name is Marlie Robinson,”” she said. “”You remember my name,”” she said. I said I would remember. Then the eyes and the voice were gone and the day had come.

I told my grandmother the woman’s name.

“”She tell you while she was layin' in the road?”” my grandmother said.
“”She told me,”” I said.

My grandmother didn’t know any Robinsons. She said they must be from over in Yellow Springs, or maybe Greenville.

After a while, I quit thinking about the woman. Sometimes, in high school, when I talked about her my friends laughed, punched me in the arm, and said; “”bullshit!”

But, I could close my eyes anytime I wanted to and see that pale-blue Chevrolet on its top, its wheels spinning like the legs of a bug on its back moving and trying to find the ground. I could close my eyes anytime and see the woman’s pink dress blowing in the breeze that came softly down the road that Sunday afternoon. It was a memory I would always have. And I would always have the woman’s name too. And every time I heard a dove’s cry, I remembered.

Even though I never once doubted the eyes and the woman’s voice that night were real, they never came back again. Many times I wondered why I wasn’t afraid that night. The woman’s eyes were soft and brown, with the whites of her eyes shinning bright, and her voice was soft too. – “You remember my name.” Other than that, I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. In 2001, I went to the woman’s grave. It wasn’t hard to find, there was only one black cemetery in Yellow Springs. I took some flowers and laid them on her grave, in front of the stone that had her name carved on it.

I was wearing my uniform. I was in the Army and on my way to Iraq. I knew I would run toward death again; toward bodies tossed like rag dolls and lying broken on the ground.....I knew I was looking down at my own broken body. I looked up to see Marlie Robinson standing above me looking down at my broken body, I asked her not to leave me. I asked her to remember my name. Marlie Robinson held my hand, she never left my side.

 

Announcing the release of the new novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://forms.listwire.com/7662/4810.js"></script>
My book "birthing the lucifer star is now on sale."

 

Please visit my website http://hipriestess.com/blog to read scifi sundays with the hipriestess. 

. I am selling the book on kindle, as an ebook, at amazon, lulu
and myebooks.com and you will find my book, hard copy on sale at every major bookstore.

hyperlinks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11567
http://www.myebook.com/index.php?option=ebook&id=27255
http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=67957

So buy my book, or promote it through amazon. If you are an amazon affiliate, you can create an amazon widget with my novel, "Birthing the Lucifer star" and post it on your website.

My deal is this, buy the book and get 15 mlm ebooks for free.

 

Birthing the Lucifer star,  Book review

Do We hear the call?? In our everyday reality, the great spirit calls us to redeem ourselves and those around us from the ruler of this world. If you heard the call, what would you choose. For many are called, but few are chosen. Those who hear and answer the call do so to the peril of their very soul. Follow the woman of the wilderness and the hero, a great warrior of the first nation, as they risk life and limb to redeem first themselves then all of turtle island...

A sparse, mythical writing style and complex storytelling ensure the success of D. E. Bartley's portrayal of a celebrated Native American warrior who rediscovers his divinity, and a Brooklyn daughter of Jacob who wanders the wilderness trying to answer the call.
 
EXCERPT:
 
 
 Chapter 15: Secret Bilderberger Meeting
The Lords of Belgium sat in conference, reviewing the current state of the economy around the world. Sir Rothschild was receiving the reports of his lesser chief, the royal crown of England.
"My faithful servant, what is your report?"
"Sire, I bring disturbing news from the American sector. The production targets on the flu vaccine are being met, but industrial progress is slow. Asia, meanwhile-they are much closer to their targets and have been making greater progress."
"What should I see as disturbing in that last report?"
"Sire, if you will recall, the Americans are leaderless, their President, is our puppet, so no one really takes him seriously %u2026 They have been making these improvements on their own initiative. As they clearly are outstripping India and China, where there are strong leaders in place, they are gaining pride in their own progress, their own initiative."
"I see. That could be grave. The dollar has not yet reached its intrinsic value of zero. Confidence in their own capabilities could cause them to resent the taxes and levies they pay to us %u2026 damned Americans refuse to be subservient."
"In fact, sire, there have been inquiries regarding certain levies of ours. Complaints have been made that certain line items are excessive."
"Then we need to take action. Tell me: has their progress been steady?"
"For the most part, sire, yes. However, in the last reporting period, we note a leveling out. Some discontent with this is evident in the tone of the reports; there have even been rumors that certain states want to create their own greenbacks."
"Then we have our window of opportunity."
"Sire? I don't understand."
"My faithful servant," the Lord Rothschild said, a tone of deliberate patience in his voice, "please recite for me the mantra of progressive evolution."
"Evolvement is not a steady upward curve, but is a series of steps punctuated by periods of little or no upward movement, known as plateaus. When a table is reached, it is important not to forsake the methods bringing progress, but to persevere and accumulate the incremental improvements that will finally break out of the plateau and once again bring upward mobilization."
"This is what brings us our opportunity to institute change to our benefit," the Lord Rothschild stated.
The queen was clearly perplexed. "Change, sire? I thought the mantra of progressive evolution dictated steadfastness, patience, and perseverance?"
"Recite for me the mantra of reconstruction."
The queen stood silent, at a loss. Across the table from her, Warren Buffett stood up, smiling smugly. "Reconstruction is good when instituted and controlled from above. Altering the status quo from below becomes good only when it is accepted and taken under direction from above."
"Very good, Warren; you may sit down. Now, explain how this fits the current situation."
Ben Bernanke stood, was recognized, and then spoke. "The current situation allows us to invoke the mantra of reconstruction to our advantage. We can accomplish our objectives by instituting a change of our own that will co-opt their change and bring it completely under our control."
"Most excellent, my loyal servant. I see that you, at least, have been paying attention. Put yourself in for a raise. I will approve it."
"Thank you, sire!" Bernanke wiped a tear of gratitude from the corner of his eye.
Lord Rothschild gestured, and his underlings sat down. "The Americans cannot be allowed to continue to self-govern and question our legitimate rule." He smiled coldly. "Therefore, we need to create a large enough altercation to shake their little world. The silly mass shootings being blamed on Muslims are just not viable; the Americans are seeing through these black ops. However, there will be a new sun in place by the time the current plateau is overcome, and we'll see that the credit for this incredible feat or progress falls to us. Thus, we will reassert our control, and the questioning of our levies will cease. George, when does Cassini II launch?"
"It launches in just 7 days-a most wise plan, sire," said George Herbert Walker Bush. "We will show them our power and confirm our control."
"Thank you, George. The Cassini is equipped with two tons of plutonium; we have directed the ship toward Jupiter, and hopefully the nuclear fission will be enough to create a sustainable blaze, creating a new sun. It is imperative that we get this right. Does anyone have any questions? No? Good. Then this meeting is officially adjourned."
 
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroe's always remember

 

I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sound of the dove come from the old millpond. The dove's mournful call stopped, and then I heard death coming down the country road that ran passed my grandparent's farm. It broke the Sunday afternoon apart and silenced the dove.

My grandmother’s name was Gloria Roberts. My grandfather was already dead by that fall, finally killed by the gas that began to eat his lungs in the trenches of France in 1918; buried with his Croix de Guerre.

My grandparents lived in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina, in a place with a name you couldn't find on a map. They lived in the midst of horizon-to-horizon tobacco fields that grew over my head; hid me in forests of green like the jungles of Tarzan, and where I ran wild, invisible to the world, feeling the hot sand of the fields between my bare toes.

I was ten year old, sitting on the porch of my grandparent’s house and dreaming a boy’s dreams, when the call of the dove stopped.

I heard screaming metal, an engine trying to tear itself apart, howling like a tortured animal. I looked toward the road. I could see the small white dot of my grandmother’s mailbox, atop its post and leaning a little to the right, on the other side of the road.

Then I saw it. It came from the left, a flash of blue. And it began to fly. If left the ground and climbed toward the sky over the tobacco fields, trying to fly over the ditch by the side of the road. The sky and the car were almost the same pale-blue color.

Halfway up the arc of its climb, the car rolled, like an airplane doing stunts. I could see the workings beneath it. They were lewd, as if the car was naked. The car seemed to hang at the top of the arc, its black belly exposed, and then it fell.

The car fell into the ditch and kicked up dirt that floated and drifted in the air around it. It landed on its top and the wheels kept spinning. The roaring engine died when the car hit the ditch and I could hear the spinning wheels. They made a rumbling and whirring sound.

I jumped off the porch and ran. I don’t know why I didn’t run to find my grandmother. She was in the garden in the back of the house, bent over her black-eyed Susan’s. But I didn’t run for her, I ran toward the upside down car, its wheels starting to slow down now, but still spinning. I was thirteen years old and I was running toward death. But I didn’t know it.

There was a breeze ruffling something; making something pink move and dance. I kept running. I saw a woman lying on the white line in the middle of the road. The breeze was moving parts of her pink dress.

I stood in the middle of the road, breathing hard from the running, and felt the heat from the asphalt on the soles of my bare feet, like standing in my grandparent’s fields. I looked down at the woman in the road. She was an older woman; she was a thin black woman dressed in her Sunday church best.

I looked both ways down the road. There were no other cars. The whole world was filled up with me and an elderly black woman in a pink dress lying like a rag doll in the middle of a road surrounded by North Carolina tobacco fields.

Then, a car came. I didn’t know it was there until I heard the door slam and a man came toward me.

“Son?” the man said. “Better get out of the road, boy. I’ll go on down to Pappy yoke’s Store and call an ambulance. You’d better get out of the road, son.”

“I know,” I said.
“You Van Robert's grandson?” the man said.

“Yessir,” I said. Now, I wanted to cry. As long as it was just me and the woman lying in the road, as long we were all there was in the world, I didn’t think about crying. But now, I wanted to cry.

“"You’d better get out of the road, son,” the man said again. “You come on with me; there ain’t nothin’ you can do for her."

“No,”" I said. “"Somebody’s got to keep the cars from running over her."

"You reckon you can handle that, boy?”"

"Yessir,"” I said.

The man looked at me and said, “I reckon you are Van Robert's grandson. You just stand on the side of the road and wave ‘’em down. There ain’t likely to be any on this road on a Sunday, and I’ll be right back."

“The store ain’t open on Sunday,” I said.

“"I know, son, but they live in back and I know your gramma ain’t got a telephone."

The man got into his car and drove toward Pappy "yoke ’s Store, but I didn’t watch him go. I didn’t watch him drive around the woman lying in the road.

Because I saw the woman’s eyes. Maybe they were closed before; maybe that’s why I didn’t see them sooner.

Her eyes were open and she was staring at me like I was the only thing in the world. Her mouth began to move, too, like she was talking. She was staring at me, her eyes wide-open and not blinking – staring at me and her mouth opening and closing. She was talking to me, but she couldn’t make the words come out.

I looked up and down the empty Sunday road; I don’t know what I was looking for. Maybe just for someone to come and take this woman away, to rescue me from her staring eyes and her silent moving lips.

But, I had to look at her, to look straight back into her eyes – I had to – because I knew that if I looked away it would be like I just left her to die. So I looked back into her eyes, trembling and wanting to cry again. And her mouth kept moving. Talking to me. Telling me not to leave her. I felt that inside. I didn’t have to hear it. I knelt beside her and held her hand and would not leave her.

When I heard my grandmother holler, I jumped. For a second I guess I thought the sound came from the woman on the road. But it was my grandmother.

She was waddling down the dirt road from the house as fast as she could go. She hollered again; “”Lawd God a-mighty!” as she came, trailing little clouds of dust at her feet. My grandmother was a great fat woman with huge all-encompassing breasts and upper arms as big as a pro-wrestler’s. She could envelope the whole world, hold it all tight against those huge bosoms. “”Lawd God a-mighty!”” she yelled again, even though her mouth was bulging with snuff.

Then my grandmother stood next to me on the road, breathing hard. She put her hand on my shoulder. “”Charlie?”” she said, and I started to cry. If she hadn’t put her hand on my shoulder and called my name I would have been all right. But now I was crying.

The woman lying in the road kept looking at me, her eyes never leaving my face.

“”We got to get out of the road,”” my grandmother said.

“”No,”” I said, and my grandmother kept standing in the road beside me until the man came back from Pappy Yoke’s store. The ambulance was right behind him. The highway patrol came too and the road was full of cars, blue and red lights flashing; all gathered around the old black woman lying broken in the road in her pink dress.

They put the woman on a stretcher. She didn’t move until they rolled her into the ambulance and she turned her head a little so she could keep looking at me. I heard one of the ambulance attendants say; “Nice Chevy. Too bad she tore it up like that.” Then they were all gone. All the cars drove away and the flashing lights were gone and silence fell again, like a blanket, over the tobacco fields. Not even the sound of the dove over at the old millpond. The woman couldn’t look at me anymore.

Nobody ever taught me how to pray. But I tried to learn that night. My grandparent’s farm was nine miles from Snow Hill and at night it was swallowed in darkness. I could lie at night and hold my hand to my face, almost touching my nose, and not see it.

That night, in my feather-bed, I looked at the blackness over my head and tried to pray. “Dear God, please help that poor old negro woman,” I said. But my prayer didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went up into the darkness over my head and disappeared.

I don’t remember how long I prayed like that. But I do remember why I stopped.
I stopped when I saw the woman’s eyes, shinning in the dark above my bed. Luminous, and staring at me. The woman’s eyes stayed in the darkness above my bed until morning; they melted away with the first dim light that seeped into my room.

I watched them all night. I could have reached up and touched them. But, I just lay there and looked back at them until morning came.

It was when the first filmy rays of light broke into my room, when things were just beginning to turn into clumps of gray, that the woman spoke to me. “”My name is Marlie Robinson,”” she said. “”You remember my name,”” she said. I said I would remember. Then the eyes and the voice were gone and the day had come.

I told my grandmother the woman’s name.

“”She tell you while she was layin' in the road?”” my grandmother said.
“”She told me,”” I said.

My grandmother didn’t know any Robinsons. She said they must be from over in Yellow Springs, or maybe Greenville.

After a while, I quit thinking about the woman. Sometimes, in high school, when I talked about her my friends laughed, punched me in the arm, and said; “”bullshit!”

But, I could close my eyes anytime I wanted to and see that pale-blue Chevrolet on its top, its wheels spinning like the legs of a bug on its back moving and trying to find the ground. I could close my eyes anytime and see the woman’s pink dress blowing in the breeze that came softly down the road that Sunday afternoon. It was a memory I would always have. And I would always have the woman’s name too. And every time I heard a dove’s cry, I remembered.

Even though I never once doubted the eyes and the woman’s voice that night were real, they never came back again. Many times I wondered why I wasn’t afraid that night. The woman’s eyes were soft and brown, with the whites of her eyes shinning bright, and her voice was soft too. – “You remember my name.” Other than that, I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. In 2001, I went to the woman’s grave. It wasn’t hard to find, there was only one black cemetery in Yellow Springs. I took some flowers and laid them on her grave, in front of the stone that had her name carved on it.

I was wearing my uniform. I was in the Army and on my way to Iraq. I knew I would run toward death again; toward bodies tossed like rag dolls and lying broken on the ground.....I knew I was looking down at my own broken body. I looked up to see Marlie Robinson standing above me looking down at my broken body, I asked her not to leave me. I asked her to remember my name. Marlie Robinson held my hand, she never left my side.

 

Scifi sundays presents "Maiden Voyage"

Maiden Voyage



 

Nicco was nervous coming to New York City” rel=”geolocation”>New York for the first time. The club was packed,
Kings, queens, fags and hags, wall to wall gayness. Nicco was excited, this was
His maiden voyage to a Gay club in the heart of the big Apple. Dressed up, for
The very first time, Nicco headed for the ‘ladie’s room to make sure his makeup
Hadn’t run, and that he still looked the femme fatale. He strolled into the bathroom
And spotted Adrian. He was much older than Nicco, but he was breathtakingly
Beautiful.

Not pretty. Not lovely. Gorgeous. Glamour, mystererious, the whole nine yards. Stately, stunning—all the sexy things a woman wantsed to be…and Adrian was a guy, which almost made Nicico hate “her” more. Nicco was taken by her stunning beauty, and knew that’s what he wanted to be too. Thrash was a gay bar—and there was something great about the place—tribal. Ecstatic. It was a converted church in the middle of the city—he felt reverence— he worshipped the fact that he was smack dab in the middle of wonderland—MEN everywhere—beautiful men—and it didn’t matter that they were there for each other. He was in on a pass—his friends were happy to dance with him, talk, whatever.

Thrash was safe. No rapists, no weirdos. Just Nicco and 500 he-shes. The she-hes had their own enclave there—but he didn’t dress right, didn’t give off the vibe—to them he was invisible—or maybe a fag hag—but in any event—they kept away. He didn’t see Adrian
again till the third rum and coke hit. So He left to drain the dragon.
Off to the ladies room, which wasn’t for women only—at the Gay clubs that was never a given.

And there she sat—–before the vanity mirror.
PERFECT. Raven hair, pouty red mouth just waiting to be kissed, dark eyes that whispered secrets of sin—and doing things in a red satin dress that would have gotten “her” arrested in Utah. Oh man…blow to his fragile 20 year old ego. How could a man be more beautiful than a woman? But he-she was.

There was the barest flicker of eye contact…a polite nod, and he was back out again. The party was just beginning…Cher’s…’gypsies tramps and thieves’…it was safe sex for him—dancing with those writhing men, reveling in their macho postures, presented with grace and pure rut. He loved men—and it did not matter that he was not looking for a lover. Here he could just enjoy the raw male power of the place. But there was Adrian…making him feel perfectly shoddy. Like an imposter. It had taken three looks to know her for what she was. No hiding the wrist structure—or the ankles…but all the rest…a perfect ten, drag queen extraordinaire.

And he knew she hadn’t gone for the surgery either. It takes a lot of balls to have your Johnson removed….This one was fully equipped—and still managed to pull off the female thing better than Nicco could with his flimsy first attempt. But what was she doing in the ladies room? There was a club full of guys who would have squired her as readily as they did him—a fact that remained a mystery, but a happy one. In the straight world, Nicco was always second choice—or even third. Here he was the belle of the ball…his choice of dance partners. Here his every word was a witty gem, and the circle of laughter followed him like a halo. he loved these men—for making him feel more gloriously like a woman then any “normal” man ever had.

But there was Adrian…on his second visit to the ladies room, he found she still sat, gazing in the vanity mirror, searching for some flaw—one small line marring the forehead—Nicco touched up his make up—which was running to ruin because he was dancing like he always had wanted to—and never had. Sweat was making it run off, and while he wasn’t hunting, looking good was a simple matter of pride , he didn’t just want to play the part, he wanted to feel the part.

Gary and Allan had warned him about bitch queens—and he had met a few…but Adrian seemed a perfectly harmless drag queen. The guys told him, Adrian was a house boy . Was he supposed to speak to her or not? If he did, was he crashing a fantasy? Hard to tell. He went back out to the boys—more dancing—more laughter as they spun the kid like a disco princess, and fought over who would partner him next…and strangely—He found his eyes going back again to that ladies room door. Surely she did not mean to stay there all night?

Miguel spun Nicco wild—-a mistake on such a crowded dance floor—and sent him careening into a man—he was dressed in a suit—unusual for that place. He smiled into Nicco’s eyes, nodded, and asked him to dance. Miguel and Allan danced together for a slow number—so there seemed no good reason not to…and all around him men danced slowly in each others arms…teasing each other—even kissing…a sight Nicco found profoundly erotic. he darted his eyes away, feeling like he intruded with his glance—but could not help but stare. It was sweet, sexy sensual, but with raw male power.

He did not know the gentleman’s name, and when he bent close, Nicco thought he meant to tell him—but instead his mouth came down hard on his mouth, and he could taste scotch on his tongue. He proceeded to bite Nicco’s lip, not quite unwelcome, it was still unexpected. He was still quite naive, and might have drawn back—but his hands shot down Nicco’s pants holding him, there….. as he kissed deeper—finally sucking in the lip and holding it between his teeth.

Nicco was completely unnerved. This was something that he never experienced, He did not want the boys to think he was poaching…and it was three minutes before the guy released his penis…grabbing Nicco’s nail polished hand instead.

“You are mine tonight.” he whispered, the accent faint—perhaps Russian…and Nicco’s throat went dry—not with excitement, but fear. His lip throbbed, and whatever this guy’s thing was, he was pretty certain he was not near experienced, nor exotic enough for his taste.

“Ladies room.” Nicco whispered …and he held his hand right to the door. He got inside, then leaned against it, feeling faintly sick. Trapped? In a gay bar? How the hell had that happened?

He looked up, and saw Adrian studying him in the glass. She spoke low—

“Hey kid—you’re being chased huh? He’s a beast that one, you won’t walk for a week.”

Nicco nodded, shaken.

“Well girl—there’s no back door here. You’re gonna have to leave sometime—we can’t talk panty hose and popping cherries until 4:30 a.m ….”she said calmly.

“No. Guess we can’t.” Nicco said, crestfallen. His posture was sagging, he felt he was a pretty poor excuse for a woman—no wiles, no gumption, just an 18 year old kid trying on a skirt, blouse makeup and some ikipedia.org/wiki/Pantyhose” title=”Pantyhose” rel=”wikipedia”>pantyhose.

“Tell you what little girl…” she said, not unkindly. “I’ll help you out. You’ll only have a minute…find your friends and run. The one who’s waiting for you—he’s a mean bastard. He likes it hard. He’s a top, and he knows you’re a bottom, he’ll take more than your
cherry, look! your lip is turning purple, so I know you already had a taste. And it doesn’t much look like you enjoyed it.”

She stood—breathtaking—tossed her hair over her shoulder, shook the mane of curls—and started moving for the door in a haze of Opium fumes.
Nicco needed to say something—anything less lame than thank you—-

“You are beautiful.” Nicco stammered, and looked down. Adrian froze—one elegant hand reaching for the door handle. Those dark eyes sized him up—looking for something nasty—sarcasm? But he wasn’t lying. She was…but somehow just didn’t know it. It took him years to realize how he almost ruined that beautiful makeup—but then he did not understand the tears that suddenly flooded her eyes. She fought them back, reached out, and hugged him…

“Be careful Little sister,” she whispered. “Look out for the sado masochists, they bite hard.”

A moment later, she walked out…and sure enough, the sensation she caused gave Nicco a chance to run. He found Gary, dragged Allan away, and we headed back toward Jersey.. They told had that Adrian had done something very special—she spent the whole night in that ladies room every time—emerging just before the closing to pick a lover for the night. Her early arrival had given me a chance to bolt—now she would be pestered by every man in the place until closing.

Miguel looked at him a moment, when Nicco told him what he said.

“Well, she hates you—but she loves you too. NO matter how good she looks, she knows she’s only a queen—small “Q”. She can fool the boys—but you’re a wannabe. You gave her validation. Tonight she was a Queen—large Q. Good job girl—or man—look at your lip!”

And so ended Nicco’s maiden voyage in to the belly of the beast. His fat lip, proof that he had the courage to go through with his fantasy. They Drove over the Pulaski bridge and stopped at the Skyway diner, they were starving, Nicco no longer cared about his make-up and had cleaned most of the makeup off and put on a dingy pair of blue jeans, and a t-shirt. They walked into the Diner and took a booth in the back, ordering who knows what, they were all pretty inebriated. Nicco got up to use the little boy’s room, back in the real world, he entered the stall, and was immediately grabbed and thrown to the floor…..Nicco couldn’t see, whoever it was, had pulled the t shirt over his head, he felt his pants being torn open….

“No one leaves me in the lurch, queenie…..”
 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Announcement of the Release of the Novel, Birthing the Lucifer Star

Birthing the Lucifer star,  Book review

Do We hear the call?? In our everyday reality, the great spirit calls us to redeem ourselves and those around us from the ruler of this world. If you heard the call, what would you choose. For many are called, but few are chosen. Those who hear and answer the call do so to the peril of their very soul. Follow the woman of the wilderness and the hero, a great warrior of the first nation, as they risk life and limb to redeem first themselves then all of turtle island...

A sparse, mythical writing style and complex storytelling ensure the success of D. E. Bartley's portrayal of a celebrated Native American warrior who rediscovers his divinity, and a Brooklyn daughter of Jacob who wanders the wilderness trying to answer the call


When you close the pages of this book, you are apt to appreciate it more as it settles into the parts of your brain that mingle literature with the myths and legends of the wandering spirit. The entertainment value is actually eclipsed by its brilliance, the dazzling rays reaching out to prior gems and reflecting an awful lot of luminous light as the unsustainable light is swallowed whole, then released. It's tongue in cheek, satirical, uncomfortable, and to some readers, it will be very controversial. .

EXCERPT:
 Chapter 4: Dreamland


As night awakened and day snored in slumber, the moon slowly rose above the horizon only to give way to dense clouds that seemed to settle across the land like a blanket of warning. A whippoorwill called in the distance, its mournful song eerie and mysterious, making the hairs upon the neck of a weary traveler stand on end. Upon the slight breeze that rustled the leaves of trees nearby, whispers carried to her ears begged her to seek refuge from this night. A stranger to this land she was, coming from far away. She had been drawn like a moth to the candle, only to have her wings seared by the dancing flame. Something was here; she could feel it in her bones. Yet what it was, she did not yet know. So onward she ventured, wandering slowly, as if to invite whatever was out there to test her forbearance.

Somewhere between being awake and asleep, where the Elysian Fields passed between the twin pillars of reality and dreams, a little wrinkled medicine man with long, white hair sat upon a smooth, flat boulder of igneous rock, making notes and curious sketches of wayfarers upon that ancient, well-traversed road. When he had created a handful of these gargoyle-type portraits on finely pressed charcoal paper by inscribing it with pungent elemental pigments, he would consign it to a constantly tended fire pit just to the right of the boulder, the dancing flames of which demanded to be fed.

Shirley stopped to visit, curious as to why the medicine man would send all of his creations into the fire.

“I quench the thirst of the eternal flame,” said the medicine man. Dipping a nib into a flask of sable ink, he quickly executed a not-entirely-flattering portrait of her with knotted hair, a warted nose, and a dark complexion mottled with pale spots.

Shirley was not overly impressed with the medicine man’s rendition of her.

“That is quite horrendous; I wouldn’t mind if you threw that into the flames,” she said. “It is truly ghastly.”

“It is the picture of your soul I paint,” said the medicine man.

As her eyes turned dark in indignation, she fingered the great crystal Ulun’suti, then uttered a particularly malevolent series of injunctions against this vindictive man that caused the unfortunate shaman to become naked. The skin on his body was etched in words, and as Shirley tried to decipher what was written upon him, he rapidly assumed the physical attributes of a wolf, a snake, a bear, a mountain lion, and a majestic eagle—each of which, in a passionate act of auto symbiosis, caught and then consumed with considerable relish its immediate predecessor. The eagle unceremoniously spewed forth the medicine man to stand before him.

The medicine man:
“The never-ending red road unfurls at my feet,

The boundless sky beats its wings above my head; the steps of the sacred white buffalo calf woman begin at my doorstep; my pipe of peace and truth feeds an eternal flame.”

The eagle:

“I will pluck the ever-watchful eye from the sky to feed my little baby in its nest of down. I will pluck the quills from the wings of infinity to weave into the walls of my nest with twigs and little strips of frayed rags filched from the hides of the rotting carcasses of buffalo. Once, this mighty wilderness was crisscrossed by a thousand pathways; prancing wolves, elk, and buffalo beyond number traveled upon them, seeking mysterious and glorious pastures. Now they are the playgrounds of scavengers and bone-hoarding vultures.

”The medicine man:


“I have looked Chief Yunke-lo in the face and read the great truth in his amused expression; I have seen the sons of man wielding the perennial scythe that harvests the souls from all mortal forms. In the interval between two breaths, I stole a glimpse to the entrance of heaven and, making my obeisance, prostrated myself before the Great Spirit of Wakan Tanka.”

The eagle:


“Here I am in my bright and flashing plumage; observe the exquisite arch of my wing and my white-crested head! What need do I have for the divine realm full of resplendent mystery? The sun is warm upon my back, the water is wet beneath my sure talons, and the rainbow trout wriggles delightfully in my golden beak! Besides, there is a monster—a great serpent blocking the way, impeding all who would look upon heaven.”

The medicine man:

“My life’s blood runs through all of creation; all things blowing in the wind is my father, and the womb of potential is my mother. The stars that shine in heaven are myancestors; everything is a thought-projection of the Great Spirit—even Uktena, the Keen-Eyed One, who is the keeper at the gate.”

The eagle:

“Here is the rain to smooth the earth and heal the framework of the world. In their bright, speckled eggs, my little chicklings dream of what is yet to be. I will call to the young doe; surely she will quell the desire of the serpent monster, and then together, we will glimpse the happy hunting ground.”

The medicine man:

“Days and nights fly over me; one day there will be no more tomorrows, and the shell of the fragile grandmother world shall crack. My children will be proud and strong-winged warriors in the light of the final sun; they will traverse the great red road of the sacred white buffalo calf woman; only then will I put off feathers and flesh to dance a final sun dance before the Great Spirit …”









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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heroe's always remember

I was sitting on the porch when I heard the sound of the dove come from the old millpond. The dove's mournful call stopped, and then I heard death coming down the country road that ran passed my grandparent's farm. It broke the Sunday afternoon apart and silenced the dove.

My grandmother’s name was Gloria Roberts. My grandfather was already dead by that fall, finally killed by the gas that began to eat his lungs in the trenches of France in 1918; buried with his Croix de Guerre.

My grandparents lived in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina, in a place with a name you couldn't find on a map. They lived in the midst of horizon-to-horizon tobacco fields that grew over my head; hid me in forests of green like the jungles of Tarzan, and where I ran wild, invisible to the world, feeling the hot sand of the fields between my bare toes.

I was ten year old, sitting on the porch of my grandparent’s house and dreaming a boy’s dreams, when the call of the dove stopped.

I heard screaming metal, an engine trying to tear itself apart, howling like a tortured animal. I looked toward the road. I could see the small white dot of my grandmother’s mailbox, atop its post and leaning a little to the right, on the other side of the road.

Then I saw it. It came from the left, a flash of blue. And it began to fly. If left the ground and climbed toward the sky over the tobacco fields, trying to fly over the ditch by the side of the road. The sky and the car were almost the same pale-blue color.

Halfway up the arc of its climb, the car rolled, like an airplane doing stunts. I could see the workings beneath it. They were lewd, as if the car was naked. The car seemed to hang at the top of the arc, its black belly exposed, and then it fell.

The car fell into the ditch and kicked up dirt that floated and drifted in the air around it. It landed on its top and the wheels kept spinning. The roaring engine died when the car hit the ditch and I could hear the spinning wheels. They made a rumbling and whirring sound.

I jumped off the porch and ran. I don’t know why I didn’t run to find my grandmother. She was in the garden in the back of the house, bent over her black-eyed Susan’s. But I didn’t run for her, I ran toward the upside down car, its wheels starting to slow down now, but still spinning. I was thirteen years old and I was running toward death. But I didn’t know it.

There was a breeze ruffling something; making something pink move and dance. I kept running. I saw a woman lying on the white line in the middle of the road. The breeze was moving parts of her pink dress.

I stood in the middle of the road, breathing hard from the running, and felt the heat from the asphalt on the soles of my bare feet, like standing in my grandparent’s fields. I looked down at the woman in the road. She was an older woman; she was a thin black woman dressed in her Sunday church best.

I looked both ways down the road. There were no other cars. The whole world was filled up with me and an elderly black woman in a pink dress lying like a rag doll in the middle of a road surrounded by North Carolina tobacco fields.

Then, a car came. I didn’t know it was there until I heard the door slam and a man came toward me.

“Son?” the man said. “Better get out of the road, boy. I’ll go on down to Pappy yoke’s Store and call an ambulance. You’d better get out of the road, son.”

“I know,” I said.
“You Van Robert's grandson?” the man said.

“Yessir,” I said. Now, I wanted to cry. As long as it was just me and the woman lying in the road, as long we were all there was in the world, I didn’t think about crying. But now, I wanted to cry.

“"You’d better get out of the road, son,” the man said again. “You come on with me; there ain’t nothin’ you can do for her."

“No,”" I said. “"Somebody’s got to keep the cars from running over her."

"You reckon you can handle that, boy?”"

"Yessir,"” I said.

The man looked at me and said, “I reckon you are Van Robert's grandson. You just stand on the side of the road and wave ‘’em down. There ain’t likely to be any on this road on a Sunday, and I’ll be right back."

“The store ain’t open on Sunday,” I said.

“"I know, son, but they live in back and I know your gramma ain’t got a telephone."

The man got into his car and drove toward Pappy "yoke ’s Store, but I didn’t watch him go. I didn’t watch him drive around the woman lying in the road.

Because I saw the woman’s eyes. Maybe they were closed before; maybe that’s why I didn’t see them sooner.

Her eyes were open and she was staring at me like I was the only thing in the world. Her mouth began to move, too, like she was talking. She was staring at me, her eyes wide-open and not blinking – staring at me and her mouth opening and closing. She was talking to me, but she couldn’t make the words come out.

I looked up and down the empty Sunday road; I don’t know what I was looking for. Maybe just for someone to come and take this woman away, to rescue me from her staring eyes and her silent moving lips.

But, I had to look at her, to look straight back into her eyes – I had to – because I knew that if I looked away it would be like I just left her to die. So I looked back into her eyes, trembling and wanting to cry again. And her mouth kept moving. Talking to me. Telling me not to leave her. I felt that inside. I didn’t have to hear it. I knelt beside her and held her hand and would not leave her.

When I heard my grandmother holler, I jumped. For a second I guess I thought the sound came from the woman on the road. But it was my grandmother.

She was waddling down the dirt road from the house as fast as she could go. She hollered again; “”Lawd God a-mighty!” as she came, trailing little clouds of dust at her feet. My grandmother was a great fat woman with huge all-encompassing breasts and upper arms as big as a pro-wrestler’s. She could envelope the whole world, hold it all tight against those huge bosoms. “”Lawd God a-mighty!”” she yelled again, even though her mouth was bulging with snuff.

Then my grandmother stood next to me on the road, breathing hard. She put her hand on my shoulder. “”Charlie?”” she said, and I started to cry. If she hadn’t put her hand on my shoulder and called my name I would have been all right. But now I was crying.

The woman lying in the road kept looking at me, her eyes never leaving my face.

“”We got to get out of the road,”” my grandmother said.

“”No,”” I said, and my grandmother kept standing in the road beside me until the man came back from Pappy Yoke’s store. The ambulance was right behind him. The highway patrol came too and the road was full of cars, blue and red lights flashing; all gathered around the old black woman lying broken in the road in her pink dress.

They put the woman on a stretcher. She didn’t move until they rolled her into the ambulance and she turned her head a little so she could keep looking at me. I heard one of the ambulance attendants say; “Nice Chevy. Too bad she tore it up like that.” Then they were all gone. All the cars drove away and the flashing lights were gone and silence fell again, like a blanket, over the tobacco fields. Not even the sound of the dove over at the old millpond. The woman couldn’t look at me anymore.

Nobody ever taught me how to pray. But I tried to learn that night. My grandparent’s farm was nine miles from Snow Hill and at night it was swallowed in darkness. I could lie at night and hold my hand to my face, almost touching my nose, and not see it.

That night, in my feather-bed, I looked at the blackness over my head and tried to pray. “Dear God, please help that poor old negro woman,” I said. But my prayer didn’t seem to go anywhere; it just went up into the darkness over my head and disappeared.

I don’t remember how long I prayed like that. But I do remember why I stopped.
I stopped when I saw the woman’s eyes, shinning in the dark above my bed. Luminous, and staring at me. The woman’s eyes stayed in the darkness above my bed until morning; they melted away with the first dim light that seeped into my room.

I watched them all night. I could have reached up and touched them. But, I just lay there and looked back at them until morning came.

It was when the first filmy rays of light broke into my room, when things were just beginning to turn into clumps of gray, that the woman spoke to me. “”My name is Marlie Robinson,”” she said. “”You remember my name,”” she said. I said I would remember. Then the eyes and the voice were gone and the day had come.

I told my grandmother the woman’s name.

“”She tell you while she was layin' in the road?”” my grandmother said.
“”She told me,”” I said.

My grandmother didn’t know any Robinsons. She said they must be from over in Yellow Springs, or maybe Greenville.

After a while, I quit thinking about the woman. Sometimes, in high school, when I talked about her my friends laughed, punched me in the arm, and said; “”bullshit!”

But, I could close my eyes anytime I wanted to and see that pale-blue Chevrolet on its top, its wheels spinning like the legs of a bug on its back moving and trying to find the ground. I could close my eyes anytime and see the woman’s pink dress blowing in the breeze that came softly down the road that Sunday afternoon. It was a memory I would always have. And I would always have the woman’s name too. And every time I heard a dove’s cry, I remembered.

Even though I never once doubted the eyes and the woman’s voice that night were real, they never came back again. Many times I wondered why I wasn’t afraid that night. The woman’s eyes were soft and brown, with the whites of her eyes shinning bright, and her voice was soft too. – “You remember my name.” Other than that, I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. In 2001, I went to the woman’s grave. It wasn’t hard to find, there was only one black cemetery in Yellow Springs. I took some flowers and laid them on her grave, in front of the stone that had her name carved on it.

I was wearing my uniform. I was in the Army and on my way to Iraq. I knew I would run toward death again; toward bodies tossed like rag dolls and lying broken on the ground.....I knew I was looking down at my own broken body. I looked up to see Marlie Robinson standing above me looking down at my broken body, I asked her not to leave me. I asked her to remember my name. Marlie Robinson held my hand, she never left my side.














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