Choices make destinies. Destinies can also change.
A short story
In a year when thirty people jumped from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide and succeeded, one person determined to join their throng.
Near light pole numbered sixty-nine, he swan-dives off the ledge, traveling at a velocity of eighty mph, free-falling 250 feet at low tide. Bound to converge on the despondent crowd of over 1,600 who preceded him in death since the majestic span erected in 1937, something shifts. Instant regret consumes him the second he unhands the viaduct. But the chance for survival after the four-second drop stands at less than one percent.
What if somewhere between his last contact with the steel bridge and the impact of the frigid, bone-crushing bay, hovers an alternative Courtroom in the Sky? A panel of Judges who reviews the motives in a person’s life.
Here enters Ralph “Specter” Specht, the famous frontman for the rock band, Ghosts of Fleas. In the eyes of the world, he led a good life; talented, successful, and spoiled. Nobody thought he could do such a thing, fling himself over the edge, even him. Not until the dark impulse.
The defendant on trial crosses the threshold into weighted proceedings. With a blooming change of mind, Ralph wonders if he will find a different sentence than what he first intended. His verdict awaits.
New book alert! Dark King’s Human Bride is available for preordering at select bookstores. Click the button below to reserve your copy of my latest dark fantasy of messianic proportions.
After its official release on January 24, 2022, the novel will be available in digital and/or print formats wherever books are sold.
The Unspeakable (Puma) is now in its second edition, a version with the same storyline but repackaged. Newly categorized under Christian Suspense, and International Mystery & Crime, if you have not yet read this book I invite you to do so – though it might keep you up at night.
When bad things happen to good people, what then?
When a furtive conflict is pitted between violent leftist guerrillas and a rightwing paramilitary group in Colombia, a North American woman mistakenly gets caught in the middle.
“I spent four months, one week and two days in a clandestine prison referred to as The Water Cave. Every day I stared hell in the face, and each day I wanted to die. I don’t want to share too much too quickly. To understand fully, you must join hands with me, fasten your heart to mine, and course through my book. Stumble over the incomprehensible human rights journey with me. I've pondered it to the brink of questionable sanity, and it's the only way to explain. I suppose I should consider myself lucky I survived at all—for many did not—yet, perplexingly so, that’s not the premise of this narrative.
He altered my life, marked me forever.
But it’s not how you might imagine.
This is a story involving Horacio Botello, my torturer known as Puma.”
Maybe it should be entitled, True Love Never Dies. In the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Christine Daaé has been married to Raoul ten years. At first considered safe and secure, Raoul has proven otherwise, as he drowns in his self-inflicted indomitable issues. Moreover, tenderness towards his wife has withered to nil. She dutifully has stayed beside him, accepting her lot with grace, yet she is hollow where happiness should reside, disappointed where love should flourish. And all this time, she has suppressed the secret that her true soul mate is not the one she had married. Erik, the phantom lover, suddenly reenters the picture after a decade.
Wonderfully cast in this Australian production with Anna O’Byrne as Christine and Ben Lewis as Erik, the following is my favorite scene, a recollection of their night together, the two who were meant to be one. It’s beautifully tragic, horribly exquisite, pleading, what is love without anguish, heartbreak, regret, and longing.
A cold and blustery weekend, I snuggled with a pumpkin spice latte and watched the 25th anniversary staged production/celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera filmed at the Royal Albert Hall. I enjoyed it immensely.
The misfortune in this popular tragedy has a way of lingering. Again I questioned Christine Daaé, the phantom’s obsession and star pupil, in her final choice. Had I been her, would I pick the sweet, stable, predicable, vanilla, pretty boy, Raoul, who offered a settled, cushy life of usual expectations? Or would I want the scarred, volatile, opera ghost, the master musician, magician, inventor, a tortured and complicated soul, a flawed and broken man who had nothing to give but music and passion....
I’d pick Erik, the phantom. In truth, I think a lot of women would. That’s perhaps partly why the story is so effectual and has spawned quite a few literary sequels—written mostly by women—about Erik’s triumphant
love-interest comeback. Books I seem to continue acquiring even as I carry on watching the musical in all its variations. I guess I’m one of those suckers for heartbroken monster geniuses.