I’ll figure this out soon. I hope. Sync-ing my phone. Wait for it….
I’m pleased to announce “Keys of Illusion” (the novel).
Hope you enjoy the warm waters!
“Keys of Illusion”
Jerri yelled to be heard over the boat’s motor. “Okay,
Pendragon! Now are you going to tell me why you dragged me
out of bed in the middle of the night? And why you barely waited
while I left that note… and why you barely waited until I stepped
in the boat to fire this baby up. Just tell me! What’s so urgent we
had to come out here now?”
“What?” She yelled. “I don’t think I heard you. It sounded
like you said: Marissa. Tell me… what’s God’s Gift to Men got to
do with my lock picks?”
Glancing at her with a confused expression, he powered
down the boat and idled in a circle, checking the satellite
navigation device before shutting down the boat’s engine. “Suit
up,” he said, “we don’t have any time to lose.”
After dropping the guideline over the side, Pendragon
reached for Jerri’s B.C. and tank, frantically readying her
equipment for the dive. He secured two large dive lights to the
lavender jacket, attaching them to carabiners. Although the moon
was full, the natural light wouldn’t reach down to the coral head.
“I’m sending you with two lights,” he said, rushing his words.
“You probably need all the light you can get. This might get
tricky. Ready? Jump in.”
“Not until you explain yourself,” she huffed, crossing her
arms at chest level. “You want me to get wet? You better start
The full moon sailed high in the sky; the sun would chase it
away in a scant few hours. A momentary silence hung in the
salt-tinged air. Her frustration growing, waiting for Pendragon’s
explanation, she rolled her head on her shoulders, attempting to
disperse her shoulder tension. Then, she saw the boat floating to
the south of the Little Lavender.
The outline of the larger craft stood out, barely perceivable
against the still dark pre-dawn sky. Huge nets, held out at a 45°
angle, gave it the illusion it possessed wings. More moments
passed before it registered to Jerri she was looking at a distant
shrimp boat anchored about a quarter mile away. Shrimpers were
a common sight, she knew this, just as she also knew working
boats would usually trawl for shrimp during the day and sit still in
the water at night, their crew sleeping. But, this boat showed more
activity than was usual for a shrimper in early morning darkness;
the silvery moonlight showed movement on the deck.
From their position on the Little Lavender, Pendragon and
Jerri both observed shadowed figures lowering an inflated Zodiac
boat over the side, and a low droning from the still dark southern
sky brought animated pointing gestures from the shrimpers.
The Zodiac’s crew grew noticeably excited as the low-pitched sound
grew louder. Very soon, the droning could be identified as a
medium-sized airplane which, flying low and at a slow speed,
gradually closed the distance to the shrimp boat. The closer it got
to the shrimper, the clearer it was that the airplane was an old
double-prop cargo plane.
“Do you see that?” Mark whispered.
Jerri nodded. “Yeah… curious…. but… what’s that got to do
with — ” Suddenly, the lone figure left on the shrimper’s deck
pointed in their direction and raised what appeared to be a phone
or radio to his ear. She barely had time to murmur: “What’s that
guy doing?” before the approaching plane sluggishly waggled its
wings and made a wide left banking and ‘swooping’ dip, flying
over the shrimper; the breeze from the props rustling the nets and
the shrimper crew’s clothing. The low-flying aircraft abruptly
changed its course, roughly switching from north to south.
“I’ll say it again — curious.”
“I’d say — curious is not the word… Something’s up.”
The man at Jerri’s side raked his fingers through his dark curls and
peered through the moonlight at the distant water craft.
“Ahem… Focus? Eh — your full attention, here? All eyes
center on me!” Jerri crossed her arms across her chest and tapped
her foot on the Little Lavender’s tiny deck. “Give me one — just
one, mind you — really, really good reason for me to get wet —
huh, DeSade? Can you do that?”
Once more, he glanced in the direction of the shrimp boat, a
worried look on his face. He shook his head, and Jerri wondered
if he meant the gesture one of exasperation for her or the
mysterious boat. Pendragon sighed, rubbing his eyes, seeming to
wrestle with a weighty decision. “You’re right, of course,” he
sighed again. “I can’t expect you to risk your life without telling
you the truth.”
“The truth is, Marissa is down there, chained to the coral
Jerri shook her head in disbelief. “What would that woman
be doing diving out here in the middle of the night? She’s — “
“She’s not diving,” he murmured an interruption.
She shook her head again. “If she’s not diving, then she’s run
out of air a long time ago. And if she’s not on scuba, then you
want me to go after a corpse. Let me tell ya’, I skipped Corpse
Recovery class. On purpose, I might add!”
“Delaney,” he hissed with exasperation. “You’re not making
this easy. I know you’re not going to believe me, but here goes.
Marissa is a mermaid.”
Jerri threw her head back and laughed. “Okay, okay. I give
up. This is a good one. But, did you really think it was necessary
to bring me all the way out here for your puny little joke?”
“Jerri.” He took her hand in his and gazed into her eyes, his
words spilling out in a rush, “Please believe me when I tell you,
this is no joke. I’ve never been more serious in my life. Marissa is
a mermaid, and she’s down there… and she needs our help.”
“But-but-but… mermaids are — ” she sputtered, “mermaids
are — mermaids… are?”
“Not real?” He finished her thought. “The stuff dreams are
made of? Right now, I can’t debate the existence of mermaids
with you. So, to save time — this will have to do for my
argument.” He suddenly shoved his swim trunks down over his
hips, standing before Jerri, completely and unselfconsciously
nude, moonlight bathing his firm body with a shimmering silver
Sometimes I get to thinking of my dad. He left this world over forty years ago, a few months before man landed on the moon (yes they did — Uncle Walter said they did, so there). Most things that make society a joy (or a curse) had yet to be invented or if they were invented at that time, they weren’t yet passed around in *my* neighborhood. Computers, CDs, DVDs, Smarter-Than-You Phones, Microwave Ovens… the list, like a heartbeat, goes on and on. I wonder, what would Dad think of these things? Would he hold them tight to his breast or throw them against the wall with a great big raspberry? It makes me sad he didn’t live to see many of these wonders, and I often muse how they would have changed his life. Computers: He would have been a great friend on Facebook. As a jokester, he would have entertained (possibly) millions. As a grandfather, he would have proudly posted photos of grandsons he didn’t live to see. For these two reasons alone, I hope there *is* a Heaven and I dearly hope they have computers and high speed internet.
*Is* the world a better place with these fantastical (some say Evil Tools of Satan) devices? Or would we be better off if — like pathologically needy Tooter the Turtle (a 60′s cartoon character) — at our insistence, mind you — Mr. Wizard the Lizard suddenly transported us back to the Little House on the Prairie with only Pa’s fiddle to entertain us? Or would we, like the never-satisfied Tooter, cry out: “Help me, Mr. Wizard!” and force the old, wise Lizard to chant: “Drizzle, Drazzle, Drozzle, Drome, Time for THIS one to come home”?I wonder about such things. Sigh. I *try* not to let it keep me up at night.
So… Where would you ask Mr. Wizard the Lizard to send YOU?
Whew! Sorry I’m late… just had some words with a clown fish which caused me to flashback to some seriously frightful childhood issues. Left me twitchy. Clowns definitely don’t have a place on a calming coral reef. Don’t care that they’re supposedly cleaning dirty, filthy Sea Anemones. Clowns should only be let out in public with a warning sign strung around their neck: “Warning! Clown! Guard your Candy, Hopes & Dreams!” It was a frightening and deeply disturbing incident. Still twitchy, here.
Which leads us to Writing & Dreams. Have you ever borrowed from your dreams? Ever self-plagiarized your subconscious fears? I think of dreams as a pool of information and ideas that, perhaps, I’d not dip into in my wakeful hours. Myself, I write romance, comedy, horror and self-help (kidding). Many times I’ve incorporated various snippets of my dreams into my writing. One of my comedy novels came to me with the line: “I swear, I heard that mold burp. Have a care, Krael, don’t touch the walls! And for Great Gaytor’s sake, if you do, don’t suck your fingertips!” I literally woke laughing, prompting Sweet Thang to label me rude. Thankfully, my horror novels have not been as “verbal”. Yet.