Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It was Tuesday.

She knew that it was Tuesday, because she could hear the muffled drone of the vacuum above her head. Her upstairs neighbor always vacuumed on Tuesdays. For two years she’d lived with the sound and it was always right on schedule. It had eventually become a thing known on a subconscious level, as repetitive sounds and actions often are. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d paid it much attention. She couldn’t recall marking it as a special occasion, not for some long time.

But today she noticed. Today it stood out, stark, discomforting.

It was Tuesday, 11 a.m.

Her foot itched.

She’d always wondered about people who were so damned organized. Most especially she wondered why people were so rigid in their routines when they didn’t have to be. This neighbor didn’t have a job, after all. This neighbor was retired. This neighbor didn’t do much of anything, except keep tight schedules.

There was housecleaning day, thus the vacuum. There was grocery getting day, post office day. There were the scheduled walks, never spontaneous.

There was even phone call day.

She’d never really tried to keep track, to note these habits as if listing them out. It was knowledge taken for granted. Something she’d noticed in her first year living in the building. The sort of thing that seeps into one’s brain and sticks, because brains like to make their own lists.

She once fancied that her neighbor kept these time tables out of boredom. After all, being retired seemed boring. No one even visited her neighbor. Maybe that was scheduled too. Maybe it happened once a year, for two hours on one day; difficult to say. It was a sad, repulsive thought. Keep lists of things to do so you don’t get lonely and you never get bored. But aren’t the lists boring?

Anyway. She didn’t pay that close attention. She might have missed it when someone visited.

How sad and lonely, keeping schedules, she thought, especially such mundane schedules. She herself didn’t keep schedules. Well, as little as possible, anyway. There was a work schedule of sorts, but right now she was on a forced vacation.

Her foot itched again, but she still couldn’t reach it.

It occurred to her that maybe if she’d meted out her life, her time, in consistent little blocks, she might not be in her current predicament. And maybe someone would have come looking for her. Maybe someone would’ve called, wondering why she’d missed an appointment. Maybe she’d have a boyfriend to rescue her from the dull prison of her apartment.

Her mouth was dry.

She hadn’t been able to keep a boyfriend, because they all thought she was too flighty. That was the word. Other words were flaky, spacey, unreliable and shiftless. She wasn’t shiftless, she just preferred freelancing. There was less oppressive structuring, that way. She could make her own schedules, schedules that weren’t really schedules, because they were always at the mercy of their owner’s whims.

Her mouth hurt and it was dry, but she still couldn’t get a drink.

She recently met a man who seemed to agree that life shouldn’t be compartmentalized. That one should be open to spontaneous events, in fact, one should create their own events; bend to their whims and desires. Do this, he said, and the world is yours, isn’t it?

He said a lot of things that she probably didn’t understand so much as thought sounded good at the time.

Making their own rules sounded ideal, though of course, at some point a person had to show some restraint. At some point there had to be a guideline, or it was just anarchy, chaos. Not to mention, how do you date someone who may or may not be around in five minutes, let alone five days, for example. This had been her problem before. This had been what guys thought of her before, that she was unreliable.

But that was the least of their problems.

Her fingers were getting numb.

He’d agreed that some sort of structure was occasionally called for. He’d said what was even more important than this, was discipline. It hadn’t made sense to her at the time, since it seemed they were speaking of the exact opposite.

But no, he’d said. There is discipline, and then there is discipline.

She was beginning to understand. Actually, she thought she might’ve understood a few days ago, but clearly he disagreed.

Her fingers were numb again, but she was having a very difficult time wriggling them this morning.

She really wished now that she was like the neighbor upstairs. She wished hard for it, for the hundredth time this week. If she was like the neighbor upstairs, the sweet little old lady who never bothered anyone, rarely talked to anyone in the building, and did everything exactly when she was supposed to, things would be so very different right now. She wouldn’t be waiting for him to return, for one thing. She wouldn’t be so hungry and she wouldn’t be so sore.

Why, if she was like the lady upstairs, she probably wouldn’t have met this guy. No, she wouldn’t have, how could she have? And if she had, he’d have found her unappealing, very unappealing, with her perfect little life, her perfect little lists, and all those people expecting her, like the grocer and the post office workers and the librarian who always saw her on Monday mornings. She always goes on Mondays and always at the same time, to turn in a book, stop and chat a moment, and then find a new book to take home and read by Monday.

If she had just kept a damned schedule like that, she’d be with a man who, when he said he’d be back at five, would be back at five. Not five the next day, or the day after, but five that night, five sharp, and he’d have fixings for dinner. Yes, she’d cook dinner at the same time every night, if she could have a guy like that, instead of the one she got.

She’d certainly still have her tongue.

But it was Tuesday. An entire week must’ve passed. She knew, because she remembered hearing the drone of the vacuum above her head when she woke up, tied to the bed and groggy, something in her mouth. She’d thought at first she was dreaming of the sound, the vacuum, because it was such a normal thing stuck down deep into her subconscious. Brains like to make their own files.

It was Tuesday when she realized he’d cut out her tongue and shoved a gag into her mouth. Tuesday when he left her there and she’d tried to scream past the gag but it hurt, and her mouth was full of blood, and she choked, and she cried which made her choke more, so she finally learned not to cry.

She had no tears left, anyway. She was so thirsty and there was no water.

And no one was looking for her. No one could hear her even if she could move to pound on a wall, or scream.

Probably because it was Tuesday the 22nd, the day the notice on her door had informed her that men with pressure washers would be cleaning the building. It was going to be repainted.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A teaser

Paris Immortal: Atonement, coming soon. I will mention that it's left in such a way as to make a path to a fifth book; however, I can't say that's any time soon. It's not in my head, yet. But perhaps...

For now, enjoy this teaser.

There is a reason that all things are as they are, and did you see with my eyes and know with my knowledge, you would perhaps better understand.

Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897

A smile dark enough to match his eyes formed, showing me two more fangs than I’d known he possessed, making it six. “You desire vengeance. Step aside, and you shall have it; it is a specialty of mine.”

Fixed on those two very long, sharp teeth to the inside of his lengthened canines, it took me a second to register his movement. I pressed my hands to his chest again, for all the good it would do.

“Wait, wait. We have to finish the business, first.”

“Step aside,” he growled, the sound metallic, giving me a hot spinal monkey. “It is past time for him to atone for his sins.”

Yes, yes it is.
But no!
“Aeshma, please, please, wait.”

His eyes bored into mine.

“Listen. Just listen to me, please.” My thoughts ran to a place I didn’t want to drag him. But I had to. It might be my only shot at stopping him.“If you do this now, we fail. I don’t want that. I don’t want to fail Michel.” My back contacted metal again. “Do you want to fail?”

I knew what saying this might do to him, God help me, but I had to appeal to him, and it was true. It was the only reason I could imagine looking at my attacker again—when I was able to look at him—the idea of letting Michel down otherwise.

Travis’ reply sounded like boiling mercury.

“He does not deserve to breathe the same air as you any longer, Death Dancer.”

Pressed, pressed harder into the metal. If the door opened, I’d fall inside, giving me somewhere to go.

But I didn’t want it to open.

“You’re right, Aeshma, he doesn’t.” His fangs, so close to my face that his other features were out of focus. “But we will fail if you do this now. Do you hear me, Travis? Fail.”

The black of his eyes thinned, amber pushing its way through. A minute later metal wasn’t chilling me through my suit any longer.

“Fail…” he said, but there was no rejoicing on my part as I witnessed the softening of his expression.

I still had to be certain the point drove home completely, damn it. There were still black slivers trying to swallow the amber in his eyes.

“Right, an absolute
fuck up, Travis. We can’t have that, now can we?”

“No, we can’t have that. I made an oath.”

“Exactly. We’re both loyal to the end. So just a while longer, okay? After we’ve wrapped this up, I can’t stop you, I know that. Just—wait.”

All the blackness in his irises disappeared, and there was the laid back Travis I’d grown accustomed to.

“Will you want to stop me later?” Even his voice had shifted, I realized.

I also realized my inability to say yes to his question.

Hey there. Yup, it’s me again.
You know the drill.


September 1

“You are quite close to boring me beyond death,” said Gabriel, his voice dropping another degree, along with the temperature of his gaze.

A wisp of auburn drifted across her cheek with the defiant lift of her chin. “If you want entertainment, you can buy it on the street.”

My dark angel’s smile, frostbitten on its edges, grew a degree as he took a gliding step closer to the barstool on which she sat. I leaned back against the countertop, draping my arms to each side, admiring my lethal, longhaired beauty.

“I prefer a far higher class of entertainment, merci. More erudite pursuits, one might say,” he replied.

She smiled up at him, the smile as flippant as her tone. “Guess that counts me out.”

For this, at first, his smile merely chilled a wider path across his face.

We had arrived in Phantasm, a sanguinary club deep in the heart of Prague, through a chain of events both lucky and crafted.

Vita, the spy Elise had offered up, had been the first link in our chain. Vita had proven rather ballsy for a human, not to mention hardier than I imagined. It had taken more than I thought most humans capable of enduring, before a single tidbit of useful information spilled forth. Yet unfortunately—for I was enjoying myself at the time—she didn’t prove as hardy as I would have liked.

She expired before I’d captured all the details I was having so much fun chasing.

No matter, this was no matter at all, as upon occasion I can be quite unselfish, and so I did not begrudge Trey his chance at satisfaction, and satisfaction we both did have, for much information did she give Trey.

From the Other Side, that is.

She’d certainly never expected the interrogation would continue beyond death, and she certainly had not imagined what manner of punishment a Death Dancer could deal, particularly when he felt righteously moved.

Of course, she hadn’t known there were such things as Death Dancers either, which, since Travis had first uttered the words, had become our new term for Trey’s persona. In the time since his possession, Trey was beginning to grow into this new skin in the most interesting fashion. I found the title fitting and elegant in its way.

But I digress. I often do so when I am being entertained.

My beloved hunter Travis Starke provided link two. I have often mused that there isn’t a hole in the world in which one could hide that he would not pull one out of, and our next link was pulled out of a hole in Italy, after crossing the border from Nice. Quite literally pulled out of a hole, in fact, as this traitor had need of digging said hole before the sun reduced him to a bubbling slick of entrails, then ashes.

Link three was, admittedly, a stroke of luck, thanks to the faithlessness of link two’s lover. The lover was having an affair with the third link, and so they were kind enough to be in the same location—namely her bed. I wouldn’t have missed his expressions, nor the sounds he made when I crushed him beneath my boot heels, for anything.

I’m more than happy to provide other details later, perhaps, but we should expedite our return to the enthralling sight of Gabriel post haste.

As of now, here I stand, content to watch my Angel of Death conduct his interrogation; one that would, beyond doubt, end quite badly for the third-rate street walker named Phaedra, sitting on a stool in this bar she’d sleazed her way into owning.

“Truly now, your head is not fully vacant. Certainly you have an answer to the question that I have posed, one that might even suit me,” he said.

“What would I know about the blood bags roaming your city, and why should I care about any of them?” she replied, her spine clinging to a straight line. She then laughed. “And why should you care?”

Gabriel’s smile to her was pleasant— dangerously so. The more polite he became, in certain instances, the more life-threatening he was.

A slight flaring of his nostrils accompanied his next words, his calmly spoken words. “They have their uses, as I believe you know – indeed, know very well, and quite recently.” As she offered only a shrug, Gabriel continued. “I have certainly found a use for one such creature even now.”

On cue, her eyes flitted to the door, as also on cue, a mortal stumbled through it, aided greatly by Kar. Swiftly, she looked back to Gabriel, attempting to disguise her reaction.

“Some sport?” Her tongue slid across her front teeth, tasting each one. “If I’d known you were coming and that you were into this kind of thing, I would have made arrangements.”

His bow shaped mouth, which I so coveted, curved ever so slightly. “A faux pas on our part, certainly, but not to worry. I have brought my own rabbit, as you can plainly see.”

Said rabbit could not contain himself and made a desperate move in her direction, for which he found himself in my grip. I smiled sweetly, catching Phaedra’s eyes.

“I might be of a mood to share,” I said, “depending entirely on your next few words, of course.” Her pet’s fear wafted out through his pores and caressed my taste buds, delighting the devil within me.

“Save me a thigh, will you?” she said. “I love tender thigh meat.”

I found the mortal’s cry quite heady, quite pleasing, when fabric and flesh gave way to nails. So pungent the sudden release of blood was, I could trace its descent, taste every particle that paused to cling on the hairs of his leg.

“I don’t know, Phaedra. I grow hungrier by the second, and the only thing better than a perfectly curved breast is a juicy thigh.”


“Shit,” I whispered. “This isn’t working.”

“That disc was supposed crack everything.”

“Yeah, I know that; we all know that. Doesn’t change the fact it isn’t working.”

“You need to figure something out; we’ve not much time.”

“Know that, too, thanks.” I waved my hands. “I’ll take a shot at the password myself.”

“Or we do it another night.”

“Fuck that. Tonight’s the night, man.” In my head, I started going over everything I knew about the company and the dude whose computer I was hacking.

Trying to hack.

“By the way, I think you need to fire her software geek,” I said. “Bill Gates he ain’t.”

“I was just thinking that myself, mate. Now get that brain working.”

“I’m on it, I’m on it.”

Fourth attempt, and I was so not on it.

“Of course. There’s nothing remotely predictable about this dude. I can’t figure it out, and I’m gonna trip something here; I just know it. It’s gonna lock me out, and then we’re well and truly fucked.”

Travis was at the door one second, then standing behind me the next. “Let me see.”

I leaned back to give him room. “Computer savvy, are you?”

“I might know a trick or five.” The glow from the computer screen illuminated his grin.

“Yeah? So why don’t you handle software next time?”

“I will.”

And just as easily as he said those words, he had bypassed the security on the computer.

“You cheated. How did you do that?”

All I got for that was another grin. He started heading back to his post. “Copy that shit and let’s get out of here.”

Slipping the USB flash drive in, I set about finding the right files. “On it, on it.”

“Shhh.” He paused. “Our company’s on the second floor.”

“We’re on the seventh, right? Still time, and I can’t make this go any faster, you know.”

He waved a hand at me.

“Maybe if you’d used that trick earlier, we’d be out of here already, Travis.”

“Last resort.”

“Why’s that?”


Sure. Fine.
Files. There. Copy.

“Almost there,” I said under my breath, slipping the useless disc into my pocket. “Where are they?”

No response.

“Dude, where are they?” Copy next files.


I looked up. Travis wasn’t there.

“Shit. Travis?”

Click, open, copy. Hurry up, damn it.

“Travis…where’d you go?”

How would you say it? Stop tripping, man.

Scowl. (Definitely not a pout.) “I am not tripping.”

Then be quiet.

Well where are you?

Focus on your task.


I grabbed the flash drive, slipped it into my pocket next to the disc, and proceeded to close up everything on the comp, cover my trail.

That done, I got up and headed for the door. I grabbed the doorknob and eased the door open, peeking out into the hall, and as soon as I saw that it was clear, cautiously, quietly, made my way out and started heading for the stairwell down at the end, to the right. Safely there, my feet started carrying me down the first flight.


Where the fuck is Travis?

Rounding the third, I heard a noise and just stopped myself from saying his name. Might not be him, after all. No, I was sure he wouldn’t be making that much noise while he walked; this operation was all about stealth, for God’s sake.

The door below. Someone was opening the door below.

I turned and flew back up the steps toward the fifth floor exit, thinking Travis, hard. Hearing footfalls on the steps didn’t give me much time to check out the hall before I bounded out and started down it, looking for a place to hide.

Office door, locked.

A few steps more, another door, locked.

“Shit.” So where are you now, bodyguard and accomplice? Making a bloody trail? Is the gig up?

While reaching for the handle of a third door, something reached for me at the same time.
A hand clamped over my mouth, an arm gripped me around the waist, and whoever it was yanked me inside a pitch-black room and shut the door.


Fucked. That could be my name right now.

Copyright S. ROIT

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paris Immortal: Atonement...teaser



Kar approached the conspicuously armed man by the gate, who asked him in Spanish who he thought he was and what he thought he was doing here—though he did not ask so politely. Kar then stopped less than a meter from the guard and trained an even gaze on him, for which the guard drew his darkly gleaming weapon, once again asking his question whilst aiming the gun at my escort.

“I suggest you put that away before someone gets hurt,” I said as I moved forward, Kar stepping to the side to allow me a face-to-face view of the gun wielding man.

My words had flowed in perfect Spanish, but he opted to reply in English. “Who the fuck are you?”

“What will you give me if I tell you?” I became aware of the arching of my lips.

“Maybe some of this.” He shoved his weapon in my direction.

“Tsk. I’m disappointed. This isn’t what I had in mind at all, darling.”

“What do you think you’re playing at, mister? Do you know where you are? Whose place this is?”

“I’m quite aware, but thank you for reminding me. Do you have any other redundant questions for me, sweetheart?” I offered a coquettish bat of my lashes.

“I should shoot you right now,” he directed his aim closer to my chest, “cabrón.”

With a lift of brow I said, “Shoot me or kiss me, the result will be the same, I assure you.” I graced him with a very wide smile.

“You’re loco, mister.” He laughed, though not with humor, as his eyes flitted over my companions, no doubt wondering if we were armed and considering his options.

He did not pull the trigger, but with his other hand he reached for one of those wireless devices Trey called walkie-talkies.

“Don’t do that,” I said. “I’ve not finished with you yet, and it would be a shame to bother the others just now.”

He leveled the gun’s barrel in the direction of my heart, slowly lifting the walkie-talkie towards his face, his eyes once again moving betwixt the three of us.

“You don’t wish to do that,” I said, exuding a bit of ‘charm’.

His hand paused in its movement, the fine muscles quivering, begging to deny my suggestion.

“Now, be a good boy and put it away.”

His hand obeyed, clipping the walkie-talkie back onto his belt.

“Thank you ever so much.” My eyes assessed his form. “Pity, however, that you don’t have manners on your own.”

He could only gaze at me stupidly.

“Mm. You’ve already bored me,” I said, releasing him. “We’re going inside, but not to worry, I’ll announce myself soon enough.”

I stepped around him, reaching for the gate. I began to open the latch, and in the space of what was a blink to me, he squeezed the trigger—and found that I’d placed my palm against the barrel just as he fired.

“How rude,” I commented with a lift of my hand, and then smiled—impishly no doubt—for the bafflement in his eyes as he watched the wound knit itself. “Hmm, such things do still sting, you realize, though certainly I am capable of finding pleasure in pain.” After a pursing of my lips, I added, “Are you?”

He was about to make a stunned second attempt when I captured his gaze and looked deeply into his eyes, mesmerizing him more strongly than before.

“Stop. You’ve moved past boring to irritating, young man. This is not wise.”

His hand froze and his eyes glazed.

“You are most assuredly threatening the wrong person.”

My puppet echoed me. “I’m threatening the wrong person.”

“Do you know who this,” I tapped a nail against the blue steel, “should be pointing at?”


“You. You should be aiming this gun at yourself.”

“At myself…” His elbow bent and his hand turned.

“Simon says a bit higher, darling.”


My tongue darted out to wet my lips. “Mmm, and in the interest of getting it right the first time, place the barrel to your temple, s’il vous plaît.”

He placed it to his temple.

A smile discovered me. “Very good, poppet, very, very good. Living is hard, don’t you think? Dying,” my index nail learned the line of his jaw just below his ear, “is so much easier.”

In his glassy eyes, there was yet a deeper understanding. Devil that I am, I’d left him just enough wits that he knew what was happening—and that he could do nothing to stop it.

“Now…” I moved back a step.

My puppet’s next breath was a shuddering one.


His brains painted the white stucco surrounding the dark door various shades of red, pink, grey and others not defined, his body jerking sideways and dropping to the ground whilst I admired the artistry of his skull matter.

Gracias. I have now been properly announced.” I spared Kar a glance. “I didn’t like this one’s tone.”

“He was rather crass.”

“Terribly uncultured. Common thugs bore me, you?”

“Yes my Prince, they do.”

“I don’t believe we need to ask Gabriel his opinion.” I looked to him and he merely smiled at me.

“Ah, here they come,” I said, turning toward the tall door that split the stucco, which was now opening. The first of them already had his weapon drawn, which I grabbed, pinning his fingers to it beneath mine in a bruising embrace. “Do it and I shall consume your intestines from your warm body as I would a large bowl of spaghetti, all whilst you watch.”

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good vibrations

Hey there hi there ho there.

First in today's update:

My publisher, Snowbooks, has started an online magazine called White Magazine. It's still very new, but they plan to update weekly, hopefully. I've submitted the two 'essays' Michel did (vampires in cinema), so far. We'll see when/if those show up. There will be other stuff from Snowbooks authors each update!

Second in today's update:

Atonement around 67,000 words at this very moment. After a spate of just not quite feeling like it, I've had a little run this evening, inching closer and closer to the oh my god shit is hitting the fan big time moments. That should be fun. :P

Third thing is something I'd like to call coolest thing that happened last week. One of my regular clients informed me that he has a bazillion frequent flier miles, because he is always travelling for business. He actually said he'd get me a ticket to France when I can go. Now...this still leaves me needing some savings and money to spend there (yeah, no time soon) but him offering was just too cool.

One day...

That's about all I have for today. I am drinking some red wine and eating chocolate chip cookies, making the most of this evening since I go back to work tomorrow. Er. Today, I guess.


Who else is watching TRUE BLOOD?

This season is gonna be off the hook!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hey, ya'll. Sorry it's been a while. There's been a lot changing for me, things going on.

In short:

I'm getting a divorce. Don't worry, no need to offer sympathy, it's all very amicable and it's the right thing to do. But as you can imagine, this creates a lot of the aforementioned changes.

I'm moving into my own apartment next week and this means more than ever, assessing my finances.

I'm moving forward in other ways I won't expand upon just now, but they're good, trust me. 

All this means I haven't written a lot, but I'm slowly getting back into it and Paris Immortal: Atonement is brushing 56,000 words. The other project has been sitting patiently on the side at about 23,000 words for a while now, but I have faith I'll finish it later.

That's about the extent of my update, other than to say, for these and various reasons, I've not been online as much, either. But I'm keeping up with you all as best I can.