Winter rain

James was a friend of a friend. I met him at a party in Sea Point, on really rainy winter night. He had lovely green-blue eyes and a glorious black moustache. I thought he was straight at first. But later on, when I went out to the closed verandah, listening to the mournful moan of the lighthouse, he came out to join me.

“It’s so atmospheric,” he said. “We should be under a warm duvet sipping cognac,” he said.

“You offering?” I asked.

“Yes. I have some nice cognac.” He smiled.

So we drove to his flat though the driving rain, the mountain a great shadow in the low cloud, the wind howling around the car. We sipped cognac. And made love.

Next morning the storm had passed.

We lay in bed warm and close.

“Coffee,” he said.

“But, first,” I said, “I want to make love with you.”

“Yeah,” he replied. “Sounds good.’

Funny how you meet someone who changes your life, quite by chance, isn’t it? His moustache is grey now, but his eyes are just as beaut as they were 40 years ago. And he still buys good cognac.

The Portrait of a President, and the Day of Reckoning for a Nation

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

In my dystopian science fiction novel The Martian Patriarch, I told the story of a villainous tyrant who conquered the world.  Janus Franz Krichek was an Austrian émigré who grew-up in Texas and embraced the sociopathic ideology of fascism.  The character was intellectually limited, but possessed a brutal obsession for power to serve his narcissistic desires.  Krichek’s classic megalomania both drove him to great heights and eventually caused his unpleasant downfall.  Ironically, Krichek’s fate was sealed when his closest supporters suddenly turned on him after a series of costly failures in moments of crisis.

That was a fictional character created nearly a quarter of a century ago.  At the time, I had no way of knowing how prescient it might be in real life;  and, I had no inkling that such a despot would rise to power in my lifetime – not in the United…

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My writing: an update

Jay's World

I feel really strange.

I finished both the series that have consumed my brain and my time for the last fifteen years. Living Fae’s final volume, On the Edge, is in the last stages of formatting and might even be published about the same time as this post. The Skilled Investigators has reached a conclusion although my betas might ask me to expand bits. They usually do. I’m one of those authors whose word count goes up after editing…

On second thoughts, I’m going to hold back on publishing On the Edge. It isn’t a Christmas story and could get overwhelmed in the general riot at this time of year, and I’ll be publishing my Christmas offering so that friends not signed up to this blog can get it on Smashwords or Amazon.

Harlequin (Living Fae) and Genef (The Skilled Investigators) have lived in my head since their inception. I…

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Happy Halloween. Have a free story!

Jay's World

The story is dedicated to smallhobbit, a friend in real life and on social media, who entertains me with her fanfic offerings and whose birthday falls on Halloween. The house in the story is real; I live in it. The characters and plot are based on something I wrote some years ago, but recently rewrote and edited extensively.


Hallowe’en Changes.

Adam ran quickly upstairs. Time had passed while he was putting the finishing touches to Ewan’s costume for the Hallowe’en party tonight and he hadn’t noticed, lost in considering how to attach the tail and horns so that a six year old would be unlikely to dislodge them. He was due at the school gates in ten minutes and and Ewan would cry if he was late again. Then the other parents, mostly mums, would tut and frown and mutter about children with two dads having problems. Mentally slapping himself…

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Writing up a storm

I’ve been writing up a storm with AngelFire. In the last week I’ve written 10,000 words, after a decade where I hardly wrote at all. It’s marvellous. At this rate I’ll have finished AngelFire by the end of the year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

Here’s a snippet from the first chapter of AngelFire. I hope you like it.

There was a rustle in the undergrowth under the great trees.  The forest was usually silent, all noise swallowed up by the thick carpet of slender tan and sepia leaves underneath the giant falcs, except for the shrill calls of brightly coloured parrots, the occasional cry of an animal under the claws and teeth of a predator, the grunt of bush-pigs or baboons.  He already knew enough to know that, and the noise intrigued, though it did not alarm him.  He turned his eyes — a clear grey with a touch of blue — towards the noise, and waited.  There was again a stillness, the windless silence of a vast forest, broken only by the chatter of a family of scarlet parakeets.  He watched the place where the noise had come from for many heartbeats and his lips curved in a smile of sheer pleasure.  Everything was so beautiful.  He had never seen such exquisite loveliness before.  He was filled with joy at the magnificence of the forest, at the layer of brown leaves on the ground, and the flaking bark of the trees, each peeling of the brown outer layer revealing a different green layer underneath.  He walked forward, towards the bushes the noise had come from.  They were covered with berries, some black and glossy, others a dark red, and still others a thin translucent pink.  He quickly found that the black berries were sweet with a delicious tart after-taste, but that the others were too sour to be eaten with pleasure.  He ate until he was full.  He hadn’t known he was hungry.  He hadn’t even known the word, or what it meant, but as he ate, it came into his head.  Hungry.

He felt himself observed and looked up.  From within the bushes, a pair of perfect pale gold eyes with vertical slits of ebony were watching him, eyes set in a face covered in short glossy black fur.  He laughed in pleasure, and reached out his hand towards the face and it was abruptly gone.  The smile left his eyes, and for an instant there was fear, perhaps, or sorrow, but that too vanished.  He started striding over the soft carpet underfoot, with every appearance of knowing exactly where he was heading, though he could not have explained where, or even the concept, if you had asked him.

He came upon a stream in the crook of a valley, crystalline water dripping over dark branches and twigs, and cupping his hands he drank his fill.  He noticed paw prints almost as large as his hand in the mud, one filling with seeping water as he watched, and again he smiled, his eyes shining with happiness.  All was new.  All perfect.

He kept walking, sometimes loping through the airy halls of the falc forest, at other times, stopping to eat more fruit, or mushrooms he found growing underneath the giant trees on fallen branches or the rotting trunks of some forest monarch brought down by a storm.  He seemed to know which fungi were edible and safe, and which were to be avoided.  His path took him ever northwards, towards a goal he couldn’t name, a place and people he didn’t know.  He did not follow an undeviating line, though, turning often aside to avoid steep cliffs or thickets of thorn bushes covered with sweet-scented white flowers.  From time to time, he was aware of being watched, but he had no fear, only a fine patience that this too would become clear in time.  All was new and wonderful.  He trusted because he had not been taught otherwise.