Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mike Malone and the Book of Enoch

In 2010 I wrote an article for the Midnight Diner about my (then) coming novel, The Calling of Mike Malone. I've learned a lot about the book of Enoch since then, but it still formed the genesis for the story and the article sums up why. From The Midnight Diner-- Why Enoch? In August I have a novel coming out called, The Calling of Mike Malone, to be published by MuseItUp publishers. This story grew from all the years I’d spent wondering about a certain prophet in the Bible named Enoch. Why Enoch? Come on, how do you not wonder about Enoch? I can recall being five years old, driving along in the family station wagon off to church and my sisters arguing about people dying and going to heaven. My mother added that there was at least one man who didn’t die at all, a man named Enoch. I asked how he managed to skip that step and my mom said because he was translated. I sat there staring into space, my five year old head thinking, ‘Translated? To French?’ I sat back and forgot about it for awhile. But over time I noticed something about Enoch…the Bible doesn’t say much about him. From the KJV we know that he didn’t see death, that God was pleased with him, and, aside from a few blurbs in Jude, there isn’t much. So then, one day, I read the book of Enoch. No, it’s not part of regular biblical canon. My view of extra-biblical works is that you might have to take them with a grain of salt, but you can also learn things. For instance, the book of Enoch deals with the days Enoch spent judging the fallen angels. Yeah, think about that a second. This man called down God’s judgement on the angels. You know, destroy- a- city- with- the- wave- of- an- arm, smite- thousands- at- a- time, beings -of- blazing- light…angels. And yet this little human turned to them and spoke the words God gave to him say, “You’re going to hell.” Not a message I’d want to deliver. Enoch had guts. The book also introduces us to the concept that in over five thousand years the snarkiness of rebellion really hasn’t changed that much. Here’s the fallen angels deciding to go to earth and get some strange. Enoch 7 1It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful. 2And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children. 3Then their leader Samyaza said to them; I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise; 4And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime. 5But they answered him and said; We all swear; 6And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking. 7Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of mount Armon. 8That mountain therefore was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, and bound themselves by mutual execrations. Unbelievable! Big bad angels about to disobey God. This section is like something out of middle school when me and a few other baddies would meet around the picnic table and talk about how we were going to steal answers from the teachers desk or something. Samyaza is like, “I’ll go do it, but I’m not going to be the only one that gets in trouble. You guys do it too or I’m out.” And like a bunch of dumb-ass punks, the fallen all agree that they’ll do it, too. Now, even if you don’t believe the book of Enoch is biblical at all, it is still a very old book and in this example alone we learn that bad guys are most believable when they are a little bit stupid. Go back and read the account again and listen for these other commonalities: They show no ability to put themselves in someone elses shoes. The ‘it’s all about me’ attitude has been embraced throughout the millennia. How else do you think Lady Gaga scraped up fans? But the implications and possible ramifications of the events in the book of Enoch are still with us. Long debates are fought in the UFO community as to whether or not the fallen are still having babies down here and if they are behind the alien abductions we hear so much about. Some religious groups, like the Mormons, insist their God lives on his own planet and spends his time making babies. Sounds down right Enockian. So coming up with a story in which a fallen angel decides to out do his brethren by creating his own personal anti-Christ and taking over not only our world, but the spiritual realm, well, it ends up sounding not so far-fetched. But then Mike Malone has to deal with the fact that his father’s greatest dream for his life is to have Mike become own his anti-Christ. And Dad doesn’t like hearing ‘No.’ The ride Mike takes after making this clear to his father becomes- an extremely dark, but fascinating adventure. One that I hope the reader will enjoy.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Secondary Character? Still First Rate!

Welcome to the Paranormal Blog Tour! I am so pleased to be your first stop!

In paranormal fiction, secondary characters still need a first rate quality. They’re like ushers helping the MC and the readers find their way through your bizarre universe. Here’s an example from my novel, The Calling of Mike Malone. This is Mike’s meeting with Reverend Hazel Lumski, a character who functions around the edges of the story, but adds so much. She becomes the perfect introduction to a new, strange chapter in Mike’s life. She’s a New Age medium who enjoys, among other things, Chicago basketball, cigars and…speaking to the dead. Let’s meet her!

…Mike rang the bell again, and in a moment he found himself staring down at the Reverend Hazel Lumski, a woman who stood about four foot nothing. Her red hair was wrapped in a tidy bun, and she wore what he thought the ladies called a peasant dress, with puffy sleeves and gingham print, an earth tone shawl draped her shoulders.

Thinking he might punch Rudy for sending him to some weird, middle-aged spinster, he forced a smile and said, “Good afternoon, Reverend. I’m—”

“Michael Sean Malone,” she briskly informed him. “You were born almost twenty-one years ago here in Chicago, your mother is alive and retired to Florida, your friends say you work much too hard, you listen to old rock and roll, you’re a Cubs fan, and you keep a special stash of money in your briefcase in an envelope marked business. Your girlfriend’s name is Linda. Please come in. Rudy, it is good to see you again.”

“Been way too long, Reverend.”

Closing his gaping mouth, Mike stepped into the house.

“Let me take your coat, Mr. Malone.”

“Thank you,” he murmured, still stunned. “How-how did you know all that? Not even Rudy knows about my money stash.”

“Ha, now I do,” Rudy said.

The Reverend smiled sweetly. “It wasn’t I, dear. It’s one of the many spirits I see surrounding you and vying for your attention!


The Rev never loses her ‘take charge’ attitude throughout the story. She is ruled by her willingness to discuss the incredibly weird as if they are just things we should take for granted…


…Mike swung one leg off the saddle and landed lightly on the floor.

“If I hear the word calling one more time! Reverend Lumski, among other things, my father is a cannibal.”

“No, no.” She wagged her annoying finger the same way she had at their very first meeting. “One can only be a cannibal by devouring one’s own kind. We are not his kind. He is a god. A creature far superior to us all. To the smaller minded, his behavior may well appear extreme.”

Mike said, “I’m warning you. If you stay here, and he gets bored with you, or you quit being useful, you will end up on the menu.” He pushed his way past her and started up the stairway. “Forget it, I’m getting the girl.”

“That’s not the right way.” She pointed down the first floor hall.

“And I should believe you, why?”

“Because your father told me to give you anything you wanted.”

“Sure, give me Linda.”

“Manners!”

He paused. “Please give me Linda?”…”



What can I say? Reverend Lumski is the result of immersion. I interviewed people who truly believe in strange things. For instance, a friend of mine, Guy Malone, ran the UFO Festival in Roswell New Mexico for a number of years and also had a radio program called, ‘Live from Roswell.’ Go to the chat room of a show like that and some of the folks you meet can be extremely interesting. I had a conversation with one woman that went like this:

Woman: “The Tall Whites spoke to me last night.”

Me: “Who are the Tall Whites?”

Woman: “They’re the alien race that lives among us. They are the gods returning home.”

Me: “Well, what did they say?”

Woman: “They said, ‘Soon.’ “

I know, creepy, huh? And you can call her words the result of over-whelming awe or a lack of medication, but after an extended conversation one thing was clear: the woman believed everything she said like you or I believe in gravity. In a paranormal story the hero or heroine may be terrified or confused due to circumstances, but if you’ve written a solid secondary character they become like a cemented sign-post announcing, “This is how we’re going to play…”

Like Reverend Lumski….

"…Thank you,” Mike said, nervous, avoiding her eyes. “But I think I’d better go.” He stuffed the medallion into his breast pocket, grabbed his coat, and headed for the door.

The ever pleasant, kindly voice of the reverend stopped him again. “Aren’t you curious? Don’t you wish to speak with your father? You can, you know. You will think about it, won’t you? I promise I won’t let any harm come to you.”

He stared at her, thunderstruck. Talk to my Dad? My Dad is dead you freaking witch!

Outside his head he merely stammered, “Sure-sure, I’ll think about it,” knowing full well he would push the entire episode from his mind as soon as possible.

Reverend Lumski’s last words took aim like a poisoned arrow. “It never pays to lie, Mr. Malone…"

_________________

Thank you very much for coming! I hope you enjoyed it! I have PDF copies of Mike Malone for the first five ‘creative’ comments. And everyone, thank you again for stopping by!







Monday, February 27, 2012

Death to the Lizards!




In the smoky back room of a Bay City coffee house Tim Marks peered out at the crowd. His turn next. Into his fifties he knew he was way too old for this shit. But the back alley was the perfect set-up for what he needed. The prep; simple, effective.

Young punks, teens and twenties, sat in the audience amidst masses of self generated fog from the cigarettes they openly puffed. They lifted coffee mugs to their lips to sip substances with far more punch than coffee. This was an underground club, a place where children of the wealthy gathered to be bad. Some could wake up, but not all.

He spotted them. The offspring of the elite. Deja Monique, daughter of movie star Vu Monique sat next to Sunset Diamond, son of music mogul, Dave Diamond. Dressed in chic black and stylish, bored expressions, they sat, eyes peering.
Time to see if they’d fall from the tree.

As he stepped on stage, his back-up band hit and sustained a C-five triad. Tim felt the sounds waves wash over him like a clean, mountain stream. The sound of the chord made Deja and Sunset twitch. The rest of his audience raised their voices in approval.

But inside he knew they still craved blood.

He picked up the mic and over the din of cheers asked, “Got your lizard stomping shoes on?”

Expressions changed to amused, half-drunk raucous cries of, “Yeah!” and “Death to the lizards!” filled the room.

Yeah, just a roomful of spoiled, dumb kids, programmed to the hilt. But Tim knew if he kept pulling back the layers and layers of implanted ideas and actions, a few of them had a chance.

He lowered his voice. “Yeah, death to them…” the crowd hushed wanting to hear. “You know how the show goes…keep it quiet first, but help me sing…ahhh…”
In whispered voices the crowd sang, “…ahhh…”

The sound shimmered across the room. Tim could see it in their eyes; the ones who’d been to his show before had a light in them. Not a bright light, more like a pin-prick. Still, it meant they were coming back to life. He glanced at Deja and Diamond. Both stared daggers at him and their eyes…not black, but a sick jaundice yellow. Yeah, easy pickings.

He continued in the same awestruck, whisper and sang a third above the current note, “Ladies….ahhhh….”

“…ahh…”

He took the note a fifth above the first on and said, “Band sings, ahhhh…”

“Ahhh…”

He let the tones hang in the air a moment until the sound of raw, human voices filled the club with it’s holy sound. He cut them off. Even in a room of drunk rowdy, over-grown children, the sound gave them pause.

“There…” he whispered. “You feel it. Our weapon against the evil…and we know it’s there…”

His bass player struck a low, ominous note to the rhythm of a heart beat.

“You know they’re around when nothing makes sense. The man tells you he needs more tax money because he has to spend it…to make more money. It makes no sense. The man will tell you he is good, but does more evil than the worlds biggest sinner. Remember your note and sing louder….ahhh!…”

“Ahhh!”

The harmony wrapped around his soul and lifted him. Once again, he would do this.
“Yeah,” he said and his audience quieted. Deja and Sunset twitched and gazed at each other uncomfortable. Oh, don’t even think about getting away.

“Hey!” a voice called, “I wanna know something’.”

Tim waved for his band to halt. “Let the man speak,” he said.

The punk stood, a plaid fedora on his head, black coat with blue jeans and dangling black tie. He teetered and bowed. “Thank you, uh…” a loud belch erupted from the bottom of his gut.

Laughter mixed with comments:

“Aw…sit down, Loser!”

“You suck!”

The Punk raised an index finger and wagged it at the group. “No, no, no! I jes’ wanna know one freakin’, stinkin’, thing. Izzat okay?”

A shout from behind told the Punk, “Sit down before you fall down!”

“Let him speak,” said Tim.

The punk straightened himself and gave a silly bow. “Thank you, sir. You are a scholar ‘han a gentleman. All I wanna know is one or two little things…”

“Dude, the whole show is waiting on you. Speak.”

“’Hokay. Why do you hate lizards? Whud they ever do to you?”

Tim laughed. “I don’t hate them for the hell of it. If I hated them I’d screw up, then they’d catch me. It’s all self-defense. They declared war on us along time ago and I’m just a soldier behind enemy lines.”

The Punk stared at him open mouthed a minute then burst into laughter. “Dude! You are so out there, yer in!” He thrust a fist into the air. “Yeah! Death to the freakin’ man! Death to the lizards!”

“Who-hoo!”

Tim spoke into the mic, “Time to call ‘em out…”

He stared down his audience and sang...

"Why’d it take so long for me to see that if I don’t kill you, you’ll sure as hell kill me?

I’m walking, I’m talking, I’ll say to you today, that if you don’t back up I’ll blow you all away….

Death to the Lizards!”

The audience leaped and replied, “Death to the lizards!”

“Death to the Lizards?”

“Death to the Lizards!”

“I live out here in the valley of the shadow, keeping it low…lower than your muther,
If you see me comin’ and you haven’t run yet, you better make tracks cuz  I’m your angel death, Death to the Lizards!”

“Death to the Lizards!”

“I quench my thirst with the river of life, so look out bitch, I’m down for this fight…Right? Rights? You wanna hear your rights? In the name of Jesus Christ, you better take flight.

 Death to the Lizards. Sing! Ahhhh-ahhhh-ahhhh!"

“Ahhhh-ahhhh-ahhhh!”

“Ooooh-oooh-ooooh!

“Ooooh-ooooh-oooh…”

It happened in a nano-second. Deja and Sunset vanished. Next, the scream.

“Lizards! Oh, my freaking God! Lizards!”

Waves of fright and commotion sent people hurtling towards the exits, but his roadies blocked the ways. “C’mon people it’s part of the show!”

“What the hell?”

Tim noted that these looked like giant, black iguana-like creatures. Deja and Sunset ran back and forth in sheer confusion for a moment, then roared and plunged, as Tim had thought they would, out the east exit. Close to the sewer.

“I got this!” Tim bellowed into the mic. “Sit down and get ready!”

He leaped from the stage and plowed out the back door. In the alley the two juveniles waited for him. The young ones always waited, still arrogant enough to think they had a chance. Sunsets side frills exploded from either side of his neck. Deja recoiled with a loud hiss. Tim yanked the already silenced Rueger from his side holster and shot them both in the head. Shovel parked by the exit, he used it to flip open the storm drain and stuff the massive lizards down, enjoying splash sound as they were being washed away. He dumped the bucket of bleach water he’d also parked outside, just to rinse any blood away, and returned to back stage.

The two stuffed heads they used for props were placed by the back curtain. Tim snatched them each by a head spike and hoisted them high as he stalked back onto the stage.

The band had started a rock song, some kids were dancing some still watched the battle video. When Tim re-appeared wild, insane cheers broke out.

“Yeah!” he shouted. “They tell you what to think, how to feel, what you ought to be!” He threw the heads back stage and cried, “Remember what you were meant to be and be it!”

“Yeah!”

He waited for the cheers to die down before an amused smile nudged across his lips.

“All right ya’ll,” he said, “wait till ya hear our next song…”


 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Calling of Mike Malone and what "They" aren't Telling You



It starts with a prophet named Enoch.

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Yes, that Enoch. Great-Grandfather of Noah. His revelations were passed down generation after generation until being compiled in the Book of Enoch.

Here's what else the Bible tells us about the man:

Genesis 5:18-24
18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.
19 After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters.
20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.
22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.
23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.
24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

And that's all.

In the book of Noah, Noah says this :

Enoch 68:1
And after that my great-grandfather Enoch gave me all the secrets in the book and in the parables which had been given to him, and he put them together for me in the words of the book of the parables.

What secrets? Well, that's where it gets interesting.

The KJV tells us that one third of all the angels were cast down to earth and the unspoken question about Enoch becomes, “What was it like to be alive and kicking at that time?”

The book of Enoch tells us these Fallen angels, the 'sons of God' wanted to be treated like gods. They brought technologies to the earth that were the equivalent of handing a loaded gun to a three year old. They mated with earth women, and, as you can imagine, two different species getting together like that produced some horrible, freakish creatures. They were the Nephilim, the giants who devoured human flesh—and by the way, ever wonder why most counties have legends and tales about flesh eating giants living in caves around their land?

Our image of the Halloween witch comes from Enoch: the wives of the Fallen were taught occult secrets and the use of strange herbs.

But God called the 'secrets' the Fallen took with them 'useless secrets.' It was just enough to impress the greedy among us, and when has man not been greedy? The Fallen turned the hearts of men towards evil continually, and that triggered the Noatian Flood.

Before all of that happened, however, God sent this little Prophet named Enoch to pronounce His judgment on the Fallen angels. This man judged the angels. Just for a minute, can you imagine being on earth when these Fallen angels walked among us as wonderful, god-like, however, evil creatures? And there you are, sent to pronounce doom on someone bigger and far more powerful than you've ever felt in your entire life. You get to show up and tell them they're damned for all time.

Afterwards they constantly sought out Enoch, screaming, begging, pleading for him to go before God and intercede for them. But like the Flood event where there was a span of at least one hundred years in which anyone could have joined Noah on board the ark, at last, the door closed and the rains began. The time to do the right thing had passed.

So why isn't 'Enoch' part of the Bible? I mean, it doesn't contradict scripture concerning the last days. For instance:

Enoch 46:1-2
1 There I beheld the Ancient of days whose head was like white wool, and with him another, whose countenance resembled that of a man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I inquired of one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me every secret thing, concerning this Son of man; who he was; whence he was; and why he accompanied the Ancient of days.
2 He answered and said to me, This is the Son of man, to whom righteousness belongs; with whom righteousness has dwelt; and who will reveal all the treasures of that which is concealed: for the Lord of spirits has chosen him; and his portion has surpassed all before the Lord of spirits in everlasting uprightness."

Compare that to the Bible-

Revelation 1:10-18
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Most of the other things in Enoch are basically things the canonical scriptures just don't handle.

Part of the problem, I understand. The stories of Enoch remained an oral tradition for the most part. They were things “everybody knew” back in the day. Maybe they wanted to keep it that way. What we have of the book is in fragments, the first part 'The Book of the Watchers” was written down around 300 BC. And the Book of Parables came much later. So, some argue, it was not actually penned by Enoch.

Well, Genesis wasn't penned by Adam, either. Moses took his knowledge of past events, another oral tradition, and placed them on parchment. What would be the problem with the writers of Enoch doing the same thing?

Even still, the book, remained part of Jewish Canon until 90 AD and Christians didn't discard it until after 364 AD. The Apostle Mark took the known scriptures back to Ethiopia where he remained a witness for Jesus Christ and the Book of Enoch remains in the Ethiopian Bible to this day. So was Mark wrong? Why was the Catholic church so anxious to leave it out of the Bible?

Oh, there's answers, but don't you smell a conspiracy coming?

We'll talk more about that end of it later, but if you were a Fallen angel, which book would you want kept out of the Bible?

However, this discarded book that tells you about Enoch and what he did, the book everybody used to know, that churches now avoid and don't wish to share with you, now forms the basis for The Calling of Mike Malone.

See you next time as we begin to discuss the conspiracy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Calling of Mike Malone Now Available!

Yes, it's my first novel and already has a four-star rating on Amazon. It's available there (see side bar) or at MuseItUp Publishing! Thanks for having a look!


The Calling of Mike Malone @ MuseItUp Publishing

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Me and My Kid Playing around in 2006

This is from a blog me and my son, Tim, did back in 2006. We called it The Adventures of Dr. Daniel and Phantom. Following this is an excerpt of the kid's writing today.



Hello, my name is Dr. Daniel.

Hey, I'm Phantom.

Dr. D:We are sharing this blog because we work together. I work for the government. I am an interdimensional traveller and my asignments can take me anywhere from a different spot on our time line, to another planet in the sixth dimension.

Phantom: I'm a pilot and robotics expert. I keep the Doctor's gadgetry working.

Dr. D: Tomorrow we have to go to Sucomuno, the 12th planet in the Hertofor solar system.

Phantom: Why are we going there?

Dr. D: A weather report. We need to see what the effect of a double sun has on a planet very similar to ours.

Phantom: A weather report? Why don't we just build a model here and let me sleep in tomorrow?

Dr. D: Well, you'd miss church.

Phantom: But I can tell you what the weather is like on Sucomuno right now: they have two suns. It's hot.

Dr. D: But there are some things that can only be known if we go and see them. Up close and personal.

Phantom: Yeah, it's the personal that gets me sometimes.

Dr. D.: Get some sleep, Phantom. We've got a lot to do tomorrow.

Phantom: Sounds good. Nice meeting you folks out there! Things get a little hairy when we're on the road, so bear with us. But tomorrow should go pretty well....Yeah, I like dimension hopping. It rocks! See you!

Dr. D: Night all!

posted by M. L. Archer at 7:41 PM 7 comments

Right now he writes under the pen name, Mike Olmsted. They grow up way too fast.





How He Loves

By: Mike Olmsted


I saw my first demon today.


My name is Mark Handley. I’m seventeen. Pretty normal guy, got a regular life, school, work. At home it’s me and my mom. And church. Yeah, church. I’ve been going forever and have heard all about demons and devils. But learning about them and knowing you’ve actually run into one…I better explain.


I go to this little Pentecostal church where I sing in the worship band. One of the songs we were doing that Sunday was Dave Crowder’s, How He Loves. I listened to it on You Tube while I was getting ready to go and I happened to hit a version where they swapped out the line, “Sloppy wet kiss,” for “Unforeseen kiss.”


I know I made a face like someone tossed a rotten egg in my room. I see things like that as a sign the little old lady brigade got hold of someone and commenced arm twisting till that someone yelled, “Uncle.”


Now don’t get me wrong. Little old ladies are just fine. In fact, if you’re my age and never sat down and spoke with someone 20, 30...60 years older than you, heck, do it sometimes. Those guys are cool. I’m telling you, they know things.


But there’s always that minority who place their attention on performing an ethnic cleansing your brain cells until you meet their standard of perfection. Annoying, but I let it go, since I was singing ‘Sloppy wet kiss,’ anyway.


Had an okay service. My mom told me when I joined the band that, “Your first job is to lead people into worshiping God, not your ability.” She doesn’t sugar coat much. But she’s right. So I do my very best to make that happen. But today when I was on the platform, I felt like something was watching me. Like some dark cloud had hissed through the church and every eye seemed critical.


I have to admit, I felt bad because I thought it meant I had let myself obsess over that stupid song line to the point where I wasn’t doing my job. Yeah, me the guy that said, ‘Jesus, I’m your man. Just tell me what you want done and I’ll do it…if I don’t completely screw up, that is.’


So I sang my song the best I could and was glad when it was over.


When church let out, I was outside the sanctuary, hanging around with my wingman, Jimmy Wilson. He’s a big guy, football player, the kind of guy who greets you with a shove and a name. My left shoulder took the greeting this time as he said, “What’s going on, dork?”


I regained my balance and gave him a quick back hand to the chest with an added, “You’re the dork.”


You’d have thought a mosquito landed on him. He stood there laughing like, “Heh-heh…heh-heh...”


And then all hell broke loose. I mean it.


Sister Jabez, a blue-haired, stern faced, matron barged forward, calling my name. Her heavy wooden cane thumping on the sidewalk.



“Mark Handley! I saw that! I heard you!” a gaggle of senior ladies followed behind. For an older hobbled woman, she sure got in my face right away.She stuck a finger an inch from my nose while her friends gathered around like an octogenerian Gestapo. My heart sank as I realized I was trapped by the real little old lady brigade. I could see it: Mark Handley met his end today after being pummeled by old ladies with canes and walkers.


My jaw dropped.


Sister Jabez sniffed, “I think we’re all a little tired of watching the boys your age engage in so much tom-foolery. Why pushing and shoving, you could have knocked someone over. And you, especially, you’re supposed to set the example. You on stage and then afterwards calling people names like that. You should be ashamed! You make me sorry I had to hear those words and I want you to apologize to me and all my friends right now! This is church!”


I’ve often heard the phrase, “Just wait for a Word from God.”


But the only word in my head at that moment sounded like, “Whu-huh?” So I didn’t say it.


I paused and in those few seconds I think a thousand idea’s ran through my head. Two years ago I would have tossed my hands in the air, said, “I didn’t do ANYTHING!” And stormed off. Not now. My first thought was to apologize and say I was sorry for disturbing her. That would have been a nice thing to do.


But not the best.


I stared at her, still dumbstruck. Her eyes narrowed. More than ever in the glare of sun light her face appeared as relief map of wrinkles and worn in an expression made even harsher by the way her lip curled wolfishly as she glared.


My mind raced through every encounter with this lady and nothing added up to this kind of outburst.


But maybe she had had a bad day. Car trouble, benefit of the doubt…go with it. I could do that.


Except I looked into her eyes again.


Her arms folded, her head tipped upward. “Well?” she snapped. “We’re waiting. Apologize. Apologize now.”


Once, I asked my mom how you can tell if there’s demon causing problems. She just looked at me and said, “Biggest demon tag I know: when everything stops making sense.”


This made no sense at all and Sister Jabez’s eyes explained everything else. For a moment I saw their blue-gray color retreat. A mocking intelligence peered from behind as they darkened to black. I felt a rush of shock; I was with something inhuman. It was the first time I ever knew something wanted me dead. In my minds eye I could see this evil sprite, cavorting against a black sky, and it’s death head rushed to my face as it cackled, “Yes, boy, bow to me.”


But it all felt just like imagination. I had a verse spring into my head, but if these were the wrong words, if this really was my imagination, she’d be crazy angered, and there would be meetings with my mom and the pastor and I’d be told to maybe take a break from the worship band while the church healed…and on and on…


But then I could also hear my youth Pastor, when he told my group, “God is talking to a lot of you guys even now. At some point you have to decide whether or not you really believe He’s got your back.”


I knew what I believed, I knew what was happening, so I said the verse, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”


Sister Jabez's response startled everyone. She doubled forward in explosive coughs. I yanked some change from my pocket and told Jimmy to go buy her a ginger ale. I took her arm and lead her to a nearby bench where the coughing continued for several minutes. Jimmy brought the can of soda and I sat by her, offering it to her as I lightly patted her back.



She drank. The coughing slowed and I asked, “You okay, Sister? Didn’t mean to startle you.”


He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am the tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.


Her eyes were no longer black, the darkness replaced with tears. Her face, soft, kind.



When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affection is for me…


“Oh, Mark, I’m so sorry to snap at you like that. I have just so much on my mind, I really do think you’re good boy. I’m just a snappy old woman sometimes. You don‘t think I‘m Satan, do you?”


Oh, how he loves us…


A picture flashed into my mind of Sister Jabez in her fancy house and plenty of money, still wondering, still afraid if everything would be okay.


We are his portion and he is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes. If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking.


“Of course not. In fact,” I smiled and gave her a wink. “Let’s do lunch. I’ll pick you up on my motorcycle.”


Sister Jabez threw her head back and laughed more joyfully than I’ve ever heard her laugh before. I mean, c’mon, if something wanders in one ear and out the other, doesn’t mean you stop loving that person.


“Oh, my!” she laid a hand on her chest while the rest of her friends joined in her merriment. And all of a sudden, I knew I was going to help this lady realize that God really does have her back.


I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us…


“This old bag of bones racing down the highway?” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know, but you if you promise not to laugh, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride one of those.”


I sat up. “Really? I could give you a ride now.”


She waved me off . “No, no, I’m in a skirt. But on Wednesday, I could wear slacks. If you promise not to go very fast and stay right in the parking lot.”


Oh, how He loves us, How He loves us all.


She wasn’t a bad lady, just scared. Yeah, I could help.


I told her it was a date, which made her friends giggle. And all was well with the world again. The ladies gathered themselves up to leave, and I knew would climb onto my motorcycle and head for home, but not before Sister Jabez gave me a hug and planted, right on my cheek, a sloppy wet kiss.



Could it have ended any other way?

And He loves us, Oh, How He loves us...

Oh, how he loves us...

How He loves us all...


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Calling of Mike Malone to be Published by MuesItUp!

Yup, next summer, The Calling of Mike Malone comes out with Canadian based MuseItUp publishing. It will be presented first as a an e-book I am excited and thrilled!

Here's the start...


Somebody was watching Mike Malone, and it scared the hell out of him.
A tall man, he peered out over the crowds, scanning the people who hustled past. One arm rested on the roof of his car, and he paused, tensing over the familiar sensation that now struck as quick and chilling as the late autumn wind. Though this feeling of being watched often followed him, he knew it had to be ridiculous. Who on earth would spy on him? And why? But after brushing off an endless stream of strange incidents in his life—which now included glimpsing the future—Mike couldn't deny it. He needed help.

His father’s words whispered from a distant, childhood memory. “I’m so glad you are
happy son. Your life may take some strange turns, but I promise you’ll understand when you’re twenty-one. I promise.”

Mike gritted his teeth. Tomorrow he would be twenty-one. Dad, if you wanted to make dire claims over my life, you should have stayed alive long enough to explain them. Enough, I’m done. This ends today.


For more sample sections checkout Mike's fan page on Facebook.


The Calling of Mike Malone-Facebook