SOME THINGS ARE HARDER THAN OTHERS. I WANTED TO SHOW YOU THESE IMAGES STACKED IN A NICE ROW. WORDPRESS DID NOT WANT ME TO, TOSSING THEM TOGETHER AND RUINING MY PICTURE/CAPTION RELATIONSHIPS. I’M TRYING TO FIX IT, EVEN DOWNLOADED A PLUGIN THAT WAS WAS SUPPOSED TO ALLOW ME TO MAKE A TABLE. MAYBE IF MY NAME WAS EINSTEIN. I’M GOING TO KEEP WORKING ON THIS, AND RELOADING VERSIONS. I’M NOT SPAMMING YOU.
I’M REFUSING TO GIVE UP!
[So what I did was put hunks of text next to each picture. WordPress liked that. I hope you do, too. You get a beefcake show of Will and all of Chapter 1. SN]
For my upcoming publicity and video-making activity, I want an image that captures the heart, soul and BODY of my hero, Will Duane. Will is the star of the two Bloodsong books currently out there. He’s the richest man in the world, sixty-two years old, and a real hunk. Not possible, you say? Let’s see how close we can come.
HERE’S WILL #1
Good looking dude. Needs some Photoshopped white hair and blue eyes. I like this version of Will because of the additional pictures available to use in a video. Take a look below. They capture all of the richest man in the world.
THE ONLY WAY I COULD GET THIS TO WORK WAS ADD TEXT HERE. So I am. This is from chapter 1 of Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem. Here’s Will in his own words:
Will Duane stared out of the motor home’s tinted window, scowling. The Ashley, his luxurious RV and the hallmark of the Numenon caravan, jolted across the desert in fine form. Will wasn’t doing quite as well.
He turned away from his view, not wanting to face the light. That damned New Mexico sunlight had done something to him. That and all the space. The desert had too much space; it made him feel weird.
He felt as if the core of himself, the hard center that was him, had cracked. He blamed it on the damn light. All day, they’d passed through that bright emptiness. Who he was began to melt away. His control, his purpose, all of him was being undermined.
The terrain did the same thing. All day long dirt, rocks, and cacti surrounded them. Plus those stupid round trees that dotted the landscape like lice. They weren’t even eight feet high. Will hated New Mexico more than he thought possible. They can’t even grow a proper tree.
2. WILL JUST LOVES WOMEN. Using them, perhaps, but you’d be amazed how they’ll flock to a man like him and love being used. All of them think they have a chance at becoming the next Mrs. Will Duane. Poor babies. That’s the booby prize.
Chapter 1 continues:
Will rubbed his chin, feeling a screamer coming on. He would not give in to it. He would stay in control.
“Mark, how much longer?” he shouted.
“It’s right up ahead, Mr. Duane. Over that rise. See the cars.” The driver pointed at a ridge a short distance away. For the last few miles, phalanxes of junker cars from the 1970s had dogged them. Those were their fellow retreat attendees. It was 1997. What kind of people drove cars that old?
Will could see laden vehicles disappearing over the crest. Other cars returned, obviously having dumped their loads. They turned left and entered an enormous parking lot just outside the Mogollon Bowl. Light reflected off the vehicles and hit him like bullets. The parking lot was a junk yard of wrecks with alligatored vinyl tops and mottled paint. He clenched his jaw.
Will sat in his command seat, directly behind the driver, with his back against the cabin’s rear wall.
3. WILL THINKS SANDY SYDNEY IS AN INDUSTRIAL SPY. She’s not, as he finds out. Sandy Sydney is the only one of my characters to receive fan mail. You can write to her, too: “Dear Sandy, please make all my dreams come true . . . And don’t hurt me too much at the end.”
Chapter 1 continues:
Looking to his left, Will observed the anxious faces of Betty and Gil. They sat on the banquette that ran along the Ashley’s wall, twisting to see through the big picture window behind them. The opposite wall was covered floor to ceiling with cabinets stuffed with electronic gear, the super computer being the most important. The super computer was the most advanced in existence. Numenon’s technology had been ahead of the pack since the late 1950s when Will founded the corporation.
Will furrowed his brow. Why were Betty, Gil, their driver, and he the only ones in the cabin? When they started, the cabin was almost full. Now there were just four people. Where were the others? He felt so fuzzy; he couldn’t remember what happened five minutes ago.
Sunlight reflected off the chrome of one of the vehicles outside. It struck Will’s eye and he rocked back in his seat. His eyes rolled back and quivered.
Red rock walls rose high above them. He was running, breathing convulsively, sobbing. Thrashing on the ground, fighting. Something crushed him into the rock.
4. WILL WORKS A LOT. When he isn’t working, he’s running or in the gym. When he’s not doing either, he’s racing one of his cars, or practicing his other hobby, preparing to be a real killer.
Chapter 1 continues:
Will blinked, coming back to himself. Something had happened in the desert. He could recall it dimly, like someone else’s dream. Their drive wasn’t just across the desert floor. There had been a canyon, and red cliffs.
He put his hand on his chest. The day before, his doctor told him the tight sensations he felt were nothing. His heart was good. He was okay.
Will rubbed his chin again and tried to remember.
Something came out of the buzzing, disintegrating void inside of him. The old shaman had appeared in the desert in front of them in a golf cart. Will had walked out to him and the light surrounded them. Light had come off the old man, even more than from the sun it seemed. Will had broken down for some reason; he had fallen at the holy man’s feet, sobbing.
Why, why? His disintegration had accelerated since then.
“We’re here,” Mark called. The Ashley pulled over the bank. Will jumped up and grabbed the back of the driver’s chair.
“What is it, Will?” Betty asked. She and Gil moved forward, straining for a look at the sacred place where they would spend the next week.
“Oh, my God,” she said.
The others were speechless.
5. VOLCANO ERUPTION STAGE ONE: YOU SAY SOMETHING AND WILL GETS A LITTLE EDGE.
“If he ever gets mad at you, you’ll never forget it. One lifetime is not enough to recover from a Will Duane Screamer,” says Doug Saunders, Will’s fix-it man. Doug fixes whatever Will needs, legal or not.
Chapter 1 continues:
Betty peered through the windshield. The Mogollon Bowl spread out before them; as far as she could see, a writhing mass of people were interspersed with camping equipment. Well, some of it was camping equipment. Shabby tents and tarps on poles. Shade canopies on aluminum legs. People unloaded cars and headed back to the parking lot outside the Bowl. Other cars inched around, searching for a place to camp. The Bowl crawled with movement.
That’s all it had; no trees, no lawn, and no structures existed except two derelict buildings in the distance. The Indians’ hallowed sacred ground looked like the desert they’d crossed, but less interesting. It was rocks and dirt and chaos.
This was the legendary Mogollon Bowl where anyone could become psychic and all of your problems disappeared? Betty thought of all the work she’d done to prepare her brief on Grandfather, the famous shaman who led the retreat, and on those closest to him. On Indian history. On the Bowl itself. For this?
She looked at Will, knowing what his reaction would be. Will only stayed at five-star hotels. Living in the luxurious Ashley was his idea of camping. Her boss’s face grayed with horror. He turned to her, his mouth gaping.
Before Will could speak, Doug Saunders charged out of the bedroom. “Will, I will not stay in this dump! If we have to stay here for a week, I quit.”
Betty glanced at Gil Canao, who looked out the window in glum silence. She opened her mouth to echo Doug’s sentiment, when Will grabbed Doug and hugged him like a grieving father.
“I thought we’d lost you,” Will cried.
With that, the memory descended upon her—what had happened on the drive in. Will lying in that canyon, covered with blood, bones bent at impossible angles, squashed. Really, squashed flat. Doug lay next to him, foam coming out of his mouth, his body bent backward in a crescent arc. Blue and bloodless, both of them.
6. VOLCANO ERUPTION STAGE TWO: WILL IS ALMOST FULLY ARMED HERE, GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT STAGE.
Your life may flash before your eyes at this stage.
Chapter 1 continues:
Her sobs took her by surprise. Her hands went to her face and she doubled over. Will, Gil, and Doug jumped toward her. Will caught her in his arms, and the other two men joined the hug. The minute they touched her, her backbone stiffened. She pulled herself erect, trapped in the circle of solicitous males.
Tears streaked her face. “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t …” Will handed her his handkerchief. She snatched it gratefully.
“It’s okay, Betty,” they said at once.
But it wasn’t okay. They almost died, all of them. A flash flood would have killed them in that narrow ribbon canyon. Floods happened right now, in early spring. It had been a horrible, horrible trip. But Bud Creeman had saved them.
“We have to find Bud and thank him again.” She looked up at Will. “He was so good to us. Let’s find him, and then let’s leave. Okay, Will?”
Will’s brow lowered and his jaw tightened. “I’ll get you out of here tomorrow, I promise. I’m going to stay.” They stared at him. “I have to stay here—I have business to complete.”
Betty pulled out of her despair enough to stammer, “But, Will, you told us that the mine deal was dead.”
“It is, Betty. I promise you.” He glanced out the windshield. The Indians were beginning to cluster around the Ashley. “I have personal business with Grandfather.”
She had heard so many of Will’s empty promises that she didn’t know what to think. “I want to go home to John.” The tears came again. She wiped her face, conscious that she’d shed more tears in public in the previous five minutes than she had in twenty-eight years of being the head of Will’s secretarial staff. Private tears didn’t count.
“I’ll make arrangements for all of you to leave. You don’t have to deal with this …” Will’s arm swept the crowd outside.
7. VOLCANO ERUPTION STAGE THREE. WILL IS IN PERFECT FORM, DELIVERING FEEDBACK TO ONE OF HIS EMPLOYEES.
I think it’s illegal to beat employees at the workplace, or anywhere else. The good part of the Screamer reaching this stage is you can sue. If you survive.
Chapter 1 continues:
Betty looked out the window. Indians wearing hats and jeans and shirts of every color surrounded the RV. Faces. Braids. Bodies, short and tall; fat and thin. Some were very dark, almost like African Americans. Others were as light as Gil Canao. Their eyes grabbed hers. Black to hazel, those eyes bored into the Ashley, trying to see past the tinted windows. Trying to see them. But they couldn’t, of course.
Not one face was friendly, not one mouth smiled. They stared, a half circle of intense eyes, brown skin, dark hair. The first ring was followed by another, and another. Some began to point at the Ashley and laugh. Two Indians dashed out and stood in front of the vehicle, posing. Others took their picture. They ran back to their friends, laughing uproariously. Another pair came forward for a souvenir photograph, and then another. The crowd roared.
They were laughing at them! The representatives of the largest corporation on the earth. Not representatives—the founder of the largest corporation in history and the richest man in the world, and his top staff.
Betty would have been more offended, but she knew why the Indians were so hostile. Grandfather was retiring from public life in a week, and this was his People’s last chance to spend time with their shaman. And here they were, Will Duane and his fancy Numenon crew, crashing it.
If they dislike us so, what must they think of Grandfather for inviting us?
More Natives gathered, forming a circle around all five vehicles in the caravan. Betty couldn’t see where the crowd ended.
Will looked out the window. “Drive over them, Mark.”
“I can’t, sir.”
“There’s someone at the door.”
THERE’S WILL DUANE # 1 and all of Chapter 1. YaY!To vote for this Will go to this page, and leave a comment telling me why you think this man is the REAL WILL.