Baudelaire’s Revenge has been selected as an Amazon’s December Kindle 100. Of course, as soon as we heard that at MMO, we begged Bob to come back. And he has, along with a conversation with some of his very special friends. Links to order Baudelaire’s Revenge for $0.99 follow the post. Don’t miss this opportunity. Kait
Hiiiii-hiiii! Bobbbbb! Roberto, my master, my revered keeper, giant under the humans, welcome on my humble prairie! Ay ay ayaaaaaaa ayaaazayayaya, Roberto! What do you think about my little Spanish dance, o master? I may be an Arabian purebred, but I know my Spanish dances.
What herbs have you eaten this morning, you four-legged female fawner? A giant under the humans, huh? I’m five feet seven inches. And your Spanish drawl resembles a drunken Mexican, yodeling to the full moon.
Details don’t count, Roberto! Look around you, grumpy! It’s November, and we enjoy a silky Sunny day! Let’s play Wokka-wokka Bulla-bulla! You are the Indian, and I’ll be the, eh, horse, hiii-hiiii! Or else, if you want, I’ll be the Indian – just stick some feathers in my mane, no doubt I’ll be a gorgeous female sachem – and you can be the horse. Hiii-hiii, I can already picture you running on four legs….Mirth is overtaking me, o human, I think I’m going to roll over…
What is it, Bob?
Nothing. Let’s play.
You’re trying to, but your heart isn’t in it.
I can see mist hanging around you.
There is no –
There is someone in the mist, Bob.
Let’s just take a morning stroll to the forest, sweetie. I’m not in the mood for talking or playing.
I’ll walk with you, but the mist will walk with us.
Forget about the mist, Archimeda. Like you said, it’s a beautiful day.
What’s going on, Bob? What are you hiding from me?
I don’t want to be sad on a day like this, Archimeda.
But you are.
Today, it’s fifteen years since my father died.
What is fifteen years?
Time is for humans, Archimeda. You’re blessed to be in the now.
Do you love your father?
Yes I did. He was a very placid man.
You are not.
Maybe that’s why I loved him.
Did you tell him that when he crossed the rainbow?
I don’t remember. Probably not. I was too shy, too young, and too full of myself.
You can tell him now.
Do you think that the dead can hear us, Archimeda?
Our dead can. Did you kill your father?
Of course not! Humans don’t kill their parents.
Humans kill our parents. My father was a proud jumper, but when he was crippled, his master decided he was no longer useful. To the slaughterhouse with him.
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Archimeda. Sometimes, humans are –
Pfrrrrrr…What are you going to do when I’m cripple?
I’ll do everything I can to get you healthy again, and I’ll keep on loving you with all my heart and my soul, no matter the outcome.
Also when I’m over the rainbow? That matters for me, you know.
I’ll love you also when you’re over the rainbow. For humans, that means always.
That’s what my mother said to me: “I’ll always love you with my heart and my soul.” But when I was a six-months-old filly, humans took me away from her. I can still hear her whinny.
I wouldn’t blame you if you hate humans, Archimeda. But not all humans are –
I don’t hate them. I try to understand their cruelty.
Humans don’t even understand themselves, my precious. Is your mother still alive?
She passed over the rainbow moons ago. I talk with her in the herd-sleep. I tell her I love her. She gives me glow. I tell my father I love him. He answers with a proud snort. He’s not crippled anymore. You should see him in his gallant rainbow-gallop.
What is the herd-sleep?
That’s when we come together, we, Equus.
And when the herd-sleep is over?
My loved-ones are present in the grass I eat, in the air I breathe. I hear my mother in the wind: “Over there is a soft patch of delicious grass, daughter, go on, darling, enjoy.” I go, I graze, and it gives me glow. Nevertheless, I miss her cuddle.
I cuddle you each day. And I’ll plant some delicious herbs in our meadows for you.
My father –
I try to be a good father for you.
That’s not the same, Bob.
Why not? I love you as one.
Because I can see you, Bob, I can see you. You’re half-a-horse, half-a-wolf.
What did you say, Archimeda?
Archimeda, how do you know that?
I don’t know. Not what you call me. The herd-sleep does.
Archimeda, I’ve used that same image in my new novel The Shadow of the Mole. A character sees himself reflected in the eyes of a dying horse as half-a-horse, half-a-wolf.
Another one of your frightening stories I don’t want to hear?
I’m afraid so.
Hiiii-hiii. When will you write about horses that re-unite when they have crossed the rainbow, and graze in eternally green meadows, the sun on their backs, and their hearts in glow?
When will you write about that light, Bob? I want to know.
I don’t know, my lovely. It isn’t easy.
Life is very complicated for humans. I have tried to map the darkness in ourselves, to understand it. As a result, it isn’t easy for me to see the light.
Do you try enough to see it?
I can see it when I’m with you, darling, so I’ll try to be a good half-a-father for you. Look at me, my lovely, look at me closely. Won’t there be a time when you can forget the wolf in me and see the whole horse?
Yes, my darling, tell me, what do I have to do to make you forget?
If you give me a thousand love-kisses on my nose, I think…Eventually…I might… Hiiii-hiiii
Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to share this conversation with my lovely Archimeda, one of the three fabulous horses, our princesses, around our house. The other two are the criollo Bruja aka The Great Queen and the quarter horse Trigger aka The Rascal….Together with our adopted dog-hound Lientje, they are the light of my life….
Bob Van Laerhoven – Flemish author
Baudelaire’s Revenge was published in the US in hardback, paperback, and e-book version, by Pegasus Books. The novel also appeared in France and Canada. Italian and Russian translations are on their way.
The novel won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best suspense novel of the year in the LowLands, and the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category mystery/suspense.
Dangerous Obsessions was published in the US, in hardback, paperback, and e-book version, by The Anaphora Literary Press. The story Hearts Don’t Beat On Letters in the collection was first published by the literary magazine Conclave, journal of character. Checkmate In Chimbote was first published by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Dangerous Obsessions was voted “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review.
Baudelaire’s Revenge is available for $ 0.99 in North America. The Canadian and US links are below.