My Bookshelf

Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Philistia" --- A Sneak Preview!!!

“So you see, the Lord Jesus Christ was the Messiah that God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He came to Earth to die for our sins, and He has allowed us to travel through time to save the people of Israel from disaster.”                                                                                                                     

“This borders on witchcraft. I shall require a sign, else I will not believe.”                                     

Gwen watched the couple debating over the Bible with her stomach knotted in tension. She had won over Delilah after they studied the smuggled book together. Only when Delilah brought Samson to visit, the giant was not easily persuaded. Apparently she had deceived him many times before, and he was not going to have his personal beliefs overturned so easily.                                                

“I am a follower of Dagon, yet I could clearly see the Truth unfolding in these pages. Why, it even depicts our past and future. You read the story of Samson and Delilah. How could they know these things were this book not true?”                                                                                                  

“Everyone knows of our legend. As for the ending, it seems as prattle to me. How could these puny Philistines cut my hair and bind me, much less blind me and enslave me? Their lightning sticks cannot even penetrate my skin.”                                                                                         

Her biggest fear was the possibility that these were actors engaged in some sophisticated form of mind control developed by the terrorists. She knew that ISIL was a multibillion-dollar organization capable of anything. They might be here to win her confidence in an attempt to break her father’s resistance to paying her ransom. Yet this man Samson was all too real. His fingers were as cigars, his neck as big as her waist. She had no doubt that he could have ripped the door to this room from its hinges. He might well be her biggest hope in escaping from this place.                    

“Gwen, why do you sit silent? Your words were so persuasive as to soften my heart and open my eyes. Now you sit quiet as I bicker with this stiff-necked man.”                                                    

“The Holy Ghost speaks through you,” she said softly. “You could not preach these things to him if they were not revealed to you by God.”                                                                                      

The couple was dumbstruck by her words. At once they were flooded by memories of Delilah dancing before the altar of Dagon, eating and drinking at his festivals, and committing all sorts of abomination. This did not come close to obscuring thoughts of the lies and deception she had committed against Samson himself. The idea of the Holy Ghost using her as His prophet was unthinkable.                                                                                                                                                        

“I am not worthy of this,” she suddenly began weeping and trembling uncontrollably. “Your God is mistaken in this thing. Have Him depart from me, for I am damned to failure.”                   

“Delilah,” Samson broke out of his narcotic-induced ennui, taking her into his arms with a gentleness that surprised all three of them. “What has happened to you? I have never seen you like this.”                                                                                                                                                                      

“Nor I you,” her beautiful eyes widened. “What is this new way that has overcome you?”               

At once the reinforced door opened, and the three were startled by the appearance of Kal Ghidrah and Bassam Al-Ramadi in the threshold.                                                                                               

“No, not now,” Gwen pleaded. “Please give me just a little more time.”                                             

“Relax,” Kal smiled. “Jamal doesn’t know we’re here. I was the one who arranged for Samson and Delilah to come here. I have also brought Bassam.”                                                                  

“Don’t take all the credit,” Bassam murmured.                                                                                  

“Are you here to rescue me?” Gwen managed.                                                                                  

“No, not quite,” Kal replied. “I ask you to remain strong as this plays out. I cannot tell you everything just now. What I can tell you is that this is part of a master plan developed by Jamal and his Hamas connections. They never expected your father to pay the ransom. You’re being held to divert the Israelis’ resources. He’s got something bigger planned, and the fate of Palestine could be at stake if we don’t figure it out.”                                                                                                                

“To Hades with Philistia!” Samson growled. “I shall set aside the devil powder and destroy the Philistines once and for all!”                                                                                                              

“It’s not quite that easy, though kicking the heroin isn’t a bad idea,” Bassam spoke up. “I think you’ve got an inkling of the bigger picture here. Israel controls what you call Philistia. If Philistia – Palestine – is destroyed, a sizeable portion of the Holy Land goes with it, including the West Bank and portions of Jerusalem. There’s a crucial political issue here. The nations of the world will not stand by and allow that to happen. The question is not whether Samson wants to destroy Palestine, but whether my brother Jamal will allow it to happen to achieve his goals.”                   

“The nations of the world?” Delilah wondered. “Who can stand against both the Israelites and the Philistines?”                                                                                                                                                

“This isn’t going to be easy,” Bassam cupped his brow.                                                                     

“Honey, the world is a hundred times bigger than you realize,” Gwen rose from her cot and sat down alongside Delilah on the chaise longue next to Samson. “If they gather here for battle it could mean the end of the world. It’s all there in the Bible. The Muslims believe it the same way we do. I don’t know what these fellows have in mind, but we have to do what we can to help.”                        

“She’s right, we have to work together,” Kal agreed. “I was sent here by the Israelis to return Samson to Tel Aviv.”                                                                                                                          

“That is no problem,” Samson started to rise. “Come, let us leave now.”                                     

“No, we need you here to stop Jamal’s plan,” Bassam insisted. “If you leave, Delilah will go with you, and that will cause Jamal to change course and resort to a more devious strategy.”                       

“I can’t imagine what that could be,” Kal shook his head.                                                                       

“I can stay here and see this through,” Delilah insisted.                                                                       

“Ha!” Samson growled. “Is that what you think?”                                                                            

“No, let the five of us work together and we can stop my brother – and Hamas – from carrying out their plot. We just need Gwen to stay strong and Samson and Delilah remain as if they know nothing of this. Jamal is planning to complete his transaction with the Sudanese any day now. Once he’s achieved that, I’m certain it will convince him the time is ripe to make his big move. That will be the time for us to act against him.”                                                                                   

“Take care, Bassam,” Delilah beseeched him. “If Jamal finds out you are working against him, he will kill you.”                                                                                                                                     

“God will protect us,” Gwen insisted. “He will protect us all, I know it.”                                     

“I think,” Bassam turned to leave, “Allah has turned his back on me a long time ago.”              

“That makes two of us,” Kal smiled as the men walked out the door.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Hezbollah" Coming Soon on Editions Dedicaces!!!

It's come a long way, baby.

Hezbollah was originally conceived in 1992 when I decided to pay homage to my old band, my bandmates and our organization. Since I didn't want to write a tawdry rock novel, I decided to give it the JRD treatment with a 'what-if' scenario full of adventure and intrigue. It was nearly indie-pubbed by Ed and Jane Doherty, and would have ended up as a rare out-of-print book by now if I had chosen to do so. Fortunately their critic friends convinced them to back off, and I carried the project into the 21st century.

Time ended up dating the book so that I had to bump everything up a decade to keep the storyline relevant. Punk rockers became grunge rockers, Desert Storm became the Invasion of Iraq, and the male protagonists gave place to the females. All of a sudden the novel provided the female perspective of what the lives and times were all about. Suddenly I realized I had what would become a truly enduring work. After all, the females are the true survivors. Rock and roll warriors live fast, die young and leave a pretty corpse. The women remain behind to tell their stories.

I'm not fooling myself, this is a last will and testament from a dying breed. I went to Chi-Town and St. Louis for Halloween weekend to visit the last two punk clubs in those cities. Club Foot in Chicago is scheduled to close this month (Nov 2014). The Way Out Club in St. Louis is barely hanging on. We've got a metal club, Aftershock, outside our border in Kansas. Beyond that, nada. We're dinosaurs, my fellow punkers. 

I'm leaving Hezbollah behind in the care of its new publishers, Editions Dedicaces. Hopefully the Millenials will pick up on it and discover what it means to be individuals, the need to stand alone from the pack rather than desperately seeking acceptance. Soon you find that there's others on the fringe, and your band of outcasts finds their own way of life.

Punk rock might even make a comeback.