Before and After

Author’s note: The following letter is from Herman, the heroine of my novel, The Magician’s Curse, to Stephen, the hero. It fits into the book about a week into her stay in his mansion. This letter is written completely stream of consciousness style and is unedited.

Dear Stephen,

Where do I start? I’m sitting here in my room–in the guest room in your house, I should say–waiting impatiently for you to get home from your trip. I can’t really say I’ve been bored–Margaret has been great at keeping me busy. And wow, the lifestyle you two lead. Having our pick of which car to take when we go out to buy props and stuff for your show, going to fancy restaurants all the time … it’s like nothing I ever dreamed my life would be like before I got on that train, what, days ago? It feels like weeks.

Not that I’m used to it or anything, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be, completely. Or will I?

So now the decision: should I write what I’m thinking, which will make this letter something I have to crumple up? Or do I keep it to myself and show you this when you get home? Ugh, it would be nice to have someone to talk to about how I feel. I guess I could talk to Margaret, but I’m sure she tells you everything. Have I given away what I want to say, just by rambling about it?

I think … Okay, I’m gonna say it and be damned, as my mother would say. I think I might be falling in love with you. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve known you all of a week, and … well let’s face it. You’re the first guy who’s stuck with me for a week and not gone running away. Why is that? And maybe you will too, which is why I probably (definitely) shouldn’t show you this letter. If that weird dream hadn’t happened two nights ago, maybe I wouldn’t even be worried.

Unlike the before and after of my real life–poor girl finds a rich boyfriend and never looks back … Yeah, unlike that, my dream made me feel like all this–THIS–is a dream. A dream within a dream. How strange is that?

Hardy-har-har … I’m asking if THAT’s strange, but that’s kind of relative, isn’t it? After you performed ACTUAL magic on me. So, like what is this new life I’ve moved into all about? Are you a true illusionist, and none of this is real? Is it any wonder I’m scared to say those three precious words that I’ve never said to anyone but my family before?

Oh Stephen. I just wish you’d hurry up and come home so we can spend some time together. Some REAL time together. Alone, even. I have no idea why you asked Margaret to chaperone us all the time. We are adults, after all. At least you are, and I will be in a couple of weeks. Officially. Not that I’m going to suddenly “mature” like toast popping up. DING! You’re done. You’re officially old enough to do stuff like vote. Old enough to have an opinion and have sex, south of the Canadian border.

Which brings me to …

Nah. I don’t even want to contemplate it. If you are some kind of illusion, starting to obsess over an intimate relationship is only going to disappoint me more when I find out I’ve been living in a rundown shack for a week and you’re actually a raccoon. Which is how my life has normally gone up until now.

So I guess now I have to crumple up this letter and eat it or something. Which is TOTALLY going to ruin my dinner. Apparently we’re eating at home tonight. Probably surf and turf on golden plates … Do I sound unappreciative? I’m not. I really do appreciate you taking me in and giving me a job. Even if nothing else ever comes of our employer/employee relationship, at least I have your beautiful face to look at.

I can’t wait to see you onstage. And I can’t wait for you to come back home.

I can’t wait to kiss you again, and hold you in my arms … so I can make sure you’re real.

With all my love,


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find the prompt, and read all the other entries:




heaven must have sent you
for how else could you be
with me
though your wings are invisible
i feel them when you hold me
wrap around me
shelter me
from the warm rain
cascading down your back
dripping from your hair
and from the tip…
of your seed
you truly are an angel
enwrapping me
in love


at the bottom of a bottle
knee-deep in long green grass in summer
beneath a blanket of stars
amidst a warm breeze
with you between my legs
close to ecstasy
over the moon
retreat to candlelight
enveloped in soft music
gliding upon your breath
on a cloud of happiness

The Great Dagmaru

“When I’m on stage, whether I’m making the audience laugh, or scream, or shake their heads in disbelief, I feel happy. When I’m on stage with you doing all these things, I feel content.

“When I’m up there performing magic for their pleasure, I feel elated; I experience their reactions and I am one with them. When you are with me up there beneath the lights, my love, I am one with the universe. I am home.”

~ Stephen Dagmar: The Great Dagmaru
The Great Dagmaru, Book 1: The Magician’s Curse
To be released in June 2017


She accuses me all the time of being moody. I’ll show her.

The mood is set. The candles are lit around the steaming, lavender-scented bath, the wine is poured, and the dinner is warming, ready for when she gets out. I’m already in the bath waiting for her to come ho…

There she is! I hear her key in the door! And… who’s she talking to? She brought her good-looking boss home again?

She thought I was moody before! I’ll show her!


you look at me as though you would drink my blood
slice my skin with a pointed nail
“oh, if you only knew
what i could do to you right now,” you say,
then you eat me alive
my veins drip red wine
you suck the life from my pores
and drunk on the torture of love
i obey



“Here we are again.”

Yep, here we are again.

“What do you want to do?”

I dunno. The world is our oyster.

“We can do anything we want?”

Anything at all.

“Can we unbury you so you can hold my hand one more time?”

No. We can’t do that.

“I miss you.”

I miss you too, my love.


If I could put all the things I treasure into a chest,
I would put in coffee for my mornings,
and a notebook for writing, with lots of really nice pens.
I’d include books for reading
and a comfortable chair and a fire to sit beside
(my chest will be fireproof, don’t worry).
I’d have all the food I could possibly want–
enough to satisfy every craving,
but I’d have extra chocolate, for every occasion.
I’d throw in the dog for someone to cuddle
and the best pillow ever, so I’d always have a good night’s sleep.
But most of all I’d have to make sure I had one special item in my chest,
and that would be you.
Don’t eat my chocolate.


let’s slap together a wall
shall we?
build it out of pancakes
with sweet slippery syrup to hold it up
construct it out of love
and slurp it down
when we can’t keep our hands off each other
ah why build it anyway?
let’s go to bed hungry
and wake up full


“Look! You’ve scorched the milk, Norman.”

“I’m sorry, Harriet my love. I don’t know what’s come over me today.”

“Do you think it’s got something to do with …you know?”

“It might, my love.”

“Oh, Norman. We did have a laugh though.”

“Hehe. Yes, yes we did.”

“Well then. What are we going to do with all this scorched milk?”

“Harriet, my love, why don’t you just pour it in the cat’s bowl? Give him a treat.”

“I s’pose I could, at that. We’ve had ours. Do you have any more of those pills left?”

“Harriet! You’re not thinking about that now, are you?”

“Why not? Let’s go scorch the sheets.”

“All right, then.”