In 2014 I was attacked by a grizzly bear while archery hunting. I sold the story to Wyoming Wildlife Magazine and the article is out in the January 2018 edition. I hope you will check it out.



My children’s reader book, “Wyoming From A to Z” has been published and is available on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle editions. I hope you’ll check it out.

It’s a delightful book that uses the alphabet to introduce children to some of the wonderful people, places, and things that make up the great state of Wyoming

Prophecy of the Seer

Mortal men look to the stars as evening turns to dark
Their hearts hunger for love, their souls for Aradun’s spark

A tiny flame within them burns, anxious to ignite
To banish darkness; ridding them of fear, of dread, of fright

Alas, their tiny flame burns low; they feel impending doom
Without His blinding, white-hot light to drive away the gloom

The Creator’s light is righteousness, a beacon on the path
That marks the road to eternal life, away from the Fallen God’s wrath

The Creator hears their cries; sends a mortal to kindle the flame
A seer of realms beyond the veil; Rand shall be his name

The Zadahrathi will gather adepts, and root out from their holes,
The minions who stand ‘tween death and life, guarding the well of souls

An alliance of fairy, illiri, grimm, and the Captain of the Guard,
With nightshade turned, and the soulless one, they’ll form at last The Star

A united seven against darkness, as a war sweeps across the land
the Zadahrathi must turn the tide to stay the Fallen God’s hand

~Hadrin the Old, 3rd Ciad of Frost, 41AI

I woke up this morning and watched the sun rise.

I sat on the bed, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

Something’s different this morning, I thought as I sat.

Where is the dog?

Where is the cat?


They sleep in our bed, usually hogging our space.

At dawn, the cat purrs and the dog licks my face.

Our pets wake us up every morning, in fact.

So, where is the dog?

So, where is the cat?


I put on my slippers and looked high and low.

They were not in the bed, so where did they go?

I looked under the sofa. I looked under the mat.

Now, where is that dog?

Now, where is that cat?


I searched and found nothing but dog and cat toys.

What if I vacuumed and made some more noise?

They bark and they hiss when I get out the vac.

Would that bring the dog?

Would that bring the cat?


Our backyard has a pool. There is also a tree.

Did they go for a swim? Or a climb? Could it be?

I found nobody swimming or climbing, out back.

Oh, where is that dog?

Oh, where is that cat?


I looked everywhere and was about to give up.

No sign of that kitty. No sign of that pup.

Then, I heard a bark. A meow. What was that?

Do I hear the dog?

Do I hear the cat?


I tiptoed down the hall to the nursery. Peeked in.

And found baby smiling, his face a big grin.

As he stood in his crib, guess what he pointed at?

He found the dog!

He found the cat!


~The End~

The Back Page

The world of Eilean Reul has been without magic for centuries. War over the Septenaria, the jeweled sources of the seven elements of magic, destroyed them long ago and magic was lost. The memory of that ancient war has faded into obscurity until all that remains are tales of myth and legend.

But the monks of Shadowyn remember.

They are ever watchful, their vigilance undimmed down the long march of time. They await the coming of the Zadahrathi, who alone can rekindle the powers of elemental magic to prevent the Fallen God from destroying the world. When rumors of a strange boy with the gift of spirit-sight reach their lofty halls, the monks of Shadowyn suspect they’ve found their Zadahrathi. The magic of the seven elements has returned.

Rumors of elemental magic spread like summer wildfire across the continents, and the stories of a boy with spirit-sight throw the known world into a panic. The return of elemental magic heralds the arrival of the Fallen God and many fear the end of the world is at hand. But not everyone is afraid. Magic equals power. There is rejoicing in dark places as an ancient lust to possess that power reawakens.

Now, three armies find themselves on the brink of war.

First is the Darkken horde, who seek to reignite the ancient war to make way for the Fallen God, who has escaped the Void and is on a quest of revenge to destroy all Creation.

Second are the greycoats of Nightedge, who desire to conquer the known world. They worship the Twilight, that brief moment between daylight and darkness when the world is in shadow, and they can tolerate no other beliefs. Led by a Druin warrior-priest, their strength grows daily as more and more countries fall under their merciless rule.

Third are the twelve united clans of Bregainne, who worship the Light and stand for peace. As they prepare to defend their homeland against the evil tyranny of both greycoats and Darkkens, they know the real threat is the Fallen God.

With the threat of war looming, Shadowyn monks fan out through Bregainne in a frantic search for the mysterious boy with spirit-sight. They are not alone in their hunt, for Darkken spies and greycoat assassins both seek to eliminate him, their only true threat. The rumors lead them all to the small village of Cheyne and a disheveled street urchin, all but orphaned, who lives in the detritus of the village sewers. The fate of the World lies with this timid boy who possesses both tremendous power and debilitating weakness; the gift of spirit element magic and a paralyzing fear of everything, even darkness itself. And now the forces of Light, of Darkness, and of Twilight have all learned his name.

Zanevon Ryke.

The Mythology of Eilean Reul
The immortal illiri name the Creator Ar-Adun, which means firstborn of the Foreveren. Of Him they say only,

“A Nya ot, a Nya et, ya Nya e’at.”

The Creator was, the Creator is, and the Creator shall always be.

In ancient scrolls Bregainne was called Aradunea by the illiri, which in the mortal avanyar tongue meant “Land of the Creator.” They called their world Eilean Reul, “Island among the Stars,” for they believed it was a great rainbow colored jewel that glittered in the heavens.

But Eilean Reul was not the first….

Before the beginning of days, before even the stars were made, there was the Creator, Ar-Adun, who dwelt in Forevere. There was only Forevere, and the Void, and in the Void there was nothing. Ar-Adun sat upon his throne and reigned over Forevere and the Void. A time came when He decided to bring children into the world. From His mind there came a spark, and then fire, and from that great conflagration Draull emerged. He was fire, and the light of his power drove the darkness from the Void. The plane of Heaven was born. Ar-Adun descended and dwelt with His first-born in Heaven for a time, and He taught his son of all things.

Then the Creator desired more children. He scattered some dust from His hands and Tera-Anu appeared, and she was female and had the power to create the soil and all living things upon it. From His lips there came a breath and Latobius appeared. He was given mastery over the air, the sky, and the stars.

Now Draull, the first-son, had been far away in the Void bringing the stars to life, and when he came near and saw that his brother and sister had come into being he grew angry at having to share the heavens with them. The Creator sensed His first-born’s anger and a great sadness overtook Him. A tear fell from His eye, and from that drop came Llyr-Dylaan, and he created the waters.

Draull sensed his father’s displeasure and relented for a time. He gave tiny sparks of fire to his siblings and reluctantly welcomed them into Heaven, but he drew away from them and chose to toil alone in the darkness of the Void. It was there in the dark that his jealousy and hatred blossomed.

Latobius, Tera-Anu, and Llyr-Dylaan grew close to one another in Draull’s absence, and together they labored to create a beautiful world they called Tiela. When Draull returned to Heaven and discovered what they had made he was jealous and began to tear apart their worldy creation. Tera-Anu came up and caught him destroying Tiela. She tried to flee and warn her brothers, but Draull caught her. He took his sister by force and in a fit of rage brutally raped her. She was so broken from that vicious act that she lost the ability to defend the Tiela she loved. Her wailing grief brought Llyr-Dylaan, and Draull tried to hide his ravaging of Tera-Anu by bringing his fire down upon Tiela, setting it ablaze, and it burned in the heavens. Llyr-Dylaan called up the waters to quench the conflagration but Draull had the mastery; he cast his flame upon the torrents and turned them to steam. Llyr-Dylaan screamed at his torture and the loss of his creations. Latobius heard the wailing of his siblings and came upon the beautiful Tiela, engulfed in flame and utterly destroyed. He found his sister and discovered the horror Draull had done to her. He tried to avenge his sister’s rape but the burning fire drove him back as it scorched the plane. His winds of rage only fanned the flames until Heaven became Hell. Draull only laughed.

The three siblings were beaten, and they fled from Draull and surrounded themselves in a plane of shadows that became Repha. In their new plane they cloaked themselves in their grief, but it did not ease their suffering. They wailed, despondent, and the faint glimmer from the fires of Hell taunted them, a constant reminder of Draull’s savagery. The three sorrowed so greatly that their life began to leave them, and their essence drew out to form shadowy beings that wandered in the dimness, penumbral forms emanating a profound sadness filled with utter despair. In Repha Tera-Anu discovered, to her horror, that her brutal assault had left her with child. She was carrying Draull’s unborn heir, and her anguish tortured the thrashing life inside her womb.

The Creator was enraged at what his first-born had done. He brought down His wrath upon Draull and cast him from the burning plane that was once Heaven. He banished Draull to the lowest plane, where He made him ruler over only the darkness of the Void. He decreed with a loud voice that Draull’s flame would no longer hold back the darkness. Then the Creator changed Draull’s gift so he could only create fire when combined with his siblings’ gifts of air and earth. To Llyr-Dylaan, who Draull had tortured cruelly, the Creator gave his water the power to engulf and extinguish Draull’s flame. In an attempt to repair the damage the Creator made a new Heaven, free from the savage devastation of his first-son, but He still sorrowed over Draull’s cruelty, and moreso over the rape of his daughter.

“I created you from four divine elements,” He told the three children who had suffered. “These were the elements of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. But your brother’s treachery in conceiving a child through such a brutal and unforgiveable act has created two new elements. They are Life and Death.” The Creator spoke softly to Tera-Anu. “My daughter, I give you a choice for your unborn child. I can kill it or let it live.” The Heavens grew silent at those words. Even Draull ceased, for a time, his angry shouts from his prison in the Void. “My child,” the Creator repeated, “I can kill the child within you and undo that horror. I can free you of the anguish and pain, but the ability to create new life will cease forever. No new worlds, nor realms in the heavens, will ever know new life. There will be no more pain and sorrow, but the joy of creating life will also cease.” Tera-Anu remained silent, but the life growing in her belly thrashed. The Creator shared the alternative. “I can also let your unborn child live, but the pain and suffering you have endured will remain. If your child lives, the creation of new life will endure. Life will flourish in worlds and in heavenly realms that are as yet unmade, and with life will come joy and happiness.” The Creator paused before His next words, and his eyes grew sad. “But there will also be pain, and much sorrow. Your child will bring suffering to you and to others, and he will bring death to many. The seeds of wickedness will sprout, and you will not be able to prevent evil from marring all that shall come to pass. You will be powerless to prevent it, and it will be up to others who are not yet born to determine how they will endure. Your choice will determine the fate of creation for all eternity.”

Tera-Anu knew immediately that she wanted life, and her brothers agreed, and the Creator granted her desire. “Because you have chosen Life, it shall become the fifth divine element,” the Creator said, “though the sixth element, Death, shall also be.” The Creator took the burning Tiela from the fires of Hell and set it in the heavens of a new plane to replace Draull’s light that had been banished to the Void. Then He gave Tera-Anu the ability to decide when her child would be born. And finally, to heal the hurt that His first-son had wrought, the Creator drew out some of His spirit and brought into being a new Foreveren, youngest of the Children of Ar-Adun. He named him Inar-Adun, and the Creator gave his fourth child a new divine element, the seventh, and last. Spirit. The youngest son took this gift and ruled over the heavens for his Father and was loved by Llyr-Dylaan, Latobius and Tera-Anu, while Draull could only stare with hatred from the dark Void at this youngest brother, cursing him from that moment forth.

In time, the sorrow of the Creator’s remaining children faded, and together they created another world in the plane where Tiela burned in the heavens. They named this new world Eilean Reul. The Creator honored His children’s creation and made Varnn, the moon, to rest in the heavens of this new world, reflecting the light of their lost Tiela in a cool, soothing softness. Llyr-Dylaan fell in love with Varnn and he and his waters would feel drawn to her forever more.

The Creator then blessed His children further and used the seven divine elements to transform Eilean Reul into a material place. And the children, to honor their Father’s love, began to create the races.

First came the tuath, who were the gnomes. Tera-Anu created an all male race, and they toiled in earth and water and made beautiful things to honor her and the Creator. From a rainbow in the sky they created seven jewels infused with the essense of the seven elements, and these became the rarest and most precious stones in all of Eilean Reul. They were the Septenaria, and they radiated the raw power of the seven elements.

Then Llyr-Dylaan and Latobius brought forth the fae, the nymphien and the fairion. Llyr-Dylaan made the nymphs female, to honor Tera-Anu’s creativity, and to give her gnomes companionship. He honored his brother by giving the nymphs wings to fly in the air of Latobius’ realm. Then Latobius followed his brother’s lead and created the fairies, both male and female, and gave them wings that they might also fly.

Now the tuath and the fae were conceived to be immortal, yet at first they could not have offspring; that was a power only the Creator himself could grant, and after Draull’s treachery He was reluctant to grant such power. But because Tera-Anu had chosen life, He relented, and gave them the power to conceive. He was pleased with His children’s creations, and the Creator brought forth the illiri, male and female, whom He wrought in His own image. He made them immortal, and gave them as a gift to Latobius, Tera-Anu and Llyr-Dylaan, to rule the world they had made. Then He brought into being a fifth race, male and female, the avanyar, and they were a gift to his youngest son, Inar-Adun, who had helped to heal the hurt done to his siblings. The avanyar alone of the five races did not have immortality in Eilean Reul; at first this puzzled the Creator’s children, but the Creator revealed He had given the avanyar a most special gift. They were blessed with an eternal after-life, where, upon death, those who worshiped Him could travel to Heaven and dwell for eternity at His side. Inar-Adun was humbled by this last gift from his Father, and he created a new plane, Mirroren, between the planes of Heaven and Eilean Reul. He populated it with guardians, angelic beings, who were given the task to watch over and protect the avanyar during their mortal time in Eilean Reul.

When all was done the Creator departed for the highest plane of Forevere where He sat on his great throne and watched over all that had been wrought.

Alone in the darkness, Draull watched the five races come into being, and his hatred seethed. He began to plot revenge upon his Father and siblings. He tried to create races of his own in the Void, but the power of the Void was Death, and it allowed nothing to exist except the dark visage of Draull himself.

In Eilean Reul, the time came when Tera-Anu decided she was ready to birth her child, and she went into labor. Then the Creator’s warning about her child came to pass. What a cruel irony it was that, though locked away in the Void and far from the material plane, Draull was still able to poison the newly created world, for when Tera-Anu gave birth she unleashed upon Eilean Reul the most evil of Draull’s creatures.

The first nilganash was born.

He had skin of deep violet, red eyes, and claws that could tear both flesh and stone. He was the physical embodiment of Draull’s hatred and malice, and he grew to manhood in mere days, rising up to be the polar opposite of the mother who had birthed him, both in form and in manner, with a deep loathing of all life and a sadistic cruelty mirroring Draull himself. He was both beautiful and terrible to behold, beautiful because he was from the womb of Tera-Anu, yet terrible because of the hatred and malice in his black heart, which forever poisoned his form. His father would name him Chaos, for that was what he brought to Eilean Reul.

Tera-Anu was so ashamed of the tragedy of her offspring that she fled to the plane of Mirroren and sought solace among Inar-Adun’s Guardians and never returned to the beautiful world she had helped create. Her siblings Latobius and Llyr-Dylaan followed and made their abode with her, and only Inar-Adun was left to watch over the plane of Eilean Reul.

Draull remained in his prison in the dark. Brooding. Plotting his revenge. He was powerful, for he had been made in his Father’s image and had been taught of all things. After a time, he began whispering to the jailor of the Void about the wondrous beauty in the higher planes, planting the seeds of jealousy. The jailor ignored Draull’s yammerings at first, but time crawls most slowly in the eternal darkness of the Void, and in that place the light of beauty and life was forever absent. Eventually, even the jailor began to dream of light, of beauty, of something more, and he began to hear the Fallen God’s whispers of the vibrant allure in the planes above, while only darkness grew in the Void. The seeds finally blossomed, and the day came when the jailor left to see, for just a moment, the wondrous things in the planes above, and in that moment Draull made his escape from the nothingness. He began his climb through the seven planes, intending to destroy all that had been created in his absence, ascending toward Forevere to take revenge upon his Father. He climbed into the sixth plane–Hell–armed with both his Father’s knowledge and an unbridled hatred of Him. Because he was free of the Void and its curse of infertility, he found he could create people of his own in the fires of Hell. The demons were his abominations, and they took up abode and occupied the plane of fire. The strongest of them was Abaddon, and Draull made him the ruler of Hell. He gave Abaddon dominion over all of the sixth plane, and in exchange Abaddon gave Draull passage to Repha. When Draull clawed his way into Repha’s shadowy plane he brought some of his demons with him. There, he found the wisps that were the essence of his siblings, shed in their grief after the loss of Tiela, and he turned them to shadows of evil, armed with weapons of terror and despair. Next, Draull set his smoldering eyes on the plane of Eilean Reul, and he allied with Taivesha, lord of the Shadows, and was shown the doorway to Eilean Reul.


Terror consumed him.

He was running through the cold darkness. His feet were numb. He looked down and saw bare feet in the snow. No, more than bare feet. He was naked. I can’t stop or they’ll catch me. Kill me. Through dark timber he continued on, breath coming in ragged gasps, eyes half blinded by the heavy snow that blew sideways as it fell. His ears throbbed from the cold, his throat burned. Suddenly, red lights winked ahead through the trees. The windows of a tiny cottage. Safety. Then he saw their tracks in the light wisps of snow swirling around the doorstep and a wail of despair escaped his throat.

They’re here.

His body racked with shivers. He couldn’t take the cold much longer. His fear welled up from within but he stepped inside, his heart pounding. Immediately he heard their bloodcurdling screams. A baby’s voice cried out, but it sounded strange, possessed by evil. Guttural howls in a strange tongue. So many voices. Thousands of voices.  He cowered from them; frantically searched for a place to hide. He knew why they were here. Knew what they wanted. If they caught him they’d rip it from him as they shredded his body in a spray of blood. He grabbed the amethyst key that hung from his neck; tried to remove it, to throw it away. It wouldn’t come off. It draws them. He knew what they wanted. It wasn’t the key. It was his soul.

They’re here.

Some say evil things stalk the dimly lit world between wakefulness and sleep; evil, monstrous things lurk unseen in the shadows. They have no idea. When children suffered night terrors they could see, sometimes, what he always saw. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting. Watching. He could almost feel the fetid breath on his cheek, see the burning eyes, hear the black, razor sharp claws clenching with eager anticipation for the chance to rend bodies and spill entrails slick with blood. If children saw the shadows they’d be caught. Their deaths would be horrible. He’d seen what they could do. Watched their work. Night after night after night.

They’re here.

He shook with fear. He crouched in the dark hallway just inside the door. The guttural cursing grew closer. High-pitched screams came from just around a corner. There’s nowhere to hide. He thought to turn away, back through the door to the cold darkness outside, take his chances in the snow. He reached for the knob but the timbered door was locked. I’m trapped. He turned and saw their shadows then, dark shapes in the red firelight dancing upon the wall. He was terrified. His heart was in his throat. He couldn’t breathe. They’re going to learn my secret.

They were almost upon him. When they rounded the corner, he’d lose his soul. Forever. I’m going to die. Tears streamed from his eyes; he wanted so badly to wake up from this nightmare. He couldn’t. It’s not a dream. He was not asleep. He was Zanevon Ryke of the Scoth clan, and he could always see the dimly lit world between sleep and wakefulness. He could see the demons. He could see the living shadows. They were everywhere. They grew close now. They’re going to catch me. He had but one hope. I’ll hide it from them. He would not let them discover his curse. If they learned of his spirit-sight they would have him. They could not know.

The cottage grew strangely quiet. He swallowed, his throat dry as dust, and he moved quietly down the hall. Have they gone? Had they fled and left him alone? He rounded the corner and his grey eyes discovered thousands of them. Demons and shadows poured from a tear in the veil.

Oh, Creator, they’re here.

Slowly, red eyes turned and locked with his. The demon nearest him curled the corner of charred fleshy lip in an evil smile. His chest tightened in a stark realization of terror. One thought frightened him above all others. My secret. My spirit-sight. They know!

The throng were on him in seconds, but then, strangely, they went by him and into a room at the end of the hall. He turned and followed, and saw a girl lying in a bed. The demons huddled around her, and a dark shadow descended upon her. Her eyes stayed closed, but she opened her mouth as if to scream. Nothing came out. He felt her suffocating. He fell to the wooden floor, overcome by fear. I have failed! Despite his years working to overcome a lack of self-confidence, now, in this bedroom, his fear of failure came roaring back. He felt like everything he had ever tried had been a miserable disaster. He was a failure. He heard the voices in Cheyne berating him again for his inability to master any skill; the headmaster chiding him for his poor grades. He withdrew into himself. Tears began to fall. I won’t try for knighthood. I’m not good enough, I’ll only look the fool. I’ll never be rid of this curse. I’ll never find immortality. I’m going to die. I’m going to burn. I can’t save this girl.

The girl in the bed screamed, her eyes open but unseeing, and he knew she was having a night terror. The shadow still lay on her, violating her, filling her with fear. Her scream was answered by shouts, and soldiers rushed into the room. Then the girl in the bed began to glow. She turned a brilliant emerald green. The light she gave off grew stronger and stronger until he could no longer see anything but the light. There was only the blinding green effulgence.

The light slowly faded, and he was alone, still naked, standing in the snow. White flakes swirled around him. He stood before a large dais upon topped by a large pedestal, and upon that was the statue of a man. He looked around and finally exhaled, realizing he’d been holding his breath. There were no demons anywhere. The girl was gone. The cottage was gone. His tears were frozen to his cheeks. His breath formed clouds in the cold night air. All was still around him, bathed in an orange glow. He was down on the field of a huge open coliseum, standing at one end, where a giant statue stood like a sentinel holding up a large clear crystal as if offering it to the Gods. He looked around at the source of the orange glow. At the very top tier of the huge arena, a thousand steps above, huge braziers burned with glowing fires at points all around.

Something shuffled around from behind the dais and he saw an old, stooped man bundled in thick furs. He carried a long pole capped with straw brushes. Zane shivered in the cold night air, but the stranger didn’t see him. The man struggled to climb the dais, where he began to brush the snow off the statue. As Zane watched him, he suddenly felt a strange burning sensation on his chest. He rubbed where the amethyst key dangled around his neck. He watched the man brushing snow from the marble figure. Suddenly, a green glow began to emanate from the jeweled crystal the figure held aloft. At first Zane wasn’t sure there was any light at all, but the emerald light slowly grew in intensity. Finally, the old man saw it from the corner of his eye, and he looked up at the crystal offering. It glowed a bright green, reflected in the snowflakes that drifted down from the black sky.

The old man froze for a moment, then dropped the brush and staggered backwards. He pawed at his clothes, seemed to struggle to find words, and then he cried out, “Greenfire!”

The man turned and ran off the dais, plowing straight into Zane. He didn’t notice Zane was naked and shivering as he grabbed him by the shoulders. “The Greenfire! The Keystones live! Praise Aradun, the Zadahrathi lives!” The man released him and ran away from the statue, screaming his discovery until his voice faded. “Greenfire! The Keystones! The Zadahrathi lives!”

The coliseum grew silent again. Huge snowflakes fell quietly in the orange glow of the braziers, now tinged with green from the glowing emerald crystal. Greenfire. Shivers racked Zane’s body. Suddenly he felt strange eyes upon him. He looked to the stone benches that encircled him, rising up in endless tiers. Most of the rows were dark, with shadows in the corners. Shadows. Zane concentrated on the dark recesses, and the hairs stood up on his arms. His mouth watered and he felt like throwing up. Red eyes stared from the dark. Rephan shadows were everywhere.

They see me.

He clutched the amethyst key at his chest. There was another flash of light, and he was alone in a cottage again. This time he was really alone. There were no guttural curses, no demons, no rend in the veil. He stood next to his tiny feather bed. A hundred firefly lamps burned all around the room, casting a warm glow. He walked to the other room and his mother still lay there, her ragged breathing raising the covers only slightly in the dim light of a single lamp. Zane returned to his room, put on his nightshirt and climbed into bed. The small fire in the fireplace burned low but he did not get up to stoke it. He lay and watched the door to his room until the first light of dawn came through the window. Only the light of day could chase the shadows of terror from his sight. Only in daylight could he relax his guard. Only in daylight did he dare close his eyes.

As he lay under the covers he thought about the glowing crystal held aloft by the statue. He knew where he’d been. The coliseum on the Greensward at Hearthside. Eight hundred leagues away. Today the water parchment would announce the news. All of Cheyne would hear of the Greenfire. He rubbed the key around his neck and swallowed hard. A single thought resonated in his mind. Zadahrathi. A fearful whisper escaped his lips. “Don’t let it be me.”