Lee Ryan Miller

Motivational Speaker       Writer       Teacher      Scholar       World Traveler


Teaching Amidst the
Neon Palm Trees

An exciting true story

Intrigue and Corruption
in Las Vegas.
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an excerpt from Lee Ryan Miller’s

      The first fiery rays of the rising sun crept above the rooftops, dimming the last lingering stars and casting a reddish glow on the face of a boy. He was perhaps ten years old and sat hunched over, examining something unseen. A glint of light caught his coal black eyes, and they glowed redly, like his hair. His eyes blazed with desire, or perhaps not mere desire, but hunger borne of desperation. They blazed with a fierce intensity that promised to consume all which stood in their path.

       In his hand he held an old, rotten apple. The red skin in one spot was torn away. A stranger had taken a small bite, leaving behind a brown scar of decay.

       “What’s that you got there?” The nasal voice came from the tall and lanky man standing on the refuse heap between the boy and the rising sun. The boy could not see the man’s face, and he appeared to be a mere silhouette. From this shadow, a bony hand reached out with lean fingers and snatched the food away from the boy.

       “You’re a good looking boy,” snickered the shadow. “You want this apple do you?”

       The boy said nothing, keeping his eyes fixed on the silhouette of the apple, grasped lightly in the shadow’s hand.

       “Come here boy,” purred the shadow. “Treats I’ve got for you here.” He took a step toward the boy, and the boy spun around and hurriedly began clambering higher up the rubbish heap. The shadow reached out a long arm and caught the back of the boy’s ragged shirt. The boy struggled to free himself and the shirt ripped. The shadow grabbed the boy by the pants.

       “Yes, a nice one you are,” snickered the shadow. He dropped the apple and grabbed hold of the boy with his other hand, ripping off the boy’s pants. The boy cried out and clawed at the rubbish heap. Something sharp cut into his hand, and some old shoes tumbled down upon his head. The shadow laughed and let go of the boy, loosening his belt.

       The boy slid his bleeding fingers down the broken bottle and gripped it by the neck. The shadow dropped his pants and leaned over the boy. The boy spun around and thrust the sharp glass into the shadow’s throat. It entered the soft flesh below the jaw as easily as the boy’s fingers might have entered a bowl of pudding, had he any at all to eat. Warm blood spurted out, covering the boy’s hand. The shadow made a gurgling sound and fell forward upon the boy.



About Dr. Miller

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Teaching Amidst 
  The Neon Palm Trees
   Contents & Excerpts
   Reviews & Interviews 
   Readers' Comments 


       The Apple
       Blessings of Jazeel
       Cost of Business

   Passage to the

Scholarly Works


Semester At Sea

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     The boy squirmed out from under the corpse and rolled down the rubbish heap a bit. Then he glanced up at the dead man. Now the boy stood between the man and the sun, casting his own huge shadow upon the corpse. The man did not move. The boy adjusted the rags that were his only clothes.

      The boy glanced about, searching for something. The dim light of morning now illuminated the rubbish heap sufficiently for him to see its various components. Rats scurried about, picking scraps of food from amongst the cast-offs of humanity. Suddenly, one rat raised its nose high and sniffed, its nostrils flaring. Then it scurried toward a piece of foul-smelling meat, crawling with maggots. To the boy’s surprise, the rat rushed past the meat, heading straight for the stream of blood flowing from the neck of the fallen man. The boy noticed an apple jutting out like an island from the widening pool of blood.

       The boy surged forward, stepping carelessly on the porcelain head of a doll. Its glass eyes gone, blind sockets stared upward at the boy as his foot descended and cracked it. The boy reached down and picked up the apple. He shook it once, and a shower of red droplets pelted his clothing. Then, with fingers stained with drying blood, the boy lifted the apple to his mouth and bit savagely into the speckled red skin.

       The boy was nearly delirious with hunger, and noticed not the bitter taste. Indeed, to him it was the sweetest apple of God’s creation. Neither did he notice the bloody remains of a worm writhing in the cavity left by his first bite. The second bite whisked away the serpentine half-worm. Blood and worm and rotten brown apple flesh -- he ate it all, and it was good. Nourishment it was, and strength at first trickled, and then percolated through the boy’s veins.


Other Excerpts From Retsamdros 

  The Apple
  The Blessings of Jazeel
  The Cost of Doing Business

Other Fantasy Novels:

Passage To The Underworld