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.
Click Here

an excerpt from Lee Ryan Miller’s

      Medem was awakened by the sound of men rushing about the halls. Her room in the palace was dark, except for the reddish glow cast by the fire. She roused herself from bed, and shivered in the cold. She took a step toward the door, and then heard noise out in the courtyard below her window. She turned and opened the shutters. Down below, she caught sight of a large group of men rushing out of the palace gates. It was dark, but she could make out Retsamdros leading them.

       Medem watched them with curiosity until they disappeared into the darkness. “What’s going on?” she mumbled to herself. She shut the shutters of her window, wrapped a blanket around her, and sat down in a chair before the fire. Then she closed her eyes.

       She took a deep breath, and slowly exhaled. Her body began to relax. She took another deep breath, and this time exhaled even more slowly. Her heart rate began to slow. She took a third deep breath, even slower still. It took her a full five seconds to inhale, and another ten seconds to exhale.

       She concentrated on relaxing her body, one part at a time. First she relaxed her face, then her neck and throat, then her shoulders, then her back, and on down her body, until even her toes were relaxed. At this point, she was breathing so slowly that an observer might not have noticed the slight rise and fall of her chest, and might have thought that she had died in that chair. But she was very much alive.

       Medem’s eyes remained shut, but she could see the room about her. The light was now much brighter than that given off by the fireplace. It was as if white light had flooded the room.

       Medem thought about a peaceful setting, a wooded glen with a pool of water, clear as glass. Instantaneously, she found herself in the scene. She leaned over and gazed into the pool. “Retsamdros,” she thought, “where is he running?”

       Immediately, the clear pool became cloudy. She saw the dark silhouettes of the docks of Harafet harbor, ships burning, men fighting in the darkness. She shuddered.

       “Retsamdros,” she thought. “What will become of him?”

       The scene changed. It was daylight. Now she saw the docks clearly. Beyond them, she saw the large plaza before the city gates. Scores of soldiers wearing gray cloaks were moving about, shouting and jeering at someone. In the center of the plaza was a tall wooden pole. Blood trickled down the pole. Medem gazed up at the top of the pole. Atop it sat Retsamdros’ severed head.

       Medem gasped, and felt her body jerk suddenly, as if she had fallen from a great height into her chair. She was now back in her room, sitting before the fire, a blanket wrapped about her. She shuddered.



About Dr. Miller

Popular Works

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

Photo Gallery

Contact Lee



      “No!” she moaned. “No, it can’t be. Not like that. Not now, not after all I’ve suffered, all he’s suffered. No!”

       Medem stared at the fire. The flames crackled and hissed. Tears came to her eyes. She trembled slightly. “There’s no other way,” she muttered.

       Medem closed her eyes again, and took a deep breath. She began to relax. She took another breath. Then she had another vision of Retsamdros’ head on the pole, and this time a raven was picking his eyes out.

       Medem shuddered, and began again. It took her some twenty breaths this time to arrive at the fully relaxed state, but eventually she was able to resume her trance.

       She envisioned a circle of fire around her. The flames rose higher and higher, and finally met above her, forming a dome of fire. Then the flames subsided a bit, leaving behind a number of triangular gaps. The remaining flames above her head formed the figure of a five-pointed star, the points of which merged with the circle of fire on the floor surrounding her.

       “Jazeel, Jazeel, come to me now,” she intoned silently in her mind. Suddenly, an enormous man materialized in the room. His skin was red, as if he had lain too long in the sun, and his eyes glowed red as well. He was young and strong, with rippling muscles on his bare chest and arms. He was also hideously ugly, with scars on his cheeks, and claws extending from the tips of his fingers. He was naked, and his lower body was covered with bristly black hair.

       Medem shuddered slightly at the sight of him, and the star of fire above her began to flicker.

       Jazeel opened his mouth, revealing menacing sharp yellow teeth. The stench of his rotten breath filled the room. He laughed, a horrible, mocking laugh. The star disappeared, and he reached out his clawed hand toward Medem. She looked away from him, envisioning the star within the circle, and it flared up again. Jazeel withdrew his outstretched hand.

       “Why have you summoned me, Medem of Harafet?” His voice was deep and melodic, yet tinged with malice.

       “Oh, powerful Jazeel, I call upon you to save from doom Retsamdros.”

       The vision of Retsamdros’ head upon the pole in the plaza flooded the mind of Medem.

       “I see,” said Jazeel. “You wish me to alter his fate.”

       “Yes,” said Medem. “He must not fail. He must elude his enemies.”

       “I do not work charms, my servant, only curses. That you should know well.”

       Medem shuddered. “Yes, great Jazeel, I know that you normally do not work charms. But the powerful Jazeel can work charms if he likes, can he not?”

       Jazeel laughed. “Yes, yes I can, if I wish. But the price will be high.”

       Medem nodded, and trembled slightly. “I will give you what you demand,” she said, in a sad voice.

       “Then it will be so,” he said, eyeing Medem curiously.

       Medem saw an image of herself sitting on the lap of Jazeel, shackles surrounding her neck and her wrists. Jazeel held the end of the chain.

       Medem shuddered. “Yes, I understand,” she said, tears in her eyes. “It is as it must be.”

       “Good,” he said. “I will work the charm for you, my servant. Know you well, Medem of Harafet, that all men will meet their doom eventually.”

       “I know,” she said. “But will Retsamdros achieve greatness before he meets his?”

       Jazeel smiled, showing his fierce yellow teeth. “Fame and renown and glory will all be his, know you that, but he will meet his doom just the same. And know you well, that you, by invoking me now to save him, sow the seeds for his doom later on.”
       Medem swallowed. “Yes, I understand.”

       “Good,” said Jazeel. “Now, for your doom.”

       Suddenly, Medem gazed into the chamber of Queen Salira. The queen shivered with fever, and coughed up blood. Then the queen’s face became Medem’s, and around her neck hung a shiny black pendant. It was the pendant with which Medem had poisoned the queen.

       Medem shuddered, and then she was back in the circle of fire, sitting before Jazeel. He stared at her for a moment, as if he were looking through her, inside of her.

       “Yes,” he said at last. “Yes, you do understand.”

       Medem nodded slowly, as if the motion caused her excruciating pain.

       “Good,” said Jazeel. “Then the terms are agreed?”

       Medem hesitated a moment. She rubbed her left wrist with her right hand, and then her right wrist with her left hand. Then she placed both of her hands behind her neck and slowly slid them forward till they met at the front of her throat. Jazeel watched her, smiling.

       “Agreed,” said Medem at last, trembling slightly.

       “Then it is done,” said Jazeel.

       A huge fire engulfed the spot where Jazeel stood, obscuring his image and dazzling Medem’s eyes. Then the flames disappeared, and Jazeel was gone.

       Medem looked up at the five pointed star of fire above her, and the circle of fire on the floor around her. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Then the fire disappeared. Suddenly, she felt cold metal clamped around her wrists and her neck. She was shackled, and the three chains disappeared into a wall of fire. She heard the horrible voice of Jazeel laughing. Medem shuddered.

       She felt herself falling from a great height, and then her body jerked. She opened her eyes, and she was sitting in the chair before the fire. Instinctively, she felt her wrists and her throat. They were free, unencumbered by any iron shackles. But she could smell in her room a faint odor of decay. She shuddered, and opened the window.


Other Excerpts From Retsamdros 

  The Apple
  The Blessings of Jazeel
  The Cost of Doing Business

Other Fantasy Novels:

Passage To The Underworld