Saturday, October 1, 2011

47 Tangier Boulevard Excerpt


Chapter 1

Bayan

The horse, with all it’s glistening muscular sweat, hung back; settled in the pack until it instinctively, savagely knew it had to drive itself up and through to the lead.  Grass underfoot, dangerous snorting, grunting, thundering mass of power and the finish line in sight, he claimed the lime-light half-way down the straight.  Metal bit against the drooling animal tongue, the late charge of Workforce paid off. Handsomely. Bayan watched as their horse won. Then he posted it online.


Chapter 2


Pax

On the other side of the ocean, she deliberately and actively sought out new friends.  Didn’t matter who or why or where they were from.  She just wanted numbers.  More readers, more eyes, more traffic, more hits; better stats, better ad revenue.  It was all about future publicity for her work and under all that, she secretly and reluctantly admitted to herself every now and then, a hunger for affection.  Their ‘likes’ and random or awkward or hysterical comments filled her days with a satisfaction. One that topped up the void, left damaged by angry, bitter remarks from her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Pax found her friends amusing.  She adored them really.  Blogging had become such a huge part of her life that she could never imagine living in a world without any of them.  The camera sales girl from London, the designer from Texas, the 50-ish Utah Mom with a love of red shoes, the hotelier from Marrakesh.  She met people on social media sites from her own small beach town.  People whom she probably would never, ever have even said hello to.  She also found her tribe on the internet with cultural creatives; those living spirits who floated in life within the worlds of the arts.  Some drifting, some shining. Their brilliance left her breathless.  Like the saucy pop-artist from NOLA and the photo-stylist who lived on a ‘bateaux’ in Amsterdam.  Pax received gifts by post from famous French authors and high-end cosmetic care packages from a sensual, v-logging make-up artist in Philly.  Her web universe was full of the most incredibly interesting people.  People even the best novelist could not create.

Without her connection and her laptop, Pax would be lost and depleted.  Off-line she felt nothing; numb, unvalued, invisible, and alone.  Her policy on adding new friends was simple. She believed that ninety-nine percent of the human race was ‘good’ and that by adding everyone and anyone; surely she would never have to deal with the other one percent.  She trusted her friends; most of them complete strangers, explicitly.  Except one.  A man named Bayan.  His small profile picture drew her in.  His rugged good looks, warm skin and mysterious dark eyes made her question him. Bayan had little information on his profile. No whereabouts on the planet, no clues to his life.  Plus, she was fairly confident that he was a Muslim. And that scared her.  

What if he was a terrorist?

‘How horrid to be thinking this!’ she’d whisper to herself. ‘Shameful.’

Every so often Bayan would ‘like’ a photo Pax posted.  Other times he would make short one-word comments like, ‘nice or beautiful’.  She considered deleting him from her friends list.  She couldn’t bring herself to actually do it.  Pax checked his wall out often, never daring to leave any evidence that she had been there.  She was uncertain.  Hesitant.  She sensed a pull towards him.

Bayan began initiating chats with her. ‘Pax Hello!’ with a happy face icon or ‘How are you?’ with a wink.  Pax immediately got butterflies and quickly logged off. Every single time.  Until one day when a horse named Workforce won a big race. 

 To be published in 2016. More details about my books HERE.
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