Saturday, October 12, 2013

Excerpt - The Orange Moon Affair by AFN Clarke

I slid from her grasp before she started something I couldn't stop, and fled to the safety of the galley to prepare breakfast.

“Coward,” she shouted happily, wrapped a powder blue sarong around her slim tanned body, stretched out on the starboard cockpit settee, and sipped her juice.

“Want some melon with prosciutto?” I said, preparing two plates in anticipation. I leaned over and turned on the stereo, already tuned into the BBC World Service. It was my morning fix, that and the coffee.

“Yes please.”

“….and now at the top of the hour, the news headlines from the BBC World Service read by Jonathan Davis.” The familiar music played for a moment or two before the newscaster began talking, and for a few minutes I forgot about my self-imposed, albeit luxurious, exile.

“On his recent trip to the United States, the leader of the new British National Independent Party, Nicholas Hansard, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, that the Governments of both countries 'have skewered National Defence' with their failure to increase military spending, and left the door open for increased terrorist activity....”

'Yet another extremist group leaping to the forefront. Left wing, right wing, they're all the same,' I thought cynically wondering why I listened to the news at all, but the BBC World Service was a comforting connection with home.

“Republican Tea Party leader, Wesley Bradford, welcomed his remarks. The recent elections in Israel have seen the Prime Minister and the Likud Party retain control but with a much reduced majority, and the extreme Zionist Ysrael Party led by American born software billionaire Elias Stevens claimed eleven seats in the Knesset....”

“Great. More Middle East problems,” I said, aloud this time, thinking of my friends and former colleagues who were still serving in Afghanistan.

“I can hear you muttering, Thomas,” Julie called from the aft sun-bed.

“Just bringing your breakfast, milady,” I answered in a mock English butler accent, walking through to the cockpit.

“...Sir Ivan Gunn, the billionaire chief of Gunn Group Industries, has been kidnapped in Belfast. Details are not available and a spokesman for the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) has stated that no ransom demands have yet been received. Sir Ivan, a leading and-influential industrialist..."

I didn't hear the rest; just felt a numbing sensation between my ears and let the plates crash to the deck.

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Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG13

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