Story excerpt.

Yes I am re-posting stuff again, cos I’m out of fresh ideas.

Briefly. The Delta II, a small, intergalactic freighter from the planet Rim  is forced to make a detour into a forbidden sector of space after a malfunction occurs with its deuterium processor. 

While taking on water, the ship inadvertently picks up a transatlantic yachtsman, Kevin Matthews, who had fallen overboard.

The Delta II resumes its journey. As it re-calibrates the FTL and jumps; something happens and it slips back in time … 

SAM. Systems Analysis & Management ( on board computer)

Chapter Seventeen

The Delta II circled the city of Jerusalem. All three men were watching the images Sam was showing on the ship’s central screen. Crowd activity below began to increase around a group of figures being led through the narrow streets. It caught the attention of the crew.

‘Sam, can you focus on the crowd please. Let’s see what’s going on. Just for curiosity’s sake,’ Dan asked. The computer obliged. ‘Sam, do you know what to make of this?’

‘Based on the objects some of the men are carrying I believe we are about to witness an execution.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘I think Sam’s right.’ Kevin added.

‘Crucifixion was a common form of punishment during Roman times, so my data tells me.’

For the moment, simple fascination kept their eyes glued to the screen.

‘Give us audio please, Sam. Perhaps we might learn something.’

The bridge was instantly filled with the sounds of screaming, shouting and wailing. The prisoners’ escort of soldiers was having a difficult job keeping the large crowd at bay. One of the soldiers lashed out viciously with a whip at anyone who got too close.  The significance of what they were watching had momentarily escaped Kevin. But as he looked more closely at the unfolding scene he realized with almost apoplectic horror that this was no ordinary crucifixion.

‘Oh, my God. Oh, no. It can’t be. Oh, please, no. Not this!’

Dan and Richard turned to stare at Kevin. They were shocked at the distraught expression on his face.

‘Kevin, what is it?’ Dan insisted.

‘That’s him,’ he said pointing at one of the figures.

‘Him? Him, who? You recognise one of the prisoners?’ Dan couldn’t believe it.

‘You mean you don’t realise what’s going on here? Kevin was aghast.

‘How could we possibly know what …’ Dan stopped. Kevin had gone white, every ounce of colour had drained from his face. ‘What  is it,’  Dan said, his voice almost a whisper.

But Kevin seemed almost beyond reason. ‘No! This you must not touch or interfere with in any way. If you have no knowledge of what I’m talking about then we must leave it alone. Find some other event to get us back home. I’m warning you, do not touch this. Please, for the love of … just get us away from here, now!’

‘Who said we were going to interfere? Dan said. But now, seeing Kevin’s reaction, morbid curiosity turned to serious concern.

‘Kevin. Look at me,’  Dan insisted. Kevin turned. ‘What is it? Tell me what’s  going on down there?

‘No!’ Kevin yelled. Then he leapt out of his seat and stormed off the bridge.

‘What’s the matter with him?’ Richard asked. He was also shocked at the vehemence of Kevin’s reaction.

‘Sam, help us out here,’ Dan asked, still staring down the passage after Kevin.

‘I am searching my data banks now, Captain. Unfortunately there are few details. Crucifixion was a common form of execution around this period. Hold on, please. One person is singled out. His name was Yeshua. He was the religious teacher Kevin mentioned. A religion called Christianity was founded based on his teachings. It grew to become the largest religion on earth. Its followers believe he was either the Son of God or  God incarnate. But what is of significance to us is that records show he was put to death in the year A.D.30, approximately. If this is that same man then we have a time frame to work with.’

‘Okay. Let’s assume for the moment that this is the same man. Are you able to begin a preliminary reconfiguration of the drive system?’

‘Yes, Captain. I believe I can.’

‘Then start, please. In the meantime we will keep an eye on what’s happening below us.  If this pans out we could be home sooner than we thought.’

They turned back to the gruesome scene that was about reach its climax on a desolate looking hill outside the city.

Once the three prisoners and their escort had reached the execution site, a cordon was formed to prevent the volatile crowd, which seemed divided equally between sympathisers and detractors, from interfering. The guards stripped the three men down to their loincloths, manhandling them to the ground. The wooden crossbeams they had carried from the city were placed underneath their shoulder blades.

‘So this is the King of the Jews,’ one of the legionnaires announced. ‘Don’t look much like a fucking king now, does he?’ His cruel jibe drew howls of more derisive laughter from some members of the crowd. The man in question looked up at the soldier from his prone position on the sun baked dirt.

I will not scream or cry out, he thought. I will NOT!

Clang! Clang! Clang! The legionnaire hammered home the first nail through the wrist of his right arm, securing it to the wooden beam beneath him. Pain, like white-hot fire, shot up his arm. The man cried out. He could not help himself. The pain was excruciating. He gagged as bile rose in his throat. Rough,

calloused hands pulled his left arm straight out at right angles to his body. The hammer smote the second nail through the wrist of his left arm. Again he cried out.

He wore a crude crown of thorns that someone had forced on his head. The razor sharp barbs had cut into his flesh at several points and the deep cuts bled copiously.

The other two condemned men were going through similar agony as him. There was screaming all around him and every cry brought an equally loud cheer from some parts of the crowd.

But the pain seemed to heighten his senses rather than dull them. He could almost taste the sickly sweet smell of body odour, accentuated by fear. And he was not immune to that fear either. Unable to prevent himself he lost control of his bladder. Warm urine soaked his loincloth then ran down the inside of his leg onto the parched earth. It formed a dark puddle underneath him.

One of the soldiers standing above him watched as the urine began to wend its way towards his sandal. He sidestepped then spat at the prone man.

‘Ah look. Wot a shame the King of the Jews has pissed his self!’

There were cackles of cruel laughter from other soldiers who were within earshot. He ignored the insults.

One of the other prisoners let out the most horrible screeching sound he had ever heard. The prisoners eyes rolled so only the whites were showing. Then he threw up all over himself. He began to twitch and squirm like a fish on a line as the last of the nails was driven home.

At that point he passed out.

The man on the first cross, turned his head away from the sight, screwing up his eyes in an effort to shut out the horror going on around him.

But his torture was far from over. His arms, just above the elbow, were tied to the beam. Now firmly secure, four more soldiers lifted the crossbeam and hoisted it upwards where they slotted it into a groove cut out of an upright, four-metre length of timber that placed in a hole in the ground.

While the soldiers on the ground supported the crossbeam with their spears, another soldier standing on a ladder tied the beam to the upright with rope. The soldier then nailed a small wooden plaque, inscribed with a few details of the crime, onto the cross just above the condemned man’s head. Then as he balanced precariously on a small wooden perch, approximately six inches long and three inches wide affixed halfway up the upright, another legionnaire began to climb a ladder up to him. He had a hammer in his belt and a six-inch nail between his teeth. The crucified man was forced to put one foot on top of the other and the legionnaire  hammered the nail through both feet onto the perch.    The nail broke two bones as it passed through.

This pain was too much and for a few moments he passed out.

Bile rose in his throat. He came to gagging.

The ropes around his arms were untied and he was left suspended from the nails. Before long, sinews and muscles, stretched to the limit, would begin to tear.

Death, often as a result of suffocation, was inevitable. It would be a welcome relief to the horrendous pain.

After nailing his feet to the perch, the soldier climbed down and removed the ladder. With hands on hips, he stared up at the man. His head had already slumped forward and his eyes looked rheumy.

The soldier hacked and spat a large glob of phlegm at the foot of the cross.

‘Stupid bastard!’ He swore in ridicule.

The man opened his eyes briefly and smiled down at him. Not a smile of defiance but more of sorrow. Or pity. In that instant, their eyes made contact and the soldier saw something he had not recognised before. He could not explain it in any rational sense but his cheeks began to redden with shame and understanding. He lowered his gaze.   Tears started to course down his cheeks and run into the corners of his mouth.  Unconsciously he licked at them, tasting the salt. Then he gave a heart-rending sob.  Heads turned in his direction. But he didn’t seem to care who saw him cry. Unbuckling his sword, and then removing his helmet, he flung them viciously to the ground. He looked up at the crucified man once more and yelled at the top of his lungs.

‘You stupid fucking, bastard!’ Only this time he wasn’t sure if he meant the man on the cross or himself.

Wormhole for the devil Copyright © Douglas Pearce

Racism? Well, you tell me.

I don’t know, call me Mister Sensitive but after reading this post about  slaves in America  the title and the  use of the term ”blacks” and ”black slaves” made me cringe.

By the time I had reached the end of the post I was feeling quite  – well, I’m not sure how I felt, to be honest, but it wasn’t a good feeling that I know, and this wasn’t solely because of my repugnance regarding slavery.

I have read history pertaining to the slave trade and am reasonably au fait with many aspects of racism – I emigrated to South Africa and whenever race issues take centre stage the term ‘blacks’ ( or whites, indians, coloureds etc) usually comes with an insidious agenda, even if the claim on the form is ”For demographic purposes only”.

I know the writer is a right wing conservative – which may have nothing to do with anything, but  the whole tone of the piece made me itch – and in all honesty, I could not see the point of the post.

Can one use the term ‘blacks’ in this offhand manner? Is it acceptable? It sounds somewhat dismissive and to be frank, rather insensitive to my mind. But again, maybe I am Mister Sensitive. 

http://siftingreality.com/2013/07/09/fuzzy-history-were-blacks-officially-considered-35-human/

 

The Ark

All resistance crumbles. Pie like my Grammar used to make.

I am sitting here munching home made apple crumble – seriously, no kidding. With custard and a big swirl of fresh cream too. Can’t you smell it? The golden to lightly burned pastry crust – just as I like it; fresh, sweet apples, so no need to go to town on the sugar, and a clove or two to finish this pièce de résistance.

Compliment this with a steaming cup of black coffee and away we go.

Mouth watering. I am truly blessed with family members that are not only hot but can cook too. And as I am a great appreciator of food we make a great team.

I am wondering what I should close with. Having just read Roughseas new post on writing mistakes and editing and wot-not I always return to the next blank page – screen(?) with a certain amount of trepidation and when I re-look at one of my manuscripts ( which I am currently doing) I am more vigilant than Sherlock Homes, Columbo, and the crew of NCIS at a bloody crime scene. And I will still miss stuff, no doubt.

Although, if truth be told, such little lessons about mundane things such as full-stops, commas and other aspects of grammar are a gentle, if somewhat  painful reminder that one’s writing can always benefit from another look-over. And another one. And maybe … just one more.

While I can openly say I have missed any number of colons the apple crumble is not missing mine. Yum! 

 Moving on …

Now, knowing how closely my music choices are often scrutinised ( and criticized) even more so than  the mistakes in my prose, I am always mindful of what I put up as a Nite, Nite Post. But, like writing, one cannot please everyone. So, my motto is: If I like it then that’s the most important thing, ‘cos, Babe, this ain’t Request Radio! 

Put on you boogie shoes. Here’s a musician I have featured several times. He was American as Apple Pie through and through and a superb blues guitarist. The late, and very great Stevie Ray Vaughn. Oh, that Strat. sound! Shudders …

For Kate. Nite,nite

For all the writers who believe they can truly go it alone the title of this track may be appropriate.

Wall of Denial – Stevie Ray Vaughn. 

 

T’ra.

The Ark

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho …

Yay …  It’s Sunday. I haven’t done a religious post in ages … and I’m not going to do one now, either.

However … lol … Okay, you knew that was coming, right?

In discussion with some fundies over the past week or two regarding archaeology and the Exodus, I offered evidence from the late Kathleen Kenyon who was one of the more respected archaeologists in the field, and who, surprise, surprise, was also a Christian.

She believed that archaeology was needed to prove the historicity of the Bible; more importantly, that archaeology was needed to aid us in the interpretation of the “older parts of the Old Testament, which from the nature of their sources,… cannot be read as a straightforward record.”

Here’s a link, if, unlike the ‘person’ below, you’re interested in her work, especially with Jericho. 

This was the response from one fundie, who calls itself Marshalart. 

”He also believes that because someone claims to be a Christian that somehow I should regard her work as credible.’

Some really … er … interesting people.

http://siftingreality.com/

You can just imagine this dingbat saying, “Oh, yeah, just because you claim to be Jesus I should regard you as credible? Crucify him.”

You gotta love these fundies, right?  lol …

”… and the walls came tumbling down!”  

Yes, Jesus wants us all for sunbeams?

 

The Ark.

Cake over the fence. Boing … and there goes another year …..

Just over twelve months ago my dear friend Mrs. Aaargh was gearing up for her baby shower.

And Em’s did the cake  …. Remember this?

bear cake

Then the child was born and had to spend over a month in hospital with accompanying nail biting and wot not for Mum and Dad … us too. That all got sorted, and it was ”Home, James and don’t spare the horses”

And twelve months later … she just celebrated her first birthday, and last week, my lot had the privilege of making the 1st birthday cake. I had a piece. It was delicious!

Catherine's birthday cake

 

Where does the time go?

Happy 1st, Catherine.

And a belated birthday song … yeah, why not!

The first post for Catherine featured the song Somewhere over the rainbow.

So let’s feature it again… this time played by Jeff Beck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nite , nite, The Magician. Return to Forever

Twenty five years ago I read Magician, by Raymond E. Feist.

Magician 

I wasn’t in any way interested in Fantasy at that stage but told the lender I’d give it a whirl, nonetheless. To be honest, the only reason I agreed to read it was because of this track and the album it is from, Romantic Warrior. 

download

There are some true classics when it comes to Jazz-Rock and this album is one of them.

And when it comes to classics of fantasy literature, Magician is one of them.

And I am reading it again. So should you!

 

 

T’ra.

 

 

In The Pub. Crime Doesn’t Pay

This is a re – blog because I am flat out of ideas and wotnot.

Down at the Coach and Horses in the Village of Wiggleswood … 

download (3)

Alf tapped the newspaper with his pencil.

“S’lot of people that is. A bloody lot.”

“Lot of people what?” asked Bert.

Alf was doodling on his copy of the Daily Express while considering putting 50 quid on the upcoming England/Pakistan cricket test. Apparently the only safe bet currently on offer was which pair of umpires would take the field. Being politically savvy, his money was on South African Darryl Hare and that West Indian bloke Steve Bucknor. Besides, he knew someone who worked for the sponsors, Black and White Whiskey and he told him it was a dead cert and for 10% of the winnings he’d make nearly 300 quid.

“All these murders,” replied Alf coming back to the moment.

“Murders? What murders?” Bert asked.

“Over in South Africa.” Alf said.

“Been there once,” Bert offered.

“You never did? When?” Alf asked.

“Oh, long time ago, it was. Was on holiday and went to see old Basil D’Oliveira. Only I didn’t.”

“Sorry, Bert. You’ve lost me,” said Alf.

“What I mean is, I was due to see him but I didn’t get to see him on account of the colour thing,” Bert explained.

“Oh, right. Apart … what ever it was.”

”What?” Bert said.

“The colour thingy they had over there,” Alf said.

“No. Was on account of the colour of my ticket. I turned up at Wanderers Cricket Ground and I had the wrong ticket. And it was sold out. The ticket I had was green and had Zoo –admit one, on it.”

“Ah, I see. The Wrong Trouser story, yes?” Alf said.

“That’s the one,” Bert agreed. “So what was you saying about murder?”

”Over in South Africa. They’ve just released the figures. Says so in the paper. Seventeen million.”

Bert was incredulous.

“Seventeen million! You’re balmy, you are.”

“Well that’s what it says. Must be true I reckon, otherwise they wouldn’t print it, would they?” Alf replied indignantly.

“Yes, but seventeen million, that’s like … like, more’n half of Wales, that is. You sure?”

“Have a look for yourself then if you don’t believe me,” said Alf sliding the paper across the bar to his friend.

Bert quickly read the article in question then breathed a sigh of relief and shook his head.

“You daft old fool. You been doodling on the paper, you have. See these extra zeros? They’re in pencil. You wrote them. Put you bloody glasses on next time. It says 17,000.”

“Oh. I thought it sounded a lot. So only 17,000 you say?”

“Yes!” Bert said.

“Well, that’s all right then, I suppose. Er … how many murders have we had in Wiggleswood then?”

“Seventeen and a half,” said Bert.

‘Half?’ enquired Alf.

‘He wasn’t dead.’

‘He?’

‘My grandad,’ said Bert. He was just a heavy sleeper … and a heavy boozer.’

‘Aaah.  So … when did you realise that …’

‘He wasn’t dead?’

‘Right,’

‘After we buried him and he rang the bell,’ said Bert.

‘Rang the bell! What bell?’ asked Alf.

‘On the coffin. They used to have a bell so’s if the person got buried alive they could ring the bell and the gravediggers ‘d get them out of there pretty sharpish.’

‘Blimey! I never knew. Well fancy that. All the same, seventeen’s a fair amount for a place like this.’

“Since World War I,” Bert added.

“Oh,” Alf said.

 

Copyright©DSP

Leading you up the garden path

Mooching about the garden today, after planting a few seeds I took this shot of one of the last batch of Gazanias that had just sprouted. I am rather pleased with my efforts at growing things from seeds.

I have counted 114 Gazania seedlings so far. They will all be blooming within a few months. I could probably start a mini nursery! I wonder what a tray of six gazanias go for these days? 

Gazania shoot

Then  I went through the hole in the back wall and wandered around the kid’s garden. After Sonel’s stunning Dandelion Post of last week I saw a lone open dandelion and one closed so I snapped a few shots. Nothing to write home about but fun all the same.

dandelion 1

closed dandelion

Afterwards, wandered back down to our spot and on the way this fluttered by.

An Acraea. I am not sure of the species, so any Lepidoptera  specialists, let me know.

butterfly 7

 

The orchids have begun to flower. There is a mammoth Orchid fair in a few weeks in Jo’burg set on 10,000 squares. 

This a pretty one that opened a few days ago that I snapped this afternoon.

orchid 1

Last but by no means least this little one made an appearance. Since the Heron has been visiting on and off  last month, the baby koi have kept themselves hidden. Wise move! But  as I was standing by  the shallow end I noticed this. He/she is about the size of my index finger.

baby koi 

 

Book Excerpt.

No context…

The Nine Amendments.

Chapter 6

The real estate industry has three axioms. These are: location, location, location. The current Consul General, Bishop Statelee Holmes also had a similar number of axioms: me first, me first and me first.

On his arrival in Sunniclimes his first duty of office was to find one. And a building to surround it.

Introduced to the owner of Singoli’s most prestigious real estate firm, Mudhuts & Mansions, the pair set out on a tour of suitable premises. Ever mindful of the Church’s humble origins Holmes shied away from anything ostentatious. After a morning of house hunting he settled for a very humble building in the Red-Candle district.

‘Er . . . are you sure, Your Reference?’ enquired Al Pleurotremata, in broken Judysearan.

‘Positive. This will do fine. Thank you.’

‘But Your Enemance, this area has a . . . reputation.’

‘Splendid! Then it will be perfect for our church as, like us, it is reputable.’

‘It is not that kind of rep—.’  He stopped. ‘On second thoughts, Your Irreverence is absolutely right. This will suit your church down to the ground.’

Bishop Holmes was over the moon with the purchase and the money he saved went a long way towards aiding his quest for spiritual enlightenment. In the space of a few months’, part of that enlightenment included the makings of a very fine wine collection.

He made the magnanimous decision to donate several bottles to the Church for communion purposes upon his return to Judysear.

The building, like every other in Petticoat Street had little to offer in terms of salubrious accommodation. But it did provide good views. Always a plus in the world of real estate.

The views in question while not exactly scenic were, because of the buildings proximity to each other, and depending on one’s viewpoint, obscenic.

In fact, so close together were they that, on several occasions, Bishop Holmes had been woken in the dead of night by a semi-naked man jumping across his bed. And said man was often being pursued by a woman in an equal state of undress screaming for money.

Iron bars on all the upstairs windows had soon solved this problem. It had not impressed several semi-naked men. Unaware of the iron bars, they had some explaining to do to their wives from their hospital beds. Not least, how come the housekeeping money was short this week and why their arms or legs were broken?

The Ark

Copyright DSP 2013

Dr Feelgood – She does it right.

Here’s a band that not many people may remember.

They had a minimalist sound which they exploited to the full.  I thought they were brilliant.

The guitarist, Wilko Johnson is almost a legend, and he moved around the stage like a clockwork mouse.

Time for dinner.

It’s all double-dutch to moi?

Smile. I had a feeling this would happen. My post,Cruising the blogs which was little more than a sentence, has sparked one of those meandering posts that could go on for ever.

Having Neuronotes, Roughseas and Arch on the same page is a recipe for a long conversation.

And Sonel hasn’t even arrived yet. I am getting out early.

No problemo! This is what blogging is about; com-mun-i-cation.

Anyhow, as the post has sparked a conversation about dyslexia, this short extract seems appropriate.

From the book The Nine Amendments.

Context ( or Tish will give me funny looks)

Dyslexic prophet Mo Sez has climbed to the summit of Mount Sinaisitus to await a ride home from a very special ship. He has been followed by a small band who think he is a tomb raider dressed as a Mummy. This intrepid group includes the ruler of Sunniclimes, Toot at the Moon,his guard Captain, Al Falfa, Minister Abduller, Isack Knewtun and two twins Dick and Sean.

‘Ah, we’ll have company soon,’ said Mo looking skyward. He began to sing along while conducting an invisible orchestra: ‘Do, do, dah, dah, do. Dah, dah, do, do dah.’

There was some more furious starring.

‘Ahem … anyway, that noise will soon drive us all nuts so . . .’ He reached out and pushed something on the sceptre. There was a click. ‘Mute button. It’s okay, they can still hear it. It acts as a relay from the distress beacon.’

‘They?’ said Toot at the Moon.

Mo made an upward motion with his thumb.

‘You seem very sure that we are soon to get a visit from the gods,’ said Toot at the Moon, smiling benignly.

‘Gods.  Quite.  Listen.  I think now would be a good time to explain a few things concerning gods,’ Mo began. ‘You see, it’s like this. I do, or at least have done on occasion suffered from dyslexia.’

‘Yes?’ said Toot at the Moon.

‘Er, you know what that word means, I suppose?’

‘May I, sir?’ Al Falfa asked. The king nodded. ‘My late mother suffered from it. It got so bad we had to put her in an institution, I’m afraid.’

‘I didn’t realise,’ said the king. ‘Why didn’t you say something, Captain? We would have seen she received help.’

‘Thank you, sir. But it was while I was still young. My father didn’t know what else to do with her.’

Mo frowned. ‘Hold on a moment. No one gets put in an institution because of dyslexia.’

‘Oh, we had to. Couldn’t have her running around naked like that. It was too terrible.’

‘What are you talking about; dyslexia is a learning disorder!’ Mo exclaimed.

‘I know,’ Al Falfa agreed earnestly. ‘No matter how many times my father dressed her she never learned to keep her clothes on. As soon as his back was turned, she would strip down to her underwear and run out into the street. Often he wasn’t quick enough and by the time he caught her she had discarded the rest of her attire.’

‘Shame, Captain. I’m sorry,’ the king added in a sympathetic voice.

‘Thank you, Your Majesty. But it’s behind us now. We don’t bring it up any more.’

Abduller was nodding in agreement but Isack had a feeling Al Falfa had misunderstood.

‘Wait, for the gods’ sake. When I said learning disorder I meant it’s to do with reading. How a person sees words,’ Mo explained.

‘Words? Are you sure?’ Al Falfa asked.

‘Yes. Of course, I’m sure.  Whatever it was your mother had, it was not dyslexia. Sounds more like senility, if anything.’

‘Oh.  So you say,’ Al Falfa retorted.

‘Yes. I do. When a person suffering from dyslexia looks at a word, he sometimes reads it backwards. Why do you think the sign on my tomb says Om?’

‘Ah. I see!’ said Sean, realisation dawning. ‘So you’d be okay when you call to your mum, but she’d get confused if you said you were going for a parc.’

‘You go to the park, not for a park. And why would she get confused if you told her you were going to the park? said Dick. ‘Besides—

‘I am trying to explain about gods, for gods’ sake. Now will you lot listen?’ Mo interrupted. Six heads turned. ‘Thank you. What I am about to tell you will, I’m sure, come as a bit of a shock but,’ he took a breath, ‘there are no gods.’

The Ark

Copyright©2013. DSP

I’m off for my dinner. T’ra.

Nite, Nite. You Overwhelm me. Robert Palmer.

Everyone should have a song…

The first album of Robert Palmer’s I bought was Double Fun. I had never listened to the man before, although I knew he had been a guitarist and singer for the band Vinegar Joe in the early seventies.

I picked the the cassette up merely out of curiosity because I recognised the name and bought it on the strength of the old kinks song, You Really Got Me.

It turned out to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

download

When Robert Palmer passed away a few years back I was numb for nearly a week. I hadn’t felt like that about a musician since I was a young kid and read of Hendrix’ death.

It was three months before my twelve month contract in Johannesburg was up. I’d had a ball. It had taken a month to get used to but after that  – great fun. A real gas. Three months left. I’d already secured my next assignment; a seven month Scandinavian Cruise, and after that Bermuda was on the cards.

The world was my ‘shellfish’, as Terry Pratchett says.

Three months. Just three months and I’d be on the other side of the world.

Then she walked into the salon and asked for a haircut …

The Ark.

Nite, NIite.