Tag Archives: Zarabeth

Fiction: The briefing (from The Demon in Business Class)

WordPress doesn’t let me tag non-blog posts (the links in the header row), so I post excerpts from my novel to let potential readers find me by searching. Today’s excerpt gives Zarabeth her chance at revenge on the man who woke her heart, then broke it. I also have another reason for posting this particular scene, that you will read in my next post. ‘Til then, enjoy!
Straightforward’s Hong Kong office was in one of Central’s sleek skyscrapers, two MTR stops and a century west of Wan Chai. At seven in the evening, the office was quiet. A staffer led Zarabeth to a bamboo hallway and offered her tea. People passed her, heading out. Everyone ignored her. Her feet pulsed from the heat.
At seven-thirty her telepresence session started, in a half-oval walnut-brown room with only a table and chair. On the wide screen, her boss Magda, pale-white pie-crust face as big as Oz. The staffer resized the image. Now Magda sat in gray clothes at a similar table in a similar room. Except for the floating time code window, the illusion of one place was convincing.
The staffer presented Zarabeth with a thumb-scanner wired to a secure interoffice pouch. She scanned. The security lock snapped off. The staffer left and locked the door.
“That’s to take with you,” Magda said, once they were alone. “Sit down, stranger. Flight ok? Settled in?”
“Fine thanks,” Zarabeth said. “This is spendy.”
“Corporate telepresence comes with hourly bug sweeps and physical soundproofing. Why reinvent the wheel? Now listen. Continue reading

Fiction: The charm (from The Demon in Business Class)

Funny thing, WordPress doesn’t let me tag non-blog posts (the links in the header row), so without occasionally posting excerpts from my book, its potential readers can’t find me by searching. Every so often I’ll post a short excerpt here on the blog. To read the first two chapters, click here.

This is from the early pages. In the midst of a downsizing Zarabeth has found a new job, and, to her surprise, a path to the supernatural. 
On Friday half the cubicles outside Zarabeth’s office were empty and dark. The remaining people slouched at their small desks. She felt as if she faced a dog licking a deep wound, clammy feel of sepsis in the hot air. Pathetic. She would take a brick to it.
Her new boss Magda’s admin had forwarded a twenty-page report about satellites, a third redacted with thick black marker. It looked military or spook, above her own nerd rating.
Wanda knocked, holding a thick plastic-film envelope. “This just came by messenger.” Wanda stood there, impressed and curious.
“Thanks. Go away. Close the door.”
Inside the envelope were new business cards, employment documents, a ticket to London (tomorrow night, business class), also a jewelry box and a black parchment envelope.
Continue reading