The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Preview of In Case of Death

It has been awhile since I posted a preview here...I thought it was high time to get my butt back in gear!

Having just finished a round of editing on my newest novel this afternoon...I thought it would be cool to share a little of it with you!

Enjoy!


Prologue

March 5, 1999 Cairo, Egypt


The American reached into his pocket and dug out some Piasters to pay for his purchase. Handing over the coins in exchange for the sack from the robed woman, he quickly popped one of the sweet dates into his mouth. Crumbling the bag closed once again, he slipped it into his oversized safari vest pocket as he continued walking through the bazaar.
He loved this place.
He made sure that he always had one morning open on his monthly trips to Cairo to visit his Khan Al-Khalili. The deals he could make here seemed to satisfy his seldom used negotiating skills like nowhere back home. Every transaction was a new negotiation here; he was just another customer to these people.
He was very good at his job, and although a senior manager in his department, Petroleum Engineering no longer held his interest like it did when he was younger. Thirty years with basically the same job at the same company had left him yearning for retirement.
He considered this as he paid for yet another purchase, a hard-fought negotiation for a brightly colored stuffed parrot for his new granddaughter. He hadn’t even laid eyes on her yet, as she had been born while he was on the plane during the trip over.
“It won’t be long now,” he thought to himself.
He had made the final arrangements before leaving on this trip. In six months he would be taking early retirement. He was looking forward to it with excitement. His wife and he would travel the world, enjoying time together as he tried to make up for the years apart that his job had demanded.
And now that the grandkids were starting to appear, they would have time for extended visits to their boys and their families. His mouth spread slowly at the thought. He was certain that his wife was looking forward to that part of retirement more than the travel.
A sudden prick in his back brought his mind back to the present.
“What the hell is that?” he thought as he reached behind himself, feeling a short piece of hard plastic sticking out of his vest.
Confused, he pulled his hand back and was shocked to see it covered in blood. As he stared at his blood covered fingers, he noticed his vision closing in, blackness forming around the edges of his sight as it worked its way quickly toward the center.
“Shit!” was all he could mutter before collapsing onto the dusty path next to one of the booths. As he stared out of near sightless eyes, he could feel the life draining out of him as it spilled onto the path.
With his last labored breath, he exhaled the word that was his final thought on this earth…“May”
***
A small monkey, the pet of the owner of the nearest booth, sniffed the air and jumped from the counter to the back of the now dead body. Chattering away, he reached deftly into the man’s vest pocket and pulled out the bag of dates.
Sitting comfortably on the back of the man, the little animal quickly bit into one of the sweet fruits. Holding up the half eaten piece like a trophy, the monkey let out a loud string of chatter, jumping up and down with excitement.
The passing shoppers all smiled as they watched the antics of the little animal, stepping carefully around the pool of blood so as to not get any of it on their feet.
Stories of the funny monkey’s frolics would be the highlight of many of the bazaar’s patrons that night.

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