Autumn Change

Rain is falling, slow and steady like the progress on my WIP. The cool autumn change strips bare the plum tree beyond the window, and beyond that, the forest is turning from lush greens to red and gold, as if covered by emerging young flames. It is a good day to write. Cool and calm with little to distract.
I have been reworking the start of another novel set in Colombia. I considered writing the complete book in first person, but later decided to use third person close. However, I have left the prologue in first. Let me know what you think.

Cartagena – April 1994 08:45

The air was hot, sultry, and tasted of exhaust fumes. The surface of the harbour lay green and lifeless beyond the fractured rocks of the decaying breakwater. Somewhere above, a worker was drilling concrete. Fine grey powder fell through the polluted morning air, thick and dirty with the sound of rush-hour traffic. I walked on. The pavement was cracked and broken, holes, where once there were grids.
A dark Mercedes slowed as it passed me then stopped fifty feet ahead, its deep lustre incongruous in this broken street. The driver’s door opened, the chauffeur stepped out. From a back door, three children bubble to the kerb, then three suppressed shots spit through the damp air and collide with the sound of the angry traffic. A man falls. A child screams. The chauffeur’s blood is pooling.
No thoughts hinder my feet as I rush at the young deer frozen in the headlights of an assassin’s gun. I bundle them over the seawall and into fragile safety, as the gunman continues his work. Four hard fingers probe my back as he attempts to execute the three mute children. Brick dust flies, blood runs. I hear tyres squeal and an engine roar; the sounds of the fleeing assassin as sirens approach. The children stare at me, huddled in silent fear.
Unknown hands staunch the bleeding. There’s no pain, just a sensation of warmth and fear, and the smell of blood and dirty street. Soft touches and muffled words leaking through my clotting senses. Another squeal cleaves my skull, as tyres fight to grip asphalt. Voices and hands, urgent and foreign. Fingers part my left eye, and a shaft of light burns in.

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Author: A.J.

I have written as far back as I can recall. Until 2011, that writing was just for me, or as rambling letters to friends and travelogues to the family. I never thought about why, or if others did similarly, and the thought of publishing never entered my head. Since I left England in 1979, I have been collecting experiences, people, and places. From the blood-soaked streets of Kampala, the polluted dust bowls of the Sahara, or the pristine ice floes of the Antarctic, I have gathered and filed them away. Some have recently squeezed through the bars of insecurity and are now at large in the pages of my first three novels. Others await their future fates.

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