Monday, November 14, 2011

SAECULUM (A Novel:Part 8) – VESPER IV & V.

SOL OCCAXUS (Sunset) Monday, 19 September, 2011

CREPUSCULUM (Evening Twilight)
I. Friday, 23 September, 2011
II. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
III. Thursday, 29 September, 2011
IV. Sunday, 16 October, 2011

VESPER (Evening Dusk)
I. Sunday, 23 October, 2011
II. Sunday, 30 October, 2011
III. Wednesday, 9 November, 2011
IV. Monday, 14 November, 2011
V. Monday, 14 November, 2011

CONCUBIUM (First Sleep – Coitus – Rest)
MATUTINUM (Dawn Goddess)
DILUCULUM (Dawn Twilight)

SOLI ORTUS (Sunrise)



The ivory-handled telephone thrilled twice before the man in the dark suit picked it up with beautifully manicured fingers. “Yes,” he said sharply.
“I am the servant of the powerful,” a familiar voice spoke on the incoming end of the line, giving the agreed code.
“For you there will always be light!” the dark-suited man responded quietly.
“Is this connection secure, Sahib al-Zuhur?” the voice asked.
It is secure, Sahib al-Sa‘igh!
“Excuse my caution Overlord but these are dangerous times. Were you able to follow up on Solis’ intelligence? Is the information about the effectiveness accurate?”
“It looks very promising my friend and I commend your caution. We will have to be very careful. The South American magicos must not get wind of the information. If the Israeli is willing to sell to us he may also be willing to trade with them. I do not trust his motivation completely yet it is such a great opportunity, we must not let it slip. How is the price holding up?”
“Hovering about 70 dollars per kilo for the raw material. Between the drought and the activities of those sanctimonious sons of the Pakistan brothels, prices are rising.”
“I thought they were only paying lip service to Europeans and American drug agencies.”
“Sucking on each other more like! They enjoy abusing the revenue and are only destroying hectares in areas they do not control. The Taliban has recently gone as far as defending the right of Afghans to produce the crop saying it is the responsibility of the West to control the consumption amongst their people.”
“They are playing right into our hands.”
“Yes indeed, but we need to take more control both of the source and the supply. On top of everything else the Nigerian vagina-packers are getting about 3,000 dollars per kilo for getting the refined shit onto the streets in London and Paris. Our take is only a third.”
“The ketamine and ecstasy labs in Belgium are up and running and the routes to the States being established. We will soon be able to dispense with the services of the Nigerian motherfuckers and control the full trade and the profits.”
“Yes, the timing is critical. My costs are escalating and I need access to hard currency.”
“You and your people will be provided for. Have I not been generous?”
“Yes, but it is to your great advantage.”
“It is to all our advantage, al-Sa‘igh.” The dark-suited man stressed with an irritated tone. “Your needs and mine are mutual and in satisfying them the great design will be fully achieved. The Israeli is coming to Corsica and once we have the samples he will be disposed of. Solis will see to that.”
“Overlord. There may be one other problem, on that particular score.”
“What is it?”
“I have had a contact from Zoë. She feels that Solis has made an error of judgment and wonders what should be done.”
“What do you mean?”
“The Pir-i-Roshan may have been compromised. Solis has introduced him to the American who the Israeli is working with. There is no telling what damage to our cause might result.”
“I trust Solis implicitly. If she has compromised the Pir she must have had her reasons.”
“Be that as it may, it is still a concern. What would you like me to do?”
“Eliminate the Pir,” the dark-suited man said with finality as he tapped his fingers against the phone.
Eliminate! Are you sure Sahib al-Zuhur?”
“Yes. Now is the right time, for many reasons. The symbol has to be destroyed to permit us access to the pure Idea. Get it done.”
“I will tell Zoë –”
No! Do not involve Zoë for this task. Ask our mutual friends, the Khannakiya.”
“It will be done as you stipulate, Overlord al-Zuhur.”
“And, Sahib al-Sa‘igh . . .”
“Yes, Overlord.”
“Bring back the glass of the desert grains.”


Rod Mallory uncoiled himself slowly from the deep white leather-clad chair and sauntered across the room to a small refrigerator. He had a crooked smile on his face. “He talks to them, he doesn’t shag them,” he laughed as he imitated her voice with eerie accuracy. “Very profound, Caroline. Did you have to tell Michael about my preferences?” Opening the refrigerator door he pulled out a bottle of beer and held it up. “Do you want one?”
Caroline shook her head. She sat on a high barstool chair, staring at the telephone she held in her hand. She didn’t look up at the tall, tanned Australian as he leant on the counter-top facing her. “I hate lying to Michael, even if he is being stupid about all this.”
“What do you mean?” Mallory asked.
“You only came in half way through the conversation Rod. Michael suspected that you might be with me and that we were plotting against him. I needed to distract him from that, so I had to tell him about your . . . your sexual preferences.”
“Well it’s all true, even if put a little crudely. You weren’t lying. I’m here with you and we are in a sense plotting against him. I’m worried though that he might look at me differently. ”
“Why do men assume that we women have nothing better to do than worry about their sensitivities? I was talking about me, Rod, about my reservations and my concerns. Can you possibly understand that?”
“Ouch, Caroline. That hurt me,” Mallory’s voice hardened. “Though, from the conversation with Michael you strike me as being pretty good at word-hurt.”
“Asshole,” she hissed.
“Not as much as I would like recently.” Rod Mallory squealed in a high-camp voice. He flashed a ponce’s smile at Caroline as he prised the telephone from her hand and replaced it in the charger. She couldn’t help but laugh.
“Disarming bastard,” she said.
“The true skill of a ‘fag-hag’ as you post-modernist feminists would categorize me. But sadly, enough of me . . . What was Michael’s reaction?”
“Obvious and immediate. He does not want to part with Hoxygene. He seems . . . ” Caroline hesitated.
“He seems what?” Mallory persisted as he started peeling off the moistened label of the beer-bottle.
“He seems distracted, distant almost. I don’t know, Rod. Lately we are not communicating. It’s as if we . . .” Caroline’s eyes stared into empty space as her voice trailed off.
“What, sweetheart. You know you can confide in me.”
“Thanks, Rod. It’s just that we used to be able to anticipate each other’s moods, what our needs were. That’s not there at the moment. Michael is in his own world and I am no longer made to feel a part of it. To tell you the truth I am pissed off and frustrated by it. I am not sure what to do.”
“It happens pet. Hoxygene is at a very exciting stage in its development. It is bound to absorb much of his energy”
“If it was just Hoxygene, I would understand or at least be a little more tolerant. No, it’s him. He is defensive and distracted and somewhere else in his head.”
“Did he sound depressed? Is Spain such a bore?He seemed ok about it when I spoke to him.”
“On the contrary he is loving it there. He said he has met some interesting people in Granada and wanted me to join him there.”
“Oh, oh. I sense danger.”
Caroline nodded her head and took her time in answering. “I know.”
“Will you go?”
“No . . . I can’t. I must go to Mexico.”
“La Paz. The Hotel –” Caroline stopped herself short. Even her friendship with the Australian did not override the need for maintaining secrecy about her work. She regretted mentioning Mexico even on the phone to Michael. “I’m not sure exactly,” she lied.
“Fair enough super-sleuth. If you were to tell me then you would have to kill me I suppose,” Mallory slurred in an good Sean Connery imitation.
“Exactly.” Caroline gave a little laugh as she tried to hide the edginess from her voice. Rod missed very little, she thought, and she would need to be more circumspect.

A silence descended between them broken by the Australian slurping back the last of his beer. He finished pulling off the label and reaching forward stuck it onto Caroline’s forehead. He gave a mock salute. “Here’s to America’s saviour, the Budweiser medal of honour. Bloody rice water,” he gargled. “Give me the nectared effluent from the Swan or Torrens any day.”
Caroline peeled off the sticky paper, its glue smudging her makeup. “I must go, Rod. I need to get ready. You, Max, Michael and I can talk next weekend.”
“Are you backing off the deal, Caroline?” Mallory stared at her. His eyes were suddenly cold and calculating. One mask replaced by another.
“No. It’s a good deal but . . . I don’t know if I could go against Michael’s wishes. It means too much to him. If I do it will cause irreparable damage to our relationship. That is my gut feeling.”
“The faithful and dutiful wife, eh?” Mallory’s tone was savagely sarcastic.
Caroline’s eyes flared as she glared at him. “Thank you for that, Rod. I hope that observation was a slip of the tongue and not a idiotic commentary on the secrets . . . my secrets, that I have been foolish enough to share with you.”
“I am sorry, Caroline. I didn’t mean –”
Fuck off, Rod.”
“Caroline. I didn’t mean it as it sounded.” Mallory looked suddenly agitated and unsure. Reaching across the counter he tried to take her hands in his. Caroline pulled away and getting off the barstool walked to the door and held it open for him.
“I need some space, Rod. Please go.”
Go. Now! I’ll talk to you next weekend.”

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