Painting by Baron Dixon, courtesy of Fine Art America.
The maids quickly put down their cooking utensils and hurried out of the kitchen.
He swiped his hands across the kitchen counter and knocked everything onto the floor. Bowls, ladles, vegetables, and a rolling pin. It didn’t make enough noise, so he walked along the rest of the counter, past the stove, and to the other counter, knocking over pots, lids, utensils, bread pans, tins, and anything else that wasn’t attached. The pots and utensils bouncing on the tile floor made a tremendous clatter. He then moved his attention to the cabinets, and opening them one by one tossed everything out. Dishes, glasses, bowls, flour sifters, measuring cups, coffee cups, a spare tea set, spices, salt and pepper shakers, glass candleholders, tin candleholders, a wad of candles, and flower vases of all shapes and sizes bounced off the countertops or lower cabinets and smashed into pieces on the hard floor around his feet. Some broke on the edge of the countertop and shattered with a pop, spreading shards in all directions around the kitchen, covering the island with chunks of glass of every shape and size. He kicked aside the pieces that fell beside his feet, crunching over the glass and ceramic crumbs with the leather soles of his shoes. He pulled the decorations off the walls and flung into thin air any implement that appeared breakable or liable to make noise. “That woman doesn’t know what she is dealing with,” he said coldly.
Except from Chapter 35, Chivas in the Garden, from Part II of the novel Tocayos. I hope to finish editing it by Summer 2016.
“You there!” Father Bartholomew shouted, pointing a wobbly finger at Canseco.
Four boys stood up.
Father closed his eyes and said a prayer. His large hands were trembling, and he could not hold his index finger steady. The boys were making sport of it.
“Was it me you called, Father?”
“At your service, Father!”
Father Bart’s sermons, no matter how diplomatically he phrased them, revealed an affinity for the poor that disturbed the civic leadership of the communities to which he was assigned. That was bad for the Catholic Church, and worse for Father Bart. His superiors worked hard to keep him alive during a time when Catholic priests were getting assassinated for the content of their sermons. They moved him from parish to parish well into his 70’s. Finally the Cardinal of Lima told him that if he wished to continue risking life and limb, he may as well try his hand at educating the boys of La Virgen del Pinar.
Excerpt from Chapter 34, Ghecko on God, in Part II of Tocayos, which I hope to publish in 2016.
And, as so often happens in Catholic school and horror movies, a figure materialized on the teacher’s platform. No one saw or heard him walk in. A little unsettled, one by one we, the students, we turned in our seats to face the apparition. He was a towering man in a dull black cassock and crisp white priests’ collar. His giant hands clasped a bedraggled Bible against the front of his body. He was completely bald. He was ancient, and his old cassock hung thinly over his broad, bony shoulders, the sleeves not long enough to cover his arms or hide his powerful hands. Though 2 meters of height, he stood straight as a redwood. A priest that tall had to be North American, I thought, but his leathery skin was more olive than pink, and his features were almost indian, his eyes almost black.
He studied us with great concern, and remained silent until the last student had turned around.
“I am Father Bartolome,” he said in a voice that crumbled like old wood. “I am here to teach you social justice.”
Excerpt from Chapter 33, Burguese’s Lower Lip, in Part II of Tocayos, which I’ll publish in 2016. Part I is available from Smashwords.
Photo courtesy of Nice Cool Pics.
I stopped breathing. She was a beauty of such astonishment that my sense of time folded back over itself and I was suddenly unsure whether I was seeing her for the first time or remembering her from the moment of creation when God, as the centerpiece of his plan to make man strive for eternity, gave me a glimpse of the perfection that would remain forever out of my reach.
I had to see more of her. Her dark hair cascaded, thick and loose, to the middle of her shoulders. The face it framed was exquisite. I examined it like a reckless boy, jumping from the lips of a sculpture to the eyebrows of a movie star, skipping beneath the shadow of her hair and tracing the contour of her cheekbones to rest again on her lips, where I paused to breathe many times. I lingered in a state of awe along her elegant jaw line, moving aside her hair with the back of my hand to reveal the earlobes of an angel, pierced with a single pearl. Hidden from the world beneath the curtain of her hair I kissed the length of her neck until the gymnasium swayed. Leaning back, I stared into her eyes. Chocolate brown like her hair, they were priceless gems that defeated space, collapsing the distance of the court between them. Them? Between them? Why not between us? No! She was staring at Charly!
Excerpt from Chapter 10, the Gospel According to Carlos, from Part I of Tocayos. Part I is available from Smashwords. I will publish Part II and a hardcover version of both parts in 2016.
Isabel sighed and looked at her daughter directly in the eye. “Your idealism has made you bitter. You expect impossible things from a man, then hate him, and perhaps resent all men, when he does not do for you what is impossible for him to do for any woman. A woman has a woman’s heart. A man has a man’s.”
Excerpt from Chapter 29, Ringing the Little Bell, Part 2 of Tocayos. I hope to publish Part 2 in the summer of 2016. Part 1 is available here.
A wave was as opposite of Charly’s nature as it was possible to be. Charly, he chewed metal nuts for breakfast. The he turned on all the chainsaws in the house and screamed with them. Before showering, he pulled all the hair out of his chest, to show the water who was stronger, but by the time he finished showering, it had all grown back. A wave, it is something very different from Charly.
When it is not as big as a hammer, a wave is soft as a caress. A wave is sensuous in shape, in movement, in color, in surface, even in the way it collapses and disappears into the sand. If you surrender to a wave, the forces of the Earth they reveal their mystery to you: they show you the secret place where intersect the weight of your body, your momentum, the wave’s momentum, the angle of its surface, the power of the wave, the name of the force that keeps things on the surface of the water. That place of magic changes every second. You have to listen with your skin.
Charly, he did not know surrender. He did not respond to mystery. I had been around him long enough to realize he had the sensuality of a dog who protects a junkyard. He had the seduction abilities of big, fat nail that you step on with the heel of your foot. I did not and do not understand how a girl as beautiful and sensual as Milagros had any interest in him.
Waves were so much the opposite of Charly that once he tasted them, he developed a hunger that did not stop. The more he consumed the waves, the more he needed them.
Except from Chapter 27, “Standing in Isabel’s Doorway. ”
Photo courtesy of http://iliketowastemytime.com/2013/05/07/daily-wallpaper-wave.
Photo courtesy of Panoramio
As we rounded the last house on the street, the blue waters of Playa Norte finally revealed themselves to me. I stopped, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. The morning breeze, thick with the ocean’s moisture, gently caressed my face like a mother’s hand. Seagulls squawked overhead, and the warm, bitter aroma of guano that pervades the Peruvian coast drifted into my nostrils. I opened my eyes and took a long, loving look around. There was the small park with the tiny lawn, the half-buried white stones, the cluster of nicely painted houses. There were the black cliffs above my house and the thatched patio that jutted out over the rocks. There was the royal blue Pacific, sparkling through the mist, undulating with swells slowly making their way toward shore, tumbling over themselves into sparkling white foam, and rushing in a hush onto the sand. During the last month of school I had dreamed of this moment at least once per class period. This humble but lovely creation of God had been responsible for a full grade point off my average. And now it was responsible for letting me forget all about politics.
Excerpt from Part 2 of Tocayos, which I hope to publish in the Spring of 2016. Part 1 is published here.