Archive | September 2015

Something New – Part 26

something new coverAfter the press conference, they have a lavish lunch at Sarducci’s restaurant. While they are there, Dwight gets a call from Babs, telling him they have been summoned to The Presence. Austin has no idea what that means, but it seems to awe the others.

Dwight tipped his head to Elaine.

She sighed, pushing them toward the door. “The Presence is what we call the God of Broadcasting in this city. He knows all, he sees all, he’s God.”

“Does this paragon have a name?”

“Yes,” Liat said. “I call him Daddy.”

They dragged a stunned Austin to the car. Stu sped along the streets, miraculously hitting green lights and minimal traffic. Though he asked many questions, Austin couldn’t get another word out of the women, Stu or Dwight. Resigned to the fact that he was being ignored, he settled back in his seat and closed his eyes. The car slowed, making a hard left turn. Austin woke. Liat handed him a breath mint. He popped it in his mouth before kissing her.

“Feel better now?”

“Little bit.”

“Good. You’ll need it.” She climbed out of the car.

Stu ushered them to the elevator and waited with them. “I’ll be waiting in the car,” he promised.

“Where are we?”

“The Vogel Building,” Liat replied.

“You’ve got a building—named after you?”

“Named after my great-grandfather.”

Liat pressed a section of wall and a sliver of wood slid back, revealing a single button. Elaine pushed it and the elevator rose rapidly, not stopping at any other floors.

When it reached its destination, the doors opened to a pink marble floored foyer. The walls were tooled bronze to about chest height, and creamy cloth above. On the left, wide steps led down to a lavish room with a black marble floor. There was a rectangular fireplace standing in the middle. The perimeter of the room consisted of gray leather couches. A padded lip ran around the fireplace, perfect for people to put up their feet.

To the right, a grand piano occupied a cozy nook. A panoramic view of the city filled the bowed glass windows. The room continued, but Austin didn’t have time to look at it all.

Elaine led them to the sitting area around the fireplace. They took seats in a tight cluster, except for Elaine, who sat directly opposite the steps. Moments later, a tall, dark haired man with broad shoulders and muscular chest, came to greet them. He trotted down the steps and stopped in front of Elaine, holding out his hands. She took them and he raised her to a standing position. His arms went around her waist, pulling her close, as he kissed her.

“Hello, darling,” she said with a smile. “How was Paris?”

“Boring. French.” He winked, patting her on the fanny. “You’ve had some excitement. Hello, Precious.” He greeted his daughter with a kiss and hug.

Austin and Dwight stood, waiting anxiously. Liat’s father was an intimidating man. He stood over six feet tall. His black hair was shot with silver, his blue eyes penetrating. His voice was a loud and rumbling baritone, laced with a distinctive Oxford accent.

“You’ve studied Shakespeare,” Austin said as he stepped forward.

The man’s blue eyes twinkled. “I have indeed, young man. Royal Shakespeare, 1971 through 75. Astute.” He shook Austin’s hand.

“No one rumbles like a Shakespearian,” Austin replied. “Which must make you Gordon Vogel.”

“It must, indeed! Gordon Oliver Desmond Vogel, God for short.” He turned to his wife, smirking. “You told me he was sharp. Who’s your friend?” He held out his hand to Dwight.

“Dwight Wales. He’s my personal assistant and good friend.”

“Everyone needs those,” Gordon said, shaking Dwight’s hand. “Friends, I mean. Assistants are a dime a dozen.”

“Not good ones,” Dwight said confidently. “We go for a dollar a dozen.”

Gordon burst out laughing at the silly joke. “I like this one too. Can we keep them, Mummy?” He sounded like a child, directing the comment to his wife. “Sit, everyone. Beverages. Sam-u-el!” He drew out the name like a battle cry.

The windows shook when he called the name. An elderly gentleman in a black suit came to stand by the sunken room.

“You bellowed, sir?”

“Beverages, Samuel. Tea?” He asked the room in general. “Yes, tea. The Oolong.”

“As you wish, sir.” He bowed, turning his back to the room.

“Great man. Deaf as a post,” Gordon muttered.

“I can hear you,” Samuel said. “I’m not deaf.”

“He’s not. I just like yelling. Sit!”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Dellani’s Alphabet Challenge Letter S – Shakazhan

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ABC ChallengeShakazhanis book 2 in my Lone WolfSeries. Having traveled out of the known galaxy into another that doesn’t even remotely resemble their own, the crews of Hannibal and Flotilla are orbiting the mystical and legendary planet Iyundo, when it something goes horribly wrong.

Hannibal 1350 GMT

Ben sat in his ready room, feet on the desk, cap over his eyes. Something woke him and he stood quickly, fully alert, listening. Had someone called his name? Suddenly, he grew dizzy. The walls swirled together, the floor gaped threatening to drag him under and he felt a great sweep of fear as if a million voices had suddenly cried out in terror!

Vertigo overcame him and he dropped to the floor on his hands and knees, gagging and vomiting. His vision cleared and his ears stopped ringing. Small cleaning bots scuttled around him, vacuuming up the mess. His door…

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Something New – Part 25

something new coverThe press conference went well. Austin played his part perfectly.

They laughed as the elevator opened. Stu was waiting for them, grinning.

“Beautiful job. Where to now?”

“Lunch,” Liat said. “I’m starving.”

“We’ve got the whole city to choose from.”

“Sarducci’s,” Liat replied.

Dwight pulled out his phone and made a call. “They’ll have a private dining room for us. Go to the back door,” he told Stu.

“You got it!”

“Let’s eat, then you need to discuss the schedule for all your interviews with Dwight and your agent.”

“All my interviews? I thought there were just the two.”

“After this? Everyone is rabid to chat with you.”

“I was hoping that my statement would make them less interested, not more.”

“Ride the wave, dear,” she advised. “This is a great forum for you.”

“For the show, you mean.”

“No, for you. You believe everything you said today. There are more important things than gossip and celebrities. If we spent as much time worrying about the country and less time worrying about movie stars, we’d be a far better place.”

They pulled up to the back door of Sarducci’s Italian Restaurant. The hostess, a tall blonde woman, met them at the door and led them to a private dining room. When Stu had parked the car, he joined them. Hors d’ouevres circulated on Venitian glass serving trays, accompanied by champagne. Soon, lunch was served.

Austin took his first bite. The flavors rolled across his tongue and he smiled. “Divine,” he said as the waitress refilled his water. “Please give my compliments to the chef.”

“I will, Mr. Templeton, thank you.”

The waitress moved away, but Austin caught her sleeve.

“Ask her if I detect a hint of anise and just a touch of—” he smacked his lips a second. “No, fennel, not anise. It’s really unique.”

“I’ll ask.”

A few minutes later, a short, petite woman with long black hair and a chef’s cap, walked into the room. The men rose, including Austin, though he had no idea who she was. Grinning, she came over to him, her hand out.

“You’re good. You tasted the fennel. Not even my father caught that.”

“There’s cardamom too, but I didn’t catch that until after the waitress left. Nice background to the garlic, onion and pepper.”

“Are you a chef?”

“No, I just love to eat. I can barely boil water, but I appreciate good food. It is delicious, Chef. Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome. Come back any time.”

“Thank you. If you keep cooking like that, I’ll eat here all the time.”

“I’ll keep cooking like that.” She winked and left.

Applause followed the chef out. A waiter closed the door behind her.

Dwight’s phone rang. He wandered away from the table before answering. “No kidding!” He couldn’t seem to contain his delight. “Thanks, Babs.” He scurried over to the table. “How soon can we get to Riverside?” he asked Stu.

“If we hurry and there’s not too much traffic, forty minutes, an hour tops.”

“Come,” he gestured to Liat and Austin. “Elaine, you too.”

“What? Where?” Liat asked.

“We’ve been summoned,” he replied. “To the Presence.”

Obviously understanding, the women stood, preparing to go. Stu dropped his napkin and hitched up his pants.

Austin frowned. “What are you talking about?” Austin followed Dwight to the door.

“Honestly, do I have to tell you everything?” Dwight stopped, incredulous.

“Apparently, yes. What’s the Presence?”

“It’s not a what, it’s a who.”

“Okay, that then.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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