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The President's Family [Ch 5: The Rendezvous (2)]
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D-Lotus
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:05 am    Post subject: The President's Family [Ch 5: The Rendezvous (2)] Reply with quote

Hey'all, here's an attempt at a Speed storygame. Can't promise I'll finish it, can't even give you a regular schedule for posting new chapters. All I can say is that I'll go with the flow, see what kind of response I get, and have fun! Here's a prologue to whet your appetite.

Prologue

Dawn pitilessly subdued the fevered, desperate night. Under the pale light, each stolid face in the firing squad began a methodical inspection of his Kalashnikov, the sight of which was as piercing and inclement as the morning chill.

I squeezed my remaining hope and energy into a long abandoned habit, a fervent prayer.

Please don’t let it end this way.

I stood across the gloomy courtyard facing my brother, Faustino Cano-Patín-- president elect of the Republic of Guyana-Guyana and now branded a traitor to his nation-- breathing in the same breeze charged with despair.

Faustino’s hands were tied behind his back. He was standing in the shadow of a wall peppered with tiny holes like pock marks, where bullets had at some time impacted the cement. He glanced, in a trance, at the rustling palm fronds of the tree hovering above the wall. His gaze seemed distant-- his demeanor, usually cheerful and Rubenesque, was now grim. His robust constitution had flagged under the strain of a prolonged and hopeless situation.

Was it because he was facing death, or had his ‘condition’ affected his spirit? Had the madness returned to haunt him?

Oh, God, please help him now more than ever, I implored.

Only a short time ago-- how could the world grind to a halt like this?-- I had been my brother’s media campaign manager. He was destined to become the democratically elected president of our nation, having a broad, populist appeal. I had supervised the printing of thousands of posters with which to paper the country, each one bearing his radiant smile and calm gaze. Now their tattered remains could be seen littering the wide, sun burnt streets of our capital.

The disaster, it had all started with his strange disease; then it was compounded by a myriad of other tiny dilemmas, all of them eluding my control. Fate pins our family down as we thrash against our curse of madness.

Silvia, you’re the only one that’s different, my mother’s voice rings. You must mend. It is a woman’s task. Weave the threads together, keep our family from the brink of disaster.

Find it, find where the stars first crossed and tugged against each other, sending the world into an imbalance. The chain of causality-- where did it all begin, where does it lead? Am I revisiting a dream? Resuscitate this dream, then distill it until it sheds its distortions.

Then, maybe then I will find an answer and a way to save my brother. I must start from the beginning, so as to trace the erratic meanderings of our destiny.

Let the looming begin.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting usage of a flash-forward to set the tone of the Storygame. I'm a sucker for the classic 'threads of fate' metaphor. The family fated to madness has unique potential- I'm interested to see how you develop that.

All in all, a solid introduction; I expected nothing less. I'll have to keep my eye on this one.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:33 am    Post subject: I think..... Reply with quote

Koolio. Quite criptic and very descriptive. Yay!

Always nice to see a speed game take flight, and this is no exception. The way you discribe the suroundings set the mood as well as what the place looks like. I like the pock marked wall. Razz As well as the eyes of a man about to die, the trance like acceptance...very well done!

I can't wait for this to really take off, good luck!
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice prologue. Awaiting first chapter.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good D-lotus, a few words largely used, but still your writing is always good.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I will try to get the 1st chapter out soon. Been considering changing the mood as well, making it more absurdist/humorous-- Kurt Vonnegut style. I think it might fit the story better. It will be hard to reconcile with the prologue, but I'll manage it somehow.

And, BBS, you're absolutely right. I tend to be a bit self-indulgent with words. I will try to correct that. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No further time for reading tonight unfortunately D. I'm excited to see a new work forthcoming from you though so I'll be sure to catch up on it tomorrow!
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing Prologue.. very descriptive...

I Like It :)

Im looking forward to the 1st chapter here... Dont put it off for too long
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add this to your favorites if you like it!

1. Cocaine and Caruso

Coming out from the convent, my new profession struck anyone unfamiliar with my family ties as a puzzle. Nunneries aren’t well known as breeding schools for management of high profile media campaigns. But my brother insisted on me.

I was the only one he would rely on to take charge of publicity, allegedly because I understood all of his flaws and consequently, the means to make them less evident.

If, as he hoped, the election went well-- and he was positively surprised at himself that such a cowardly word as ‘if’ had managed to slither out from his tongue-- then I would aspire to become spokeswoman.

A young, pretty face like mine should sweeten the pill of any dastardly statement, he joked, pealing out a regal laugh.

Ultimately, his confidence produced the expected results at the polls. A resounding victory for the new president elect of Guyana-Guyana, a shining example of democracy in action in Latin America. I entertain the idea that his younger sister, Silvia-- that is, me-- was not an inconsequential part in that victory.

Ambition, as you can plainly discern, was frolicking around my mind as I took a taxi to my brother’s house one early September morning, before events began to distort my sense of reality.

The driver dropped me off at the gates, fashioned with the initials of my family’s last name: CP; i.e. Cano-Patín. The neighborhood harbored many new houses, with long driveways and richly ornamented entrance halls. I rung the intercom and the gates opened, admitting me inside for my weekly report-- one of my duties as campaign manager.

Javier Lozano, one of my brother’s senior advisers, greeted me uneasily in the sumptuous hallway. He was in his late 50s and sported wispy silver hair, which combed back gave him a dignified appearance. His crinkly eyes expressed warmth, but today, they were also imbued with worry.

“Your brother is behaving in an unusual way this morning.” he tendered, squeezing my hand with candor, “Maybe you can knock some sense into him.”

I thanked him for his warning and proceeded towards my brother’s living quarters. Facing the heavy wooden doors of his study, I ran my hand over my shirt to smoothen out any creases before I stepped in.

To my surprise, I spotted my brother Faustino concealed behind the curtains. He peeped out and motioned for me to close the door.

“Is that lunatic Lozano gone?” he queried. “He’s been driving me up the wall all morning, hermanita*.”

“But… what did he do?” said I, baffled by his attitude.

“What hasn’t he done! He just won’t leave me alone. Pestering me about this, about that-- as if I cared about anything he had to say!”

Faustino ambled away from the curtain and plopped onto the sofa sullenly.

“Did you eat anything funny for breakfast?” I took a seat by his side and stared at him quizzically. This behavior didn’t correspond with his natural, august predisposition.

“This morning I woke up only with a hunger for the divine, hermanita.” He smiled deliriously. “I have many plans for the future.”

“That is understandable. You must have many new projects to plan for-”

He cut me short, rising from his seat enthusiastically. “Innumerable projects, hermanita, and they are all so beautiful that I don’t know with which one to begin!”

Then he turned to me and regarded me curiously. “And why are you here, anyway? I don’t think I called you to discuss my projects yet. I plan to make an announcement. You’ll have to wait just like the rest, hermanita. No privileges for you, pretty one.”

“As your media manager, brother, I think I should be informed-”

“Tut, tut. Do as I say.” He winked. “For now, I need to be alone. Much practice awaits.”

Beholden to the respect I owed him, I excused myself and retreated out through the doors. As my hand grasped the handle, he faced me and beamed.

“Alright, one hint for you, dear sister: Caruso!”

*

Disconcerted as I was, I hitched a ride with my brother’s chauffeur, Alejandro, a young mulatto, to our family’s ancestral home on the outskirts of town. My mother, Rosaura, was the only person who still lived there, as my father had mysteriously disappeared shortly after my birth.

A spritely woman who resisted her offspring’s efforts to move her to a more comfortable part of the city, she was firmly attached to the old manor, despite the deterioration of the surrounding neighborhood.

“Hello, Mother.” I greeted her as the car approached the veranda where she was watering pots brimming with local flora. She squinted, then recognized me and hurried over to embrace me with her petite frame.

“You’re thin as a reed,” she held me apart to survey my figure, “but much more pretty now without that nun’s headdress.”

“Mother…” I complained.

“Oh, that’s right, I won’t speak of that anymore. Follow me, you must be hungry.”

She led me around to the backyard, where she had set up a small table in the garden underneath an Acacia tree. It was a bright day, perfect for sitting outside beneath the shade.

I invited Alejandro to have lunch with us, to which he enthusiastically agreed.
My mother brought out the food from the kitchen, a simple meal consisting in a refreshing garden salad and some grilled chicken with rice and beans.

After the meal I stood up to assist her with the dishes. She fussed about that, trying to impede me from helping her on the grounds that I was her special guest. But as a dutiful daughter I refused her appeals, and marched into the kitchen carrying the dirty plates.

When I crossed the threshold, however, I was astounded to discover that the entire kitchen was chock full of transparent packages containing chalk-like powder, except for a counter reserved for cooking where a miniature TV was blaring.

I laid the dishes on the remaining space of the counter, as my mother regarded me cunningly.

“What is this, mother?”

“This is merchandise your cousin Gus left here. He’s paying me some cash to store it in the house.” she replied nonchalantly.

“Mother, cousin Gus is involved with the cartel! There’s more than a few kilos of cocaine in this kitchen alone!” I screamed, my eyebrows raised.

“It doesn’t do any damage.” she retorted with a wave of her hand, “Besides, it supplements my income. This, and gardening. What’s the difference?”

“I didn’t even know you talked to cousin Gus anymore! He was banned from this house!” My anger and surprise collided.

At that moment, my brother Faustino’s voice blasted from the TV. My mother and I instinctively turned to watch.

He was making an announcement of some sort, and he kept making grand gesticulations.

Then he began to sing.

It was a full on Italian opera-- he was bellowing and hollering into the cameras, which were zooming in so close that I could see his tonsils.

“What is wrong with that boy, has he gone mad?” my mother scoffed, resting her elbow against a stack of Bolivian marching powder.

*hermanita= "little sister" or "dear sister"

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There you have it, folks. The decision Silvia must face is what to deal with first: damage control at her brother's press conference, or somehow getting rid of the cocaine at her mother's. Or anything else you can think of. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: I Think...... Reply with quote

Muches niceness in this first chappy! I can't see this turning well for anyone here....


The delivery is well done, but as a sister, I see her being a light...rougher when being "dismissed". Irks my brother gene. But I guess there are families like that! Makes me happy to think of them. I luz this chappy!

*Evil smile spreads slowly, black fog coming out from between teeth" Do both at once. My idea fer the DP is set the house on fire, drag mom away, then go deal with Bro. The fire would provide a good distraction, and I'm sure mom would go a little off the deep end seeing it go up in flames. Blame the fire on her, put her in a sanitarim, and the coak problem is solved. Then, using the sivle comitment as a base, build a tale of how your brother has overcome the family ilness through terapy, and gods grace or somesuch, to reach the level of political mastermind he has reached today!

*Chuu* I am brilliant! *Looks around* Uh...*Ducks* Oki, I'm a little out there right now, but it makes sense to me.......*Hides* Don't hurt me!

I like this ver much, and can't wait to see more! Have at it D-kun!
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mess at her mother's place could easily be swept under the rug later- especially if Faustino hasn't visited her in years. Cast Gus as the villain, and it becomes a fairly simple PR problem. Much better to focus on fixing Faustino's blunder-to-be. He's in the spotlight, so that takes priority.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh new Dani writing.

... And yet I'm struggling to decide if I like it. I felt a little bombarded by names, and my unfamiliarity with South America isn't helping the many, many details embed properly.

What is hermanita? The President says it repeatedly but the sister didn't comment on it, even internally, as being odd, whereas it seemed very strange to me.

I found the use of the brackets for the extra info, twice so close together -- (me), (Cano-Patín) -- a little distracting too.

~

All that said though, it's as well written as ever and I couldn't help a grin at the mother with the cocaine. Also, I am intrigued by the madness in the family.

Decision point then... seems, as disasterous as the tv performance might be, it's live, it's happening, and it's recorded. Nothing she can do right now. Her mother is the priority.

Happy Writing Smile
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And yet I'm struggling to decide if I like it. I felt a little bombarded by names, and my unfamiliarity with South America isn't helping the many, many details embed properly.

What is hermanita? The President says it repeatedly but the sister didn't comment on it, even internally, as being odd, whereas it seemed very strange to me.

I found the use of the brackets for the extra info, twice so close together -- (me), (Cano-Patín) -- a little distracting too.


Will fix the brackets.

Hermanita means "dear sister" or "little sister". I'm sorry about that, should have explained. I can't really do much about the details and the names without corrupting the story, though, so you'll just have to leave your comfort zone a bit. Haven't you ever read a Russian novel? Wink Don't worry too much about the names.

Maybe there's something I can do. Just for you, Smee, here's a little review of all the characters (and some of the ones that may or may not show up later, depending on your decisions). The ones in bold are the only ones you need to know for now:

Silvia Cano-Patín: Our hero. Publicity/Media manager for the president elect. Ex-nun.

Faustino Cano-Patín: Silvia's brother. President elect of Guyana-Guyana (a fictitious country).

Rosaura Cano-Patín: Silvia and Faustino's mother. Uses family home as warehouse for illegal drugs.

Aurelio Cano-Patín: Silvia and Faustino's father. Mysteriously disappeared years ago.

Cousin Gus: Distant cousin of the Cano-Patíns who had a falling out. In the drug cartel.

Adela Cano-Patín: Faustino's wife.

Eva and Adan Cano-Patín: Faustino's children.

Javier Lozano: Faustino's senior advisor.

Alejandro: Faustino's chauffeur.

Tasunchiri: Indigenous tribe leader.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*chuckles* Thanks Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The President's Family [Ch 1: A Latin Dilemma] Reply with quote

D-Lotus wrote:


As the pale yolk of dawn gradually subdued the bedraggled night



Fate pins our family down as we thrash against our curse of madness.



With lines like these only good things can only be awaiting around the corner
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank-you, Emperor. I don't know if you noticed that I posted the first chapter, so there's no need to wait for the good things to come. Smile

Anyway, the poll is up, so (in true Chinaren fashion) suckle on the teats of voting! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's get my only niggle out of the way (which I'm surprised to have found any among your work to be honest...)
Quote:
A sprightly woman
Should it not be 'spritely' as it refers to her in a 'sprite'-like manner?

Anyhow, otherwise, I shall say that I found this incredbily well written. You have seriously toned down on being overly indulgent with your poetic natured prose and have delivered something concise and cognizantly graspable WHILE being impressively artistic in 'tone'. Finding that balance has always been your challenge and I can see you've worked on it a LOT since you're last tale on IF.

I will admit that introducing too many characters at once, especially when the names feel foreign to read as it is. But is this too many? Perhaps a touch if we're supposed to remember them all so clearly right away. If we can grow into a greater familiarity with them as the story goes, I'm sure this being an issue will fade. And the plot setup sorta required them.

It's tough to deliver this sort of topic matter. Its not sci-fi, not fantasy, and pure imagination must be greatly constrained as a result. This makes it, IMO, a very difficult thing to write. I'm not having any trouble keeping up with some of the subtle cultural footnotes you've cleverly woven into the delivery as I'm not so unfamiliar with S. American people, having met quite a few in Vegas already. They do have some cultural pecularities in the way men and women relate, the way family is regarded, and how morality is approached in an entirely different perspective. (aka the coke being 'no big deal' - that's true for so many down that way.)

So yeah, I'm really loving this. Its got to be a tough writing challenge for you, and being a speedgame all the moreso! Much respect.

Anyhow, I think I'll just vote in this case since the DP is one of the toughest I've ever seen and imagining solutions to problems like these is seriously challenging. I'm glad the poll ended up rather generic as a result.


Oh... and claim your 1k fables in the Stimulus thread! You've more than earned them here.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a post as that, TB, deserves a reply. Cool

In first place, thank-you. I'm honored to read that you're enjoying both the story and the delivery.

I was forced to look up 'sprightly' to see if was correct. Apparently, it is: "marked by a gay lightness and vivacity : spirited <a sprightly musical>". But apparently, so is 'spritely'. I guess you can spell it either way. But since I am a crowd-pleaser, I changed it to suit your taste!

And yes, I've worked a lot on my style, although that's probably due to the fact that I haven't posted a story here in years.

As you have suggested, maybe the level of difficulty of the DP is too great without necessarily adding complexity. In the future, I will work on adding more complexity rather than difficulty. Unfortunately, DPs aren't my forte, and I don't have much time available to plan it out, considering this is a speed storygame. Nevertheless, I will do my best! Smile

For those of you who haven't voted, make your voice count; this is a speed storygame, so the poll won't be up for long!
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wholehearted agreement there with TB. Compared with Bittersweet Reverie the writing came through as clean and uncluttered, letting your character's personality come through in the first person.

A good challenge too, to be writing in first person as a member of the opposite sex! I am interested to see how you cope with it.

I guessed the reference 'hermanita' straight away - and confirmed when he said it a second time. I think perhaps I got right into the mode of reading a story set in an unfamiliar culture, leaving my mind open to let the gaps in my knowledge fill in as the chapters progress.

However, my vote was affected more by the subsequent discussion than the chapter itself - her mother's disregard for the fact that she was keeping cocaine in the kitchen seemed more like a characteristic of her as an individual, than a characteristic of the cultural perspective on things.

So perhaps there you could work on things in that vein - finding a way to get the cultural ambience across clearly without breaking the fourth wall.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well.. I don't think the DP is tooooooo hard, especially when you didn't ask for proposed manners in which to go about the direction you choose. I just didn't feel we had enough info yet to make that latter sort of consideration without being a little lost on possible strategies - so far the character knows a lot more about her job and legal ramifications than we do. As it was delivered as a 'which way' rather than a 'how do we address this' I don't think it was inappropriate - and tough DPs are good DPs imo. So that was more of a compliment really.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, chuffed to bits by the writing! Really got me into the scene, and congrats! Very Happy Told you I'd be joining as soon as I pass the test. Wink

I'm all for fixing the greater fire first, even though the small ones can burst even faster. With much consideration, I was thinking that she as a PR could contact the broadcasters to stop the transmission, but since I came in late for the suggestions, I went with the "fixing the show".
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for checking it out, Cy. Let me know how that exam went.

Ok, voting is closed.

Poll results:

A latin dillemma, what's Silvia's response?
Damage control at the press conference
66% [ 4 ]
Burn the house and rush to the press conference
16% [ 1 ]
Deal with the cocaine problem first
16% [ 1 ]

Total Votes : 6
Who Voted: Crunchyfrog, Cyberworm, PopeAlessandrosXVIII, Shillelagh, Smee, Thunderbird

Will get on that plot-sculpting now. Next DP will be similar in nature, the main difference being that I will be asking you not only to choose a generic direction for the story, but also to suggest possible means to accomplish Silvia's goals.

Grab a magazine in the waiting room, or explore the rest of the city-- I'll update you when the new chapter comes out!
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe, passed the test! Very Happy So now I'm off for the weekend to visit my gf. ;D See ya Monday!
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I introduced a few new names, folks. It's not to annoy you, it's simply because having more characters opens up more plot possibilities. And since I never know what direction the story will take, that's a good thing. For now, focus only on those characters central to the narrative. I will always give you more descriptive detail and reminders when a previously obscure character becomes important.

2. Roller-skates and Chandeliers

My ancestor Rodrigo Cano-Patín, whose name, though revered by our family, has long been overlooked by historians, built our family fortune from scratch. He was an inventor; he patented the first pair of roller-skates.

Our family conserves a large portrait of him above the fireplace in the old manor. In the painting, he is standing besides the prototype of a pair of roller-skates which at the time he planned to release in the market. The wheels of the prototype detached from the shoe so that one could comfortably switch from vehicle to footwear.

This prestigious man took it upon himself to test his own product. He wore the prototype to his second story office, where he intended to surprise everyone by sailing through the room in what appeared to be regular shoes. He sailed too far, unfortunately, and fell out of an open window to his death. One of the wheels had detached unbidden, and the resulting loss of balance propelled him further than his ambition had ever intended to.

It’s a strange legacy to have.

I returned to this memory of my ancestor as I fumed in the backseat of Faustino’s lurching car, which the chauffeur, Alejandro, was speeding towards the site of the press conference. My great grandfather’s fate clung heavy to my brooding thoughts, reminding me of the dangers facing my brother unless I managed to cushion his fall from grace.

Back at the manor, I had scolded my mother and warned her to contact me immediately if Gus showed his face around the place. I didn’t have time to deal with the cocaine ‘problem’ (that is an understatement) just yet, considering the urgency of the situation at the press conference.

At last, the car screeched to a halt in front of the lobby of our capital’s most luxurious hotel, El Imperial. As I got out, one of my aides who was expecting my arrival updated me on the situation.

The president-elect’s tribute to Italian opera had been fortuitously interrupted by the crash of an ancient chandelier, which had harmed no one. Faustino had been pulled away from the microphones on the pretense that his safety was in jeopardy after the accident. An uneasy silence had ensued until reporters were informed that I would make an appearance in order to explain the president’s departure from decorum.

Under the guidance of my escort, I rushed into the lobby through a side entrance. Upon reaching the stage where the podium was placed, I slowed to a measured stroll and stretched my face into what I hoped would come across as a confident smile.

“I’m sorry to inform you that the President-elect’s announcement has been interrupted due to safety concerns.”

I paused, searching for words. Scrutinizing glances sized me up.

“As you know, he is a man widely regarded for his sense of humor. Today’s press conference was a demonstration of that. What the president would have intended to express, had an unfortunate accident in this lobby not prevented him from doing so, is that his bout of singing was in fact a… a jocular preamble to the announcement of his plans to build our nation’s first opera-house. For the promotion of the Arts!”

I beamed, trusting that the gesture would render my words credible. Inside, I trembled like a plate of gelatin.

There was a moment of silence, then the lobby broke out into vehement applause. Only the sound of shoes stepping on broken glass disrupted the uniformity of enlivened faces.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

After that, I breathed a sigh of relief. Restoring Faustino’s legitimacy would cost however much money was required to erect an opera house, but at least it was secured.

It was late in the evening, and we were back at Faustino’s estate. The living room was populated by Faustino, his most trusted advisor, Javier Lozano, his wife Adela, and me. We had been discussing the reactions to the press conference, which were not as bad as we had feared.

Adela, a self-designated fashion designer who was far more interested in chattering haute-couture with her European liaisons than wasting her time discussing politics, interrupted our conversation.

“What I’d like to know, darling, is what got into your head. Your humming in the shower is bad enough as it is.”

Faustino, the signs of his malady now vanished, furrowed his brow and wrung his hands together.

“Truthfully, I don’t remember a single detail from this morning. I cannot account for the time that passed. It is as if I had been swallowed in a void.”

Even in his state of perplexity he spoke with ease and elegance, I marveled. My respect for my brother grew. I raised my eyes to match those of Lozano to see if he shared my admiration for Faustino, but the silver-haired adviser averted his gaze.

As soon as Faustino concluded his utterance, the doors swung open, and two lithe adolescents barged into the room, bearing agitated, if imperceptibly taunting, expressions. They were Adán and Eva, the president-elect’s twin children.

“Mama, have you heard the news?” They babbled excitedly, “Abuela’s* been busted on drug-trafficking charges!”

Faustino’s face turned ashen.

“She had a ton of drugs in the old house! And the police got an anonymous tip and they’re sending her to prison and they say that’s it’s negative to the campaign.”

“Children, this is no time for jokes.” Faustino said gravely.

“We’re not lying-- it’s all true. We watched it on TV!”

I was stunned. My dear mother, arrested! How could the police department have found out? And who had given the orders to make such a delicate arrest without informing my brother? An anonymous tip, who would even-- Alejandro, the chauffeur! He could have snuck up on my mother and I while we were arguing.

In the ensuing commotion, I pulled Lozano aside to deliver a question.

“Don Lozano, where is Alejandro, the chauffeur? I suspect he is connected to this arrest.”

“I heard he was taking his leave this evening, traveling to the country to visit his family. You may want to question the maid about his location.” He replied detachedly.

Without excusing myself, I walked out from the room briskly, and headed towards the servant’s quarters. Just then, in the hallway, my phone began to buzz insistently. The number was unidentified. I picked up.

Primita**, is that you?” spoke a voice from my past. It was unequivocally that of my Cousin Gus, member of the drug cartel and excommunicant from our family.

“Have you no shame, Gustavo, calling at a time like this? Sinverguenza***, it is your fault Mother is in jail!” I snarled.

“Calm down, primita, I’m trying to help. Listen, the cartel is planning revenge against the government for the drug bust. They’re going to massacre people.”

“Where? Who?” I demanded.

“I’ve already said too much. But listen, it is of great concern to you personally. If you want to stop this, go to the Santa Guadalupe prison.” Gus rasped, “There’s a guy there called Ignacio Sanchez, and he’s the jefe**** of the cartel. He operates everything from inside the prison walls. Negotiate with him.”

“Gus… thank-you. Maybe there’s still time for you to repent.”

Following a few heavy breaths steeped in static, the phone on the other side hung up.

*grandmother
**dear cousin
***Shameless cretin
****boss

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There you have it. Many problems to deal with: negotiating with the cartel boss, releasing her mom from prison, and interrogating Alejandro to find out who he's working for. Silvia can only do one of these things herself-- which will it be?

This time, it is not enough to merely select one of these options; if you can, you must also give me some insights as to how to carry them about.

The illustration in this chapter is courtesy of BBS.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm... I'm not really suspecting Alejandro. He doesn't appear to be just some 'random' driver, but a long serving staff member, owing to the easy invite to lunch :

Quote:
I invited Alejandro to have lunch with us, to which he enthusiastically agreed.


Unless the enthusiasm was the excuse to see in the house, but it seems a long shot. He could hardly have hoped he'd be borrowed by Silvia, taken to the mother's house and invited to lunch. Rather a feeble plan if so.

No, it's someone else. Possibly even the Cartel itself in a bid to justify their 'revenge strike'.

Quote:
And who had given the orders to make such a delicate arrest without informing my brother?


Sounds like they have high ranking police contact... first get on the phone to him/her, I'm sure they are enough to secure a quiet bail of mother with only a short conversation.

Then straight on to the gaol, and a talk with this jefe. We can't know what to do there, until we know what scope there is for negotiation. What could he want to call off the attack? Do we have enough clout to get the drugs released too... seems a high hope.
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, nice. Another interesting one!


Seems a little rushed, but it does get the urgence across I suppose. Much luv! With it's little inserts of other languages, it also adds to the old fall back that people who are paniced fall back on their native languages. I like!


DP.....DP......I still say drop the old bat, but I guess that would be even worse at this point. I'd get the big brother's right hand man to question the chaffur, Brother go deal with mom, and our heroin go to the jail and be descreet. Make sure to hide herself without being to obvious. Make sure to drop Gus' name!

Lovin' it! Give us more!
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't think its 'rushed' at all. This is a speedgame after all. And the writing was again superb, though I don't think his little statement, as profound as it may have been warranted the use of the term 'speech'.

I really like Smee's strategy on how to approach this matter. However, I say that her brother IS the President and surely has the capacity for pardon. He quietly issues one and she quickly scribbles out a speech for a subservient to deliver to the country regarding how her Mother was a victim of blackmail, the drugs planted there by the American CIA and such. Then try to quetly broker a peace arrangement with the Cartel. They are critical to the economies of nations such as these even if those 1st world countries think their exports are so horrendous. Certainly, the police may be bought with a share of the product/profit? Find out what the Cartel demands to call off the slaughter at least.
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By 'speech', TB, I meant 'utterance'. Not all speeches are long and winding. But I will correct that for the sake of clarification. Smile

Also, unfortunately, the President-elect doesn't have the power of pardon quite yet. He has't been sworn in. But perhaps he has contacts that can authorize his mother's release from prison. Would it come at a political price, though?

There seems to be a consensus among the 3 people who posted that Silvia should talk to the cartel boss. I will wait for a bit to see if there are any further responses, but if the consensus remains, the poll may instead reflect some of the strategies suggested-- such as blaming the drug scandal on a setup by the CIA, contacting the high-ranking police officer/bribing him, charging Lozano with the task of interrogating the chaffeur, etc.

Or I may just incorporate the suggestions into my next chapter without a poll. I'll wait a day or two and see what anybody else has to offer. Very Happy

Also, since there isn't much understanding of what the cartel wants, the next chapter could be all about Silvia's interaction with the boss, and his demands.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to it either way!

I guess I felt 'speech', while it wasn't inaccurately used there, carried a connotation that threw off the message you intended. Nothing critical since we could clearly see you didn't intend that usual connotation.
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't blame it on the drug cartel, her cousin sounded like a good guy, being concerned with the massacring or however you spell it, if it's a word at all. Gus could help, so I think she should patch up a hole in a sinking boat and go visit the crime boss. Her mother... knew this was coming so she could spend a night in prison, and our heroine can save her tomorrow. (pun not intended)

Indeed a superb writing, D, really got me into it! Very Happy Keep up the good work!
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you were all so courteous as to openly agree on the last DP, I went ahead and wrote a new chapter, wherein I incorporated some of your suggestions. Enjoy!

Warning: some language and suggestions of violence unsuitable for minors.

Chapter 3. The Prisoner

As soon as I put away my phone, I paced to the hallway window that faced the garden and opened it. The algid evening air prickled my lungs as I drew it deep inside me. I stood there for at least a minute, allowing the sight of the neatly trimmed garden, with its flowerbeds of hydrangeas and chrysanthemums, to soothe me.

The door to the sitting room flung open and my brother, in all his august indignation, flew past. Lozano was close behind.

“This cannot be permitted! This cannot be allowed! I will contact the necessary authorities at once!” cried Faustino, oblivious to anyone around him.

Lozano paused by my side as my brother marched on amidst loud exclamations. He gave me a strange, icy smile.

“Silvia, my dear, as it seems to worry you, I will look into the case of the chauffeur, Alejandro, myself, and make sure the scoundrel is interrogated.” His tone exuded a certain unctuousness that made my vague, womanly intuition tingle warily.

“I am indebted to you, Javier,” I thanked him uneasily.

He gave my shoulder a squeeze and hurried after Faustino. I watched him go, wondering to myself why his presence had disturbed me.

Shaking these thoughts out of my head, I turned to the window again. I stared directly at the chrysanthemum flowerbed as I resolved to make a visit to the Santa Guadalupe prison.

*

Santa Guadalupe is an unusually saintly name for a filthy rat hole prison drowned in hopelessness. Built on a jagged bluff overlooking the sea, it elicits feelings of the sublime-- at least as long as there is sunlight. At night, as the rumbling, frothing sea dashes against the rocks and the eerie searchlight bleaches every blade of grass it touches, it is positively unnerving.

The day was settling into darkness as I arrived at the prison by means of a beat up car of Soviet design I had borrowed from Faustino’s garage. The engine sputtered to a stop in front of the prison gates, and one of the guards approached me to verify my identity. Once inside, I parked without bothering to remove the keys from the ignition.

Following a short wait I was greeted by the prison warden, a sunken-eyed man of low spirits who guided me through corridors with peeling walls.

“Miss Silvia, I welcome you to Santa Guadalupe. How may I assist you, and what brings you here at this late hour, if I may inquire?” he spoke languidly.

“There’s a prisoner here by the name of Ignacio Sanchez. I’d like for you to arrange a private meeting with him immediately, warden. It’s of the highest importance.”

The warden turned slightly white.

“Ah… yes, yes of course,” he stammered nervously, “it.. it can be arranged. Absolutely. Is anything the matter? Sanchez has a perfect record here, I can assure you. There is nothing irregular about his behavior.”

“I would hope not,” I replied with some surprise, “I just need to ask him some questions about a personal matter.”

The warden relapsed into silence and led me into a room, barren except for a table and two foldable chairs. A flickering light bulb embedded in the ceiling inside protective bars provided unsuitable lighting. I was instructed to wait there until Sanchez was brought in.

“You’ve been most serviceable, warden,” I commended him, “I will be sure to tell my brother of your invaluable assistance in this matter.”

He nodded and bowed obsequiously before taking his leave, leaving me alone to gather my wits about me. I waited in silence, my thoughts alternating between trepidation and a stronger determination.

At last the heavy metal door creaked open to announce the prisoner’s arrival.

Ignacio Sanchez was an ugly man; a long scar ran across his left cheek, and his bulging eyes flashed maliciously. He bore this cross with a sort of defiant confidence, which was discernable from his insolent demeanor. Despite this appearance of coolness, there was a shadow of concealed ire in him waiting to flare forth at the slightest provocation.

The guards motioned for the cartel boss to sit. I requested that they wait outside, even though Sanchez was not handcuffed. His eyes followed my every word.

“This is only for his ears and God’s,” I explained to the guards. They traded glances but acquiesced.

“Well, morenita*, did you come to pleasure me?” Sanchez provoked when the guards had shut the door.

Blood rushed to my face at this unexpected derision, but I managed to keep my composure. I clenched my jaw, met his mocking gaze squarely, and then addressed him impressively.

“I know about your plans to retaliate for the drug bust, Sanchez.”

He almost started from his chair.

“I don’t know what you mean,” he replied, somewhat taken aback. His mouth twisted as he appraised me under the shimmering light. “Who are you?”

“I am Silvia Cano-Patín. My brother, as you are aware, is a man of great power and influence,” I stated solemnly.

He sat in stony silence for a few moments, then abruptly burst out in laughter.

“You’re pretty gutsy, sitting here without any protection. I’ve seen big shot men piss their pants in a similar position,” he spat out, infuriated by the memory of such cowardice.

I swallowed.

“I’ve come to stop the massacre. I… I’ve been authorized to speak for my brother and to negotiate with you,” I lied.

“Answer me one question first: who’s your informant? I’m going to tear that son-of-a-bitch’s colon out,” he snarled.

“How will you do that from prison?” I pried with concealed anxiety, fearing for Gus’s life.

“The warden,” he grinned, “is a chum. If we promise to return, he’ll often let us have the night off.”

“Let’s get back to the point,” I attempted to direct his attention away from Gus’s treachery, “What can I offer you so that you’ll call off the killing? Releasing you from prison or returning the drugs is, of course, unthinkable.”

“Not willing to betray your conspirator-- that’s smart, I suppose-- then perhaps you wouldn’t betray me. Alright, I’ll tell you what I want from you, morenita. But watch yourself; if this is a ruse to buy time, I’ll cut you up in there.” He raised himself from the chair halfway and leaned across the table in order to direct his glare to the area in between my legs.

My stomach tensed involuntarily, but I assented my conformity nonetheless. He eased back into his chair and began cracking his knuckles, all the while regarding me with his frog-like eyes.

“The CIA has been intensifying their interference with our operations. I want those gringos** out of the country. Blame them for framing your mother-- God bless the woman--or for being the arm of imperialism-- you wouldn’t be lying-- or for attempting against your brother’s life-- it’ll happen sooner or later-- or for whatever the hell! Just get them out of our way.

“That’s your first option. Además***, I’ve also been having trouble with a rival cartel from another country expanding into our territory. The otxiloas. I need you to bust those putos. Big raids and all that.

"Finally, we need new land to clear for production. The jungle is the only place we can move into in order to keep our operations hidden. However, there’s indigenous tribes living there. We’ve tried intimidating them into leaving, but they’ve resisted. My men refuse to outright kill them; they’re so superstitious they think they’ll be cursed if they do. In short, we need the government to relocate the tribes.”

*morena= darkish woman (in L.A. it is used as an expression of beauty)
**gringos= Americans/Westerners
***Ademas= Additionally

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Pretty straightforward? Feel free to suggest something of your own if you are not satisfied with the choices Sanchez has offered. As always, I'll be weaving your ideas into the tale as I consider suitable. Very Happy

Let me know if you like the DP, and what I can do to improve it in the future.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:30 am    Post subject: I Think...... Reply with quote

Another sublime chapter! Very well delivered!


I'm really starting to like the big brother's right hand man. He gives me grins, and chuckles. Kukuku, I can't wait to see what he's really on about. As for our drug boss, very interesting, and vulgar, and all around accurate! *Thumbs up*

DP....DP.....Well, I'd want to keep my bro out of it, or unawares of it as much as possible, soooo....I'd go with raiding the other houses. Confidential informant misleads and such. So, I'm for option dos(I know I spelled that wrong). Razz

Just keep on rollin' D-kun!
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good chapter Dani. Precise, to the point, but still descriptive enough to feel vivid and fulfilling.

Three interesting choices here...

- Kick out the CIA

- Arrest a competitive gang

- Destroy some jungle.


Hmmm the last one is probably the most politically tricky, as well as just plain wrong for the environment. I don't like it. The first again requires some political manuvering too, in a bid to achieve without it becoming an international incident.

The second though... arresting a gang of drug dealers, which can be framed for setting up mum, whilst looking good to the general population for cleaning up the streets, and getting the cartel off our back.

Win, win and win.

Let's do it.

Happy Writing Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, a fine chapter, D. Smile My DP choice would be to root out the rival gang. Seems like the most diplomatic choice.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contact the CIA and let them know they will be taking a diplomatic hit here with the people unless they take out our rival - ask them what else they may like in return - what concessions would they like from us for ordering a full on US Special Forces attack on that gang?

This way the enemy doesn't realize WE are behind the conspiracy.

Loving it D! Can't complain about anything my fellow Gringo! I'm totally hooked into this whole new exposure to our lesser understood neighbors to the south. Reminds me of a computer game we used to play in grade school... on the old Apple computers.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was waiting for you, TB. Wink Thanks for your insight-- I didn't see that plan coming. By the way, what game was that?

It seems like everyone is of one voice. I didn't regard the choice as an obvious one, but it seems to have turned out that way. The poll will reflect some of the nuances of how to go about business.

Additionally, I would like to inquire: Is there anything I can do to improve the DP? Would anyone, for example, prefer more character-driven DPs?

Oh, also, check out BBS's artwork which I commissioned for the 2nd chapter (speed storygame is so fast even the artwork has a hard time catching up).
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I liked this DP a lot. It may have seemed obvious, but I think others may have been overlooking the ramifications of pissing off that rival force and the international diplomacy implications that could have a serious backlash effect (I suspect a declaration of war on our greenhorn president would have ensued if we went about it so straighforwardly). I believe you knew this and thus saw them all as both good and bad decisions.

And that's the key that makes these DPs not only great but very much like that game (the name of which I cannot remember - GRADE school!) In it, there were no good decisions, just slightly better ones than others and all of them had serious down sides.

Thankfully, we have the capacity to offer some outside the box thinking to address the hidden pitfalls woven into these suggestions, and therein lies the fun!
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like it will be easiest to ask the CIA for 'help' against the rival gang. When that group tries to strike back, we can blame the CIA's influence, and remove them. Bonus points if some of the skirmishes are arranged in the jungle, to try and take out the tribes as collateral damage.
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Ihniwid Chapter 5 is up- find it here!
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D-Lotus
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to rid the country of the otxiloas?
Announce a war on drugs against those who framed mum
20% [ 1 ]
Strike surreptitiously through covert operations
0% [ 0 ]
Contact the CIA to obtain their help
80% [ 4 ]

Total Votes : 5
Who Voted: Cyberworm, PopeAlessandrosXVIII, Shillelagh, Smee, Thunderbird

Once more, the results are uncontroversial. Shocked

I'll get to work on it. Maybe I'll change the tack on the DP so as to throw you surefooted readers off your balance. Wink

Also, I just reworked the prologue a bit (especially the opening paragraph), as it was convoluted and weak. Check it out and let me know whether you think it's improved.
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D-Lotus
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey folks, these chapters keep getting longer and longer! My apologies. The characters become alive in my mind and demand more air-time. Especially since there's so many of them (I better update that list). Shocked

As always, add to your favorites if you like the story! Very Happy


Chapter 4: Suspicious Acquaintance

In terms of canny calculation, Ignacio Sanchez, despite his malevolent character, could claim little advantage over the mother superior of my former convent. Mother Rebecca was a shrewd and severe woman, always a step ahead of the other nuns.

I remember a instance in which, upon the death of a revered sister of great devotion who in the past had rivaled her authority, the mother superior plotted to discredit the deceased nun by causing the latter’s cadaver to exude an extremely unpleasant smell well before it could be considered normal to do so. This episode, reminiscent of a Dostoevsky novel, was taken as a sign of disgrace-- a divine intervention to mark the corrupt nature of the deceased nun’s soul.

I have no proof that Mother Rebecca had a part in this, nor even do I know what substance she could have used to accelerate the rotting of the corpse, but I am firmly convinced that she was in some way responsible. The night immediately preceding the discharge of the nauseous odor, I spied her approaching the body’s resting place on her own. It was enough to convince me of her guilt.

The woman’s guileful and insidious plot had affected me to the point that it confirmed my decision to abandon the religious vocation.

The experience, at least, had prepared me to confront men like Ignacio Sanchez, the cartel boss, who embodied such treacherousness.

“Sanchez, what you mention about the otxiloas-- it’s not entirely improbable that we could deal with that situation. What more can you tell me about them?”

“Those bastards!” Ignacio hissed, “they’ve set up in the Machaco mountains, cutting us off from some of the unguarded routs for smuggling product into the neighboring country. They’ve got a massive operation backed by a lot of dough, and we can’t budge them from their stronghold. They’ve practically got a small militia protecting them.”

“I see. Yes, we'll handle them,” I resolved, “Remember to inform your cronies to abort the killing, otherwise there’s no deal. We’ll be in contact, Sanchez.”

I had achieved my most urgent objective, which was to avert a human tragedy, and had no further desire to deal any further with the psychopath. I got up from my seat abruptly, astonishing the hard-boiled criminal to some small degree.

“Morenita, you have more huevos* than a man. I look forward to doing business with you in the future,” he pronounced with a shade of sinister menace in his voice.

I was glad to turn my back on his hideous smirk and quit the shoddy room I had shared with him.

*

Exhausted by the vicissitudes of the day, I dropped exhausted into my cot. On the drive back from the prison, I had called my brother to recount to him Gus’s warning and my interview with Sanchez.

He was incredulous and infuriated, warning me that I had stepped into dangerous ground through my use of his authority. What if the world found out he had a deal with a cartel boss? He admonished.

I replied that it’d be much worse if people’s lives were sacrificed. He sighed and then continued to chastise me, but in a more subdued manner, as if my statement had made him reconsider.

When he finally brushed me off, he didn’t seem to be angry, claiming he was still at work to obtain our mother’s release from the detention center, not to mention his habitual presidential duties. I reminded him that he wasn’t to be sworn into office before two weeks’ time, and that until then he was still simply my brother. Ignoring my attempts at being witty, he advised me to get some rest.

So there I lay, in a cot in my single bedroom apartment near the capital’s civic center, mulling over the events that had taken place. My brother’s bizarre press conference, the drugs in the old manor, my mother’s arrest, Gus’s call, and the visit to the prison. I struggled to order the sequence, but in the end tiredness caused my mind to wander and I was overtaken by sleep.

The bustle outside awoke me before the alarm clock had time to ring. I separated the curtains and opened the windows to see what was happening on the street.

A haggardly, middle-aged man was speaking on a raised platform, and a small crowd gathered around him to listen. The sounds reaching my window were muffled, so I decided to get dressed and approach the platform outside.

Before turning away, I caught sight of a young man in the crowd observing me curiously. It was only a second, but the intensity of his hazel eyes left a lasting impression in my mind, as if an acknowledgment of mutual recognition had passed between us. The memory was so indelible, that I had the strange feeling he was still watching me even as I drew the curtains together.

A bit unsettled, I walked out into the street, wondering if I would spot the young man from ground level. The words of the orator, however, immediately absorbed my attention.

“Our country, our very system of governance, is headed for an imminent demise!” he proclaimed, “A new president or a thousand congressmen will not prevent this eventuality, for now is the turning point of a new era in our republic! Politicians do nothing but exacerbate the challenges faced by the people of Guyana-Guyana and hasten the hour of reckoning; bear witness to my words, that on the very day of the presidential oath, our current political system will succumb to an unanticipated force, a total eclipse!”

Noticing the scowl on my face, the speaker latched on to me throughout his oration, making me the hidden object of his fury. He acted as if he had seen through me and regarded my general character as a case in point of his argument. Then he addressed me,

“You, young lady, are among those who do not believe, but how soon you’ll change your mind! How soon!”

Men and women in the crowd turned to face me, waiting for a response on my part. Because of my state of confusion, and the unexpectedness of the situation, my lips weren’t able to conjure any words. The speaker readied himself to goad and press his point. I felt indefensible.

“Stop your prattle, and leave the señorita** alone, you self-indulgent charlatan,” boomed a masculine voice behind me before anyone could react.

The young man I had seen from the window stepped forward. His hair was cropped and curly, and a slight stubble rounded out the edges of his jaw. He had a handsome, tan face which, in its earnest concentration, revealed a determined conviction. He wore a shabby tweed suit a bit too large for him, so that it was noticeable that it had been borrowed or bought at a thrift store. Furthermore, he sported a T-shirt under his blazer, so that the effect of his attire was dubious to say the least.

Nonetheless, I felt grateful for his intervention. The speaker reeled at his attack, and the young man seized the opportunity to lock his arm around mine and lead me away, not without directing a final retort at the street-orator. True to gentlemanly fashion, he positioned himself in the half of the sidewalk closest to the street so as to guard me from traffic.

“What a cretin! I can’t believe he singled you out, the blabbermouth, he’ll get a beating one of these days,” the ‘gentleman’ clenched his teeth to contain his fury before changing his tone to one of amiable interest, “Oh, and I haven’t introduced myself; I am Rubén.”

He was an engineer, although he was out of a job, he explained after I had introduced myself and thanked him for his assistance. He was in the capital visiting a relation, and he’d very much enjoy getting to know the city before he left. I found his attitude, at once sincere and earnest, if somewhat blunt, to be pleasing.

When he felt he had charmed me enough-- and how foolishly I let him do so!-- he asked me on a date for that night, a ‘rendezvous’, he called it, and obtained my phone number without any reticence on my part. We parted modestly, as if nothing unordinary had taken place.

Giddy after this encounter, I bumped into Javier Lozano, my brother’s advisor, before I could take another five steps.

“Ay, Silvia,” he emphasized the first syllable of his greeting as a kind of soft lamentation which struck me as feigned sentimentality, “I investigated Alejandro’s disappearance, but he has eluded us. He’s no longer in our borders-- he took a plane to Florida, I’m afraid.”

“Florida! Then it must have been him, but why…” I ran my hand through my hair, trying to think. Lozano smiled weakly.

“It’s lucky I ran into you, dear, although I have to admit I’m in a hurry. I’ll see you soon,” he excused himself in honeyed tones.

I ambled back to my apartment, my good humor receding as more sober thoughts took hold.

*

Faustino rose to accommodate a chair for me near the kitchen table of the old manor, which was now cleared of the heaps of cocaine it had sheltered. Rosaura was serving lunch-- thank God!-- to my brother and a guest, a grey-haired Caucasian woman with thin lips and an austere expression which broke into a grin at the most improbable moments.

I hugged my mother and uncharacteristically scolded her for her recklessness. Her only reply was to serve me a dish of piping hot enchiladas. Afterwards, my brother introduced me to the guest, a high-ranking CIA agent by the name of Tony Summers.

“I have explained the situation regarding the otxiloas to Doña Summers. We do not on our own have the means for an assault, so I thought it would be advantageous to enlist the manpower of the CIA,” Faustino added meaningfully,

“Your word to that man, hermanita, is as binding as if it were my own. Besides, there’s something to be gained, if we can procure the money that the otxiloas keep in a safe in their hideout. It can be used to build that… opera-house.”

“Terrific enchiladas, Rosaura,” Mrs. Summers praised in her American accent, “Best I’ve had, I swear,” her face broke into that peculiar grin. My mother nodded her assent; she was a prideful cook.

“Mrs. Summers has offered the CIA’s help on one condition,” Faustino explained, “that we aid in the capture of this man.”

Faustino passed me a worn photograph. A man in a guerrilla outfit lighted a cigar, resting his foot on a tree trunk. I suppressed a gasp. Despite the uniform, it was unmistakably the young man I had met earlier, Rubén.

Mrs. Summers pierced me with her gaze.

“This is a highly dangerous commander of the rebel forces named Rubén Graciela. A few months ago, one of our secret agents assigned to spy on the rebels went missing. Rubén is a key suspect in this disappearance.

"We have reason to believe he is currently hiding in the capital. Any information you may have regarding his location would be of invaluable assistance to us.”

I hesitated, torn between the confidence the young man had inspired in me and the exigency of this woman. I barely knew either of them-- whom should I trust?

*huevos=balls/courage
**senorita=young lady

Image courtesy of Smee, Inc. Cool

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This time the DP is a bit more character driven than strategic. Is this nice for a change?

Also, I realize that I have more characters than I can count and that the narrative is fast-paced.

The reason for this is that I am always struggling to find a good resting point for a DP, and I often have to speed the action in order to get there. Also I am producing many characters because they can act as possible resources to create more complex DPs and can help create plot twists. Also, some-- such as Alejandro, leave the scene (it isn't all adding, there's some subtracting too).

I hope it doesn't feel too much like a race in the midst of unfamiliar faces. I will try to slow things down in the next chapter if it's a concern.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Last edited by D-Lotus on Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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