A Perennial Seller

An interesting interview I think you will find value in, I did:

How To Make Your Book A Perennial Seller With Ryan Holiday

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The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #26 (A part of my novel)

He came back onto the main street and continued walking westward, passing a few houses and small shops along the way.  On his left, there were more structures along the length of the road, but on the right, there were punctuation of small gardens, farms and empty lots.

He saw a bar.  The sign stood imposing.  Written in a style he had once seen in a cow boy movie on an old black and white television back on Dow Island.

Toney saw a crowd of about fifteen or twenty men, surrounding five others.  The five sat around a small circle, metallic coloured table, on weathered stools, frantically engaging each other.  They slammed on the table little white wooden blocks with black dots on them, lining them up in a formation.

The crowds cheered louder as Toney approached, making a pathway for him.  He hesitated to join the space now created for him.  But the noise infectious.  Cries like that of a coliseum.  Encouraging any who will venture in the centre.  He moved in cautiously, rubbing his toes against the inside soles of his shoes.

“No one can beat you now, Lamont,” a voice shouted from behind Toney’s head.  It startled him.

A few more then joined in the chorus shouting the name, “Lamont…Lamont…hail king Lamont.”

A dejected looking East Indian man got up from his seat at the table.  He tilted his head to one side, eyes fired red.  He looked at the men sitting under him.  He said nothing, just stared.  His eyebrows seemed to join each other over the crease in his forehead.  He panted.  His sideburns dripped with sweat.

For a moment, the crowds too grew quiet and backed off from the two men as if to give them space.  This was no longer a game.  Feelings were hurt, and the man standing wanted nothing more than revenge.

Toney felt compelled to stay.  He thought for a instant, if trouble were to erupt he will be in the very centre of it, and so, he should move away.  Yet flirting with danger, as if to prove himself a part of this new world, he stood his ground.

Still, the man standing said zilch.  His breathing became shallower and his palms made tight fist.  The rest of his body stood motionless.

Pushing his way into the little crowd came another man, a little over six feet tall.  Although, to Toney he looked more like seven feet—and Toney was five feet eight inches.  He was well over three hundred pounds.  A giant of a man.  A white apron hung silly around his neck; his belly pushing it aside as he moved.  He came to the table and stood, towering over the now quiet throng.

“Lamont, you good, you really good at this domino game,” the man shook his head left to right as he spoke.

“You could say that again,” Lamont said.

The man seemed to pay little attention to Lamont’s words.  “Everybody just cool it.”

“They better,” Lamont said, as he finally got to his feet.  “Like people around here don’t know who is me or what?”

The large man fold his arms, turning his attention to Lamont.  Although his folded arms looked more like him resting his forearms over a dinner table; his huge belly. “What is there to know, tell me, please?”

“Like this washed out old barrel confused,” the man who just got to his feet continued.

The little crowd giggled and a few chattered among themselves.

“I think you should hush now,” the large man said, pointing sternly.

All went silent once more.

Lamont eyeballed the man speaking to him.

“Are you serious, boy,” the massive man slowly removed the apron from around his neck, placing it over the table.  He moved in closer to Lamont, pushing the table to the side.  He now stood between Lamont and the clenched fist man.

“Come son,” someone from the crowd pulled Lamont from the centre of the commotion.

“No, please, leave the lad.”

“Come on Peter, you know how stupid youth can be,” the man holding Lamont by the hand said, as he took him away.

Peter now turned his frame to the East Indian man, who at no time moved an inch; except to narrow his eyes lids, fixing his attention on Lamont better.  “Now Deo, welcome back.  But a lot has changed around here.  Lamont is a man now, still loud, but changed.  So is Zig, Jah Jah and Dennis,” he pointed at the other men who were still sitting.

“Let me be the judge of that,” Deo said.

The man continued, holding the attention of the onlookers.  “And you will be.  Now, come inside everyone, one drink for each man, it’s on the house.  Deo is back, remember guys, Kiskadee village is changed.”

The crowds moved.  A few men left, including Lamont, but the majority moved in the direction of the bar’s swinging doors.

Deo stepped away from his chair.   He looked at it momentarily.  He became pensive for about a few seconds.  But shook his head as if to say he was satisfied with how things turned out this morning.  He tucked his shirt back into the waist of his pants; loosened, as he rose quickly from his seat during the altercation.  He dusted himself, cleared his throat and presented a smile.

His eyes now fixed on Toney.  “And you are?” he said, nodding childishly.

“Toney, Mr. Deo.”

“Ah!  Drop the Mr., is Deo for you,” he chuckled.  “Well, you heard Peter, come in and take one with me, Toney boy.”

Deo, tapped Toney on the shoulder, and gently nudged him to the opening of the bar door.

“Well, okay…why not.”

“It’s nice to see what Peter and them did with this place,” Deo looked at the eve of the building and to the side.

“Well, it doesn’t look too bad.”

“Toney boy, not too bad, you should have seen this place before.  This place was a real work of art.  A lot used to happen right here, a lot.”

“I guess every place needs to change, and even the people who live here.”

“If is one think, you right about that.  Alright, let we come out this sun.”

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #25 (A part of my novel)

The two moved closer to the gentleman.  At first, he appeared not to recognize anyone standing at his side.  He simply remained staring at an ax in his hand.

The man took a deep breath, and cleared his throat a couple times.

Holding the ax firmly in his hands, he rotated his shoulders, as if in his mind, he struck the blade at the truck of a three.  Methodically, he did the motion about two or three times, and then froze.

Jason moved a bit closer to his father, arching his body as if to use his father as a shield, should the man turned crazy.

The man raised the ax slowly, high above his head.  Then he brought it down, almost in a straight line, unhurriedly.  It came to a stop, about three inches from the table top.

He remained holding the ax firmly in the same position.

Toney remained quiet as well, observing a moment of silence with this stranger.  His son, to the back of him, his blood running scared follow suit.

The man drew in a long breath and paused.  Gently nodding his head, he removed a hand from the ax, give a thumps up and released the breath.

“Okay…okay,” Toney said as he rubbed his palms together.  He made a stepped back, about an inch; figuratively giving the stranger some room to breathe.

Between Toney and the man there was a communication.  Jason was unaware of what all of this meant, but knew something had just taken place, between the man, the ax and his father; something sacred.  He just made it out to be something only men like his father and this stranger will understand.  For him, he will have preferred to leave this establishment by now.  That is, if his legs will have carried he at that time.

“Jameson is the name,” the man said softly.

Then like a new born baby, he rested the ax on a cleared space on the table.  “Haven’t seen your face around here before,”  Jameson turned to Toney and his son, his hands stretched out to greet Toney.

“Toney, the name is Toney, and, this is my son,” Toney motioned with his left thumb, moving out the way to expose Jason to the view of the man.

“Go on boy, tell the man your name,” Toney grunted.

“That’s alright Toney, the young man and I will have enough time to catch up.”

Toney looked at his fingernails, “How do you know it isn’t I who want the job?”

Jameson turned his head away from the two and straight in front of him.  “At my age, you get to be able to read people, and besides your hands are not for grinding, maybe farming.”

Jameson pulled the rubber band off his ponytail, exposing the strikes of grays in his unruly blond hair.

“Carpentry, Mr. Jameson, carpentry.”

“Well Toney, son, you learn every day,” he replied, while picking up the ax to examine its blade.

“Dad, you’re going to leave me here?”  Jason’s voice cracked.

Toney tapped his son on his shoulders a couple times, “He is a good man son, I trust him.”

“Okay, so you trust him.  We just met the guy.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Great, that’s just great!”  Jason raised his hands and dropped it at his side.

Jameson seemed undeterred.  He just kept at what he was doing; examining the ax in his hands.

As Toney made his way out of the shop, leaving Jason behind, Jameson called out to him.  “Two dollars an hour, the pay is two dollars an hour.  Work starts at eight and ends at four o’ clock, you will see him then.”

Toney did not look back, but raised his hand and waved.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #23 (A part of my novel)

That morning, Merry made the family breakfast; eggs, cassava bake and cocoa tea.  After breakfast, she took the dishes away from the table and started sweeping the kitchen floor.  Jason returned to his bedroom.  Toney on the other hand, went to the corner of the kitchen for a pair of booths and headed into the yard.

From outside, Toney called out.  “Merry, I am going to take care of the dogs before heading out to look for work today.”

“That’s wonderful.  I’ll finish doing some unpacking in here.”  She smiled from the corner of her lips.

“I’ll see if I can get you some more rods for the curtains, while I am out today.”

“Yes, that will really be wonderful.  Thick, strong ones though.”

“I’ll see what they have.”

“Just make sure the quality is good.”

“I will take Jason with me, perhaps he might find some type of work he likes.”

“That’s a great idea, nothing to hard though, he is my one son.”

“The boy almost a man, he could more than do a little hard work.”

“Honey, please, it’s Jason we are talking about.”

“Maybe it’ll toughen him up some more.”

“Maybe, a cleaning job then.”

“We’ll see what they have when we go out there, we’ll see.”

The house was about three metres from the ground, on poles.  On one of the poles, Toney had the dogs tied with about seven feet of rope each.  In that way, the dogs could freely move around.  Back on Dow Island, they were not accustom being shackled.

Toney untied the two dogs, and went to the other side of the house.  Jason’s room rested just above his head.  He could hear his son ruffling through some bags, and assumed he too was unpacking.

He looked at the track leading from his home and into the distance, where is disappeared.  He kept his gaze there for several minutes.

“Toney,” Merry called out.

“Love?”

“No, I just didn’t hear you.”

“Haven’t left yet.”

“Okay, that’s fine,” she said.

“Vic, what did you get Blacks into?” Toney whispered, cleaning mud splatter on Blacks fur.  When he was through, he turned his attention to Vic.  He noticed Vic, who had walked around him by then, with something red on one of its front legs.  “Did you hurt yourself boy?”  Toney asked as if seeking to have an answer from Vic.

Merry placed her head through the opening of the kitchen window, “Don’t forget the curtain rods today, please.”

“No, I remembered,” he lifted his head.  He held the dog’s leg and examined it closely, “No, okay, it’s not yours!”

Toney stood up.  He placed both hands on his hips.  He looked at the dog’s fur, but there was something else he observed.  There was a smell on Vic, one that was not common to Toney.

“You said something to me?”

“No, no, just to the dogs.”

“Are they okay, love?”

“Yes, they are fine, just checking them out,” he said.  “Okay, you know what, let’s get you cleaned up.”

Toney washed the blood from the dog’s foot and returned them to a pole under the house.

He went to a barrel with water to the back of the house.  Using a small bucket, he dipped and poured on each hand.  He returned the small bucket to the barrel of water.  From his pocket he retrieved a piece of polyester cotton, material his wife tore form a ragged curtain and fashioned as a handkerchief.  Folding it in half, he vigorously dry his hands.  He had grown accustom using the sides of his pants to wipe his hands, soiling the area close to his pockets.  But after receiving a stern warning from his wife, he started making good use of the cloth given to him.

“Jason,” Toney called out, “join me outside, let’s go look for work.”

There was silence in Jason’s room.

“Son, your father is speaking to you.”

“Jason!”

“What?”

“Son, please, go outside and meet your father.”

“He could go without me.”

“Son please, right this minute, go and join your father.”

Jason came out of his room sulking.  His mother walked towards the front door.  Her son made his way into the yard.  His father had already set foot in the track.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #20 (A part of my novel)

In the bedroom, Merry waited on him.  She believed he was through taking care of the dogs, however, hearing the sound of his blade, she got out of bed.

“What’s wrong, Toney, what is going on?”  With a shriek in her voice, her head pushed out from the doorway; Merry gazed at her husband.  Her forehead creased.

“The dogs are missing!”  He responded, sounding as though moaning the lost of a dear friend.

“They will return my love, you have trained them well!”

Sternness filled the room.  “Merry John, it is my duty to take care of my—.”

Before he could finish, Merry said, “Take the lamp in the kitchen dear, go, bring them home.”

He turned to look at the forest outside, then to the floor.  A few seconds after, with the machete firmly gripped in his hand, he turned to her.  By this time, she was fully in the corridor between their bedroom and Jason’s.  A bed sheet wrapped around her body, one hand held the two ends together, the other clinched her belly.

Toney raised his chin, and made a step towards her.  She moved one step back.  Moving her hand from her belly she braced herself against the wall.

“I have to do this.”

“They will come back,” she shrugged.

“They are still knew, I can’t take that chance.”

“I am sure they are outside in the yard somewhere just having fun.”

“I called, they are not here.”

“Go, we love you,” she gave a dismissive wave.

Toney slowly turned from her, grabbed the lamp and disappeared through the door.

Merry moved towards the door and pulled it in.

A slight drizzle now lashed against the roof.

She whispered, “Toney, I love you.”

She did not see herself sleeping that night until her husband returned.

As she walked away from the door, to the corner of her eyes the rains started entering the half shut window over the kitchen sink.  She went over and pull it in.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #14 (A part of my novel)

As Deo sat at the table, Shelly cleared the dishes, removing the children’s, then his.  He eased back into his chair, as if to allow her sufficient room to reach his plate, and then, just kept looking at her.  Shelly could not remember her husband being this quiet, but under the circumstances, she continued doing the same.

After a few more minutes, Deo sluggishly got up from the chair and made his way to a small wooden window in the kitchen; a window he recalled building just before his incarceration.  A gentle smile enveloped his face, as the nights air struck him.  Reaching into his pocket, he took out a pack of cigarettes and reached over to a box with matches near the kitchen sink.  He shook it, listening to the sticks crashing into each other.  He then placed a cigarette to his lips, lighted the match and leaned into it.  There was a silence, so much so that he could feel it in the air, heavy.  He looked from the corner of his eyes at his wife’s piercing gaze.  He recognized that much had changed since he was gone.  He blew the match out and crumpled the cigarette in his hand, but the pack he returned to his pants pocket.  He chewed on his thumb nail for a few seconds.  Deo looked at the thumb, while playing around with a piece of the nail in his mouth.  Then spitting it through the window, he scratched against his two day old beard.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.

The Skies Are Lighted With Lamps #12 (A part of my novel)

He cocked his head to the side, surveying the room.  Placing his elbows on the table, he exhaled.

He had always longed for his freedom to be with his family, but now, he felt as though the distance they had was what his family needed.  His thoughts raced.  Much the same as the night he was taken away.  He wanted to get away from them.  Thinking, maybe it was a wrong idea to be let go from a secured place.  A place he had control over.  Perhaps the judge was wrong and that he was not a rehabilitated man.  At that moment, he wanted to return to Centenery.  To the place where he hid behind stone walls and prayer someone his life will end.  But even behind bars, new travelled fast.  And without saying a word, it was understood that Deo Narine was to be touched by no one.

Copyright © 2017 David Alexian

All rights reserved.