Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fire in Bradford. Chapter Two


The second chapter of my novel, THE FIRE IN BRADFORD may be rated 18+

But here goes anyway. THE FIRE IN BRADFORD, Chapter Two:

Chapter Two

On my frequency in spades, or was it the Rolling Stones?

Well I followed her to the station
With a suitcase in her hand

How long would I follow her over the next five years, with a suitcase in my own hand to be rebuffed, Rabelaised on.

Well I saw her at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a footloose man

This after a pretty stud popinjay tried to make her his novel. Maybe a popinjay like me. And would I later be a bleeding man in the bottom of her glass?

We danced. She seemed somehow stiff, not in tune with the natural grace of her perfect little body. She just seemed to want to sit near me, wanting to be very close. She rubbed a tentative thigh against me. I backed off a little. "What goes on between you and Lief?' I blurted. "You are a married woman after all."

She took a sip of her white wine. Damn. Her nice high forehead, flesh-coloured lipstick, blonde hair abob.

"Lief and I have an open marriage. He has male friends, he has female friends. I have female friends. I have male friends."

So here we were, dating and dancing, she and I. Male friend and female friend.

The night, as they say, rocked on, as it will with music by the Stones and the nice amber haze. Why is this beautiful, sexy mannequin so interested in me, mousy wallflower, dumb prof? And then she made that tentative move towards my genitals. Whaa...? I was lonely but not altogether stupid. "Lana, you are a married woman. Leif is just next door."

"Lief understands."

I leaned back and had a cigarette. Nice living room with its C-shaped chesterfield, wide enough to accommodate two small, slight people like ourselves. Top the left, a dining room with its millet and Cezanne prints, all grouped nicely, the wide picture window, the drapes not drawn, the two of us more than just silhouettes in the window. We kissed like brother and sister. I was growing to falling in love with her. And yet I could not make a move.

We would begin to have pub nights quite often, Lana soon affecting a wonderful floppy beret that graced her beautiful, symmetric face. "I am in a French Writers class," she would say and we'd trade bon mots and zippy Parisian phrases. Or, at least, my fractured French that I'd learned in Quebec, Haiti and Newfoundland. It's not hard to get a job at a community college. "What you call dat t'ing that bash his face against de tree?"

Very quickly, though, I felt a need for the wide open spaces.

Lana was sending up a wave of energy that welled right up against my lifeboat.
(to be continued)


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm reckoning in general that you consider yourself a literary writer eh? This seems to have those elements, focus on character for example. said...

Thanks, Charles.

Heh. Budding Jules Verne to hopeful Joseph Conrad?

Chris Benjamin said...

heh heh, love that last line. said...

I have lost my copier.

This is a draft lettr to Ma Bell:

Dear Bell Fibreoptics:

On a full moon I made the mistake of switcing to Bell Fibe instead of Rogers.

Result was an untimely network breakkdown and loss of my telephone, internet and TV service.

Dear God,
I am now without any commnications services.

"This ain't no technological breakdown.
This is the road to hell."

--Ivan Prokopchuk

Chris Benjamin said...

Chris Rea?

I was in Hell last week. Nice place to visit...

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

A couple of very exciting announcements and then some of the usual.

The unusual:

1) My novel, Drive-by Saviours, is now available as an e-book! You can get it on Kobo ($12.39) and NOOK Book ($11.37). So, for all those who have been waiting patiently overseas, or those who wanted to save paper and space, or those who simply prefer this format, or who want to help put my kids through college by buying everything with my name on it in every format, have at it!

2) I'm thrilled to introduce the second Eco-Innovators video! It's called Green Island Getaway, by Halifax filmmaker Kevin Moynihan, featuring Travis and Alan Burland. It shows that there are great ways to vacation within our own region, and that small, low energy living is a beautiful thing. We'd love to get as many views as possible, so please share this on via email, social media, websites, listservs etc. See the video at

3) I've been working on a new novel, writing, editing and re-editing. I usually prefer not to talk to much about work in progress in case of fits of rage and lighter fluid, but in this case, since I was asked, I wrote a blog post about it. Check it out at

The usual:

4) Do you know about transition towns? Making the most out of the coming apocalypse. There's on in St. Margaret's Bay. They had a coming out party. Story at

5) There's a 260-year-old house in Halifax that is being moved across town, green retrofitted, expanded and turned into a youth shelter:

Happy reading and happy weekend.