Here is the fifth excerpt from my novel Biotime.
I plan to release Biotime in droplets – around 500 words, fairly often. All feedback welcome: on content, frequency, style or anything else. I’d love to hear from you.
I’m also publishing a “story so far” post for infrequent readers, bringing together all the excerpts published up to now.
Ghanaian market – Photo SDT
Biotime. The future, today. Excerpt 5
[Part 1, Breughel vs Jones, continues]
In Accra, the front door shook as someone pounded on the flimsy wooden panels.
Two minutes early.
Lumusi Jones hesitated. Suddenly, the thought of skulking within her house seemed intolerable. She would open the door. Perhaps she would stand on the threshold for those two minutes, and look up and down the street, to show she was still mistress of her own destiny.
She took a deep breath; gripped the handle; stood up straight; and threw the door open.
‘It is not yet time,’ she said.
‘No,’ the woman standing outside said. ‘It is not.’
Lumusi saw eight nuns in her front yard, clad in identical blue-and-cream habits. ‘Who are you?’ she said.
‘I am Mother Hope, from the Church of Christ is Risen. The priest at your aunt’s church says you have a problem.’ The woman reached out a hand as black as Lumusi’s own, but criss-crossed with deep wrinkles. ‘Come with me, child.’
Lumusi took a step back.
‘You want to rescue me? From what? And why do you call me your child? I never met you before in my life.’
The nun smiled. ‘You are full of spirit. Come with us.’
Lumusi examined the nuns. Their eyes seemed friendly. Several of them were tall and broad enough to be more than a match for Adam Boateng. But what was God’s position on breaking a contract Lumusi had signed of her own free will?
She saw movement across the road. Adam was making a call. He covered his mouth with his hand as he spoke.
Then she saw them. Behind the nuns were camera crews. Two had their lenses trained on Lumusi. The third was filming Adam.
The presence of the media made Lumusi bold. She stepped forward and addressed Mother Hope.
‘How am I doing right if I come with you?’ she said. ‘If I do not go with Adam, he will be in trouble; and I will be breaking the law.’
‘The law is wrong, my child.’ The nun bowed her head. ‘Many people in our country are cheated by these companies. Maybe your life swapping partner is paying more than you are receiving.’
Lumusi frowned. Three hundred thousand dollars was a lot of money. But she knew nothing about the person buying her Biotime. She looked at the cameras. Then she reached out and embraced Mother Hope.
‘I am ready to shelter with you,’ Lumusi whispered. ‘But only if you stop calling me your child. And only until we find out if this contract is fair or not.’
‘Bless you, my – Lumusi.’ Mother Hope smelt of soap. ‘I think you will find that the contract is not very fair at all.’
[Excerpt ends][Next excerpt]
I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from my novel “Biotime”. If you’re interested in hearing about further episodes, follow this blog by e-mail (top right, “click here”); or follow me on Twitter @RobertPimm (left hand side). I can promise you a fun ride.
If you’d like to read some complete fiction by me, see what you think of my “wonderful, feminist and dark” Hotel Stories.