…there’s a first time for ev’rything and in consonance with the current ‘Thriller Week’ where Crooked Cat Publishing features my own The Violin Man’s Legacy along with my scribbling chums’ Vanessa Knipe’s Pill Wars, and David Robinson’s The Handshaker, it has been suggested I give yeez a wee sampling from mine… there’s enuff ‘shootie-gunnie’ stuff and killin’s and mayhem in The Violin Man’s Legacy… but strangely as it may seem, my favourite passage is when my hard man hero, Jack Calder is taken to an old Chinese Fortune Teller in Hong Kong by his beautiful colleague, May-Ling… here it is… I’d like to know what yeez think…
The fortune-teller showed no reaction. He made a slight humming sound as he found his way to the page he was looking for. He looked Jack straight in the eye and asked him in English to bring his face a little closer. Jack leaned forward. The old Chinaman stretched a hand toward Jack’s face and trailed his thin fingers lightly twice across the Scotsman’s forehead. With both hands he pressed with all his fingertips at the sides of Jack’s head for about fifteen seconds.
Everything was quiet. Not even the noise from the street penetrated the room. The fortune-teller closed his eyes. When he opened them, Jack felt as if the stare went right through his own eyes. The husky voice broke the silence.
“Mister Jack,” he addressed him, with a slow, sideway movement of his head, still peering intently, struggling to ensure a pinpoint focus.
He spoke softly. “You are accustomed to seeing people from the long sleep. Pain comes that you cannot keep away. The pain is needed to clear your heart of another soreness of a loss from a time more long ago.”
Jack suddenly felt a familiar chill at the back of his neck.
The old man spoke again. “There are many things that may not be understood, Mister Jack. But there is one thing I think you should understand.”
Jack found his own voice, and asked, this time with respect, “What would that be, sir?”
“You should understand this. Your father was you. You are your father. Your father is you. This sleep pain will no longer come to you.”
Jack had a lump at his throat. He did not reply to the fortune-teller, any flippancy he had brought into this chamber completely gone.
“Give me your left hand, please,” the old man continued, extending a bony hand of his own across the table toward Jack.
Jack did as asked and placed his hand in the old man’s. The fingers grasped Jack’s gently. They were firm without clutching. The fortune-teller turned his eyes to the palm in front of him. Jack clearly heard an unmistakable, small, sharp intake of breath. So did May-Ling and Malky.
“What is it, old man?” Jack asked, his instincts at full alert.
The man continued to stare at Jack’s palm. After a long time he peered toward Jack’s face. Where before there had been a passive look, a more serious, questioning shadow now flirted.
His voice sounded even quieter than before. “Why is it, Mister Jack, you are the only one who hears?”
“Hears what?” Jack asked, mystified.
“The music, Mister Jack.” He paused. “The music of death. Why are you the only one who hears?”
A shiver went through Jack’s body. On the surface he didn’t understand what this man was talking about, but somehow, deep down inside him, he did.
How could that be? How could something he didn’t understand, make sense? …….’
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…
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