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ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 5

 

Apartheid: noun, historical, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 

Decades before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the country was rigorously governed by various pro-apartheid acts, including the Immorality Act, where sex between white and other ethnic groups was a criminal offence. Both parties contravening the Immorality Act would be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Under that law, Shabba and Sarie’s love was declared a crime and both of them were imprisoned. Now, one of them must risk all to save the other. A heartwarming tale of love, loss, redemption and … revenge!

EXCERPT 5

If you haven’t read the first FOUR excerpts in this series, please click on the link below:
https://everabi.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/colorblind-a-romantic-suspense-book-by-everabi/

(NB: This is a raw excerpt, not yet professionally edited, so please overlook any errors in this piece)

The story continues …

Cape Town
1969

 SARIE

“Boo!” I said, barging in on Katrina and Fendi.
“Hai, Sarie, why you spying on me?” Katrina demanded, rushing to the door, pulling me in and shutting it.

“I’m not. I’m –”

“You tell no one about this, you hear?” She shook her finger in my face as she threatened me.

“About what?” I asked, as I took in the rags in Fendi’s hands.  “Why?”
“Because why, I say so, Sarie!” Katrina said in an impatient voice.

“Because why is not the correct way to speak. School says –”

“Hai, Sarie! Don’t tell me, school says this, school says that … elsewise, I will klup you if you blerry rude to me, okay?”

I backed off and silently watched Fendi tie the rags around Katrina’s stomach, tighten them, then pull her top over them.

“Sarie just wants a flat stomach,” Fendi said in a gentle voice, when she saw the confusion in my eyes.

“Oh.”

“Can you tie my stomach too?” I asked.

Fendi jerked back in surprise, then smiled and said, “Sure, Sarie. Come closer.”

So, Fendi tied rags about my middle, making it really flat. Then, she gave me a hug and sent me off. Fendi was very sweet and kind, and second to Katrina, I liked her a lot.

“Where were you?” Shabba asked when I got to him.

“Flattening my stomach,” I said.

“What?”

I lifted up my top and showed him my stomach.

“That’s just silly,” he said.

“No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is!”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Yes, it is!”
“Sarie! Shabba! Stop it you two,” Fendi called from the other room. “You two are always arguing. Just stop it!”
I glared at Shabba. He stuck his tongue out at me. I stuck mine at him. He made ugly faces.

“Your face is going to look like forever!” I said. “You wait and see!”

He quickly stopped his ugly faces, then said, “Hey, you wanna see the tadpoles?”

“Okay, but we have to walk slowly, because these bandages around my stomach is making it hard for me to breathe.”
“Want me to take ‘em off?”
“Ja, but … don’t tell Fendi and Katrina.”

“Okay,” Shabba said, removing the bandages from around my stomach. “Oh, man, you’ve got red tyre tracks around your stomach!”

I looked at my tyre tracks and frowned.

“Here, let me …” He gently rubbed the marks away. “My dad used to do this for my mum when she had a stomach ache,” Shabba explained. “Then he would do this.” Shabba gently kissed my stomach. “Better?”

I nodded.

Then, he bent down, put his lips to my stomach and blew bubbles on it, tickling it and causing me to scream with laughter. He grinned, then blew more bubbles on my stomach, more vigorously, causing me to shriek and squirm with laughter again.

“My mum used to do that to me all the time,” he said. “Didn’t your ma ever do that to you?”

I shook my head. I didn’t remember my mother or father being that kind and affectionate and playful toward me. Katrina, Mama Tsela and Agnes cuddled me from time to time, but not my parents.
Perhaps my disappointment at my parents showed, because Shabba’s grin was replaced by a look of sympathy. He pulled down my top, planted a tender kiss on my forehead, took my hand in his, and together, we skipped over to the tadpoles.

Months later, Mama Tsela rounded up all the children, and in an excited voice said, “Come see Katrina’s baby girl. She’s soooo beautiful!”

“What? A baby? Katrina’s baby?” I was totally stunned. I had no idea Katrina was going to have a baby. I knew that she was getting fat, I knew she was cranky, I knew that she was always eating soured figs marinated in vinegar, which Mama Tsela made for her, but her stomach, it just didn’t look big like the other servants did when they were pregnant. Then I remembered the bandages she tied around her stomach. Could she have been trying to hide the baby? I wondered. My mind, as little as it was, worked overtime to figure out why she would hide such a thing.

I ran ahead of the other children, all the way up to Katrina’s room and barged inside. There was Katrina in bed, a little bundle of pink and white in her arms.
I gasped at the sight of the real-life porcelain doll with eyes as blue as mine and masses of curls the color of lit-up copper. “Ooh, she’s so beautiful, Katrina! What’s her name?”

“Agnes,” Katrina said.

I looked up at Katrina. “Agnes? Your ma’s name?”
Tears welled in Katrina’s eyes as she nodded. Not knowing what to say, I stared at her, and watched a big fat tear roll down her cheek and plopped over Agnes.

Fendi, who was in the room folding clothes, walked over, gave Katrina a hug, then wiped away the tear from the baby’s face.

I scratched my head, affected by Katrina’s tears, but when I looked at the baby, I forgot about all about Katrina’s tears and smiled. “You are my l’il poppie (doll),” I said, falling instantly in love with little Agnes. From that moment on, Agnes was called ‘Poppie’ by everyone around, because she was as beautiful as a porcelain doll.

After Poppie was born, Katrina was a changed girl. She stopped running and jumping and hanging upside down on trees. She dressed like Agnes used to, wore a scarf around her head all the time and an apron. She also took her mother’s place and began working inside our house. (The only thing that didn’t change was the threat to klup us all at the drop of a hat. That continued regardless of age or maturity.) With Poppie slung around her back and secured with a blanket, African style, Katrina carried out her chores, humming songs to Poppie as she did. She was a wonderful mother even though she was so young. The way she looked at Poppie – it was the same way Agnes had looked at her. It was the way Mama Tsela looked at Fendi and Shabba. It was the same way pa had looked at popsicle-loving Laurika. It was the way Shabba looked at Baba. It was the way Baba looked at Shabba. As I watched Katrina hug and kiss her baby over and over again, pangs of envy engulfed me; everyone had someone to look at that way, and someone who looked at them that way, but me. I was the outsider, the afterthought, the superfluous little girl.
As I watched them all, I said a prayer – Dear God, please send me someone to look at. You know, the way Katrina looks at Poppie. And make sure they look at me like that too, with teeny tiny eyes. Oh, but make them like, older or my age or younger, I’m not fussy. I just want to be able to also play with them. And please make them white, so that they will be allowed to live with me in the Garden of Eden. That’s all, thank you God.

God answered my prayers right away, because within seconds, Katrina pulled me in for a hug and kissed the top of my head several times. “You are still my number one kind,” she said, planting kisses all over my face “Don’t ever forget that.” I hugged her back, and clung to her, relieved that I was number one and Poppie was number two. Well, I assumed that Poppie was number two.
Then, Poppie began to cry. Katrina hastily released me to pick up the baby, and began to use a voice reserved strictly for Poppie. I got mad with the doll for interrupting my cuddle. Not too mad, though. It was Poppie, how could I possibly be mad at her?

God was obviously on the job, because moments later, Fendi reached for me, pulling me in for a hug. “Come here, Sarie,” she said, “You are our baby sister and you will always be our baby sister. Don’t ever forget that, okay?” I hugged Fendi back, and stayed in her arms for a while, basking in the love of my big sister.

All the servants fell in love with Poppie, and she soon became the local mascot. She was so loved, the servants fought to babysit the little doll.

“Blerry dronkies,” my mother said at the dinner table, when she heard about the baby. “She don’t know who the father is. I betchu she doesn’t. I betchu. Blerry barbarians, that’s what they are. Pregnant at the age of thirteen. ’Magine that.” Shaking her head, she took a big sip of her vodka.
As young as I was, I didn’t appreciate her talking that way about Katrina and Poppie, so I spoke up. “Eh, ma, you said you were fifteen when you met Pa.”

“Ja, but that’s different. I knew who the father of my baby was, okay? And we got married quickly, okay?” She pointed her vodka glass at me as she defended herself. “I was a beauty queen, too, so it was different, okay? I was mature and responsible, ay? So hou jou bek, ‘kay?” She shook her glass so hard, some of her vodka spilled out of her glass and ran down her hand. She hastened to lick the vodka off her hand. Maybe losing her vodka angered her more, because she said, “Big people’s business, Sarie, big people’s business. Didn’t your father say not to get involved in big people’s business? Ay?”

I snuck a look at my father. As usual, he simply swirled his red wine in his goblet, his eyes focused solely on it.

Even though she had called Katrina a dronkie (which didn’t make sense, because I had never seen Katrina drink alcohol), my mother didn’t care that a baby was around – she was just relieved that Katrina could replace missing Agnes in the kitchen and take care of me, so that she could enjoy her ‘me’ time. Enjoy her champagne breakfasts, and afternoon cocktails pre siestas and sunset drinks and pre-dinner drinks, and dinner drinks and after dinner drinks and nightcaps. I was a distraction, asking umpteen questions and constantly meddling in big people’s business. Katrina’s reappearance left her free to handle those recurrent migraines with the potent medicine that she had drank in crystal glasses, and sometimes from the bottle itself. As for my father, the man of God, he said nothing – whenever he saw the baby, he just stared, sometimes turning to look at the child. Luckily, he had no problem with the child being around.

 

SHABBA

I think it’s fair to say that the highlight of my childhood, was the treehouse Baba built for us. It was just awesome! You must remember that during apartheid times, for children of color living on a white man’s property, there were no recreational amenities available to them. No parks, swings, public swimming pools, skateboard areas, libraries, basketball courts, nothing!

Why? Well, during apartheid times, the South African government didn’t think it was necessary for children of color to have such amenities. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were parks and swings, and public swimming pols and basketball parks, and skateboard parks and libraries etc., but they all had a sign that said, ‘Slegs Blankes,’ which meant ‘White’s Only,’ or ‘Blanke Gebied’ which meant ‘White Area.’

If a child of color used those facilities, he would be breaking the law, so the police would be called. How often did that happen? It rarely did. Why? Because, before the police were called, the whites in the facilities would probably band together like some kind of neighborhood watch and kick the shit out of the poor child of color for ‘daring’ to use that facility. The police would not be needed. If that child was accompanied by a parent, that parent would also be beaten up for not restraining their child, for not knowing their place. They would be considered arrogant, cheeky and in need of a lesson. So, rarely did a child of color break that law. They would simply stand and watch white children from afar, enjoying amenities that they weren’t allowed to use. Unfair? Unjust? Morally reprehensible? Yeah, well, that my friend was the apartheid government for you.
The beach? Oh, yeah, there was a beach about twenty minutes away. Unfortunately, that too had a sign saying ‘Sleg’s Blanke,’ or ‘Blanke Gebied.’ There was another beach that black people or people of color could frequent. However, a child of color would have to take three modes of transport to the venue and three modes back. That was a lot of bus and train fare for servants who didn’t really get paid – they just got board and lodge from their bosses, and they were allowed to keep their children with them while they worked for the white man. So, going to the beach was out of the question for us. As a little boy in South Africa, I visited the beach twice in my life. That was it. Swimming lessons? First of all, they would cost money. Second, why take lessons when you aren’t going to use them? What’s the purpose? So, yes, I couldn’t swim and I still can’t.
Yet, as a child, I loved the beach. Loved splashing in the water, running toward a wave, then running away from it, changing my mind and running into it, laughing with delight. Fendi told me a story once about me and the beach. Apparently, my late mother and father had promised to take us to the beach. Something happened, and we couldn’t go. I demanded to know why. Someone told me that the beach got burnt. As young as I was, I threw a tantrum, and told them that the beach couldn’t burn. They argued with me, tongue in cheek, that the beach could. I disappeared for a while, only to reappear struggling to carry half a bucket of water. I put down the bucket of water and looked at my father. “Go on, dad, light it up. It won’t burn. Go on.”

“It’s not beach water, Shabba,” my father said.

“It’s the same thing, daddy!” I protested. “Water can’t burn.”

“Beach water is different, it does burn, Shabba!”

I got so frustrated with everyone, I kicked the bucket of water and started to cry.

According to Fendi, that is the story. I cannot remember any of it.
As you may know, apartheid laws governed where people could live. They restricted people of color, corralled them in inaccessible areas, while white people got to live in prime land. It was the law, and if you ever lived in a white man’s area, you would be imprisoned, because you were breaking the law.

Now those people of color who worked for companies and big businesses, they would live in their designated areas, usually an hour’s drive away from work. For their children, there would be one public swimming pool for about fifty thousand or more residents. It would jam packed, so you had to visit the pool either in the mornings, or in the afternoons. Once it was full, children were turned away. Also, children of color had to pay to enter the pool too.

Now, in white areas, there would be one public swimming pool for every fifteen thousand residents. Even better, entry to those swimming pools were free to white children. How about that?
Look, if the white government didn’t think it necessary to provide people of color with indoor plumbing and running water, or a stipulated minimum wage, do you really expect them to provide you with plumbing for a multiple swimming pools? Do you really think they would provide you access to public libraries like they did in white areas? Oh, and by the way, the apartheid government frowned upon public libraries. Why? Well, think about it now; libraries mean education, and an educated person of color was the oppressors biggest fear. Nelson Mandela was an educated man, an attorney, and look at the havoc he wreaked on the white oppressor when he demanded equality for all? When he declared that no person should be treated unfairly because of the color of their skin? Mandela was such a troublemaker to the apartheid government, they jailed him for twenty-seven years. Blame education, they did.
So, since we children of color had no amenities to entertain our young minds, the tree house that Baba built was the most exciting project I have ever worked on in my life. We kids scoured the land and neighbouring lands for logs and sticks and large leaves and stones and discarded rope and anything that we could possibly use to build our beloved tree house. It took us hours and it was a complete labour of love. It would be our park, swing, beach, library, swimming pool, all rolled into one, and we couldn’t wait for it to be completed.
For three weeks we toiled on it, because Baba could only build it when he was not at work. We worked side by side with Baba, passing him tools, helping him lift, helping him tighten stuff, helping him with every single thing. As he worked, Baba explained why he did what he did, why he added double the number of nails to one section, why he cut the wood the way he did. With great patience he taught and explained and gave us a lesson in woodwork and building. So, in essence Baba was my first teacher. My first woodwork and construction lecturer.

When the project was completed, we children were thrilled. The treehouse had two rooms, a balcony, (because we ran out of wood to add more roofing to one side of the tree house, we called it a balcony) a rope ladder, a tyre on another rope so that we could swing on it, some vines so we could move through the air like Tarzan, some discarded books from Sarie’s house and a make-shift swimming pool made out of a discarded bathtub we found on someone’s property.

“Baba, I had no idea you could build a house,” I said, looking at our beloved tree house in awe.

He said, “You know Shabba Baba, I had no idea I could build a house too. Do you like it?”

“I love it!” I said putting my arm around my grandfather’s waist and hugging him toward me.

Baba looked at Sarie.

“Ooh, Baba, I love it too!” Sarie said in a breathless voice.
Sarie had every toy you could think of, but she loved the treehouse the most. She actually helped build it too, so it was special to her!

Problem was, we had no furniture to decorate the tree house.
“Go ask your mother for furniture,” I said to Sarie. “Tell her … um … tell you don’t like your bedroom furniture and you want new … no, no, no – tell her someone said your furniture is old or broken. Or … “
“She won’t like that Shabba.”
“Ja, that’s why you say it. Say something like that. Then we can get your old furniture, Sarie.”
What a silly thing to say to a child. What a silly thing for a child to tell her mother. Dumb me.

Well, it was the best we could do. That night just before dinner, Sarie said, “Ma, what’s old fashioned furniture?”

Since I had a lot riding on how Sarie handles our furniture situation, I hid outside the window and eavesdropped, a favorite pastime of mine.

My drinking buddy Mazda, paused with her fuel injection and frowned at Sarie. “Who … who said that? Who got old-fashion furniture, ay? We? Who told you that? Ay? WHOOOO?” Her voice had a thread of panic to it.

Sarie lifted and dropped her shoulders. “Can’t remember, ma? I think I heard Tante Estrie or Tante Elzette say that our furniture is arme (Poor). Or maybe it was Oom Gar–”

Vroom! Vroom! Mad Mazda slammed her glass onto the table and exploded into high gear. “Blerry bitches! Blerry goffles!” The Mazda jumped to her feet and revved with fury, flames shooting out from her exhaust. “They are foking dying with jealousy because I married money and they don’t got what I got. I am rich! Rich! You hear? I married a rich man and their husband must  work in a tyre factory and meat packaging plant, packing boerewors, morning to night. Blerry goggles! Blerry …”

That’s all it took – a silly, dumb comment from a servant’s child caused my happy hour buddy to make an announcement at the dinner table that night. “I am throwing out all the old furniture in Sarie’s room and buying new ones. I am also throwing out our sitting room and our dining room and our … everything!” (She meant she was throwing out the sitting room and dining room furniture).

“Why do you need to do that, Magda when we just redecorated the whole blerry place two years ago?” Schoeman, who had two families to feed from the Garden of Eden’s funds, grouched.
‘BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE TALKING, SCHOEMAN!”

“Calm down, Magda!” Schoeman said. “I’m just asking a question.”

Mazda slowly took her foot off the accelerator.

“People are saying that I married a poor man, Schoeman. They say I poor. That we poor. Ay? This is so embarrassing, Schoeman. I was a beauty queen and now I poor?” Mazda burst into tears.

“Magda, please,” the older man who married a striking beauty queen, a trophy wife, pleaded.
Mazda responded by throwing herself over the dining table, over the mashed potatoes and Porterhouse steak and mushroom and pepper sauce and sobbed like the way a heroine in a black and white movie would.

“Okay, okay, okay!” the pastor placated in a panicked voice. “You can do it, okay?”

Mazda stopped crying, sat down in her seat, poured herself a large glass of vodka, took a sip and said, “I want to change the bathroom tiles too.”
Two weeks later, a group of servants’ children carted Sarie’s old bedroom suite to the tree house. Along with the bedroom suit came chairs, a table and some cupboards – all the things we needed. It was awesome! Our tree house looked treemendous!

Oh, and we also received a box of used bathroom tiles, which we couldn’t use in the tree house, so we used them as brick pavers in muddy areas of the servant’s quarters.

From then on, whatever we needed for the tree house, Sarie and I would steal it from her house. It was like a real house, minus the bathroom. And electricity. And flooring. And plumbing for water.
Sadly, we children fought about who gets to play in the tree house, forcing Baba to assign us shifts. It worked, but it was pure agony waiting for your turn to play in the tree house.

Baba warned us in no unspecific turns that the tree house was out of bounds at night. He was stern about that and everyone listened to him. Except me. Some nights when I couldn’t sleep, I would creep into the tree house, lie on the balcony and watch the stars in the dark sky. Once I was lonely, so I thought about my partner in crime. Are you awake, Sarie?

I decided to see if I could reach her. Since the tree house faced her bedroom, I stole Baba’s work torch, took it to the tree house and shone it into her bedroom, using the light from the torch to write my name on her bedroom wall. Please see this and come to me, Sarie.
Within minutes, to my delight, I saw a figure in white hurtling toward the tree house.

“What are you doing, Shabba?” Sarie asked in a breathless voice as she climbed the rope ladder to the tree house.

“Signalling to you,” I replied, shining the torch in her face.  “When I shine my torch, you must know that I am looking for you, and you must come, okay? I will write my name in lights. Like the way I did.”

“Sure!” she said in an excited voice.

“Pinkie promise? I put out my little finger.

“Pinkie promise,” she said, looping her pinkie with mine.

After that, whenever I was in the tree house at night, I would shine my torch into the wall of her bedroom, and she would come over with snacks and drinks. We would spend hours in our precious treehouse gazing at the stars and talking about everything. Sometimes, we’d snuggle up and fall asleep, only to wake up with the sun and the birds. Sarie would then creep back into her house before her absence was discovered.

One day she said, “I don’t wanna go home. I want to stay with you.”
“All the time?” I asked.

She nodded. “Forever.”
“Oh, well, okay,” I replied after thinking about it for a few seconds. “But maybe we should get married, then we can always be together?”
She shrugged. “Okay.” She looked around. “We will need more rooms if we want to have children.”
I followed her eyes around the treehouse.  She may have a point, I thought. “How many children are we going to have?”
She held up five fingers.

“Sarie, you are mad? Five? That’s too many!”
“Well, then how many, Shabba?” she snapped.

I shrugged. “Three? Four?”

She narrowed her eyes at me.

“Okay, fine, Sarie. We’ll have five children, then!”

And that’s how I first proposed to Sarie.

“And a puppy.”
“Now, that’s a good idea,” I said. “Hey, you should ask for a puppy now.”
“A tiny little one? A girl puppy?”
“No! You need a puppy that grows up into an attack dog.”
“Mm.”

“This is what you do – tell your mother, Tante Esterie got a Rotweiller puppy for your cousin.”

“Okay.”
Woof! Woof! A week later, the Vorsters got four Rotweiller pups. We helped name them – Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo.

We had no idea which was which, but it didn’t matter, because when we called Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo! all four pups hurtled toward us.

End of Excerpt
More excerpts coming next week, so make sure you’re following this blog.

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ColorBlind – A heartbreaking romantic suspense book by Eve Rabi – Excerpt 4

Apartheid: noun, historical, a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. 

Decades before Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the country was rigorously governed by various pro-apartheid acts, including the Immorality Act, where sex between white and other ethnic groups was a criminal offence. Both parties contravening the Immorality Act would be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Under that law, Shabba and Sarie’s love was declared a crime and both of them were imprisoned. Now, one of them must risk all to save the other. A heartwarming tale of love, loss, redemption and … revenge!

EXCERPT 4

If you haven’t read the first THREE excerpts in this series, please click on the link below:
https://everabi.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/colorblind-a-romantic-suspense-book-by-everabi/

(NB: This is a raw excerpt, not yet professionally edited, so please overlook any errors in this piece)

The story continues …

Cape Town
1968

SARIE

From that day on, every Sunday, Shabba and I would wait for my mother’s migraine medicine to kick in, before we would creep into my house, overdose on ice cream, enter the vault, play with the guns, and steal wads of cash and hide it in the garden. This went on for months, and I have to admit, not once did Shabba or I consider the congregation members of Die Goed Afrikaner Kerk, who gave their hard-earned money to build a whites-only city/state/suburb/Garden to keep out black people and preserve the white race. We were that inconsiderate.
One day, Shabba and I overheard the adults talking about a robbery. Some thieves had made an imprint of a store key on a bar of soap, and then cut out a spare key using the soap imprint.

Shabba turned to me and whispered, “We should do that.”
The next thing I know – I was in front of a locksmith with a bar of soap bearing an imprint of the vault key.

“For my Pa,” I said, trying not to sound like a six-year-old.

I realize now that Cornelius, the man behind the counter should have questioned me about it, refused to cut a key, called my father, called the police even. He didn’t. I was Pastor Schoeman’s daughter, the one who sang inflammatory songs at their church every Sunday; I could do no wrong. So, Cornelius cut me a set of keys for the vault containing money, jewelry, guns and ammunition.

When I got home, I handed Shabba a key. He nodded and pocketed it, as if it was expected, as if getting a key to the vault was just one of those things. In hindsight, Shabba was a skelm (rascal), as Katrina pointed out. In the short time I knew him, he had me stealing money and cutting keys to my father’s vault. It was such fun. He was such fun!

Shabba and I became inseparable. We played together after I returned from school, but whenever Boy drove me to my extracurricular activities and lessons – piano, ballet, shooting, math, modelling, violin, jazz dancing, swimming, tennis, French, voice coaching and singing lessons, Shabba sat in the car with Boy and waited for me. When I returned home, I would teach him all that I had learned, including my ballet moves. He would follow my lead and plié in a pair of my mother’s tights – he was that good a sport.

“I look stupid,” he once complained, as he pulled on a pair of pantyhose.

“Nonsense!” I said, “You look nice, just like Robbin Hood looks in tights. Now plié!”
The shooting lessons? Yes, we all at our church were required to learn how to shoot. I could fire a revolver at the age of three. I could load the rounds, empty the spent cartridges and many times, as young as I was, I hit bullseye. Learning to shoot and gun safety was in preparation for a war that was imminent – the war where the black man was coming to rip our land off us, rape our women and put us out on the street. At church we did not talk about Armageddon, we talked about the day when the black man would strike and make our daughter his wife by force. We would eventually lose our blue and green eyes, our golden hair, because the black man would taint our bloodline. (I wasn’t sure about the colored man or the Indian man, and what their motives were, because their objectives weren’t covered much at church, for some reason.) Now, when you hear such things as a child, you don’t question anything, you just aim, picture a black man in your line of vision, a scary savage, and shoot. I was born a racist, proud to be one and would have probably died a racist, despite my firm friendship with Shabba and my love for Boy and Mama Tsela. To me, they weren’t black, they were my friends. There was a difference, wasn’t there?

At one end of our property, was a makeshift shooting range, which my brothers would often practice at after a few beers. By few beers, I mean two or three cases. So, whenever we were bored, Shabba and I entered the vault, stole revolvers and pistols, ran over to our personal shooting range (we ran with loaded firearms), and fired our weapons. No earmuffs and no adult supervision. If you flinch at the thought of a six and a seven-year-old firing weapons without any adult supervision, you should. If you flinch at the thought of six and seven-year-old firing weapons period, you should. But … such was life then.
I thought Shabba all he knew about different firearms, how to load them, check the safety catches, what stance to adopt to minimise gun recoil, what recoil was and how to fire a warning shot into a black person. I can confirm that he was a fast learner and an eager student. I would also read some of my father’s gun magazines to Shabba, and together we learned about assault rifles like AK-47s, M16s, and other semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons used in the Army.

SARIE
One day, while Boy and Shabba were driving me to school, I turned to Shabba and said, “Why aren’t you going to school?” 

“’Cause school costs money and we don’t have school fees,” he explained. “When my dad sends us money, Baba will take us to school again.”

“But, Shabba, school is free,” I pointed out.
Shabba looked at Boy.

After a long silence, Boy said, “School is only free if you are white people, Sarie. Not for black people or people of color. We have to pay for it.”

“Why? That’s not fair, Boy,” I said in an indignant voice.
“It is what it is, Sarie,” Boy said.

What that meant, I had no idea and I really didn’t know what to think.

“Besides, there no schools around for black children,” Boy added. “You have to go long, long way to get to a school for black school.”
“How long is a long, long, way?” I asked.

After thinking about it for a moment, Boy said, “It’s like if you leave after breakfast, you will arrive at the school by lunchtime.”
My young mind tried to absorb Boy’s explanations, but it just didn’t make sense to me.

“I think we should change things, Boy,” I said. “I think Shabba should be allowed to learn with me. In my school, sit next to me and learn with me.”

Boy did not answer.
I pushed ahead. “We are almost the same age, Boy?”

Boy didn’t answer, but I noticed his lips thinning in the rear-view mirror.

My little mind drifted to another topic, another question. “Why do they call you ‘Baba’, when your name is Boy? Is it like ba, ba black sheep?”

Boy smiled and shook his head. “My name is Manual, not Boy, Sarie.”

“But ma and pa, they call you Boy?”
“Ja, but my name is Manual, as I said.”
Confused, I tilted my head and stared at him. “Baba?” I was asking a number of questions and I expected Boy to ask me to stop me, like my mother always did. He didn’t; instead, he went on to patiently explain. “Baba is like … like grandfather. Shabba is my grandson, so he calls me ‘Baba.’

“Oh.”
“Baba also means baby, so I call this lil fellow, ‘Shabba Baba.’” With a smile filled with love, he reached behind to pat Shabba’s knee. Shabba reached for his grandfather’s hand and kissed it several times, before he playfully bit it. Boy laughed out loud.

I felt sick with envy at the display of affection between the pair. I had grandparents on both side of my family, but none of them ever behaved that way toward me. In fact, I do not remember a time when they even hugged me. I did not remember a time when I was hugged by my own mother or

father. It made me envious of Shabba. It made me angry too. I wanted them to stop hugging each other.

“I want to call you Baba too,” I said in a defiant voice. If Shabba was going object, I would put up a fight and demand that I be allowed to. As a trade-off, I would allow Shabba to call my grandparents ouma and oupa.

“Sure,” Boy said. “Of course, Sarie.”

I looked at Shabba with the neck of a ballerina. And?

“NO!” Shabba said. “He’s my Baba. He’s the only Baba I’ve got, Sarie. Don’t be unfair now.”
“Please!” I said. “He can love me a little less than he loves you, Shabba. Please?”

Shabba appeared to think about it, then said, “Okay, but only if he loves you less than me. If he starts to love you more than me, then you must stop calling him Baba, okay?”
I nodded.
Shabba leaned in and whispered, “And, I want to go to the shooting range and fire the new Smith & Wesson.”

I nodded. Okay.

He nodded. Deal.

We sealed it by linking our pinkies.

From that day onward, I called Boy Baba, and he called me, ‘Sarie Baba,’ and every time he did, I felt loved and I felt that bit closer to him. One night, I fell to my hands and knees and prayed, Please God, could you make Baba my real grandpa? And please make Mama Tsela my real grandma. Make them love me more than Shabba, but don’t let Shabba find out. But if he finds out, please don’t let him get mad about it. Please! Please! Please!

SARIE

Agnes, Katrina’s mother was a hard-working servant. Of all the servants on my parent’s property, I believed she was the hardest worker. I say this because she would work during the day inside our house, then return long after my mother had gone to bed and clean my father’s study. He didn’t seem to mind that she was cleaning at that part of the night. In fact, he remained in the study while she cleaned. He kept the door locked while she did, though.

Then, Agnes would emerge after cleaning, to make my father a sandwich, or fix him a drink. I was a light sleeper, too curious to keep my eyes shut for long, so I would awake at the slightest sound. A couple of times, I awoke in the middle of night and watched Agnes, who had walnut-colored skin, tiptoe out of our house. She was slim with a warm smile, and Katrina always said that her mother had a butt so big, you could rest a cup of tea on it. Like my mother, Agnes was in her early twenties.

What I liked most about her was the way she loved her daughter. She was attentive and affectionate toward Katrina. Not just when Katrina fell and skinned her knees, but all the time. She would cuddle Katrina and sing her songs and kiss her all the time. Never once did I hear her call Katrina dumb, stupid, ugly or push vodka into her mouth. Time and time again, I wished Agnes was my mother.

One evening, I awoke to the sound of harsh whispers. Thinking that it was my parents arguing, I tiptoed out of my bedroom towards my parent’s bedroom. It was silent. I quietly opened the door and looked into the room – my mother was snoring, an empty vodka bottle next to her bed. My father was not in the room, though. I left the room and walked over to a window in the passageway. In the dark, I saw my father and Agnes in the yard. The way their arms were flailing and because of their harsh whispers, I suspected they were having an argument. Being as curious as I was, I had to know more. So, I tiptoed out of the house, into the dark, hide behind some shrubs and eavesdropped.

“You just shut your mouth!” my father hissed. “I am the boss here, remember that.” He tried to side-step Agnes, but she blocked his path. He grabbed her by the shoulders and swung her around. She reacted by biting one of his hands on her shoulders. I was shocked at Agnes’ display of aggression – she was blocking my father’s path and shoving him? Not only because it was so unlike her, but because no one stands up to Pastor Schoeman. Now one dares. If you did, he would beat you till you couldn’t walk. Especially, a servant – they could get the whip.

I was scared for Agnes; I didn’t want her to get whipped or hurt by my father. She did not get the whip that day; what she got was a fist in her face. I gasped as Agnes stumbled before she fell to her knees. I watched as my pa straightened his shirt, then walked in the direction of her room. I was a little confused – why was pa walking in the direction of her room, and not our house? Then, Agnes got up, and holding her nose, ran after my father and clung to his waist, refusing to let him enter her room. To my horror, my father turned around and began to viciously beat her. Agnes held onto him despite the beating. Eventually, she collapsed into a heap on the ground. My father then booted her several times while she lay on the ground. When she was motionless, he walked into the tiny room she shared with Katrina and shut the door behind him. I had never seen my father be that violent before, so I was shaken and scared. I stared at Agnes, then at the closed door for a while. When Agnes didn’t move, I crept over to her and whispered, “Wake up, Agnes.”  She didn’t answer. Even though I had my warm gown on, I shivered from the cold. You must be cold too, I thought, as I took in the damp ground she lay on. I removed my pink dressing gown and covered her with it. Then, I ran back into the house and into my bedroom.

Too shaken to sleep after what I had witnessed, I lay in the dark and stared at the ceiling. If only Shabba was here to keep me company, I thought. I really needed someone to talk to. I picked up a book and using my book light, began to read. Then, I heard muted voices. It sounded like my brothers were around. I got out of bed and tiptoed to the window in the hallway. In the distance, I saw Jacob, Isaiah and my father standing over Agnes, who was still lying on the ground with my pink gown around her. They kept looking toward our house, probably wondering about the gown. When I saw the shovels in their hands, I knew something bad had happened to Agnes. As scared as I, I crept out of the house, hid behind a shrub and watched my fathers and brothers. Jacob and Isaiah grabbed a foot each of Agnes and dragged her to the back of the shooting range where no one went for fear of being shot.

Scared for Agnes, and scared that I would be seen, I turned and crept back into my house. About an hour later, my door creaked opened and in walked my father. I lay still and pretended to be asleep. He watched me for a while, before he turned and left to my relief.

SARIE

There was great concern when no one could find Agnes. They were confused – how could Agnes disappear just like that and without a trace?
For days, Katrina cried for her mother and no one could comfort her. I watched quietly, wondering if I should say anything to anyone. As young as I was, I had been taught that I must keep out of big people’s business. What happened with Agnes, my father and brothers that night, was family business. My mother – I could maybe talk to her about it, I remember thinking. Then, I changed my mind – she wasn’t someone I could talk to about anything, actually. She seemed in her own world most of the time and didn’t like to be bothered with anything.

“I think I know where Agnes’s body is buried,” I whispered to Shabba.

He jerked back to look at me. “What do you mean, body? Why do you say body? She dead or something?”
“Ja. I think so.”

“Did you kill her?”
“No, of course not, Shabba. Why would I do that?”

He stared at me as if he was seeing me for the first time.

“What?”
“Can I see her?”

I nodded, got to my feet and motioned for him to follow me. Together, we walked in silence toward the shooting range. I pointed at a ditch.

“There?”
I nodded. “I think so.”

The two of us stared sombrely at the mound of dirt.

“Don’t tell anyone,” I said.

“Why not?”
“Because, Shabba, it’s big people’s business and we mustn’t stick our nose where it doesn’t belong.”
“Who told you that?”
“Ma, she told me that.”
“Oh.”

“We should put flowers on the grave,” Shabba said. “We did that to my mother’s grave.”

So, we ran around picking daisies and dandelions to put on the grave. By the time we reached the grave, we had a bunch of daisies and the remnants of what used to be dandelions.

Katrina continued crying for her mother, but luckily Mama Tsela was there to give her hugs and whisper words of comfort. Katrina refused to sleep in Agnes’ room after that night; she slept with Fendi in her room, the two of them sharing one bed. When one of the servants wanted Agnes and Katrina’s space, Mama Tsela shook her head, and in a firm voice said, “Agnes will be back.”

I thought about shouting, No, she’s not! She’s dead, gone forever. But I was too afraid of what it might lead to.

A couple days later, Baba and Mama Tsela reported Agnes’s disappearance to the police. I waited for the police to show up, but they didn’t. That night, unable to keep my nose out of ‘big people’s business,’ I thought, to hell with it, I am going to tell my mother. So, at the dinner table, I said, “I know where Agnes is, ma.”
My mother took a sip of her vodka, looked at me and said, “She looks like Klara. Same nose, same eyes …” her lips twisted in distaste as she took in my features, one at a time.
I squirmed in my seat, uncomfortable with her critical assessment of me, which was often.
“Hate your husband’s sister and what does the Devil do? He gives you a daughter that looks just like her.” My mother’s voice was filled with woe. “To think I was Miss Boksburg. A beauty queen. Ha!”
My father glanced at me, then swirled the glass of red wine in his hand, before he took another sip.

Since they were ignoring me, I cut to the chase. “I know where her body is. I saw Agnes that night she went missing. I know where her body is.”

My father spluttered and coughed, spraying some of his red wine.

“Bloody bitch, acting like she’s better than me! ‘You do know he’s a married man, right?’” she said in what I assumed was my aunt’s chastising voice. “’You do realize he has children?’ Mind your own blerry business, Klara! Get yourself a man, then lecture -”

“She is buried in the ditch near the shooting range.”

That when all hell broke loose. My father crashed his fist onto the table, causing crockery and cutlery to become airborne. “You listen to me!” he snarled at me “Anything you see and hear in this house, you do not talk about it, you hear? It’s big people’s business and you do not talk about it. You HEAR?” His outburst was so unexpected, I cowered in my chair, terrified he’d beat me like he beat Agnes.

“Did you hear what I said?”

I nodded.

“Now get OUT of here!” he said. “Voetsak!

After a quick glance at my mother’s surprised face, I ran out of the dining room and into my room, where I huddled on my bed, waiting for the door to burst open and for my father to come after me.

About an hour later, I heard his car start and the skid of tires. That is when I relaxed.

With a glass of vodka in her hand, and the bottle in the other, my mother entered my room and narrowed her eyes at me. “Ja, what you see?”

“Ma?”

“Agnes? What you see? Ay?”

I told her all that I saw.

She listened without interrupting, took regular sips of her vodka, then turned and walked away.

The next day, Shabba and I ran over to Agnes’s grave with daisies in our hands and skidded to a halt when we saw my mother at the gravesite, eyeing the wilted flowers on the mound of Earth. When she saw me, she said nothing, she just turned and walked back to the house. I waited for her to question me about it, but she didn’t.

Days later, two white policemen turned up and questioned my mother and father about Agnes’ absence. My parents did not invite them in, so the police stood at the front door.

“When last have you seen her, Pastor Schoeman?” one of the policemen asked.

“Sarie!” my mother called, beckoning me toward her. “Hou jou bek,” she whispered, a warning look on her face. She pulled me in front of her, and stood behind me with her hand hovering near my mouth, ready to gag me should I open it. Now and then, her fingers dug into my shoulders as a warning for me to keep my mouth shut.
“Me?” My father looked up at the sky, then at the policeman. “About a couple weeks ago. I never saw her after that. Never really noticed her. I have so many servants, you know.”

“Sure, Pastor Schoeman. Of course!” They looked enquiringly at my mother.

She pointed at my father, and in a morose voice said, “Couple weeks ago. She does that – she goes away, then returns, no explanation … you know what these people are like.” As she spoke her hand surreptitiously clamped over my mouth.

She was lying, of course. Agnes had never disappeared before. Besides, she would never leave Katrina. Never! I felt like biting my mother’s hand for lying.

“Ja, who knows with these people,” my father continued. “They’re all the same – they get drunk, disappear for days, then come crawling back. Get drunk, disappear, come back home … on and on. In the meantime, we have to bother you good men who don’t have time for such trivial matters. My heart goes out to you hardworking men – working long hours, weekends, getting so little pay … No one ’preciates it, I tell you. No one!”

“Thank you, Pastor Schoeman,” the officer said. “It’s lekker to be ‘preciated. Thank you. Thank you.”

My father nodded. “You know what; I appreciate it. I appreciate you men, and I want to give you a gift to say thank you for your hard work. To show my appreciation. Please, come inside my humble home. Please!”

The policemen looked at each other, their eyes lighting up. They hastened to remove their police caps, wiped their feet several times on the mat outside the front door, then entered our house. I watched them hat in hand, look around our house in awe as they ambled into my father’s study. My father was such a famous man in South Africa, probably held in higher esteem than the president, because he was a man of God, remember? So, being invited into my father’s home office was akin to being invited into the Oval Office in the United States.

About half an hour later, the policemen stumbled out of my father’s study, flushed in the face, and with shiny eyes. Each carried a bottle of Cognac each and grinned from ear to ear.

“Anytime you need us, you just call, Pastor Schoeman. And I mean, anytime!”

Dankie, dankie! my father said with a wave. Now don’t forget, I appreciate you men and the fine work you are doing!”

End of Excerpt
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When Arena’s car is stolen with her toddler in it, she points at Tom, her abusive ex-husband. The police point at Bear, her cop boyfriend, who adores both her, and her children. Trouble is, Bear cannot be found. In fact, according to the police, Bear’s comrades, he does not exist!
Arena’s whole world begins to tilt. Who does she believe? Who does she trust?

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FRAGMENTS OF TEMPTATION – Girl on Fire Series by Eve Rabi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 11 in the Girl on Fire Series is now available on Amazon.

 

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EMBERS OF TEMPTATION by Eve Rabi (Book Release) Excerpt 2

Second Instalment Blog image 2 wordpress Wrath of Temptation 14 April 2018

SCARLETT
The question that plagues me – is Colin aware of Love the imposter’s real identity? (Well, other than where is my money, bitch?) Has Clover confessed to Colin that she has done a Lazarus and risen from the dead? If Clover has, then why hasn’t Colin approached me about it? Demanded his freedom? If Colin knows the truth, why duck and dive and keep the truth away from me? Surely he’d want to run off with his real wife and child and live as happily as Kanye and Kim? After all, this is the wife he’s spent days searching for, remember? Moping around like a pussy over her. Why is he still around? It’s not like he’s ill or something – earlier on he looked in peak shape when he was fucking my nemeses in the water. Tanned, fit and sexy – better looking that Shane the crooked cop for sure. Better looking than those Hemsworth brothers by far.
Considering the packed suitcases I found contained stuff for just Angel and Clover, considering that the documents I’ve discovered in Clover’s possession were mainly hers and Angel’s, I suspect that Colin may not know who Clover really is. In fact, as I stand in front of the window, taking swigs out of my quad-distilled, overpriced, imported vodka, I conclude that Colin has yet to discover the volunteer’s real identity.Being the gambler that I am, I’d say that Clover was probably getting around to the big reveal. Liz, with her man’s shoes, her plastic packet and her greedy self, popped up her balding head to dart a spoke Clover’s wheel of fortune, causing it to wobble. In time, I showed up and blew it to smithereens.
When I hear the chopper, I take a giant swig, then quickly put away the bottle of vodka. I rinse out my mouth with Listerine, pop a breath mint and prepare for battle. Will I be in combat with just the phoenix from the ashes, or will I be taking on both Colin and the phoenix?
Well, it’s best I prepare for my worst-case scenario, so I seek out my backup – a 9 mm. I stick it into a thigh holster. Bring it on.
From the window, I watch the helicopter hover, then slowly descend.
With folded arms, I watch Colin alight from the chopper, then help the slut out of it.
I tilt my head at the sight of Clover – it’s amazing how similar we now look. That bitch has been ’jacking my style quietly. Bit by bit, she’s been morphing into me, artfully blurring the lines in Colin’s muddled mind. Sneaky bitch. And that bikini she’s wearing – only a seductress would wear something so inappropriate. Sure, she’s wearing a beach robe, but you can still see most of her arse, half of her breasts through it. Maybe that’s why my man is holding onto her hand, despite the fact that he’s returning home to his FUCKING WIFE! With my eyes blazing and my mouth twisted in fury, I watch the cheats advance toward my house.
As if she remembers where she’s heading, that I might be watching, Clover snatches her hand out of Colin’s, her eyes darting nervously around. Hiding the affair from me, are you? Too late, I’m onto you and it’s game on!
With her head bowed, the slut walks fast, almost running ahead of Colin.
The walk of a person afraid. Terrified.
Good, be afraid. Be very afraid of your master and commander, the person you made the cardinal mistake of betraying.
As the conniving couple near the front door of my house, I prepare for battle – six deep breaths … exhale loudly. Three slow shoulder rolls, shake arms till loose, kick out legs to loosen up the muscles, exhale. I’m now ready for a punch-up of a lifetime. Watch how I handle myself. Watch carefully, for you are going to learn something here. Watch.

*****

THE OTHERS
As Clover approaches the house, her steps suddenly falter, her throat constricts, and her mouth becomes dry. This is not a house, this is a lion’s den. Above her the sky, now dark and ominous, concurs with a rumble of thunder. Colin catches up with her, and with his hand on her back, propels her forward. This time, she does not shrug him off. She needs his hand on her back. She needs him to have her back, because evil lurks ahead.
The front door is flung open with such force, both Colin and Clover cease walking.
Scarlett steps out of the house, stands on the patio and glares at the errant couple.Clover braces herself, while Colin stiffens.
“Sweetheart, what a lovely surprise!” Scarlett says, breaking into a smile and rushing up to throw her arms around Colin. “Sister Naomi and Brother Ezekiel told me how badly you wanted to surprise me with your recovery, and there I had to go and ruin it all by showing up unannounced. I wanted to spring a surprise visit on you guys and I … ruined it all.” She laughs and hugs Colin again. “My bad, my bad!”
Colin stands rigid in Scarlett’s embrace, arms dangling at his side, his eyes wide with surprise. Next to him, Clover sports a confused look.
As their shoulders slowly drop from around their ears, Clover and Colin look at each other behind Scarlett’s back. While he looks somewhat relieved, she doesn’t. Her eyes dart around for Angel. When she doesn’t see her, that feeling of dread that plagues her since Angel disappeared, once again pours into her stomach. Please let my baby be okay. Please! Please! Please!
“You look so well, I can’t believe it,” Scarlett gushes, touching Colin’s face, then stepping back and checking him out. “So tanned and fit …” She runs her hand slowly down his arms, then over his back and squeezes his butt. “Sexy, I have to say.” She laughs when he turns crimson.
Scarlett releases Colin and walks over to Clover. Clover holds her breath.
Taking Clover’s hand in both of hers, she says, “Dear Sister Love, you’ve done a … sterling job, bringing Pastor Colin to life. It’s nothing short of a miracle, a joy … a real joy.”
Clover flinches at the blast of peppermint in her face, at the choice of words (sterling, joy), and even more at her murderer’s touch.
“What you have done for Pastor Colin, Sister Love, is nothing short of a miracle. Comparable to… to … “she raises her arms to the sky, “resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. The Church of Light is ever so grateful to you. Ever since we’ve heard about Pastor Colin’s recuperation, the question on our minds are; How do we ever thank our wonderful Sister Love for doing such a … sterling job? She is such a … joy!
Clover glances at Colin. He turns out his palms, a see-I-told-you-there’s-nothing-to-worry-about look on his face.
Clover is in no way feeling reassured. Nothing the sadistic killer says or does will ever allay her anxiety, until she finds Angel and sees that she is safe. To Clover, all this is simply a strategy, a big game that the wicked woman is playing, and clearly, she is enjoying it.
“Come, let us go inside,” Scarlett says, holding firmly onto Clover’s hand.
Not knowing what to do, Clover follows Scarlett into the house, ahead of Colin.
Memories of the missing suitcases that were hidden in the back of the house, the sinister drawing on the whiteboard – the one with the child buried alive, flood her. Repulsed by evil personified, she involuntarily snatches back her hand.
Scarlett stares at her. Clover holds her gaze and the tension between the two Mrs. Callans is palpable.
Scarlett suddenly throws her arms around Clover again. Clover tenses – the last person you want to hug you is your murderer. Like scenes from the mafia movies – hug, kiss, kill.
“So happy to have you back,” Scarlett says in a spritely, voice. She follows this with a whispered warning, “Behave, if you want her back, understand? If you don’t want her to disappear. I’m not joking.”
Clover’s head lolls as her worst fears are confirmed. Awash with dread, she raises her head to look at the cold-blooded killer. Up close, her eyes glisten like diamonds, her lips are tightly fused and her nostrils flare. Clover literally feels the heat of her silent rage. Having no choice, Clover nods.
Pleased with the naked fear in Clover’s eyes, Scarlett smiles sweetly and continues her charade.

*****

SCARLETT
How did I do? Good? Of course!
Look, it isn’t easy for me to smile and feign pleasantness when I’m facing betrayal by multiple members of my household – my husband, the man I’ve given my all to – he could hoodwink me to such a degree? My staff, the trusted and loyal servants – they could have their loyalty so easily swayed by a Trojan horse-styled intruder? Then the intruder herself – a crafty, scheming manipulator who artfully stole my husband, my brat, my staff’s loyalty, my money – all my money stolen by the psychopath who is clearly after my life?
My perfect world, one that I’ve created with blood, sweat and vodka, has been rocked by a thug who needs to be strangled with a garrotte until she lies in a heap on the floor. Until a medical doctor declares her deceased. Then for added measure, I should burn her corpse. Douse it with flammable vodka, then throw a lit match on it. Watch the cremation with a bottle of overpriced champagne at hand (or two), while I wait for the fire to burn out, until all that remain are ash, charred bones and the stench of no-return. Have an AK-47 at hand in case a phoenix rises from the ashes – another added measure. Blast it to smithereens to ensure no comebacks.
Yes, that’s what needs to be done. However, I’m not doing that just yet. Why? Well, it’s all about strategy, because … the money; I have to think about the money. If I ranted and raved at the deceitful duo, hurled accusations like some cuckold wife, made threats, knifed them even, I would risk losing my money. Where would that leave me if I couldn’t get my money back? The money is of paramount importance and should be considered above all else. Therefore, a clear head is necessary. Along with an artful strategy, of course.
The situation calls for a game. Play the bitch at her own game and win. That is the most important things about games; you have to win. You must. Or, what’s the purpose of playing in the first place? Luckily, I am brilliant at games, and … I like to win. In fact, finishing second is not an option, never was. Winning is. Winning in my books is everything.
So far, I am winning. Think about it – I have the betrayers in my clutches, Colin is charmed and Angel is back in my care and out of sight, and Clover is cowering in terror like the coward she is. Now, all I have to do is implement the next step.
Impressed? Well, you ought to be. Hold your applause, though. For now.

*****

THE OTHERS
Colin looks around. “Where’s baby?”
Scarlett lets go of Clover and turns to look at Colin. “Oh, she’s gone into town with Sister Naomi, Brother Ezekiel and a few other congregation members, darling. She was so excited to see all the kids, she badgered me to allow her to go with.”
Colin frowns. “Badgered you?”
Scarlett nods. “I think she misses having kids around, Colin. Besides, I thought it would be nice to give Sister Love some time to herself.” Scarlett smiles sweetly at Clover again. “God knows she’s earned it.”
Colin concurs with a nod.
“I’m thinking, Sister Love could take the car, go visit her husband and darling children for a few days if she likes, catch up with them …” As she talks, Scarlett walks back to Colin and takes his arm. “You come with me, darling, we’ve got some … some … catching up to do.” She winks at him. Then, leaving Clover staring after them, she leads him into their bedroom and shuts the door.
Clover remains where she is. She doesn’t care about Scarlett’s lascivious wink, she doesn’t care about them being alone in the bedroom – all she cares about is her baby. Where in town is Angel?
The moment, they are out of sight, Clover hurries over to the key rack and picks out the keys to an SUV. It’s a small town, she knows that she will eventually find Angel. Then she will run. Just get into the SUV with Angel and drive. She will only stop until she reaches her safe haven in Sydney.
Suddenly, she feels a sharp sting on the back of her neck. She swings around to look into Shane’s face. In his hand is a needle and syringe.
“Going somewhere, sexy?”
Clover rubs her neck. “Did you just –?”
“I sure did, sexy.”
Shane suddenly starts to tilt and everything goes black.
End of second excerpt. More coming soon!

Release date: Coming soon!

Follow this blog to avoid missing out on the next excerpt. You want to keep up with Scarlett’s underhandedness, believe me!

This is one of the books in the Girl on Fire Series. Read The Other Woman (an epic and jaw-dropping collision between a betrayed wife and a cunning seductress),  which is available on #KindleUnlimited, Please read before you read this book. 
Fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, The Affair,  will love Eve Rabi’s tale of love, lust and revenge.
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EMBERS OF TEMPTATION by Eve Rabi (Book Release)

EMBERS OF TEMPTATION  (Excerpt One) 

 

Blog image 1 wordpress Wrath of Temptation 09 Jan 18

SCARLETT 

Pumping with adrenaline, I look out of the window, my ears cocked for the sound of the chopper. Where are you? Liars, cheats – where the hell are you? Better hurry, I don’t have all day.
Nearby, three technicians quietly comb my home for bugs. “It’s an emergency, the Church of Light is in grave danger!” I declared when I called them. “Pastor Colin needs your help.” The suckers dropped everything and rushed to protect their church and their pastor.
I figured, first things first – before I deliver any kind of retribution, I need to rid the place of all surveillance equipment installed by that psychopath called Clover. Or Love. Or Whatever the fuck she’s calling herself these days. Before more damage is done.
Joy Sterling indeed – I can hardly believe how dumb Sister Grace was for not checking this so-called volunteer out thoroughly. By not doing her job, she has allowed Clover to believe that she can take me on. Me, Scarlett Smyth-Murdoch-Callan, manipulator and criminal extraordinaire, probably one of the finest Svengalis to tread the Earth. She has no idea who she’s dealing with. How dangerous I am. That she is tangling with someone with an IQ higher than that of Einstein.

Such a fraud, pretending to be so helpful and supportive and reliable – coming up with the sparkling pacifier, the convenient playground – God, I feel like screaming right now!
Before you call me dumb (someone like me could be duped by an  unremarkable, unimpressionable, thrift-shopper in long skirts, vintage cardigans and sensible shoes), just remember that I have an empire to run, so I was distracted. It happens, okay? Distraction is an occupational hazard for moguls like me, so don’t even think of berating me. And … just keep in mind how quickly I derailed her locomotive of deceit.
Clover’s biggest mistake was thinking she could take me on. Her second biggest mistake is that she forgot about that greedy hillbilly named Liz. That beanpole who also, God knows why, thought that she could take on someone like me. “Give me ten thousand dollars today and two hundred thousand dollars in three days.” Yeah?

“Fetch me cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.”

Really? Bitch, I am the director of the Church of Light, not a volunteer. And FYI, never in my whole life had I ever fetched anything for anyone.

Well, I hope she enjoyed that steak sandwich and that cup of hot chocolate, her last feast before she was deposited where she belongs – three feet under (six is not necessary). May the maggots enjoy feasting on her wiry body.

Bristling with fury, I look at the three wise men, roaming the place with their selfie sticks. Or detectors – they look like selfie sticks to me. My ears are cocked and ready for that, Found one! For that, beep! beep! beep! followed by ‘gotcha!’
More than an hour passes, and not a squeak from the men. Absentmindedly, I inspect my nails – I’ve ruined a good manicure by constantly tapping of my fingernails on the table.
As I wait, I think about Townsend, the sleaze bag. Thanks to Shane, he will soon be accompanying Liz. No one will come calling for Townsend – he’s a mere unemployed British actor working illegally in Australia, and doesn’t have any family around who will miss the creep in ridiculous red briefs. The nerve of him thinking I’d fall into bed with him. The nerve of him demanding a Maserati. The nerve of him thinking he could blackmail me. That’s always been the problem in my life – everyone around wants a piece of me. Love, Liz, Townsend, Shane – yes, even Shane the cokehead is expecting a piece of the pie I so lovingly and so painstakingly baked. Why? I’ll tell you why they demand a piece of me – it’s because I’m a woman. A powerful woman at that. If were a man, not even an authoritative one, even if I were a Weasel like Woody Allen, everyone would laud me, not blackmail me. They would expect nothing from me and be too scared to even think of asking. You think people can go up to Donald Trump and shake him down? Picture it – Trump, can you fetch me a steak sandwich? Trump, go fetch me a hot chocolate with marshmallows. Trump, buy me a Maserati.
Can you picture the look on Donald’s face? He’d stare at them with puckered lips, before he makes a call – not to 911, not to the Secret Service, not to the FBI, not even to Ivanka – no, he’d place a call to the Russians. That’s right – they’d be there in fifteen seconds to douse the person in mob-strength, flammable Vodka, light a match and throw it on them – Nostrovia! (now you know why mobsters light their cigarettes with matches. You can’t throw a lit cigarette lighter at a body, can you?).
“Sister Callan?”
I spin around to look at the men. “Yes?”
“All done,” the head of the bug-finding team says. “Nothing to report.”
“What? That can’t be right!”
The man shakes his head, his comb-over causing a breeze in the process. “Not a single one.” He waves the selfie stick like a flag.
“Are you sure? There must be surveillance devices.”
“Nah. We’ve combed the place for them. Nothing. Checked, doubled checked – nothing. Not even one of those cheap nanny cams.”
“And you’re certain of that?”
“Positive. We would have caught them by now. The place is clean.”
“Mm.”
“Luckily for everyone, right?”
No, not luckily. If there aren’t any camera’s around, just how did the bitch gain access to my computer files and my money? She’s gained access to just about everything and everywhere in the house, except the basement. It’s startling to think of the damage she’s done without the use of old fashion surveillance cameras.
“Ah, well, okay then.”
The men stare at me.
What? Surely, they’re not expecting to get paid? It’s the friggin’ church, for crying out loud! Have some goddamn respect!
“The Church of Light thanks you,” I say in a dismissive voice, before I turn away from them.
The men look at each other, shrug, before they slowly shuffle out of the house.
The moment they leave, I log onto my laptop, and holding my breath, I double-check my off-shore bank account. Maybe, just maybe, the money is still there. Please, please, please, let my money be there!
As I look at the screen, a feeling of utter devastation follows – the money, the one I’ve worked so hard for, has definitely vanished. My heart shatters and the pain is physical. Clover … I’m going to slice her up if I don’t get my money back. She has it. There’s no way someone can spend sixteen million dollars in such a short space of time. My guess is that she’s stashed it somewhere. In another bank account in Switzerland. (When did she get to Switzerland? How did I not notice her absence?) If she does not want to die a painful, prolonged death, she will return my money.
With my ear cocked and listening out for the sound of the chopper, I walk over to the bar, fetch a bottle of vodka (which is the only fetching I do, by the way), and take a couple of swigs from it.
What? Like you don’t drink from the bottle?

*****

CLOVER

In the chopper, Clover shifts about in her seat. Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up! Questions zip through her mind:
What’s happening to Angel?
What will happen to her and Colin?
Will the evil witch shoot them on sight? Has she already shot Angel? Buried her …
At the thought of her baby being hurt, at the recollection of the drawing of the child on the fridge, the cold hand of dread squeezes her heart. Please God …
Colin reaches over and slowly removes her hands from her head. She looks at him, unaware that she was holding her head. He nods – Relax, it’s going to be okay.
Clover squeezes her eyes shut, before she opens it again and looks out the window. She whiles away the time tallying her deceptions: among others … the secret DNA test of Colin and Angel, the hidden suitcases, Colin’s secret recovery, stealing Joy’s identity to worm her way into the church and hiding her real identity, stealing back Colin’s love and affections, and the grand prize – stealing millions of dollars from the wicked witch of darkness. People who steal that kind of money usually goes to prison or ends up having their throats slit. There are more crimes that she committed, too many to name, that make her believe she should run, that she should never have boarded the chopper. If it wasn’t for her baby in the clutches of that psychopath, she would never return to the Church of Light. No, she’d run and hide, leave Colin and bolt for her life.
At the sight of the church, her anxiety soars.

*****

Release date: Coming soon!

More excerpts to follow soon! Follow this blog to avoid missing out. You want to keep up with Scarlett’s underhandedness, believe me!

This is one of the books in the Girl on Fire Series. Read The Other Woman (an epic and jaw-dropping collision between a betrayed wife and a cunning seductress),  which is available on #KindleUnlimited, Please read before you read this book. 
Fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, The Affair,  will love Eve Rabi’s tale of love, lust and revenge.
#RomanticCrime #RomanticSuspense #StoriesofRevenge #VigilanteJustice #FreeonKindleUnlimited #LoveTriangles#TheOtherWoman

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WRATH OF TEMPTATION – Hell Hath No Fury …

The Wrath of Temptation – Hell Hath No Fury …(Book Teaser)

Blog image 1 wordpress Wrath of Temptation 09 Jan 18(For more information about this book, click on image)

Alkwari rides her bicycle along a dirt road leading to her home in the bush. Wari, as they called her for short, wears a long kaftan, tattered leather sandals, beads around her neck, and a number of bracelets on her wrists. Her face is the colour of honey from a mixture of white Australian and Aborigine blood, and is dotted with white.
Sweat pours down her face as she pedals the long trip home from the town centre, something she undertakes every couple of months. Normally it’s not that hard a trip, but today she, is weighed down by the satchel of newspapers she carries on her back.

Wari was born in the bush, miles from nowhere, and has spent all her life in the bush. The hermit has no idea how old she is, and it doesn’t matter to her. The remoteness means that she has to fend for herself and live off the land. That’s not a problem for Wari, as she lives off dead animals mainly. She is adept at trapping animals, killing them, skinning them and using their carcasses for food. The rest of the animal is used to make medicine. Other hermits living in the bush sometimes travel to her for medicine, bringing food to barter with.

Wari arrives at her home, a shack made of corrugated iron and wood, and locks her bicycle with a chain and padlock to a tree. Her bicycle is her only luxury, her only means of getting into town, and she cannot afford to have it stolen by scroungers.

Clutching the satchel of newspapers, she draws aside a curtain made of discarded plastic sheeting and enters the dimly lit room. The room is bare, except for a mattress and the bottles of medicine made by Wari, which line the edge of the room.

A man dressed in just a pair of boxers lies on the floor. Extremely thin with a heavily scarred face and body, he jumps to sit up at the sight of her. “Did you get them? Did you?”

Wari nods, then throws her satchel at him.

He catches it, hurriedly opens it and scans the newspapers, his eyes bright and shiny with excitement.

The man is Lieb Sault. Once a patient of hers, he now is someone who shares her bed. It was more than two years ago when she found him lying on her doorstep. At first, she thought he was an animal that had been mauled by another. He was covered in blood and dirt, and barely alive. When she realized it was a wounded man, she took him in and began healing him with her homemade medicine. He had lost a lot of blood from the chest wound. She had plugged his wound with special herbs and given him medicine for the pain.

For the first three months, she’d enter the room and look to see if his chest was still rising and falling. Each time she saw that it was, she was amazed. It was a miracle the man with the deathly pale skin was still alive.
Over time, he had begun to move. When he opened his eyes, she saw that they were grey-blue. Once he sat up in bed, she knew he was going to be okay. Shortly after that, Wari began to share Lieb’s bed.

Being in the middle of nowhere suited Lieb. He needed time to heal and recover. He also needed the dust he had raised by helping Scarlett escape, to settle, before he could even think of returning to his former life.

He had no idea when, how or where, but he knew that one day, Scarlett would return to prison and he lived for that day. That would be the day he would be at the prison waiting for her, to look the woman who betrayed him in the eye. The woman who made him give up everything for her – his kids, his wife, his home, his job, his life – everything, only to deceive him in the end, then murder him. He would return, and make her days a living hell.

Every time he scanned the newspapers, he looked for news of his prisoner. (Yes, she was his prisoner and she would always be his personal prisoner.) He lived for that day when he reads that she has been, arrested and thrown back in prison.

That’s why it was important for him to read the papers. Whenever Wari went into town, Lieb would ask her to bring him back newspapers. Why he was so interested in the news, Wari had no idea. She had always got him paper though. Even though the newspapers were old, they made Lieb happy. Wari wanted to make him happy so that he’d stay. She had no idea who he was, what his name was or what had injured him, and she didn’t care. She just wanted him to stay with her.

Lieb holds his breath as he reads. Has she been caught as yet?

According to the newspapers: no.

Lieb nods to himself. Still out there, living your life, are you? Well, enjoy it while you can.

Disappointed, he walks out of room and into the harsh sunlight of a sun-baked land. After blinking to adjust to the bright light, he walks over to a pile of rocks, picks the two large ones from the pile and lifts them above his head several times. As he exercises, he thinks of his obsession. Revenge will be sweet. He will see to it. She thought he had died, but she was wrong. Lieb Sault will be back. Assault will be back.

He drops the two rocks, picks up two heavier ones, and lifts them above his head. Over and over again he lifts them until his muscles burn.
When he is done, he pulls open his pants and looks at his penis. It is hard as the rock he has lifted. Just thinking about Scarlett, could make him rock-hard. That made him happy, it made him feel virile and young again. He hated how old he felt when he couldn’t get an erection. Now, thanks to Wari’s medicine, his penis now works. Every day he drinks her vile potions for potency. What is in them, he has no idea and he doesn’t really care – as long as they work, he’ll drink them by the gallon.

He removes all his clothes and allows the sun to scorch him. He would need to lose the paleness and acquire a tan. She liked her man tanned. Despite the burning sensation, he stays in the sun, forcing his face up to the skies. She would be impressed at how bronze he was, find it sexy and become turned on. The thought of her being turned on with his improved physique is exhilarating.

He looks out into the expanse and takes a deep breath. Some men kidnap women and hold them prisoners in their basements for years, to do whatever they want to do to them. He would do the same. Except that he would do it legally – he’d have his personal prisoner shackled and chained in a hole in prison, to torment and abuse at the drop of a hat, and he would take great pleasure in doing that to her. The best part of it all? It was legal, and he would never have to worry about going to prison for kidnapping and torture.

He couldn’t wait for that day – the day when he goes back to his job as prison chief warden and once again, become revered and pandered to.

In preparation for the day he leaves this God-forsaken place, he’s evaporated some of the jars of medicine in the sun, creating a fine powder, which he has packed into plastic bags. It would be easier to carry bags of powder when he leaves, rather than jars of liquid. He has to take the powder with him, for the type of punishment he has planned for Scarlett, his penis would need to work on demand.

He looks down and nods at this erect penis. “Soon. It will be worth the wait. She will be worth the wait. Trust me.”

End of Excerpt. 

Release date: 16 January 2018

………………..

The Other Woman (an epic and jaw-dropping collision between a betrayed wife and a cunning seductress), which has an overall 5-star rating on Amazon U.K. and Amazon Aus. Fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love Eve Rabi’s tales of love, lust and revenge. To read The Other Woman, click on the image below.

#RomanticCrimeBooks #RomanticSuspenseBooks #StoriesofRevenge #VigilanteJustice #RomanceNovels

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