Discussion in 'Book Talk' started by swooperman, Aug 17, 2011.
Pack of wolves is what you would normally read. I might be wrong but think that's why Swoops has chosen to change it around in the first place. Dunno.
Picked out 1 sentence ,The body language and tears told the story that needed no words.
in concern Dont think you need to explain why shes biting her lip
would be to not explain so much why the guy/hero does even simple things,Swoopermam.Example, Sleep on my bed if you want,its the most comfy and youll be close to my kids. He nodded,knowing it made sense.
Fuck knows Keem. You're probably right. I'm not an author.
Shouldn't that be "pass the brains in the family on to you"?
I tell you what, there's a writing forum i go on that I posted it up on & they're nowhere near as picky as you lot, & they know what they're talking about
anyone on that forum post any football tips there ?
if anyone did I bet they'd be "picky"
never thought I'd miss RC
Luis Enrique Tomas Fernandez had endured a random recent existence. He sat at the same café table that he had occupied the previous ten days and sipped his coffee thoughtfully, turning another page. The novel in front of him was ‘Plateforme’ by Michel Houellebecq, which he had been recommended to read by a young student girl by the name of Anna, whom he had met in the very same café.
The waitress paused as she walked past his table, saying nothing but smiling and raising her eyebrows with the coffee jug poised in mid-air. “Oui” he said quietly, smiling and nodding his thanks as she refilled his cup. He smiled again as she blushed and hurried away, briefly watching the wiggle of her bum as she walked back behind the counter.
He returned to the book, feeling a little disloyal and foolish from the encounter, though happy that he still had the power to make a girl blush. The loyalty part came from the fact that he owed Anna almost everything since his rapid fall from grace upon arrival in Paris. He had driven his Volvo FH16 truck on his normal trip from Murcia to the French capital with a trailer of fruit and vegetables, destined for the Rue Cler market. It was a trip that would normally be completed in a days driving, but after making good time through Valencia and Barcelona, an overturned lorry on the AP-7 in the La Jonquera pass had meant an overnight stop near Toulouse. The delay had cost Luis both his livelihood and his trip back home, though he wasn’t to know that until he entered Paris.
He had still been in a sombre mood as he approached his destination, after being only three vehicles behind the crash and watching his fellow driver die from his injuries. He had noticed the suits as he had pulled into the unloading yard and awaited his turn, knowing someone was in trouble but not realising that it might be him. He had reversed his trailer into the unloading bay, dropping the legs and uncoupling the fifth wheel and the hydraulics before they had approached him. He had thought something was happening when the yard workers hadn’t reacted in their customary way to the sight of his truck, ‘Espana Cani.’ Normally they would greet him with cheers and laughter as the unit was named after the M3 halftrack that was the first allied armoured vehicle to enter the city in the liberation of Paris in 1944. It had been part of the 9th Company of the 2nd Armoured Division that featured many exiled Spaniards who had fought with the Republicans against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. There were many stories and exaggerations from those days, but Parisians were well aware that the first Allied soldiers to liberate their city were Spaniards fighting under French flags.
As he walked back to his cab, two suits and a Gendarme approached him, asking if he spoke French. ‘A little’ he replied, though he was more fluent than that, if unable to speak like a native. They explained that they had received word that his employer had ceased trading overnight, and from that morning all of its vehicles on French soil were being seized and held as money was owed to French companies. He listened impassively, saying nothing, reflecting that without the crash he would have been on the road returning to Murcia first thing that morning with his new trailer attached. At least once back on Spanish road he would have made it back home. He asked what he was supposed to do now, and they said that they were sorry. He told them that he only had around forty five Euros in his pocket, his passport and his overnight bag with two changes of clothes, and again they said that they were sorry. As far as he was concerned, sorry wasn’t helping him much he explained, and they said nothing. He sighed and started to climb back into the cab, causing the Gendarme to step forward. I only want my bag, Luis explained. Key first, replied the jobsworth in a uniform. As a younger man, Luis knew, his bed for the following night would have been reserved there and then, but he handed over the key and retrieved his belongings. He sat for a while with the yard workers who bought him coffee and breakfast, and after a whip round on the quiet, presented him with sixty Euros. He was grateful but knew the situation he was in, in a foreign country with little money and no contacts. His mobile phone had been the companies as well, and having left it in its hands free-cradle on the dashboard, that was where it stayed. He hung around in the yard for a couple of hours in the hope of finding another Spanish driver heading down the east coast, but hated the idea of relying on another mans charity. He took the telephone number of the yard café and the name of the foreman who said he would help if he could. They agreed that he would look for somewhere to stay and ring in the morning, hoping a driver had arrived that could help.
He followed the directions he had been given into Paris proper, having only a vague idea of where he was going, the Latin Quarter seeming the obvious place. After three hours walking he was within sight of the Notre Dame Cathedral, even with all his troubles he could admire its beauty, before he crossed the Seine over the Pont saint-Michel.
The Latin Quarter rose around and above him, the liveliness of the people and the vibrancy of the culture filling him with a strange excitement despite himself. He told himself that he had nothing to fear. He had travelled the world in the service of his King and country, and this was just a mere blip in his life story.
Luis had enlisted in the Spanish Army on his eighteenth birthday in April 1993. His father was a fisherman who had never returned from a trip when he was just six, and his mother was an occasional prostitute who had taken the trade more seriously following her boyfriends disappearance. He had run away from home aged fourteen, living with a gang and surviving as a petty thief on the streets of Barcelona. A dispute over ‘ownership’ of a female hanger-on had ended in a knife fight, and Luis had killed for the first time. In a moment of clarity one night, laying on a camp bed in an improvised lean to under a motorway bridge, he had seen where he was headed and he didn’t like it. He counted down the days until he was of age and enlisted the same day.
He served in the 1st Parachute Infantry Bandera "Roger de Flor" and was promoted to Cabo Primero by the time he was twenty. Then, in an incident that bordered halfway between lunatic and heroic, he became involved in a drunken fight between four of his own unit and seven off duty US Marines in Malaga. At first he had tried to calm the squabble down, which had started when one soldier from each side had been trying to get off with the same barmaid. An age old problem that was as old as time itself. The problem being that the girl enjoyed the attention and led both men on. It became a testosterone contest that escalated to nuclear status when the American tried to upstage his counterparts playful arse-pinch, that was good naturedly laughed off, by sliding his hand up her skirt and actually groping her. The scream and slap that resulted was something straight out of the wild west itself, and could not be mistaken for anything other than it was, a national call to arms. Luis started by trying to tear his men apart from the Americans, but realising that this meant it was four versus seven with him in the middle, and with an American rabbit punch making his decision for him, he evened up the odds.
The commanding officer of the Marines who investigated the altercation the next day, after the ship they were deployed on had left the harbour and he had discovered several of his men in less than combat readiness, was disgusted at the story he was told. When a sergeant that was present but had held other men back from joining in, had explained what had happened, the officer retired to think about what to do. The sergeant had said that he coincidentally could not identify the man who had started the fight with the sexual assault, but the senior Spaniard that was present was a corporal who had initially tried to separate the two sides. Upon receiving an unseen punch to the back of the head whilst pushing his men back, the corporal reportedly turned slowly to face the Americans, his nostrils visibly flaring. The room went strangely quiet as he looked at his aggressors one by one, saying the words ‘Legionarios a luchar. Legionarios a morir’ before tearing into them at full throttle. The other four Spaniards had joined in amidst cries of ‘Oorah’ from the watching Americans, whom the Sergeant held back from the fight, explaining to the investigating officer ‘If seven Marines can’t beat five Spaniards then what are we doing, Sir!’
When the Spanish Police arrived in numbers, the Marines started beating a retreat, dragging their wounded with them. The sergeant himself had successfully shouted down one officer who had insisted on arresting his injured men, and the police had shifted their attention to the corporal who had ushered his men out and had attempted to be the last one to leave the scene.
After the officer had dismissed the sergeant, the man had stayed where he was. Knowing the man for a period of time, the officer was interested and raised his eyebrows. ‘Yes, Sergeant, is there anything else?’
‘Well Sir, that corporal fought about the best against the odds fight I’ve ever seen, and I believe it would be a shame for him to be stripped of his rank or dismissed because of it. He could have been a Marine, Sir.’
The officer was laid back for an American, and was easily bored with the normal over dramatic hyperbole that went with the job. He knew the Sergeant was a man of few words, however, and was even more mystified when the man informed that the motto spoken wasn’t a normal army one. It was that of the Spanish Legion.
Luis had received one visit from an army officer the next day, who had informed him that it was likely he would be sentenced to an army prison, and after that he would be dismissed. He had refused to show his feelings in public but inside he was reeling and in shock, knowing he had thrown away the only thing in his life he had really cared for. That evening he was visited by another officer, a Capitan Gonzales. He explained that he was from the Spanish Legion, and it had been brought to his attention, together with his Commandant’s, that he had used the Legion’s motto in an outnumbered fight with a group of US Marines. Luis confirmed that he had, and when asked why, had replied that he felt the Legions code and beliefs matched his own, and joining them had been his ambition. Gonzales had looked at him briefly whilst he made up his mind. Eventually he told him that ‘the americans have, as they would say, gone into bat for you’, then led him past the incredulous policemen and out to a waiting car. Luis liked to refer to it as his ‘A Team’ moment.
At the age of just twenty, he joined the 3rd Legion Tercio "Don Juan de Austria", based in Viator, becoming a member of the 7th Bandera "Valenzuela". He progressed superbly through all elements of the training and then volunteered for the Legion Special Operations Unit or BOEL, Bandera de operaciones especiales de la legion. There he was trained in all aspects of warfare, maritime, arctic and mountain, HALO, sniping, counter terrorism, the works, with much of the training taking place at Fort Bragg.
Luis served wherever the Legion sent him, in the darkest, most violent corners of the earth for both Spain, NATO and whoever the powers that be decided were worthy of their help. Then in 2002 the BOEL was removed from the Legion and renamed Grupo de Operaciones Especiales "Maderal Oleaga" XIX, and was based in Alicante. He disliked the idea of being removed from the Legion and recognised it as being the time to think about moving on. When a girl that he had been seeing in Alicante since shortly after the unit was stationed there, decided the relationship was going nowhere. He decided enough was indeed enough. In 2004 he became a civilian once again.
With no family and nowhere to go, he fell into personal protection, or body guarding, through Legion contacts. For three years he shepherded the rich and powerful around Spain and the globe, protecting them from undeserved and, in some cases, very deserved harm. Until in 2007, through no fault of his own, a colleague fell asleep on a protection duty and a client was taken at gunpoint. Luis was fired and carried the stigma with him like a plague. He was untouchable. He took his HGV licence and began transporting goods around Europe. The pay was enough for just him, and despite the occasional fling, he enjoyed the unsociable hours and the solitude. Indeed, if his post didn’t keep disappearing from his box, the neighbours would assume his two bedroomed flat in Murcia was empty.
Luis had walked into a pavement café on a side street and ordered coffee, seating himself in a corner table at the back of the awning, in front of the main window. He looked at the clock hanging on the wall, nearly seven in the evening and he had no idea where he was going to stay the night. He was sure that he could find somewhere but he wasn’t optimistic on finding anywhere that a hundred Euros would get him further than three or four days, certainly not including food. His vague hope was finding somebody Spanish that could at least point him in the right direction. He pulled out of his bag two books, Atomised by Michel Houllebecq and 2666 by Roberto Bolano. He always tended to carry two books, his reading choice depending on his mood, and although he considered both authors relatively difficult to read at times, he reflected that time was not something he was short of