Snips and Character Faces

Today is snip day!

I’ll break up the text with some photos of the characters involved.

Summer Fire
Ayşe Meral had been in Istanbul for two weeks and hadn’t had a single moment to herself since the day she’d landed. ... Family members, touristy sites, endless meals. She wasn’t ungrateful, but on the long flight out from Montreal she’d developed a secret hope that something – no, someone – exciting would come along. Now, with little more than a week of her trip left to go, and her grandmother on the phone every day rounding up more of the clan, Ayşe had resigned herself to an interesting, but in the end unromantic, holiday. ...

All the running around, obliging her relatives, wasn’t that far off her part-time work at the hospital. When she started her residency on her return to Montreal, she’d have all kinds of experience in being polite, anticipating people’s needs, and rushing from one hot spot to another. Maybe.

Pushing aside the nervousness that came with every reminder that she’d finished school and was about to, at the end of the summer, finally embark on her career as a surgeon, Ayşe focused on seeking out her uncle in the crowded restaurant. ... She wove past chairs of raucous lunchtime patrons, and nearly collided with two men heading in the same direction.

Her uncle joined them, and the next few minutes were a confusion of apologies and introductions. An older man and a young son. An attractive young son. She’d thought emerald eyes were the stuff of romance, but here they were, gazing at her with an eager interest, sparkling in a way that dimmed everything and everyone else in the vicinity.

These two photos are screenshots taken from advertising -- I always feel badly for these models who, half the time, never get their names mentioned in an ad. Neither do the photographers. Such a shame! (Originally shared in one of my character faces posts.)



Little Upon the Earth, but Exceeding Wise
Proverbs 30:24–26: There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:
... The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks
Summer 1493, on the Aegean Sea
Rosa discovered the body in the stern cabin.

At first she thought the captain was lying on the boards. Perhaps he’d dropped something and was fishing under the divan. His bare feet and absurdly thin ankles stuck out of his hems like the stalks of brown sea reeds.

Her husband Baha, coming up behind her, was detained at the door by the cook, asking a question about that morning’s meal. She took two steps in, and saw the blood pooling on the side of the captain's face. The still oozing wound had matted his hair above his glassy, open eyes. A white rabbit sat at his head, sniffing.

She screamed.

Baha’s strong arm came around her waist. His hand covered her eyes, and he led her out of the cabin to the port rail. “Alert the Grand Vizier’s son,” he ordered the cook as they passed. Devran Bey, the eldest son of the Sultan's Grand Vizier, was the authority on board the ship.

She leaned over, heaving, and the morning mist off the water cooled her cheeks. Her breaths slowed, and she was able to rise.
Brother Arcturus and her father had joined them.

“What’s happened?” Santiago asked, dividing a glance between her and the sailors huddled around the stern. All hands had gathered on deck, over twenty men.

“The captain has been murdered.” Devran Bey’s voice rang out from the doorway. The sleeves of his red caftan bellowed in the breeze as he stood, hands at his hips, and glared at them all. “I shall conduct an investigation into the matter at once.”

She caught sight of her maid, Ayten, peeking out from the hatchway, and beckoned her forward. They were the only women on board.

This story is from as far back as 2011, and yes, there’s a reason for the bunny.

Some of these photos were originally shared in another character faces post, which also linked to some of the images that I toyed with when trying to remove the anachronisms from these photos -- not least the fact that Baha is not a smoker!



Brother Arcturus
This is Anthony Van Dyck's portrait of the sculptor Duquesnoy from 1627-1629
Needless to say, Arcturus is not in the habit of walking around with a memento mori in his hands, even if he might carry one in his heart

The original explanation for the choice of Mike Wolfe is here



The Tattoo
The first couple of years after the Disaster, we all slept around with each other. We’d been three young girls and three young guys on a bus, when the nearest explosion struck. There were also two older men, including the driver, and they liked to hear the details of our relationships, but they never got involved. They joked that they hadn’t survived a nuclear Disaster just to keel over from a heart attack. Which was funny, but also kinda sad, because they worked as hard at survival as the rest of us during the day, and all that work could give them a heart attack just as easily.

There was also a little kid, Sami, but we did our best to hide our affairs from him.

By the third year, some of the fear and adrenaline and giddiness of survival had wound down, and we’d paired off into couples and didn’t swap anymore. Then the other two couples got pregnant and we were out on the road by then, and everyone was busy trying to stock up on supplies for the babies and run through contingency plans for their births, all while we argued about whether to return to town by the roads on our itinerary, or take the shortest route possible.

Sami had always come to Michel or I when he woke from a particularly bad nightmare, and by the time of the journey, Michel and I were together, and had nominally become Sami’s parents. We weren’t expecting any children of our own, though. We hadn’t yet slept together.

I haven’t got images for Marie-Anne and Michel yet.

I was going to share an image of one of the tattoos, but in searching for an appropriate image, I’ve just learned that there’s apparently a rather sinister background to this specific tattoo. I think I’m going to have to add a disclaimer to the story.

The Charm of Time
Christianne jumped out as soon as the tow truck had pulled up before the arched entrance of the garage. She didn’t wait to see which bay the driver pulled her useless, unreliable car into, but headed straight for the side door marked Office.

The sign on the frosted glass indicated the place would be closing in ten minutes. The streets were deserted. She was the only fool still out in Geneva’s old town at close to ten at night on a Wednesday, two weeks before the Christmas holidays.

A tiny box of a lobby led almost directly onto a wide staircase. There was just space for a spindle-legged table holding a bowl of business cards, and an umbrella stand perched on the bottom step, above black and white tiles gleaming under a strong ceiling light – not fluorescent lighting.

The place looked more like her oncologist’s than a mechanic’s entrance.

Both were equally unpleasant places at this hour. Of all the nights for her to be stranded by the side of the road, the end of an exhausting day of tests and scans was the hardest to deal with. And there were still the days of waiting to come, before she found out the results.

She could barely endure the constant threat of recurrence, but the thought of having to go through days of waiting and worry every few months, for the next five years of her life – and that if she was lucky – was insupportable.

“There is no luck,” she muttered, and trudged up the steps. “I’ll make my own way.”

At the top, she squared her shoulders and pushed into the office, perhaps more forcefully than she’d intended. The frosted glass rattled in its frame as the door swung shut behind her.

# # #
Here was something new.

Rory looked up from where he was unpacking his takeaway Thai and studied the new arrival. He hadn’t had a client this late in over a month, since the manager of a local junior hockey club had had his car break down the day before the start of a cross-country tournament. He stayed open after the usual business hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays because he couldn’t very well go to the gym every night, and being the only garage available brought in enough additional income to make it worth his while. Nothing on at home, in any case, since the divorce. Not for over a year now, especially after the twins had left for their work study in Australia. He might as well eat his takeaway here as plonked on his sofa in front of the TV.

And the clients were marginally more interesting.

He stopped crinkling the plastic bag, still clutching a clump of chili sauce packets, and pretended to frown down at his phone as he studied the newcomer from under lowered lids. Tall – she was nearly half a foot taller than his wee receptionist Melisande – and about his age. Though as he neared 40, everyone had begun to look the same damn age, except for kids and socialites – like his ex – stretched taut by face lifts. Anyone younger than 30 seemed like a kid nowadays. When had he gotten so middle-aged?
This woman didn’t look as dowdy as he felt. Her shoulders sagged as she leaned over to fill out the form Melisande handed over, and her hair had that end-of-day draggliness, but her mouth was soft, and turned up at the corners – life hadn’t given her a permanent frown. She was trim, too, though it was hard to tell under layers of winter clothing. But her legs were slim, long and tapering into lace-up calf boots with a slight heel. He had a sudden image of her striding up to him in those boots – and only those boots – and pushing him back into his chair.

“I’ve been a very bad boy, aye.”

He realised he’d spoken aloud. But there was a glass divider and a few metres of space between his desk and the reception area, and maybe they’d assume he was on the phone. He didn’t want to overthink it, but this was too good a chance to pass up. One shot at something bright and hopeful for the future.

He fiddled with his phone and rustled some paper and tried to cover up his words under other misleading sounds.
Then he dropped everything and strode up to the front.

I don’t have Photoshop or other photo software, but I cobbled these together the other day (you might recognise the actor, but not the music-show moderator):

Christianne and Rory

All of this means that I’m getting ahead, one step at a time, on my ROW80 goals!

As long as I don’t add anything new to my plate, I should be on an even keel for the next couple of months, busy, but with moments of rest. I might even plan a reading holiday over Christmas, something I haven’t done in a few years.

When was the last time you dropped everything just to read?


What about the bunny????
Hi Deniz - loved all the snippets - and yes I want to know more. The Christmas reading holiday - sounds an excellent idea ... well done on all your projects ... good luck with them reaching their conclusion and you being able to stay on an even keel - cheers Hilary
Anonymous said…
Love all the snippets! I want more of all of them, please! =D

It's been too long since I've taken a reading day. So much life going on! But maybe I'll do that at Christmas,too!
Lots of great snippets! Thanks for sharing. I like the character pics as well. Good idea. I haven't found photos of folks that look just like my characters yet. I wish I could draw them. That would do the trick. Maybe I need to find a sketch artist. :D
Deniz Bevan said…
Yay, so happy you all loved the snips!

I can't draw either -- a sketch artist is a good idea! :-)