Monday, May 9, 2011

Excerpt from novel: David and I

I'm working on a novel and this is an excerpt from it. It's about 70% complete so I just thought I would share the introductory prologue for some feedback:

David and I


That’s all we really knew about him, Mr. Lazare, that he was the village “drunk.” And the villagers of Gros Michel weren’t kind to him; not at all. 

Castigated and shunned, he spent his last years behind that broken down, corroded, galvanized fence that did a very bad job of hiding the mess that was his house. A wooden dilapidated structure, deposited there over two generations before my time. It’s amazing that the house was still standing; it looked more like a breeding ground for cockroaches and rats than a dwelling home.

But he wasn’t the sad type, very far from that; at times he reminded me of Donald Duck; when he was arguing with Mickey Mouse. Mr. Lazare’s voice could be heard at around 6:00 a.m. every morning, singing or rather croaking, over his transistor radio. He was my personal human alarm clock on many mornings; the old grandfather clock that always sticks out among the new furniture pieces but still felt at place in the dusty corners of many living rooms. Just like his house stuck out from among the rest on our street.

You could tell that Mr. Lazare loved calypso music, as he belted out the tunes of the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener. It may have sounded very bad to the passerby, but he knew all the songs; word for word and note for note too.

I didn’t see him much, except when he left his yard for his weekly trip to Ma Boyd’s shop or when he was coming from his fishing boat. He was always going out to sea but I never once saw him returning home with any fish. He would just be whistling on his way home. Once I even met him inside the shop but all he had bought was some batteries and alcohol. To me it was a very strange combination, but maybe all too normal for such a bizarre character.

My mother, in some way seemed fond of him, always smiling when she heard him sing; I had heard her mention many of his exploits, how he had been to England and made millions of dollars only to return to Dominica and throw it all away on a local woman. It was the kind of stories that you only read in books or see in movies.

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