Thursday, July 17, 2014

986 - "Al Pescia"

I have a bunch of these little illustrations of people in life rings.  I've sold them as part of a larger series, so I don't believe I have the permission to show who these people really are.  So, instead, I'm making the faces anonymous and I am giving each of them a name and background story suitable for a pulp spy novel:


The bedouin's hands were brown like mahogany, and Grant guessed they were hard as that as well.  The man held his hands cupped in front of him, holding forth a mound of nondescript beans.  "Taste, taste," he said in very rough English.

Pescia looked to Grant, "He wants you to eat one of those seeds."

"I gathered as much."

"Do not worry, it is perfectly safe.  And to not try one would be a grave insult."

Grant and Pescia took the proffered food.  Grant nibbled on the soft meal, it tasted vaguely of vegetable oil, but much richer.

"Shukran," Grant said to the bedouin, thanking him.  The man bowed and returned to his work sorting a large pile of the seeds.  

"Moringa seeds," Pescia indicated the pile, "The locals collect them and sell them to the city merchants. They provide excellent nutrition here in the desert."

"Moringa also can be processed into high-grade bio-diesel.  I read the report.  These seeds will buy our entry into the souqs of Cairo, where we can expect to find my next contact."

"Kavi Kanem? The Jackal of Khan el-Khalili? "

"Not so loud," Grant hissed, "But yes, the one and the same."

"But nobody's ever seen Kavi Kanem face-to-face," protested Pescia.

"There's a first for everything, then, isn't there?"

- excerpt from the novel "A Spy Too Far"