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The Forgotten – Released Today

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The “Buzz” around the pre-release of my best (imho) book in my Ari Cohen Series, The Forgotten,  admittedly doesn’t quite reach the fever pitch of Donald Trump, but many fans have asked me for some samplers of the story. Over the next few weeks I will release for blog readers some of the passages that my beta readers gave the highest rating to. Human Trafficking, particularly child sex slavery is not an east subject to tackle. Which is more inhumane, late term abortion or …

imageFrom Kalamata, Greece to the docks of Zanzibar, traffickers spend their gold on Jack Daniel’s,  whilst their victims Starve without even a pizza to ease their suffering. The United Nations does little to eradicate the criminal cartels responsible. After all children pay no taxes and don’t vote. Perhaps Ben Carson or Bernie Sanders will care more.

Lost at Sea

Renee, Somewhere At Seaimage

I wish Gareth was here with me. I was so mean to him before. I wonder what day it is? I am below decks on a very smelly boat. I hear no engine noise, so it must be a dhow. Papa used to take me out on a yacht, but I never imagined a yacht being so dirty. At night, I hear scratching sounds; I hope they aren’t rats, but that’s what Gareth told me they were before they took him away. I think he was just trying to frighten me.

We are in a storage hold, I guess, because we’re sitting on stacks of mangrove tree logs and barrels of dried fish. That must be why it smells so bad, old fish and vomit. Some of the children in here are sick almost every day. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had a bathroom – or some fresh air. We can’t even see outside – just tiny rays of light shining through some gaps in the walls.

Gareth told me he thought he saw a sign through one little hole that said “Port Said.” He said that means we were going through the Suez Canal and that was why it was so calm. But that was before we hit rough seas and many of us were seasick again.

Gareth was worried; he told me who these horrible men were. He said they were slavers, probably taking us to market to be sold. After he told me that, he said these men might come down here to get one of us, “for their entertainment.” I know what he means; I still ache from the last time they hurt me in France. But Gareth and I made a pact, if they came to get one of us, we would try to escape, jump overboard, try to stay afloat until another ship came by. We knew we had to do something.

It wasn’t me they came for, it was Gareth. These sailors unshackled him, saying something neither of us understood, and took him out, but as he was leaving, manhandled by these brutes, he looked back at me and winked. Then he struggled free for just a minute, smiled that big goofy smile and managed to squeeze out, “I’ll get help.”

The men slapped him real hard across the head, and he nearly fell down. I could tell he was hurt, but he tried not to show it. The men dragged him up and away. Then it was very quiet for a while as they walked back up to the main deck. The sounds of the boat swooshing through the sea returned. A few minutes later, I heard men laughing and I heard Gareth shout something, then I heard a big splash. All of a sudden, the men on board were shouting very loudly. I couldn’t understand what they said, but the ship didn’t stop or turn around. I think Gareth jumped overboard. Oh, I hope he is alright. I’m so frightened.

That was two days ago; I haven’t heard or seen anyone since. Gareth has not come back. But now something is different; I hear the excited noise of seabirds as they fly around the boat. I hadn’t noticed their absence before. It must mean we are getting close to land. The overpowering stench of fish and human waste is now mingled with something new, a sweet smell. I heard the noise of rope screeching its way through a rusty pulley, then the flapping sound of a sail as it was released from its hold on the wind. We must be slowing down.

I know what that smell is! It reminds me of my mother’s apple pie. I am so hungry, my tummy is rumbling. Oh, where am I? Where is my Mama? I’m so frightened.

 

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