Loose Threads - SAMPLE | Cool Assassins 1

By J. O. Quantaman

Draft 3 Posted Date: 7/10/2015

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Literary fiction

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About the Book:

Imagine a vibrant community that rejects 5,000 years of human traditions. Imagine a society that affirms equal rights for both men and women. Imagine a society without politicians, without corporate secrets, without adverts, without disparity in the spendable wealth of its citizens. Such a community has defied the status quo. It has aroused fear and envy among the powerful elite. It needs extraordinary protection from those who would bring it down. Nyssa has spent years in virtual bondage to a Japanese pimp before she landed at Dog Breakfast, a co-op dedicated to urban security and espionage. She is welcomed despite her woeful past. She begins training as an operative and soon finds the physical hurdles almost beyond reach. But she can't turn back because the co-op has become "home" and if she fails she'd mess up her chances with Cook. Kazuo has lost touch with the stone fox he met at the ski resort. He will meet her again, but in a way he doesn't expect.

About the Author:

I live in Vancouver, Canada. I read and write history, fiction history and Science Fiction. I hope you like my characters.

Author's Note:

Behind The Scenes <#> I wrote "Loose Threads: Cool Assassins 1" in 3rd-person. I made every effort to stay in the background and let my fictional characters command the podium, so to speak. <#> It has occurred to me that some readers may like to know more about the author, to learn the thought processes and life experiences that went into making this work of fiction. So here goes... <#> I drove a taxi at night in Vancouver, Canada for 27 years. I'd start at 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. and drive till nearly dawn. Daytime customers tended to worry about making appointments, meeting schedules, completing jobs on time, etc. Their concerns were upfront and objective. Nighttime customers would meet with friends, have a few laughs and forget about anything serious. Their concerns were recreational and subjective. Some customers would tell me how much fun they had over the weekend, even though they couldn't remember half of what they did. <#> Over the years I saw and heard the best and worst of human nature. It was part of the job. It's fortunate I was never seriously injured, considering the number of times my cab was totaled by drunk or berserk drivers. <#> People change when the sun goes down. After a few drinks the masks come off and they're ready for adventure and romance, or making fools of themselves. In the wee hours folks will blurt out secrets they'd never say to their boss, their friends or even their life partners. Cabdrivers wear many hats: transporter, advisor, jump starter, problem solver, bouncer, makeshift hauler, fee collector... all the while maintaining the friendly ear of a bartender. <#> The one maxim I learned over the years was that ladies of the night (hookers) never lie. They may not always tell the whole truth, but they don't tell outright lies. They can't afford to lie because they operate in that stratum of society which is best left "under the rug." Hookers don't have authorized price tags or government standards to fall back on; they have only themselves to trade. <#> Vancouver wasn't the city of my childhood, so when I began in the cab business, I didn't know half of the route shortcuts or common locations. It was the ladies of the night who taught me the shortcuts and whether to drop off at the front door or the back door. They had ulterior motives, of course, since the shortcuts saved them money on the meter. Still, I got valuable info that made me a better cabdriver, which over time paid me dividends. <#> One night I drove across Vancouver's busiest bridge. I was ten-car lengths behind the car ahead whose brake lights flash and the passenger door opened and out tumbled a body. The driver slowed but never stopped. After two somersaults , the body stood up and waved frantically. She was a lady of night who had a bad date and no money. She asked me to take her somewhere, and she promised I'd get paid. When we arrived at the place, it turned out her boyfriend was out on the town, but she managed to convince the apartment manager to fork out for the cab fare. <#> This illustrates my point that hookers don't lie. Here was a young woman who'd gone through a traumatic ordeal, who felt afraid of being injured by a bad date, enough to jump out of a moving car. Some folks would've given her free cab ride, and I didn't expect to get paid. Yet her word was her bond, and she made good on it. Over 27 years, I've gotten stiffed by con artists, young punks, lawyers, registered nurses, financial tycoons and even a standing judge. I've had to fend off a couple of attempted robberies. But I never had trouble with hookers riding in my cab. <#> A serial killer stalked Vancouver during the last decades of the 20th-century. He owned a pig farm east of the city. He murdered more than fifty young women, many of whom were runaways from dysfunctional families; many were zonked on drugs of one sort or another. They may've taken a few wrong turns, but they were human beings just trying to survive. The pig farmer found a novel way to dispose of his victims. He'd grind them up with his fodder and feed the result to his pigs. It made DNA retrieval difficult if not impossible, so the world may never know how many young women he murdered. <#> In a small way, I wanted to pay homage to the young women who service the sex trade, and especially to the victims of the pig farmer. The main character of "Loose Threads" is Nyssa Persson who spent three years under the thumb of a Tokyo pimp. Nyssa has a feisty nature which is composite of several women I've known, including my late wife. <#> The narrative isn't about Nyssa's years in the sex trade; it's about adjusting to life after her rescue. In her new life, she no longer has to perform the masquerades of the sex trade. Nyssa faces the same dilemmas as our brave soldiers do when they return from the battlegrounds of Afghanistan. It's not easy to shift from the thunderous dangers of war to the petty quietude of normal society. The adrenalin rushes, the nightmares, the fearful memories don't vanish in an eye blink. <#> All that Nyssa has learned about erotic arousal no longer applies. She feels like a fish out of water, yet she's determined to make a fresh start. In the company of espionage agents, she learns martial arts and emotional control. Her progress is painfully slow. She needs to prove herself worthy of love, but none of her companions seems to understand... <#> I hope you enjoy the tale. There's more to it than meets the eye.

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