Sunday 15 January 2023

Sunday Serial: The House of Celmentine by Gill James, orange juice



Rozia's Ulog

Dear all,

I'm afraid it's all been going wrong recently. 

All of our credits were frozen. I can't get at anything. Kaleem thinks it's just some sort of bug in the system. I think it's much worse than that. I really think that someone is targeting us. First the corrupt wands and now this. Everything in the apartment stopped working. We even had to open the door manually. I didn't know what to do. Kaleem wasn't available, of course. He's always so busy these days, now that such bizarre things are happening. I did manage to contact Nazaret and Marijam. Nazaret put everything on to his and Marijam's credits. I hate that. And in fact everything became very sluggish and in the end they invited me to stay with them. I hated being so dependent on others but I was touched by their kindness.   .

"You must stay with us," said Marijam.

"Yes, you should stay as long as you like. And you certainly shouldn't go home until we've sorted all of this out."

Marijam loved having Petri to stay. "It's like having a grandchild," she said. She had quite a wicked gleam in her eye. I think she would like Kaleem and me to get back together. Well, I'm sorry, Marijam; I don't think it's going to happen.

The bizarre thing is Kaleem decided to stay there as well a lot of the time. Marijam and Nazaret's apartment is quite big but it did become a bit crowded with all of us there. Then Marijam suggested that Kaleem and I might share a room. Really!

It was torture, actually, seeing him every day. I longed to be with him again, like we were when we lived in the Z Zone on Terrestra. I just don't think I can trust him though.

Nazaret totally got it. He could see that it had become too much for me in the end. I just had to go back to our own apartment. It was awkward though. My credits still hadn't been sorted out.

I think he knew I'd been crying that day. He didn't say anything about that though. 

"I'm sorry Marijam makes such a fuss. It comes from having had to bring Kaleem up on her own. She really values family now. If you want a bit of space, we can pay for your apartment instead."

It was a good solution, though I feel terrible about them paying for me.

Nazaret took us back home while Kaleem was out. It was a relief to get away from the continuous tension.  

I do wish they would sort out my credits, though. I can't go on taking from Marijam and Nazaret like this.                        




So, the young prospective attachment for the Peace Child had it all sorted out. Good for her. Clever young woman.  

About the Peace Child Series:

Book 1 The Prophecy
Kaleem Malkendy is different – and on Terrestra, different is no way to be.
Everything about Kaleem marks him out form the rest: the blond hair and dark skin, the uncomfortable cave where he lives and the fact that he doesn’t know his father. He’s used to unwelcome attention, but even so he’d feel better if some strange old man didn’t keep following him around.
That man introduces himself and begins to explain the Babel Prophecy – and everything in Kaleem’s life changes forever.    
Book 2 Babel
Babel is the second part of the Peace Child trilogy. Kaleem has found his father and soon finds the love of his life, Rozia Laurence, but he is still not comfortable with his role as Peace Child. He also has to face some of the less palatable truths about his home planet: it is blighted by the existence of the Z Zone, a place where poorer people live outside of society, and by switch-off, compulsory euthanasia for a healthy but aging population, including his mentor, Razjosh. The Babel Tower still haunts him, but it begins to make sense as he uncovers more of the truth about his past and how it is connected with the problems in the Z Zone. Kaleem knows he can and must make a difference, but at what personal cost?
Book 3 The Tower 

Kaleem has given up the love of his life in order to protect her. He now lives and works on Zandra. A sudden landquake, not known on the planet for many years, destroys many of the forests his father has planted to bring life back to the planet. The new relationship Kaleem has helped to establish between the Terrestrans and the Zandrians is also under threat. A third party gets involved and Kaleem has to use all of his diplomatic skills to keep everything on track. Mistakes cost him dearly and he looks set to lose Rozia for a second time. The Babel Tower mystery, others mysteries and sadness plague him. Can he find a way through to fulfil his role as the Peace Child?
Find out more here.  

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown.  

She edits CafeLit.

She writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing

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