Clockwork Purple writers group June 26, 2017
It was announced that our book will launch on Friday, August 11, 1 PM – Dudley’s

Random book – brought by Linda:
In the Land of Second Chances by George Shaffner,
Random page 193 chosen unseen by Charles,
Line 13 chosen unseen by Ahonu

Alexa set timer for 47 minutes. — Timer set for 47 minutes.

“Except for her left arm, she was covered up to the neck.”

Richard was a typical college kid doing his summer tour of Europe before going back to school for his senior year at Reed College near Portland Oregon. Having finished three years at the famously liberal institution of higher learning, he was brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and the vigor of an American youth. He spent a couple of weeks in Paris, hanging out in a youth hostel on the Champs-Élysées; the hostel was central to all the cultural wonders that made Paris the ecstasy of the modern world.

He then went to Rome and stayed in another hostel only a short walk from the Vatican, where he spent several days walking through the vast collections of the absolute best art from all over the world. Then he headed down to Pompey and Herculaneum to visit the excavated cities buried in the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. That was a fun excursion, not so arty as Paris and Rome, but he was a bit burnt out on art, so walking around the old excavated cities and in his mind living the life of a classic upper-class Roman was pleasant enough for the time being.

He hadn’t felt particularly lonely in his travels because the youth hostels always had some fellow travelers who were also eager to talk about their adventures. A guy there in the Herculaneum youth hostel said that if he liked living the old Roman lifestyle he ought to go to Mecca. It had similar architecture, the thick-wall adobe buildings and people dressed more like the classic Romans. Hmm, thought Richard, that would be something unusual to tell his Reed friends next week when he got back home.

It was no problem getting to Mecca, and being a Westerner wasn’t a problem either, although he wasn’t going to be able to go into the sacred sites if he couldn’t recite the “Opening Prayer in classic Arabic” and do the other confessions of Submission to Allah’s will. All the same, it was an exciting place to be and everyone either treated him well or passed him by on the street without even noticing he was a Westerner, just like in any other big city.

Richard noticed a crowd off in an open area. They were happily yelling, and dancing about, and sometimes shouting and screaming what appeared to be happy curses. But it all appeared to be in good fun, so Richard walked on over to check out what the entertainment was, what was so funny.

There she was: Except for her left arm, she was covered up to the neck. She was a young woman, with a rather pretty face, buried in the sand. She was screaming in terror, and waving her arm pathetically imploring the men to let her go. Richard was horrified and asked a guy standing next to him what was happening.

“She was seen not wearing her burka.” the guy said calmly in perfect English.