So this is the first chapter of what I think will become a novella if I am able to get over my current hump and finish it. I know my writing isn't what I would call the best but I think its ok. Hopefully you guys can give me some tips. I started writing this about a month after I first moved to Japan. The current form which is unfinished is sitting at about 20,000 words or so. If you guys like it, feel you can help and want me to post the following chapters I will.
I know one of my bigger problems with my writing is being to wordy and descriptive. I kind of get adsorbed into the worlds details and loose track of the story. The first chapter probably has been the most edited chapter since sometimes I will go months without writing and then revert to a flurry of writing but I read through everything I have written before to re-immerse myself. Though it is getting to the point I am working more from my notes than re-reading. Also my spelling of some of the Hebrew words is horrible, bear with me. I fix it as I find the correct spellings.
"David, we have a new assignment for you. I think you will like it." Joshua Rosenthal said sitting behind his desk looking closely at the last news bylines coming from the net. His balding head countered by his full beard which was patched with gray and black with a pair of kind eyes sitting just over his large nose. His face and short but large build gave him the look of a kind old rabbi or grandfather which was far from his personality.â€ Your going to New Jerusalem, I want you to watch this independence party and send me back everything."
"But...but...thatâ€™s a four jump trip and I have just settled into Tel Aviv and what about my assignments....my family is here..."David sputtered. His curly black hair and hazel eyes gave him a boyish look of nineteen though he was twenty-five. His short height didnâ€™t hurt the illusion either, and neither did his slight build making him look like a half starved teenager. Though at the moment he looked more like a boy whose father just stated he could not go to the school dance.
"You speak Latin, Earth Common, Hebrew and I hear that you also speak a bit of the spacer dialects right?" Mr. Rosenthal stated while not looking up from his papers and habitually grabbing a cigarette and lighting it.â€ Your my best man for it and any monkey can cover your beat here. Now quit whining, you fly out in a week." With that he waived his hand motioning the meeting was over and went back to his bylines. David stumbled out of the editors office in some sort of daze. His eyes glossed over, looking at the paper in front of him stating he was to fly to Pluto in stellar launch station by the rings express way in under a week. His hazel eyes stayed glossed until his trance was broken by a hard smack on the back.
"You look like the old man just killed you sister and then fed you her heart." Standing behind David with a huge smile was a tall Arab man in about his mid-twenties. His name was Rashid al-Mujab al-Saladin and he and David were dorm mates before and desk mates now at the Mid-East Interstellar Broadcasting Network or MIBN. "Did he kill your sister? Or was it you mum?" Rashid continued never breaking his smile. David now out of his trance looked up at his old friend, starting to smile as Rashid's humor sunk in. â€œ Worse I am getting transferred to New Jerusalem. Him killing my sister would be cake to this." David stated his boyish smile now showing as he and Rashid walked toward their co-desk. Rashidâ€™s humor continuing, "Well I hear in the New Jerusalem the nuns are so easy that it is no longer called a monastery but a moonestary." David quickly replied,â€ That was bad even for you." Rashid shrugged and sat down, his lanky arms reaching toward his small coffee cup. "So who is going to take over you beat here? I know immigration law and city council are so hard, I don't know who could fill you place." The sarcasm was thick in Rashid's voice. David starting to drink his cup of tea in the best impression of Rosenthal said "A trained monkey shall take over for him, since it will be more cost effective and better writing." With that Rashid's coffee came spilling out of his mouth as he begin to laugh.
"So how long till the trip? A month? A couple weeks? How long do I get to stare at your wonderful face across the desk from me?" Rashid asked while wiping the coffee from his now stained shirt.
"I leave in six days old man. So I guess I should start packing. Maybe get my spacer dialects refreshed, huh?" With that he began to look over his last few stories to submit.
"Guess we should get planning for your party eh? I'll let you know when." Rashid grinned as he got back to his work.
The next few days became a whirlwind for David. He began to pack his clothing and his few possessions he figured he would need in New Jerusalem. These included his hand pad, an old fashioned tape recorder that he found at a pawn shop a few years back and a Tanak which showed a bit of discoloring an almost permanent set of dog ears. David was not very religious, going to services about once a year during the High Holy days and maybe a Sabbath once every few years, usually around a rather tough part such as a death or a break up. He followed the old thought of better to believe in God than not, for even if there is no god your not out anything. Of course no one said you had to be fervent. The last piece he packed was a small mezzuzah off his door. As he laid the item in the box marked for the MIBN offices in New Jerusalem he walked out the door to the hasty and probably poor planned party of Rashid's.
"By the grace of the almighty and his blessed prophet we are gathered here to try and commit at least four of the seven deadly sins. Cheers!" With that Rashid raised his glass and drank a deep drink. Rashid's poor planning had gathered half of the MIBN office, David's parents Saul and Rebecca, two of David's ex-girlfriends and four girls David had never seen before. To top it all off the large group barely fit in the small Old City bar that Rashid had chosen and its proprietor was on top of himself to keep up with the demands for foreign beer, Israeli wine and Arabic coffee. With them all over lapping with orders for at least 10 falafels, 6 swarmas and a scattering of other bits of food.
"You out did yourself Rashid, who are half of these people? You know hiring out for a friends going away party is not allowed." David grinned at Rashid.
"How dare you insist I would buy you some more friends, most of the people are MIBN but that pair of girls are some I met on the way in, and I think those two older folks talking with Jenna are you parents. I could be wrong though, you know how bad I am with faces.â€ Rashid grinned impishly.
"If they are not my parents then you did a damn good job picking doubles since they always liked Jenna. Shame I never felt as strong as they did." David's grinned changed to a much more serious face.
"Go talk to them then, see if my choice was as good as you thought. And its not like you don't talk to Jenna. You should stop leaving your cell phone your desk. Makes it easier to keep your personal life personal." Rashid's face now permanently had the impish grin with a bit of red around his cheeks. David's reaction was less cheerful as he grumbled and walked off the other way from Jenna and his parents who were now waving at him. His face red but not from the alcohol and more from his frustration at Rashid for searching through his cell phone. Planting himself in the closest thing to a quiet spot in the bar. Slowly sipping his German beer realizing that in a day he would not be able to do this for an unknown amount of years. The feeling of innate loneliness struck through him knowing that his friends, his family and everyone he knew would be not a few hours away, not even in the same solar system but instead they would be almost 35 light years away. The light of the sun he would see at his new home would be older than he was. He would no longer be able to drink imported beer, Israeli wine or anything else made on earth. Instead it may be Resurrection's coffee, Rebirth's wine and Salvation's beer. If any of the three planets made of the such items. Lost in his train of thought he never noticed the slight female form that sat down beside him.
"Already in space, huh?" A sweet soprano voice asked David, snapping him out of his trance.
"Jenna, I didn't notice you sitting there. What was the question again?â€ David was able to quietly say.
Slightly laughing, "Oh it was nothing. How are you doing? Excited? Scared? Worried? Happy? I know you have dreamed of going to space since you were little, aren't you excited you are finally going to do it. I mean even a month ago you said you would like..." David's voice quickly cut her off from speaking.
"I am scared out of my wits to tell you the truth. And a month ago you can say this was a low chance if any chance at all of happening." David's voice contained a small amount of venom.
"Don't have to bite my head off David. I was just trying to..."Once again Davidâ€™s voice cut her off.
"Be nice, I know Jenna. I am just, I don't know. I guess I am so excited and freaked out that I can't think straight. I am sorry, I shouldn't of snapped at you. I know you are just trying to be nice and you are worried since I am hiding in the corner, or what is the closest thing to a corner at my own party. And I know..."David's rambling was quickly quieted by small figure on his mouth.
"Are you just going to ramble and feel bad for yourself and waste all of Rashid's work or are you going to join the party, get so drunk that you have a hangover when you fly out tomorrow?" With a kiss on his forehead Jenna slightly pulled David's hand and walked him more into his own party as if leading a lost puppy.
"So my son, I guess your leaving the nest, just like your sister and your brother." Saul said to his son.
"Pops, I have not lived in the house in almost 5 years, I think I have been out of the nest for at least that long." David protested.
"You have not left the nest when you come home for dinner at least two nights a week hun. And I doubt my krugal is good enough for you to fly back from New Jerusalem twice a week. Plus we are happy to see you finally following your dream, leaving Tel Aviv and becoming your own man." Rebecca Cohen lectured her son.
"Then what does that make Yosef? Still in the nest since he comes in at least once a week for your cooking Mums. I mean he may being to Oxford in England doesn't mean he is that far away. Hell even Sarah comes down from Armstrong city once a month for dinner." David responded.
"That is true but they have to let me know there coming so we can pick them up, they are not just going to be sitting on my couch when I get home asking when the sznitzel will be ready.â€ Rebecca grinned back at her son.
"I would never ask about your snitzel anyways,the stuff taste like dry cardboard fried with newspaper clippings.â€ David clipped back.
"Thatâ€™s because it was son, at least that is what she told me. To make you a good reporter by making you eat words." Saul interjected.
"Don't worry Mrs. Cohen, I liked your cooking.â€ Jenna tried to intrude.
"Thatâ€™s ok doll, I know my sniztel is not something you try to come home too, but its better than these boys make it out to be." Grinning at the her two boys in the room.
"Shame you two didn't work out in the end, she fits right in with your mother over here.â€ Saul pointed out to David.
"Pops if I wanted to keep living with my mother I would of never moved out." David shot back.
"Be nice you two, I am a hundred times worse than Jenna.â€ Rebecca tried to calm the situation.
"Its ok Mrs. Cohen, I know its just Mr. Cohen picking on his son and Davidâ€™s way of fighting back.â€ Jenna tried to help out.
David then quickly stood up. "Who wants another round?â€ He yelled to the host in the bar which are quickly responded with a yes. Pointing at Rashid and his father,â€ The next two are on these two! So choose something expensive!â€ The bar laughed at David's quip as the bar tendered passed out shots of whiskey which his father ordered. Raising his glass in the air lead the group on a very loud and ranchy,"Lechiam!"
Stumbling back to the apartment leaning on Jenna's shoulder from the air cab David drunkly grinned up at Jenna.â€ Your pretty you know that."
She smiled back,â€ Your so smashed you wouldn't know your own smuck if you had to find it in the dark. Now keep walking and don't puke on my shoes."
"I won't puke women, I am can hold my liquor. I know where my own smuck is.â€ Grabbing his crouch
and almost pulling them both down.
"Maybe you still do. Now keep walking we have three flights of stairs and I don't want to drag you up them.â€ Jenna just shook her head as she helped David regain his vague balance. The two of them were barely able to stumble up the three flights of stairs to Davidâ€™s soon to be vacant apartment. Jenna took the extra key from behind the buildings built in mezuzah and used to open the door. Carrying the almost passed out David to his bed and dropping him on it. In a groggy slurred voice David half looked at Jenna and asked,â€ Why did...we...fail...again?"
Jenna looked down at him initially with a bit of shocked and just a sweet smile. â€œWe didn't fail, we just got to scared.â€ With that she kissed the now passed out David on the forehead, made certain his alarm would go off an hour before Rashid would pick him up and locked the door with a pair of small tears running down her cheeks.