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‘Lascar’ extract

An extract from my book, Lascar for you to enjoy…

‘Loud shouts and screams broke the silence. Two men had tried to

escape. The guards beat them to death and left them in the hall as

a warning to the others. The confusion and anger didn’t touch

Ayan as he continued to stare at the floor, and continued to plan.

Late in the night he stood and walked toward the deck. He

didn’t stop until he reached the upper level. He didn’t think. He

didn’t stop. He just walked. He didn’t stop until he was face to

face with the barrel of a pistol burrowing into his chest.

“You going somewhere?”

Ayan stood. His breath was slow and even. The gun cocked

and dug deeper into his chest. Ayan didn’t move. He was tired of

fear. He was tired of obedience. Dreading Kazi’s face exhausted

him. He wanted it to be over.

His head lowered until he looked into the guard’s eyes. He

stared deep into the man’s eyes. He saw a foolish man. He

suddenly realised that the guards were stupid. They were nothing

to be feared. He wondered why he had ever feared them.

He turned on his heels and returned to the sleeping bunks. He

smiled. He smiled for the first time in months. He needed to find

Akbar and tell him that he had a plan that would work.

The ship stopped rocking. The men looked at each other. The

hull of the ship was cold now that the steam engines were barely

burning. The storm chilled the steel hull, draining the last


The group of men huddled together below decks, carefully

hatching a plan. Tonight the ship would fill with the English

crew. Akbar pushed the issue at every chance. Why did they need

the English crew, unless there would be no Lascars to stoke the

fires on the return trip.


Tomorrow morning passengers would board the ship. The idle

English crew would be given whips and the task of guarding the

Lascars. Ayan guessed that there were two hours before lunch.

Two hours to get everything right. Two hours for everything to

go wrong.

The plan was simple. Ayan would follow Akbar into the

kitchen and assault The Cruel One when he stood by the stoves.

The thought of attacking an ill man left a coppery taste in his

mouth. Even The Cruel One deserved mercy, but to afford it

spelled death for Akbar, Ayan and as a result, Kazi. He played

through the assault in his mind, working every movement, every

step and every mistake. No matter how many times his mind

played over the impending attack, Akbar failed to function

efficiently. A minor mistake, a hesitation and The Cruel One

turned. A question niggled at the back of his head, “Would he

stop?” Months of pain and abuse destroyed his soul. Akbar did

not doubt he could attack The Cruel One, but he refused to say

whether he would stop before The Cruel One’s blood stained his

hands and his enemy’s eyes pled for mercy…’

‘Lascar’ is available to purchase here:

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