Mr. Mañana: An excerpt from Chapter 1.

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of my first novel, Mr Mañana.  It’s a world of firsts.

Candid City’s skyline merged with the setting sun, the sky turning from grey to a fiery oblivion, physicality melting into nothing but thought and freedom.

I am alive, his body said with a dance.

The black cat was gone.  Sam looked around, and saw that he was standing on top of Kingman’s Hill.  He’d only ever been there once before, years prior.  His father, Ido, claimed that the hill was his favourite place in Candid City and quite possibly the entire world.  For if you looked out over the edge – if you dared to take a glimpse – you could see the entire town beneath your feet.  Usually, to see Candid City from above would not be much of a spectacle, but as the sun let its final crimson embers rest upon the land and its inhabitants, it lit up in a kaleidoscope of grandeur.  Sam could see his house, Uncle Frank’s bungalow, Mrs. James’ magasin.  To the right he could see The Park, its single goalpost a beacon of forgotten youth.  And to his left, he could see the dual carriageway, beginning to empty of traffic, only a few cars drifting out towards the horizon.

Sam held up his hand, the maze of streets fitting perfectly in his palm.  It was there that for the first time he discovered his own freedom and innocence, his shoulders free of weight as he stood above all.

Noting the time, he descended Kingman’s slope, and slowly returned to Reflection Concessions.  Now that it was dark, the shop seemed less romantic and slightly cruder, its large red sign not neon but bright enough to pain the eyes.  On the doorstop, the black cat was sitting, dressed in a wry smile.  Sam approached it, but it disappeared through the door and into the house of tricks and mirrors.  He paused, a little tentative, but it was getting late and he was sure that his mother would be finished with whatever business she needed to attend to by now, and so Sam slipped inside.

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