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“Welcome, my name is Serena Parker, and today I’d like to read from the first chapter of my manuscript, titled The Clarity of Distance.
Germany AUTUMN 1988
A cursory check in the mirror saw Cyrus gripped by the image staring back. He examined his now thin, angular face, thought it made him look harder or rougher somehow. He followed the line of his cheek bones upwards, to be confronted with the scrutiny of his own eyes. They seemed furtive, wary, like they belonged to someone much older, and he wondered what this said about the man he had become.
Suddenly he was back in the scraggy Afghan hillside on his belly in the dirt. He was on reconnaissance, wedged between boulders holding back rubble above, and a line of undernourished trees below. Through high-powered binoculars he had been observing the Soviets as they moved troops and equipment along their major supply road. Having been in this position for hours, he felt stiff from lack of movement, and was about to extricate himself and move on, when he heard an interrupting sound. He froze, opened his mouth to hear better, and waited.
Within seconds, he heard the slipping of fine rubble, slightly below and maybe thirty meters to his left. Adrenalin blasted into his cells, filled his ears with his own heartbeat. He gathered his wits with a few slow, deep, breaths and assessed the situation. The noise might be an approaching animal, but most likely a Soviet scout. He weighed up his resources and tried to formulate a plan. If it was a Soviet scout he would be armed, and probably have friends nearby.
He had little choice but to stay where he was, and not move a muscle unless he had to. If he got lucky, the scout would miss him, if not, the threat would need to be dealt with as quietly as possible. He had access to three silent weapons, his binocular strap, his knife, and his hands. His preference, other than running away as fast as his legs would carry him, lay with his knife, its razor sharp blade would provide the swiftest, quietest, and deadliest solution, but hoped it would not come to that.
The sound of boots on gravel kept him focused, and he thought his visitor to be about ten or fifteen meters away now. He strained to get a fix on who and where, finally spotting the Soviet ambling along a narrow track scored in the terrain about six meters below, partially obscured by the lay of the land.
As the scout drew level he stopped, put down his rifle, and searched for something in his coat pockets.”
ABOUT SERENA PARKER:
Married, two grown children, Div 1 registered nurse, trainer & assessor, and writer. Have undertaken Grad Dip in professional writing & editing at Deakin Uni. Involved with Writers’ Victoria through short courses, masterclasses, and volunteering. Write popular fiction, current manuscript is in 3 parts, covers several genres, but mostly psychological drama.
“I have attended Varuna through a number of paid residencies for 2-3 years, have undertaken a Varuna Professional Development Residency and am now a current Alumni member.” Serena Parker
Educational texts and assessment resources, currently used for accredited and non-accredited training in Victoria.
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