Read an exclusive excerpt from The Speakeasy below.
"The following afternoon, he set off to return to the meat market in search of Henry. Just as he suspected, he found the environment identical to that of the previous day. The newsstand vendor resumed his position on the corner of Gansevoort, the gamins returned to pilfering whatever they could from the pockets of the unsuspecting, and the sun once more toasted them from above. Henry leaned on the street sign and peeled a grape with a pocket knife as he watched the congregation of mice clash over the sliver of cheese placed atop the trap. He had temporarily halted his sidewalk paving duties to watch the scene unfold with attention so undivided, he failed to notice Norman beside him.
With the intentions of startling him, Norman leaned close to Henry’s ear from behind.
“Scaling out your next victim?”
Henry nearly paralyzed in shock.
“You bedeviling man,” he exclaimed and shook his hand once regaining composure. “Don’t you see I’m operating a knife here?”
“Pipe down, princess,” Norman walked over to lean on the other side of the sign. He crisscrossed his legs like his pal.
“As a matter of fact, I was looking for you,” Henry continued. “I must say, I’m relieved to see you still breathing after yesterday’s fiasco. You better take your spot quick before you’re squeezed out again. Do you see those fellas we ran into yesterday?”
“No, I don’t.”
“That’s probably because they’re in the money spot, pal. Your money spot.”
“Hey, what’s it to you? It’s my rear end on the line, not yours. Besides, I came here to discuss other, more important matters.”
“I’m listening,” he popped the skinned white grape in his mouth.
“How’d you sleep last night?”
“Mmm, let’s just say that this grape was today’s breakfast and last night’s lunch and dinner.”
His exhausted face revealed a puzzled expression while Norman pulled him to a secluded part of the street.
“Listen closely. I think there’s a fine reason for us running into each other again after so many years. And I finally realized what it is.” He carried on with a hush. “You lost your place at the tracks just yesterday and already your belt’s lookin’ tighter and tighter. How would you feel if I told you that a different way of life was possible? That you don’t have to watch these grown men act like toddlers morning after morning? What if---you had enough grapes to stuff your belly and enough cash to stuff your pockets? A warm place? How about that?”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Henry?” he looked him square in the eye. “What’s say we open up a speakeasy? Both of us. Together.” Henry shook his head, threw both arms in the air, and stepped back in immediate disagreement. “The most lucrative business of all! Forget your tracks, this’ll reap us thrice that fortune. Cause I’m tellin’ you, this chunk of change won’t last us but three days. What do you say? Huh? With your construction skills and my business hand, we can’t go wrong.”'
The Speakeasy is released on June 23, 2013 and will be available for purchase worldwide via Amazon.com, Kindle, and in select bookstores. Click HERE to read more about the novel.
©Veronika Carnaby, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.