36. Amber Rainstorm – sassy, direct and not at all wet

Amber raincloud

An exclusive extract from my hotly anticipated new novelette, ‘Amber Rainstorm – my part in her downpour’:

The rain fell like hundreds of tiny silver bullets onto his forehead, nose, ears, ankles and other exposed parts of his face and body. ‘Ouch’, he said. ‘This rain is really hard’. ‘I’m soaked to the bone,’ she concurred. ‘Really?’ he countered. ‘Or is that just a convenient cliché?’ ‘Sometimes I wish you weren’t a writer,’ she said. ‘Yeah?’ he sneered. ‘What would you have I be instead then?’ She slapped his big wet face in slow motion. ‘A meteorologist,’ she thundered precipitously, slipping on her bright red, thigh-length wellingtons and storming out of the flat.

Arriving at Hong Kong observatory that afternoon, the writer receding into distant memory like the Hell’s Angel, furniture delivery guy, and college football star before him, Amber knocked twice at the heavy oak door. The observatory sat on a green hill high above the city. There was a crow’s nest of TV aerials and satellite dishes attached to the top of the building, along with an illegal rooftop apartment shared by a number of unemployed RTHK weather forecasters. She glimpsed one through a taped-up window eating noodles straight from the pan in her curlers – sans make-up – and shuddered involuntarily.

Eventually the door was answered by a shorter-than-average panda in a three-piece suit and bowler hat who invited Amber to remove her wellies and enter.

‘I’m looking for a meteorologist. Must have liquid assets and GSOH,’ she told the panda in her indiscriminately icy manner. The panda nodded politely and gestured towards a man in a white coat who was seated in front of a huge bank of flickering monitors. When the man spun in his chair to face her she recoiled in horror. He wore an eye patch and was completely bald.

‘Sorry, I don’t like baldies,’ she said, firmly and then – to break the awkward silence that followed – ‘How will the weather be…next week?’

‘How should I know?’ the scientist replied impatiently, waving towards the TV screens that showed hundreds of protestors camped out in the middle of Hong Kong. ‘The climate is changeable…distinctly changeable.’

[To be continued…]

15. Another Hong Kong – for your reading pleasure

Another Hong Kong

There are a multitude of perspectives in Hong Kong; more nationalities, cultures and minorities than you might imagine. In Another Hong Kong, a Hong Kong Writers Circle anthology of prose, poetry and creative non-fiction that I’ve been co-editing over the last few months, we can’t pretend to have covered all theses viewpoints – not while speculating on Hong Kong’s past, future and hidden present as well. However, we’ve done our best to pack as many alternative takes on the city as 250-odd pages will allow.

Another Hong Kong is officially launched on Thursday 13th March, at Culture Club Gallery, 15 Elgin Street, and includes a new short story from me called The Parachutist. This tall tale, full of ghosts, and featuring a mysterious American fugitive, is a tribute to time spent in old Wan Chai (as referenced on this blog occasionally) as well as to the Hong Kong teenagers I write for by day.

The book’s striking cover art is by Hong Kong artist Marc Allante who has about as many likes on his Facebook page as I have indifferent pauses. You can see what he’s doing right here.

***Please place your order now and spend your money on some non-designer Hong Kong shopping!!!***

Buy the softcover book

Buy Another Hong Kong for Kindle