Saturday, January 23, 2010

Excerpt - Havana: Killing Castro


To Marcela’s delight, Tula arrived promptly at eight. She paused at the door, scanning the crowded bar. Her red halter dress and black spike heels with ankle straps did the job she’d obviously intended them to do.

Marcela waved from her small table in the back of the room, her heart quickening. Tula waved back and started skirting the tables. Men and women stared at her as she passed by, triggering in Marcela a strange jealousy.

She rose when Tula reached her table, and both women greeted each other with the customary exchange of kisses on the cheek. Tula’s eyes were somber.

“Something wrong?” Marcela asked, sitting down again. “You look— ”

“Sad?” Tula said, sitting down next to Marcela.

Marcela nodded.

“A friend of mine died recently,” Tula said. “A very good friend. We used to come here sometimes. It made me sad when I walked in.”

“Sorry,” Marcela said. “You want to go some other place?”

“No. This is fine. I need to get over it.”

“What did your friend die of?”

“He was murdered.”

Marcela raised an eyebrow. “Miami is a violent city.”

“You can say that again.”

“How did it happen?”

“He was shot in his apartment.”

“My God!” Marcela said. “A thief?”

Tears came to Tula’s eyes. “Who knows? He was such a good person. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill him.”

“Poor thing. Did they catch who did it?”

“Not yet.”

“Do the police have any leads?”

Tula shook her head and suddenly started sobbing.

“Now, now,” Marcela said, leaning forward and patting her hand. “You need a drink.” She waved to the waiter. “What would you like?”

“A mojito.”

“Just what I was going to order myself,” Marcela said as the waiter arrived. “Two mojitos. And when you see these glasses empty again, you bring some more.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the waiter said.

An hour and four mojitos later, Tula had to go to the bathroom. Marcela got up to go with her. When Tula’s head was turned, Marcela slipped two roofies into her drink.

Havana: Killing Castro is a 2009 Readers Favorite Awards winner, and is now available as an eBook from Eternal Press ( ), and also in print and eBook format from and selected booksellers.

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