One of the best things about Blog Tours is that it allows me to be part of such amazing stories. It introduces me to worlds I never would have considered or found before and I love it. I'm positive you guys will feel the exact same once you read this excerpt from Faisal Ansari new novel.
The little girl cupped her hands and whispered almost inaudibly into her father’s ear. “The Pestilence is coming. Everybody here is going to die.”
A mysterious electrical phenomenon rolls above the cities of the world. The lightning which comes from the east, shines as far as the west, turning night into day. Two brothers of the lightning, Samuel Srour and Victor Pierre Chaput are gifted powers by the storm. Their paths intertwined, with enemies on all sides. Samuel Srour has unwittingly started a revolution. His Healed walk the Earth. Free of injury, sickness and disease, but powerful forces stand in his way and the Pestilence is drawing ever closer.
“YOU should be dead. I saw the bombs hit, I felt the force of them shaking the very ground I was standing on. I know you wanted me to be safe, but I had to come back for you. I am so glad I did.” Samuel lay inert on the hospital bed. His condition had not changed since Mariam dragged him unconscious into her red Skoda a few hours ago. Mariam flagged on an old armchair posted by his bed.
The realisation that the sun would rise in a few hours prompted a further wave of weariness to sweep over her. Her mind, however, remained active, her thoughts spooling through the events of the last twelve hours. The wonderful afternoon she had spent with Samuel, she luxuriated in the openness and simplicity of his love for her. It felt like old times, from before she left when everything was infinitely less complex. She relived the terror of the night bombardment and the overwhelming relief of finding Samuel miraculously alive in the ruined carcass of his home. Despite her fatigue, she was too overwrought to sleep. She picked up the remote and switched on the television that hung in the corner of the empty ward. Samuel slept on.
BBC World News recycled endless clips of what they were now calling the Electrical Phenomenon rolling above the various cities of the world. There was one particularly beautiful sequence where the lightning grew to fill the big sky above the Great Plains. The news anchor Hugh Feades had been broadcasting all night and was beginning to look a little crumpled. The BBC showed a graphic of the planet plotting the arc of longitude across which the phenomenon had been visible. It stretched from Jerusalem to Vancouver. In total the lightning had raged for thirty-three glorious minutes and had been witnessed, if not live, then through television or the Internet by the majority of humanity.
The BBC was interspacing the clips of the phenomenon with expert discussions. Mariam watched a wide ranging panel of geologists, military experts as well as an assortment of priests, imams and rabbis who all struggled to make sense of the phenomenon.
An omnipresent part of the news cycle were the various cell phone videos taken from Haran. They were the only videos showing the lightning travelling from earth to sky. Nobody in Haran had approached the farm so these videos, numerous as they were, lacked the detail that Mariam had seen first-hand. Mariam nudged the sound higher when she saw a “breaking news” banner flash across the screen. Hugh Feades was excitedly telling viewers that the BBC had exclusively obtained as yet unreleased raw video from its IDF source. The video was shot from the cockpit of one of the two IAF jets which attacked the farm.
The images themselves were shot in grey scale, heat sensitive with targeting cross-hairs in the centre. The beginning of the video showed the farm coming into focus, the farmhouse, the north and south barns and the open pens. The video tracked left and zoomed in on the south barn. The barn now dominated the picture. The white glow from the fires caused by the Katyusha launch contrasted with the blackness of the surroundings. The video briefly showed the two BLU 109/Bs flashing through the remains of the barn’s roof. A fraction of a second after detonation a massive electrical disturbance appeared at the centre of the explosion; a ball of lightning, which grew to about half the size of the barn and then erupted skyward: The source of the Electrical Phenomenon. At that point the feed went blank. The BBC News team then spooled the video back to the beginning of the attack. About thirty seconds before the bombs hit, the news team highlighted a human heat signature running into the barn.
About Faisal Ansari:
Faisal Ansari has spent the majority of his adult life strapped into a suit writing marketing and stuffy legal documentation for M&A transactions in the City.
Despite growing up in London, Faisal’s overwhelming preference is to be outdoors. When trapped indoors he reads until his eyes bleed.
The Pestilence is his first novel.