Ewa Lowe: Chapter 1

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The chapter below is from the sci-fi, triller book Fear is in the Air by Eva Newermann


 

Egypt – May 16, 2003

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The corpse is still nice and warm. His eyes are wide open. 

Actually, he is a nice-looking guy. Too bad he had brown eyes. I hate brown eyes!

My name is Ewa Lowe. I work as a flight attendant. Today is my 25th birthday; of course, I had to celebrate it with a kill. 

It sounds like machine guns letting off several bursts of gun fire, but it’s only the thundering sound of the rain drops hitting my rental car. 

A rainy day is a good time for a kill. Then most of the evidence is washed away, making it difficult for the forensics people.

He is lying on his back in the sand all wet from our skinny-dip. The ocean and rain feel warm on my bare body. The temperature is 26 degrees Celsius. To me, it’s a perfect day in Egypt.

I met the now-dead Pharaoh serving him on my flight last night. He made an easy prey with his black hair, ugly brown eyes and tall, slim body. He told me he was in the middle of a bad divorce. 

That was fine with me. Then he would not tell anybody he is fooling around. Too bad he didn’t know that any brown-eyed guy hitting on me ends up dead.

We agreed that I would pick him up the next day at 11 in the morning, two blocks from my hotel.

I took him to a remote beach I discovered driving around earlier that day.

Amazing how easy it is to lure these men. Even to a beach in pouring rain. Just promise them sex and they follow like lambs to the slaughter.

I gave him Rohypnol, the date rape drug. After the September 11 attacks, the security checks at the airports are tight. I have to hide the drug in my birth-control kit. The pills fit perfectly into the little wheel. Usually the only comment I get from the security guys when they look at it is: ‘Better to be safe than sorry,’ said with a smirk.

I put three pills in the Pharaoh’s wine before our swim. I know exactly how long it will take before he’s paralyzed. The first sign is that he gets groggy, so I get him onshore. He collapses and then I am free to do whatever I want.

In my purse I have some razor blades and latex gloves. After putting on the gloves, I run my fingers through his wet hair and neck. I put his arms on his stomach. Then, I take first his right then his left wrists and cut them, upwards, real deep. 

Wow! Looks like a volcano erupted!

I pull his arms out, so that he is lying in the Jesus crucifixion position. I drop the razor blade on his stomach.

Some of the blood is running down his groin. I get some blood on me, but that is going to be easy to clean, since I’m naked.

After another dip in the ocean I see that life is running out of my Jesus, my Pharaoh. 

“Exsanguination. Isn’t that a beautiful word?” I say it canorously, tunefully. 

I lie down next to him in the sand, in the same position he is in. 

“Exsanguination!” I call out in a singsong voice, “That’s the medical term for bleeding to death.”

I am drifting into something familiar…. A spine tingling desire is running through me. A shiver crawls along my skin. 

Suddenly, it turns into an electric shock, knocking me even deeper down into the sand. This is the trauma of my sordid, secret past, catching up with me. My body shakes and it feels as if I’m going into an aphrodisiac spasm. 

After a while I feel normal again. I look at my dead Pharaoh.

The rain feels good, like Holy Water on my body. Oh, this is so great; it’s giving me goose bumps, or it’s giving me cutis anserine. I like these medical terms. 

They might think it’s a suicide since he is so depressed about his divorce. With some luck he wont be found for 80 hours, then there will be no trace of Rohypnol in his body. 

Hope they have some lousy Horatio Caines here in Egypt’s C.S.I.

I peel off the bloody gloves and stuff them in a plastic bag, then I put on some new gloves. The wine bottles, paper cups and gloves will be thrown into different garbage containers on my way back to the hotel.

I toss his wallet far into the ocean and cover him with some branches; that will probably delay identifying him. 

I will be out of the country this evening. My flight is to Norway. Oh, yes, many tall, blue-eyed guys in Norway. I’m looking forward to that!

I walk 15 minutes to get back to my rental. I always park the car where other cars have been driving, even though in this rain I really don’t have to worry about my foot prints or tire tracks being found.

I’m wearing a dark brown wig it’s soaking wet and I place it in a plastic bag. Well, at least my own hair is dry. A few tosses with my hair, some brushstrokes, a little lipstick and I’m on my way.

Not that I am happy to be on the road with Cairo’s five million people, all driving like maniacs.

Remind me never to rent a car in Cairo again. Driving back to the hotel is a nightmare, I don’t think any of the drivers in Egypt have ever passed a driving test or taken any lessons. Whoever drives fastest, honks his horn the loudest, or screams highest out the car window rules!

To block out some of the noise I plop in my favorite CD and turn the music up, loud. I have had these songs specially made for me. 

Three years ago I met the Norwegian singer and musician Frode and we became friends. I asked him to record a CD containing specific songs. 

I told him the first and the last song on it should be ‘Love is in the air,’ but I had Frode sing the words ‘Fear is in the air.’ ‘Brown-eyed girl’ became ‘Blue-eyed girl.’ ‘Killing me softly with his song’ became ‘Killing you softly with my song,’ and so on. I think you get the picture…. 

So here I am, singing along, driving in crazy Cairo.

I have been in Cairo once before as a tourist. On the agenda then were sightseeing tours to the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Karnak and the Pyramids of Giza. 

Yesterday I went to the Cairo Egyptian Museum. I wanted to see the golden mask of King Tutankhamen, popularly called King Tut. It was an English archaeologist, Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb in 1922. He had been trying to find it for five years. 

Carter’s father, Samuel, was an artist. He taught Howard to paint and draw. I think we all can be grateful that Howard started excavating instead.

King Tut was born in 1341 B.C. They think, after DNA analysis, that he was probably killed by an infection or malaria, in 1323 B.C.

The museum was packed with people. Everyone was trying to get into the room where King Tutankhamen’s mask was on display. 

We passed a life-sized ebony statue. This statue guarded the treasure room of the tomb. Many people who have been in contact with the tomb have died mysteriously. This phenomena has been called the Mummy’s Curse. Legend has it that anyone who dares to open the tomb will suffer the wrath of the mummy.

My dead Pharaoh suffered the wrath of Ewa. Let’s just hope I don’t get any angry mummy chasing me. 

After an hour in line I could finally gaze at the unique funerary mask of King Tutankhamen. The gold, glass and semiprecious stones glitter in the soft spotlights. It sure was worth the wait. I could probably spend days in the museum and still not be able to see everything. 

I’m staying at a hotel named Mena House Oberoi. What a beautiful place! It’s only a five-minute walk to the Great Pyramids of Giza. My room has a balcony with a breathtaking view of the pyramids. 

Back in 1869, when the hotel was built, it was called Palace Khedives Ismail. It was used as a palace for the prince and his hunting buddies. The hotel is an oasis of elegance and luxury. 

One of the restaurants, Khan El Khalili, has a view of the pyramids. In the evening when the pyramids are illuminated, it’s a sight you will never forget.

When I arrive back at the hotel I meet Lovise and the captain in the lobby. Lovise is our youngest flight attendant. She is a friend of my brother’s wife, Irene and they invited her to their wedding in Las Vegas. Lovise is a hard worker and always in a good mood. I like her a lot. 

She pulls some pictures out of her purse. “Look, Ewa, the pictures you took of me by the pool with the pyramids in the background turned out great!” 

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The captain, already in his snappy uniform, is looking at the pictures too. “Did you know there was this American who had a scam going on to sell the pyramids to the highest bidder?” 

We all start laughing.

“Oh, that’s nothing,” I say, “another American is selling off properties on the Moon, so far he has probably made millions. I thought this was such a clever and fun scam, I sent him my hundred bucks. So now I’m the proud owner of one acre, named Stargate, on the Moon, and I have the deed to prove it!”

“That could only happen in America.” The captain is grinning. “Ewa, we missed you last evening. I tried to call you before we went out for dinner, but this bird has flown, like the Beatles sang.” The captain loves the Beatles. 

I laugh, “Clever of you to quote something from ‘Norwegian Wood,’ since we are flying to Norway today.”

He beams. 

“Sorry I couldn’t join you,” I say, with a smile, “I have some friends in the city and we went out for drinks, but now I have to get dressed. See you in the limo.”

“Do you need any help?” he says, with a wink.

I tick my finger at him, “Naughty, naughty,” and run upstairs.

 


 

The chapter “Egypt May 16, 2003” is from the book “Fear is in the Air” by Eva Newermann. Available on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books

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Drone Image: The Mountain

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Mountain

EnglishMy talented daughter Line Newermann has captured this image showing a mountain close to the end of a fjord in Norway a few hours outside of Stavanger. Do you see the little town at the bottom of the mountain? Norway has mountain ranges all the way from the south to the north of the country.


Norwegian2Min datter Line Newermann, har tatt et drone bilde av et fjell nær enden av en fjord, et par timer fra Stavanger. Ser du den lille bygda i bunnen av fjellet? Norge har fjellkjeder helt fra Sør til Nord i landet.

 

Drone: 3DR Solo, Kamera: GoPro4Black 2k resolution

Ewa Lowe & Childhood Trauma

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Ewa was only 10 years old when she had a traumatic event that would haunt her forever. Her loving cat, Nikita, was of great consolation to her the next couple of years.


 

Link: Ewa Lowe is a woman with a dark past, she is the main character, in the sci-fi thriller: Fear is in the Air.

I will regularly be posting a painting or image from the book, with some hints about what the book contains, here on my blog.

Planet of the Month: Mars

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Mars

Mars – Acrylic painting by Eva Newermann

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A long, long time ago there were volcanoes on Mars that spewed out flowing lava.

The highest volcano is called Olympus Mons and is nearly 25 km high. It has a diameter of 700 km. Denmark has a perimeter of 742 km.

 

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For lenge, lenge siden var det vulkaner på Mars som spydde ut rennende lava.

Den høyeste vulkanen heter Olympus Mons og er nesten 25 km høy. Den har en diameter på 700 km. Danmark har en omkrets på 742 km.

 

The Universe a Work of Art

Monthly facts brought to you from my eBook The Universe a Work of Art.

Drone Image: The Beach

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Beach

EnglishMy talented daughter Line Newermann has captured this image showing one of the many beaches outside of Stavanger. Norway a relatively small country has one of the longest shorelines in the world, because of all the fjords.


Norwegian2Min datter Line Newermann, har tatt et drone bilde av en strand utenfor Stavanger. Norge er kanskje et lite land, men har en av de lengste strandlinjene i verden på grunn av alle fjordene.

 

Drone: 3DR Solo, Kamera: GoPro4Black 2k resolution

Ewa Lowe & Star Trek Friends

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Ewa’s friend, Lovise, together with a Klingon and Ferengi. The fun party is in Las Vegas at Ewa’s brother’s elaborate wedding. At this time, Ewa doesn’t know that someone she will meet that evening, will change her life forever.


 

Ewa Lowe is a woman with a dark past, she is the main character, in the sci-fi thriller: Fear is in the Air.

I will regularly be posting a painting or image from the book, with some hints about what the book contains, here on my blog.

 

RACE TO THE BOTTOM: THE REJECTION CLUB

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Tired or upset of getting rejection letters? Read the great story below from my friend Martha and maybe feel a little bit better 🙂

 


RACE TO THE BOTTOM: THE REJECTION CLUB

By Martha Moffett

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My plan, this past summer, was to work on one story and get it polished and ready for rejection by Alaska Quarterly, One Story, and Glimmer Train, some of my favorite journals.

That’s an inside joke for the Rejection Club, four writers who decided to send out work at a fast clip and to keep score and compare notes, with the winner (loser) assigned to treat the rest of us to a bottle of wine in our favorite pub at the end of a year.

I had traditionally sent out one story to one journal and waited for a response. Sometimes it was months in coming. Sometimes it never came. “If this happens, they are just not interested in your work” is the general wisdom. At this rate, months become years and the work waited patiently in my computer. My three writer friends followed more or less the same routine.

But after Kim Liao’s article “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year” circulated on the Internet in June of 2016, we rethought our position. In addition to increasing our submissions, I said, “Let’s make it a competition. Who can get the most rejections fastest?”

It was on my calendar to take a workshop with Lisa Romeo at the Writers’ Circle called Submission Strategy. Lisa’s spreadsheet was a revelation to me. I began to keep better records of what I sent, where I sent it, the date, the outcome—rejection, yes, but as Lisa said, garner any feedback you get.

The four of us had a backlog of unpublished work. We’d met in a workshop where one of us was finishing a novel set in New York City and Italy; another was working on a crime novel; the third member’s novel was about an American family and how it changed over two

generations; and I was bringing my chapters of a novella to workshop to be picked over for problems of consistency, tone, and point of view. In addition, we all had stories, essays, short-shorts, and other bits and pieces in reserve.

We proceeded to build our attack. We met and exchanged literary journals, to improve our knowledge of what they published and what the editors liked. I came home with an armload of Ploughshares, which I had never read despite its reputation, and I passed out copies of Chattahoochee Review, where I’d been lucky in the past. I had a lot of back issues of One Story for the taking. I picked up copies of Gulf Coast, New Letters, and Bellingham Review.

We also exchanged lists of journals looking for submissions or running contests. One member subscribes to Literistic, a good source. I subscribe to Practicing Writing, Erika Dreifus’s daily blog, for the Monday list, and her monthly newsletter The Practicing Writer. There’s Publishing . . . and other Forms of Insanity. And of course Poets & Writers is available to all of us, magazine or online, a great guide and vetted by P&W—no ripoffs there..

We started our first round of submissions, and soon our emails were reading like this:

I got two rejections in a week. I’m surging ahead!

Do you know how many editors have “loved” this story but rejected it anyway?

Five agents have decided not to represent my novel.

I’m getting rejections from journals I don’t even remember submitting to!

“Your submission was read with interest.” But WAS it?

We sometimes got exactly the same standard rejection letter from different journals. And we discovered favorite tropes:

“Although your story was not selected, it does not mean it was without merit.”

And the current favorite:

“We were blown away by the quality of this year’s contest submissions . . . “

But we learned a lot. First, to take any word of encouragement as an invitation: “We liked your long story but there was no room for it in this issue.” Or, better, “Try us again.” A scribbled note in pencil on a standard rejection was to us fit for framing.

We got better at matching our work to certain journals. We send out work in batches, not one solitary story bearing our hopes for publication. Our common effort has lessened the pain of rejection—has actually given us many laughs. We’re ready to start a new wave of stories flying in all direction, electronically and by snail mail.

Early on, a friend said to Kim Liao, “Shoot for one hundred rejections in a year, because if you work that hard to get so many rejections, you’re sure to get a few acceptances too.”

It’s going to work. It has already worked! A few days ago I received news that I had won the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for The Novella. My writing friends will soon follow with their acceptances. And that bottle of wine is waiting.

Ewa Lowe: UFO

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Acrylic Painting by Eva Newermann

Stonehenge, England, built more than 5000 years ago. The heavy stones, are called bluestones, because of their blue color. They were dragged all the way from the Presell Mountains in South Wales, 402 kilometers away. Still, some people think : The aliens built it!


Ewa Lowe is a woman with a dark past, she is the main character, in the sci-fi thriller: Fear is in the Air.

I will regularly be posting a painting or image from the book, with some hints about what the book contains, here on my blog.

Planet of the Month: Earth

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Earth, Moon and Sun – Acrylic painting by Eva Newermann

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Here you see our Earth, Moon and Sun.

Earth is the third planet from the Sun. I think its the most beautiful planet in our solar system, and we should take better care of it. The Moon’s gravity is weaker than Earth’s. That means you can jump six times higher on the Moon.

 

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Her ser du Jorda, Månen og Sola.

Jorden er den tredje planeten fra Sola. Jeg syns det er den fineste planeten i vårt Solsystem, vi burde ta bedre vare på den. På Månen er tyndekraften mye svakere enn på Jorda. Det betyr at du kan hoppe 6 ganger høyere der.

 

The Universe a Work of Art

Monthly facts brought to you from the book: The Universe a Work of Art.

Boken er også tilgjengelig på Norsk: Universet som et Maleri.

Ewa Lowe: à la carte

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When Ewa is in Norway she orders a local dish: Smalahove. It turns out it’s half of a sheep’s head, complete with an eye and a tunge sticking out! There are potatoes and cabbage stew to go with it, too.


 

English2 Have you tasted Smalahove, when visiting Norway or somewhere else? Did you like it?

 

NorwegianHar du smakt på Smalahove i Norge eller i utlandet? Likte du det?

 


 

Ewa Lowe is a woman with a dark past, she is the main character, in the sci-fi thriller: Fear is in the Air.

I will regularly be posting a painting or image from the book, with some hints about what the book contains, here on my blog.