Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday Tease - Dining Out Around the Solar System by Clare O'Beara

Clare O'Breara provides this week's Tuesday Tease with an excerpt from her collection of stories 'Dining Out Around the Solar System'.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Dining Out Around the Solar System
by Clare O'Beara

Our editor George mentioned out of the hearing of other media representatives that he was intending to run an article on the SS Richard Montgomery shortly. The civil servant may have thought it was just another revisiting of an old theme. But George did not elaborate and the civil servant did not want to give the impression that there was more to the issue than the casual reference would have suggested. So George had done his duty. 

We published. 

Front page main headline, which in zine parlance is the splash; four inside pages.

AHOY NEPTUNE! ESTUARY BOMBS TO BE CLEARED

Don’t blame us for the headline, that was a sub-editor’s job in most cases, and they were always aiming to grab attention.

We covered everything from the Heathrow congestion and planned new airport to the bird sanctuary interview; from the explosives off the Isle of Sheppey to the specialist off-planet team arriving to provide expertise.

The turn of the year meant that small pleasure craft would no longer ply the Thames Estuary. Where I would have picked summer for better weather, the worse weather meant fewer members of the public and small boats, a decided advantage when dealing with thousands of tonnes of explosives.

“You should know that.” Pietr sounded serious. “You guys find a great story like this in some different zine, it gets taken away from you and handed to me. You might get your names as researchers on the bottom. You find this story as a freelancer, what do you think happens?”

“We sell it?” Myron asked.

“You go to jail,” said Pietr.

We were invited out to the working boat. Myron and I looked at Pietr. 

“I’m not getting on any boats,” he said. “If you want to go, I believe these people will take good care of you. I’ll sit here with binoculars, if someone can find any.” One of the bluer of the workers promptly went and got him a pair, which had a removable adaptation to fit Neptunian shaped eyes.
Myron and I went happily along with our new friends. They took us to the marine engineering firm’s Portashells which were near the edge of the water. The engineers assumed that we had clearance and invited us to come in and get into drysuits. The water was cold and the wind-chill was increasing, and we would fare much worse if we were wearing normal clothes.

A RIB is a rigid inflatable boat, and this has an engine at the rear which pushes the nose up and out of the water as it bounces along at a great speed. This was a good-sized one and I realised that it must have an antigrav component because it never sank in the water though the team of Neptunians got on with us. The marine engineer steering it took us out to the dive boat, a large – to our eyes – vessel over a mile offshore. We sat back and gripped the rope lacings along the sides and breathed in salt spray air, grinning foolishly at our friends and each other. The RIB engine was so noisy that we couldn’t really talk but we were relishing being right down at water level, streaking across the Thames estuary, heading for the most dangerous boat in the world.

Click here to buy Dining Out Around the Solar System from Amazon US / Amazon UK

About the Author:

Clare O'Beara is a tree surgeon and expert witness, and a former national standard showjumper. She has qualified in ecology and includes environmental issues in some of her stories. She serves on the Royal Dublin Society Forestry and the Environment Committee. 

Clare is an award–winning writer of fiction and non–fiction, whose journalism work has been published in more than thirty countries. Her credits include Mensa Magazine and Mensa International Journal. 

2013 - Winner, Print Journalism in Ireland's National Media Awards.
2014 - Winner, Arkady Renko Short Story Contest.
Top 500 Reviewer: Amazon.co.uk.
In 2013 Clare independently published seven books of crime, science fiction and romantic suspense. In 2014 she published four more. Clare reads extensively and reviews books for Fresh Fiction.com. She contributed a story to A Pint And A Haircut (Lon Dubh, 2010), an anthology in aid of Concern's Haiti fund. 

She lives in Dublin with her husband and cats.

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