seven years easy town

book 3: shaping, or it could be so easy

snippets from book 3: The compound and a discovery, can’t I hurt?, Alice’s office, disappointing others, a tour of The Compound, seven teams, seven floors, many new faces, a welcome party, Jazz gives an advice, a night on the roof, getting to work, warming up to working with the teams again, the arrival of the international teams, princes and princesses, spies, a dragon on diet, a gay couple, Navarro the philosopher dwarf and Sammy the architect dwarf, a fight, a revelation, why do they hate us so much?, meetings, training, music in the rehearsal room, getting the numbers right, a night out, a birthday, the Gods Garden, the opening of the front house, the first edition of the town paper, Kaya’s exhibition, the sex talk, a meeting brought about, several decisions, a party and speculations, another party, more rumours and a dance, a night with a steep fall, sick, Alice fights, Jazz steps in, a photo shooting and a sex talk Alice would rather not have, completing the planning stage, another birthday, and then there was silence, walking through London, homelessness, Andy and Daria take Alice out to party, someone loses control, someone else leaves, do you have no heart?, Heather gets a new job, three in hospital, yes, let’s do it, Andy makes a decision, Prince Farid insists, back, where do we go from here?, the summons, decisions.

Alice Adler arrives in London after two month of travelling around the world. She is thrilled by the new project’s base, The Compound and happy to see all her team members again. Except that there are a lot of new faces and a lot less time for the old friends. The one positive consequence of this is that Alice gets to work a lot more with Leo again.

The first two weeks are very busy, since the international teams are due to arrive on the 15th. And when they do, they bring truck loads of additional inspirations and irritations.

As the ideas take shape and plans are made, Alice has only few moments to herself. And she is glad when she discovers a piano in a basement.

‘A lot of the dark stuff is my fault. I didn’t take proper care of myself. I didn’t make proper demands for myself. I was too keen on independence and wanted to do everything myself. Me writing to Tom and asking him to work with me on the project, that cost me a lot of effort. I had to overcome my basic instinct never to ask anyone for help, for cooperation. And now I have this fantastic team, but deep down, I still struggle with letting people close.’

book 3, shaping

There is opposition to the project. there are some parties ripe with rumours. And love that does what it does best: create confusion.

However, the greatest worry is the town itself. While the plans for the town and the experiment are finalised, the project team can’t find a country courageous enough to dare host the experiment.

When the summons comes, Alice, Andy, Farid, Jack and Jazz have no idea what to expect.

NOTE: Book 3 is work in progress. But some scenes, especially the last two chapters were among the first ever written for the series.

The following extract will probably not make it into the final draft of book 3. But since I like it, it gets a little publicity as a placeholder.

[Alice] ‘It happens again and again. The English, and the Scottish, come to think of it, running strange words by me, just to catch a gap in my vocabulary. I wonder why everyone enjoys this so much.’
‘Don’t you know?’ Leo asked with a smile.
‘There is a greater purpose?’
‘Of course. It’s to reassure ourselves that our language isn’t so easy to learn that just about anyone can speak it properly. It needs a lot of refinement, and we like to think of ourselves as the most refined.’
‘You can have that. I mean please take the award for most refined. It’s strange nonetheless. Pride with the lack of self-confidence.’
‘You’re too harsh.’
‘No, I’m just in a bad mood. What does ubiquitous mean, anyway?’
‘Where did you catch that?’
‘Why? Is it a decease?’
‘No. Who said it?’
‘Some girl – no woman. She said something about me being so ubiquitous.’
Leo laughed. ‘That could mean a lot of things.’
‘So you want to keep me ignorant as well? Well, then let’s get to work.’
‘Don’t you want to take a look around first?’
‘Sorry. Give me a few minutes, and I’ll be better. Is this a door to a safe room?’

book 3, shaping
book cover for book 3, shaping, by Charlie Alice Raya

shaping, or it could be so easy

Price: € (incl. VAT)
Format: ePub

publishing date: winter 2021/spring 2022


The international teams
Autumn / winter
And then there was silence
A new year
Where do we go from here?
The summons