International Crises seem topical, so here’s my #SampleSunday for today from my novel, Diavolino. With Berlusconi licking his wounds this morning the Italian setting will add to the atmosphere.
Homa Jawini flicked from news channel to news channel. She’d not heard from her husband since he’d been collected by Sir Roger’s driver in the early hours. She knew in her heart that something had happened to Mohsen; she felt it.
The ticker along the bottom of the TV screen was full of the usual sensational bites: Italy on her knees—Temperatures reach 59°celsius—Italy in darkness as big air conditioning switch-on causes massive power drain—Looting rife in major cities—Millions dead. Newsreaders told of the strange disaster that had struck so swiftly at the center of Europe, slowly—but surely—turning rumor and speculation into fact.
“The only explanation is volcanic activity,” said a wiry professor from Oxford University to the CNN audience. “This is the kind of event that our planet hasn’t experienced for millions of years. Anything could happen.”
“We have warned the Iraqis to stop this meteorological warfare,” said a White House spokesperson, “and demanded an explanation. If they don’t comply by midnight Washington time, we are ready to hit them.”
“In the light of intelligence I have received, I am convinced of Al Qaida involvement,” said the British Foreign Secretary on the BBC.
“All attempts by the European Union to get aircraft into Italian airspace have met with disaster. Have you any idea what caused these fighters to come down?” a Sky interviewer quizzed a French air force spokesperson.
“Not at all,” was the reply, “but we cannot rule out a hostile attack.”
No one had a clue. The Indians blamed Pakistan. The Israelis launched rocket attacks on the Palestinians. Russian troops massed on the borders of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Pope said it was the result of an amoral population and urged the world to turn to God. Everyone pointed a finger as a major international crisis unfolded.
Everyone except Homa Jawini.