HOUSE OF THE DEAF
Ben Williamson has lost a daughter. While studying abroad in Madrid, Michelle Williamson was caught in a bombing by Basque separatists, a bombing that killed her and several members of the Guardia Civil at a post in a park. For Ben, this act of violence has left only questions, and at a moment of despair he decides to seek out the reasons for Michelle’s death. As Ben begins to learn about the endless tensions beneath the surface of Spanish culture, he finds that he wants someone to answer for his loss.
Ben’s other daughter, Annie, is also wrestling with the loss of her sister. When she follows her father to Spain, she finds a changed man.
Haunting and beautiful, House of the Deaf is the story of one man’s brush with terrorism and his quest to find answers.
$14.95 us / $17.95 C | Fiction Trade Paperback | 6x9 | 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932961-28-7 | Carton Quantity: 24
A summer evening and he had been walking among the crowds around the Puerta del Sol. He’d felt some pressure from behind, a faint nudge, and then an even fainter nibbling in his hip pocket. The plaza was well-lit, the crowd, perhaps, even more numerous than normal. He found he was able to whirl and, all in one motion, seize the wrist of the young man who had his fingers in his hip pocket. He had never moved that quickly or coordinated two motions that successfully before. It had been so deftly done no one seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. The crowd flowed around them and he was left squeezing the thin wrist of a young man who was a boy of no more than eighteen. When the boy tried to break and run, all Ben had to do to keep him there was squeeze some more. If he’d needed to, he felt sure he could have snapped the bones. Neither of them said a word. The boy had startled, extraordinarily alert eyes. In the streetlight’s orange glow his face was jaundiced. It rose out of the shadows along the crest of the nose and the point of the chin. He had a predator’s face. He looked like a fledgling hawk.
In the onrush of street noise Ben squeezed until he imagined he heard one tiny bone give way. The boy’s mouth wrenched open, but he didn’t make a sound. Nonetheless, Ben heard a sound, a word, as though it had been whispered in his ear. “Señor.”
He let off the pressure a bit. Now he could feel the surge of the boy’s pulse. He marshaled the Spanish he’d learned. “You want my money,” he said. “What else is it you want?”
With his free hand, the boy tried to pry Ben’s fingers loose. He tried to scare him into thinking he could draw a knife from his pocket or simply hit him on the side of the head. At no time did their eyes part. The boy’s might feint or flinch, but there was a shaft of sight right down the center where he and the man he’d tried to rob were locked. When Ben released the wrist he did it by stages, and when he let go of it entirely it was as if he were telling this fledgling pickpocket, Now, now you can fly.