I am writing this book as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia Riyadh. I have started the first chapter and the next expatriate will write the next without completely changing the story but just carrying on from the previous chapter. This will continue with other expatriates writing one or more chapters until the book is finished! Hoping to create a fictional masterpiece with the many minds on board!

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6. Conspiracy

“All I’m saying is that it doesn’t make any sense that Noah, his family, all the animals and the food stayed so long on the ark even though they had no fridge, no air conditioning or sanitizer and the animals did not eat each other or kill someone. It’s so obviously just a children’s story. I can’t believe anybody actually thinks that story is real.”  Sakhile said while vigorously wiping a menu with a Dettol wet wipe, the cutlery was next.


Madri was sitting across from her skimming another menu. She had gotten in touch with Thami on the expat forum. She had been home from the ship for two weeks but had still not been able to get back into a normal sleeping routine. Sometimes she would wake up in a cold sweat, panicked that she was late for “Breakfast Club” which was really a nice sounding way of saying “because you’re a useless dumb-ass who did not meet target again, we are depriving you of yet another hour of sleep for training that will really make no difference in your performance.”


Madri had been doing some online research on Sfyner. She was reading reviews from passengers on the “detox” products. She was reading reviews from former employees and she was talking to other Sfyner employees that she knew from the training academy that they had to attend before coming on the ship. She didn’t have any solid evidence for now but besides being a company that exploits others for their personal gain, there was something really really sinister about Sfyner. She shared her findings with Thami. She was talking about an expose’.

“Oh honey, I am not into these conspiracy theory kind of things - but I know someone that you can possibly talk to.” Thami gave Madri Sakhile’s contact details and now one month later, here they were about to have lunch in a restaurant in Srinagar Kashmir.


“Hmm… I think I’ll have some daal and garlic naan.” Madri said and put the menu aside. She crossed her arms on the table and leaned in closer. “I have so many questions and I feel like I am going crazy. Nobody believes me. There was a look of pleading and exhaustion in her eyes.


“I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m not superstitious. I believe there is an explanation for this. I don’t think it’s aliens. I do know that power and greed and unresolved childhood issues can make some pretty ugly people. I will help you. But first we need to unwind. We’re driving up to Sonmarg tomorrow. I think it’s just a few hours away.  We’ll ride some ponies in the snow and stay in a tent. I don’t know about you but I really need to make the most of these 5 days here in Kashmir. I am so glad to be out of Saudi for a while. Now where is that food because I am starving.” As if summoned by her words, a waiter appeared beside Sakhile with some paratha and spicy vegetable korma. “Let’s eat.”


to be continued...


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