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Writing-Profile of Austin Mitchell
Austin Mitchell has written more than eighty short stories. He has also written several plays, poems and
novels. He has attended several writing workshops. Several of his short stories have been published in
newspapers in Jamaica. He is a past student of St. Mary’s College, Above Rocks, St. Catherine. He is from a community, called Glengoffe, one of the largest communities in the island, which is in the north east of the island, bordering the parishes of St. Mary and St. Andrew. He presently resides in the city of Portmore, which incidentally is also in the parish of St. Catherine.
What inspired you to write your book?
I have always wanted to write a novels.
Here is a short sample from the book:
by Austin Mitchell
August 11, 2001- Morgana Simmonds looked at her watch as Stewart Brown entered her home. He came up to where she was standing on the front lawn.
“Can’t you be early for anything? Imagine it’s my send off party and you have to be late. I can bet you were with April. No wonder you don’t want us to get engaged.”
“How many times must I tell you that April and I are nothing more than good friends? As for being late, I had to do something to my car.”
He reached for her hand, but she refused. Instead, she walked to the far corner of the lawn. Stewart followed her.
“Why are you behaving like that?”
“How should I behave? I’m so embarrassed when so many people have to be wondering where you are.”
“I told you where I was.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Why don’t you call April and find out if I was with her?”
“You know that we don’t speak to each other.”
They found seats on a bench in the garden.
“When you return we can get engaged, there’s no hurry. I’d like it to be as short as possible.”
“Just like you, I’m in no hurry to get engaged too. It’s only mummy and Aunt Sally, who think it might be best for both of us. They feel that it might make us feel more committed to each other. Anyway, I want to know why I called your phone last night and only got your voice mail?”
“I didn’t know my phone needed charging until around midnight. If you had called me before then you wouldn’t have gotten me. I didn’t see your message.”
Morgana put her chin in her hands.
“Here am I about to leave the island and I’m not sure what’s going to happen while I’m away. I could return to find you with some other woman or even married.”
“You know that won’t happen. There are lots of great looking women out there, but I’m not tempted.”
“Honestly, Stewart, I don’t know where our relationship is heading.”
“What are you talking about, Morgana? I thought the time we’ve been together would have meant something to you.”
“We’ve been going around for more than five years now, but I just feel that it means nothing to you. I think you’re still angry because I won’t spend nights or weekends with you.”
“Am I pressuring you to do that? Look how long we go sometimes without sleeping together.”
“Okay, so tell me, while I’m away who will you be sleeping with?”
“Why do you think I would want to sleep with any other woman?”
“I don’t believe you and that’s why I’m in such a confused
state of mind. I don’t want to be over there and be constantly fending off rumors about you and other women.”
“You know that won’t happen. How about a compromise?”
She looked over at the dancing area which was in full swing now. She knitted her brows and seemed to be in deep thoughts.
“What do you have in mind?”
“You could come for the holidays, maybe Christmas and Summer.”
“Why do I get the feeling that you’re only after my body?”
Stewart stood up before sitting down again.
“If I was only after your body I could have left you long ago.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Because I care about you.”
“If you behave yourself, I’ll come for the holidays and I’ll ask dad or his boss, Mr Norman, for a job to pay for my plane fare.”
They made their way to the pavement where the party was being kept and started dancing.
Morgana had finished her first degree and was off to complete her Masters in Business Administration at Mc Clelland International University. She had applied to that institution and had won a scholarship that would provide her with full tuition. It was several thousand dollars less than if she had done it locally. After she completed her degree, she would work for one year with her father’s cousin, Gordon Murdock’s management consultancy firm before returning home.
Stewart had wanted the party to be held at the Mountain Valley Hotel in Irish Town but she told him that her parents would prefer it to be held at their home in the Canrieves area of Upper St. Andrew. The two storey houses had been built in 1990 and had only thirty homes nestled among many fruit trees in the hills of this picturesque and sun drenched parish.
They had invited about forty people to the party and had hired a small sound system to provide the music. The family had gotten the services of a catering firm to do the food and drinks and prepare the party area.
As Morgana and Stewart danced she could feel the coolness of the night on her back and wondered if she should go inside for a sweater. She breathed a sigh of satisfaction as she saw friends and family members greeting each other and partaking in the feast. Some persons had brought bathing suits and were in the pool playing around.
Morgana saw her father, Byron, dancing with her mother, Monique, a woman at forty three, five years his junior. Her younger sister, Beverly, only nineteen, was dancing with her boyfriend, Rory Coombs. Rory and Bev had been going aroundfor about two years now. Bev was two inches or so shorter than her but with a fuller figure. Rory was a tall, burly man and was twenty years of age. Bev was wearing a pair of blue shorts and a yellow long sleeve pullover.
Stewart went to shake Byron Simmond’s hand.
“Stewart, you’re going to lose your girlfriend for three years. Do you think you can manage it? I know if I was your age, I couldn’t. All I beg of you is not to break her heart.”
He shook Stewart’s hand and slapped him on his back.
Stewart felt a bit uneasy after speaking to Byron. He knew that Morgana had a lot of close relatives besides her immediate family and they were always looking out for her. He didn’t think he would do anything to make what Byron just said come to past.
Byron came from a family of fisherman. Although he now followed a different profession, he couldn’t resist the lure of the sea and had bought a boat. Stewart had gone with the family on a few fishing expeditions.
He went to greet Morgana’s aunt, Sally and her husband, Sid Strudwick. Sally was two years older than her sister, Monique and just as shapely looking, Stewart thought. Sid was a giant of a man towering over his wife and was probably a few years older than her.
“I hope you behave while Morgana is abroad,” Sally warned.
“You know I will, Sally,” Stewart replied.
Stewart knew that when he was in auditing he had often done stock taking work at Sid’s hardware. He was aware that the man had been suspicious that he had slept with at least two of his female employees.
“We know that he won’t,” Sid said and the three of them laughed.
After they had finished laughing, Stewart said.
“I know Morgana will leave me if I don’t stay faithful to her.”
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Sid said as Morgana returned and she and Stewart started dancing again.