Tuesday, 1 July 2014

You know Lanzhou, Mona? ... Excerpt of GAME OVER

"Sit down; you'll have a drink with us! We were just discussing our respective trips, Erwan and me, Kunming and Lanzhou."
Mona and Wang Jun settle. The waitress comes. Erwan looks at his watch:
"Eight hours! I won’t stay much longer. I must go home."
Mona orders some tea and Wang Jun a beer. Erwan realizes he’s beginning to change, drinking beer! He’s influenced him. Mona seems surprised but says nothing. Rochester jokes:
“Aha! I see that Erwan has educated you, Wang Jun! This journey to Kunming was fruitful!"
Wang Jun smiles and answers in broken French:
"Yes, well! Erwan very nice to me! We saw many interesting things."
Mona interrupts and addresses Rochester:
"And your trip to Lanzhou? Was it interesting? And successful?"
Rochester pouts:
"Yeah! The agreement we’ve signed deals with several million dollars including an investment from my contractors and my ..."
He suddenly stops and then resumes quietly:
"And of course a few commissions and gifts, but it’s only normal. There’s also the ethical side that I haven’t been able to solve!"
Mona fades, but she recovers quickly. Rochester notes the discreet color change, Erwan too.
"You know Lanzhou, Mona? Have you ever been? He asks.
Mona responds quickly.
"I went there for my PhD. My supervisor wanted me to meet Municipality officials."
Erwan wants to ask her the theme of her doctorate. But he doesn’t have the opportunity. A small voice calls out:
"Dad, Mom asks if you’re staying here and if we need to eat without you!"
Lorraine is suddenly right next to the table. They didn’t hear her. Erwan rises:
"No Honey, it’s ok. Everything is clear. I’m coming with you."
He says goodbye to everyone, takes his daughter’s hand and leaves! 

Download GAME OVER at

Friday, 20 June 2014

Poor Mona, manipulated by all these men... EXCERPT OF GAME OVER

Erwan is stunned. So he takes more whiskey:
"What do you advise me to do?"
Nothing! Do nothing! Take care of your daughter. Beware of Wang Jun and say nothing to anyone, not even to your wife. Try to help Cosmos, if you can, and for the rest, nothing, be extremely cautious. You can rely on me. The most important thing is to adopt Emily. Once done, go back to France. It will be better! As for Cosmos, he is a pearl, he is naive and his wife is leading him into something dangerous. She’s a fanatic. My sources tell me that the proponents of this Qigong she reveres will be in conflict with the Chinese state in a few years. All this is not good for business. As soon as I can, I'm getting married and I’m returning to Montreal."
He stops suddenly. He pours himself a glassful, filling Erwan’s at the same time.
"I love you, dearly Erwan. You're like me when I was younger! But you're the only one who knows how to run your life!"
The waitress comes back:
"Do you want something else? Maybe something to eat?"
"Oh, why not!"
“Ok! I bring you some little things!"
"You see Erwan; here it’s a bit like Europe and the States. A protected area. Something completely artificial, but it works!"
Suddenly, they hear the sound of voices.
A voice:
"Mr. Rochester, Erwan! What a pleasure to meet you. Truly the world is very small."
Mona and Wang Jun approach their table.
"Do you mind if we join you?"
Rochester is walking on air. Mona approaches Erwan. He gets up, hugs him and kisses him on the cheeks French style. Wang Jun hangs back. Erwan thinks about what Rochester just told him: it’s all so difficult. Poor Mona, manipulated by all these men, her uncle, Wang Jun. He suddenly feels sorry for her. And yet, she looks so confident. Her appearance hides a great fragility. He remembers when she was beaten by the henchman of the Qi Gong master. Rochester stands up and kisses her. He shakes hands with Wang Jun, with some reluctance. 

Download GAME OVER at

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

She was foolishly in love with this guy ... a new excerpt of Game Over

"As you know, I went to negotiate a major contract in Lanzhou!"
"Yes, I had to go to Lanzhou too, but Mona put her foot down, and I don’t really know why. She explained there wasn’t enough money and Kunming is more interesting, especially if one considers the history and the Muslim Kingdom which as good as ruled Yunnan in the 19th century. I didn’t believe a word but that's how she presented things! I hope one day she’ll tell me why because it's a shame not to visit the Muslim community in Lanzhou!"
Rochester has already emptied his glass and fills a second. Erwan sips his. Meanwhile the waitress brings spring rolls and prawn crackers for snacks.
"I may have some elements that could help you understand how careful you must be. You remember what I spoke about at Mona’s wedding ..."
He stops suddenly, as though thinking:
"How can I say it, there are rumors, rumors, and all focused on a sordid affair, an error which has occurred and major changes in the months to come. But you should also deal with the question of the Emilie’s adoption."
Erwan has trouble keeping up. Maybe he hasn’t drunk enough to understand Rochester. He pours himself a drink.
"Listen Fred! I feel that things aren’t very clear about Wang Jun. He was very nervous. He doesn’t speak French well and my Chinese is pretty basic, but I’m feeling strange things!"
Rochester seems to reflect, weighing his words. The Glenlivet seems to weigh in his thoughts. He leans towards Erwan and speaks to him in the ear now:
"At Lanzhou, I met Wang Jun’s former girlfriend. She was a student at Beida. She was a friend of Yu Zhou also, but not of Na. Wang Jun was in the police; in my opinion he’s still in the police and his mission is to watch you, but the target is Cosmos and Na and their friends at Beida."
Erwan is stunned:
"And Mona?"
"She was foolishly in love with this guy. She believed in him. It was a perfect cover for him. Her uncle is an official and he made things easier, but that's all. In fact he’s been sidelined. Wang Jun has a surveillance mission. He is a master spy! Watch out! But you can trust Mona, she knows nothing. Mona became aware of the real role played by Wang Jun! He disgusted her. She is doubly trapped. Luckily for her, her uncle still has a little power. But if he disappears, she’ll have to return to France."

Download GAME OVER at






ONLY $2.00

Saturday, 17 May 2014

"He drinks it like me! He likes whisky, not ice cubes!" ... EXCERPT OF GAME OVER

Frederick Rochester sits alone at a table. There are few people in the restaurant. He’s waiting for Erwan. He arrives shortly after. He sees Rochester immediately.
"So young man, always an old man there first. Well, I’m joking. How was your trip to Kunming?"
Erwan looks cheerful.
"If I hadn’t had to drag along Wang Jun who isn’t very dynamic and doesn’t understand what to do, it would have been perfect. As there isn’t enough money in the project Mona made us travel by train. Well, Beijing-Kunming is a long way. Fortunately we got "soft berths." I took the upper bunk and Wang Jun was underneath. There were two Party officials in the compartment with us. One was very old. They were very interested in what a foreigner could be doing in Kunming in winter."
Rochester is waiting for the rest.
Erwan continues:
"In fact we were well received. The climate is pleasant. Very wet but not cold at all. We were housed in the Institute of Foreign Languages. There was a French guy who had previously worked at Beida. When I told him that my wife worked for the Foreign Languages Publishing House, he asked me if I knew Yu Zhou who he’d had as a student."
"So, what did you answer?"
Erwan looks mysterious.
"Actually, I didn’t know what to say. He could feel I was bothered and Wang Jun was embarrassed!"
"Oh, Wang Jun understands French now? He’s improved since the wedding!"
Erwan laughs:
"You are hard with the boy. He did his best but he really isn’t very smart!"
Rochester takes on the attitude of the man who knows something but isn’t going to let on to everything at once.
"You know, I may be right to be hard on him!"
Meanwhile a waitress has arrived.
"What are you having?"
"It’s on you?"Erwan asks!
"Obviously, I'm not yet going to exploit a poor penniless journalist working for almost nothing and supported by his wife! Should I say his wives?"
Again, Rochester laughs. He turns to the waitress and asks in English:
"I think you have a good Scotch whisky, single malt, 12 years old, am I wrong?"
The young woman smiles. Rochester flirting again, thinks Erwan.
"We recently got a very good Glenlivet Mr. Rochester. Do you want to try it?"
"You are so kind to me, yes of course!"
The waitress leaves.
"Well I have things to tell you Erwan. First, since you returned from Kunming, what’s happening in your family?"
Erwan’s annoyed look says more than his possible answer.
"Ok, I understand!"
The waitress comes back with a bottle of Glenlivet. She puts two glasses on the table and serves generously.
"As usual I suppose, no ice?"
Rochester:
"You've got it!"
"And for the French gentleman as well?"
"He drinks it like me! He likes whisky, not ice cubes!"
She pours the whiskey into the glasses then puts the bottle on the table and goes to leave:
"Mr. Rochester, shall I put it on your account?"
"Yes, of course!"
Rochester turns to Erwan:
"I like whisky Erwan, and I love to drink it with you because I can feel that you love it too. It must be our Celtic roots! I am a Quebecer but my mother - God keep her in his holy guard - was Scottish, Clan McNeil, in Lanarkshire. But you know, there really are things I have to tell you."
Erwan waits. He's used to Rochester beating around the bush. It seems like second nature to him. He takes his glass, observes it, turns the liquid around the glass and then swallows a small mouthful. He closes his eyes. The alcohol enters his body. It feels divine. Well he is willing to listen to Rochester.
"That's it Fred, I'm ready! There you go!"

Download GAME OVER at






ONLY $2.00

Friday, 18 April 2014

They are smart these Chinese. They hide things well but they couldn’t mislead an old fox like him...new excerpt of Game Over

Even Wang wouldn’t say anything about it. They are smart these Chinese. They hide things well but they couldn’t mislead an old fox like him.  Nevertheless, there is another problem with Cao Yu!
"Mr. Rochester! I think our meeting was very beneficial. We are all very excited here about this collaboration. The exploratory visit two months ago enabled us to move forward a lot. We have prepared a Memorandum which includes most of our discussions and the points on which we agree. It will be in Chinese, English but also in French. Cao Yu and Weina will type it and they will give it to you tonight at your hotel! We have the honor to invite you to a banquet tonight at 8 pm. The Governor of Gansu Province will honor us with his presence. We will pick you up from your hotel at half past seven!"

Hell!, thinks Frederic, only one VIP in the meeting. It pays to be discreet about production conditions, but as that old chap Vespasian said, money has no honor. Well, it’s not as if I’m buying toilets!"
Frederic Rochester thanks the Director. Liu Hong leaves the room with the two young women.
 …
10 pm

Rochester and Michael get back to their hotel. A tip for the driver. The door slams. The car from the Lanzhou Clothing Factory leaves. Rochester is pensive and watches it go.
"Let’s walk Michael. I need to."
They cross the hotel gate. The sentry looks at them oddly: as if to say, what a strange idea to go out while he'd like to be inside. Two other soldiers are pacing up and down outside the gate, their rifles and fixed bayonets reflecting the light of street lamps and military overcoats and fur hats on their heads. Hell! It's winter!
One of the soldiers says something to Michael. He nods.
"He says not to go too far away, to stay on the avenue. The neighborhood is not safe! Personally, I do not know!”
"Ok" says Rochester!"What have you learned? "
Michael smiles again:
"Not much more than what I heard the last time!"
"Yes, but?"
He feels that Michael is teasing him!
"There are rumors! Things will change here. The Director General of the factory is a VIP. He was trained by Kang Sheng to whom he was an assistant. But he wants to change things. He says with a laugh: from the past you can create the future. He is very interested in this contract because he wants this business to grow.  But the person that matters is the Production Manager! Actually, he is a Security Officer!"
"His name?" 
"Wang Gang! Yes! He wants to modernize everything! But there is the past! What you heard is true, but that will change radically. Capital from Hong Kong will be injected and a new plant will be created!"
The message cannot be clearer. The opportunity is there. Trust them and do not meet the moral requirement of his Canadian clients, but be there tomorrow when everything will have changed. Or stop and not be there tomorrow.
"Ok Michael! We continue! I'll arrange things with public opinion in Canada!"
Not that easy, thinks Rochester.
"And for the rest?"
"There is the apparent truth ... and the rest! This girl Cao Yu actually comes from Chongqing, but ..."
He will not say more. Rochester does not need to ask for more.
"Okay, let's go! They will probably arrive soon and have a drink at the bar to allow me to digest all that superabundant food. I will soon be over 110 kg if this continues!"
Michael laughs suddenly:
"I suggest you do sport with me in the morning!"
"That's you making fun of me. We'll see when you're my age!"
They enter the hotel. A doorman opens the door. Cao Yu and Weina are inside. They are waiting.
"We saw you outside but we did not want to disturb you! Here are the contracts!"
Cao Yu hands him a folder that includes French copies of the contracts.
"We did not put in the English and Chinese versions. But tomorrow we will sign everything. Someone will pick you up at 9:00. Have a good night."
Rochester does not have time to react, they have already left. He notices a shadow at the back of the lobby.
"Come to the bar, we'll look at all this. Too bad we didn’t get the Chinese version. I hope there’s no difference."

Download GAME OVER at





ONLY $2.00

Friday, 4 April 2014

How she looks at Cao Yu, as she was her lover... another excerpt of Game Over

Another man approaches. He is introduced as the production manager. Other people come to greet him. And then they all enter the building. Someone explains that this is a showroom, they will show him the best of their production, they hope to develop mutually beneficial cooperation and this will only strengthen the friendship between the peoples.
They have hardly entered the building when they are lead to a small reception. There are several young women inside. They are dressed in silk robes. One of them immediately attracts Rochester’s attention.
Could it be the person who Michael spoke to him about? He feels his hand on his shoulder and their exchange of looks is extremely clear. Yes, that's it. The young woman is extremely beautiful. But there’s something sad about her, something lost. Who is she? The CEO speaks to them:
"These young people are the hostesses here to welcome such honorable guests to our showroom. They are part of our company sales staff. One of them speaks French. Miss Cao Yu!"
The young woman comes over and leans forward to greet Rochester:
"Mr. Rochester, welcome to our company. I will do my best to facilitate your stay." She keeps her eyes fixed on the ground.   
Her accent is flawless, but Rochester refrains himself from asking her where she learned.
Zhou Xiaowen continues to make presentations in broken English:
"Miss Wang Weina, meanwhile, speaks English and I understand that in your country both languages are officially used. Both young women are from Chongqing, in Sichuan. We have recruited them to work in the sales department."
Rochester nods to all these words of welcome, but what can he say and how should he behave. Everyone lies here. The visit takes place normally. And then the negotiations start. The previous visit had established a preliminary agreement. Rochester is here to finalize things. How can he ensure that production doesn’t include forced labor? At noon, the meeting stops and they start lunch. They are accompanied by the two young women. Rochester chats with them. He learns that they previously worked in a hotel in Chongqing. Which hotel? The Hotel Yudu answers Weina. How strange, it is precisely the same hotel where he stayed the last time he went to Chongqing. Weina says they worked in administrative and commercial relations with companies to develop business tourism. The Yudu Hotel "loaned" them to the Lanzhou Clothing Factory. No, they do not know the details of the "agreement".
Then one thing leads to another, he learns that they both live in Ciqikou, a really nice neighborhood. He does not go further in his enquiry. He knows enough about that now. Michael always smiles. He wonders if this boy ever stops smiling.
After lunch, they go to the City Council. Again, exchange of favors, hugs, tea, and welcome. The Mayor makes a speech. Cao Yu gives Michael a hand for the translation. Rochester looks on. She seems tired and sad. The other hostess is always close to her as if she was protecting her. So what is the story of this girl and why so many lies about her? He looks on again. The production manager has approached the group. He is close to Wang Weina. Rochester is a wily old fox! He has been about a bit. He sees how the director is playing with Wang Weina, their occasional glances. As clear as spring water.
Casting couch behind it for sure. The Mayor ends his speech. It is Rochester’s turn to say a few words. He is used to this and does it promptly. Then, exchange of gifts. Journalists arrive. Flashes crackle. Serious things can start now. Fifteen minutes later a few of them find themselves in a small lounge. That is to say, Rochester and his faithful interpreter, the director Zhou, the director of production, Cao Yu and Wang Weina, some others, obviously business executives and another person who has just arrived.
Cao Yu accompanies this person, introducing her to Rochester. She is a lady of about fifty, still good looking, but seems tired by life.
Immediately the singing crystal-clear voice of Cao Yu:
"Mr. Rochester, may I introduce you to Ms. Liu Hong. She is assistant Director of the "Lanzhou Clothing Factory." She will attend the meeting. She knows some French. She is originally from Shanghai, which is an important city for the production of textiles in China."
Rochester carefully observes the lady. She seems overwhelmed by her function. The director invites everyone to sit.
The negotiation that ensues is not easy. Discussions are tough on prices, quantities, delivery times and business conditions. Rochester would like to know more about the conditions of production. He poses an indirect question. Everyone understands what he asks. Nobody is fooled but no one answers. He won’t insist and will think of an explanation for his clients.
In the end, isn’t the main thing to do business? Michael will probably tell him more later! The meeting ends around 6 pm. The director gets up. He speaks in Chinese. Cao Yu translates. She seems tired. Weina beckons her to sit down and asks Michael to translate. The Director approves. Rochester catches Liu Hong’s expression. How she looks at Cao Yu, as she was her lover. Yes, that’s it, of course!

Download GAME OVER at




ONLY $2.00

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

"Hmm! Mercedes! They like good cars in Lanzhou!" (a new excerpt of Game Over)

They finish their breakfast. Wang is ready. Rochester goes back to his room:
"Wang, 5 minutes! I’ll be back! "
"No problem, Mr. Rochester! I’ll wait for you"
"When are you going to drop the Mr. Rochester and call me Rochester like everyone else, or even Frederic?"
Wang smiles!
9 pm! Rochester is back in the lobby! Wang is at the door. He waves. They go out. A car awaits them.
"Hmm! Mercedes! They like good cars in Lanzhou!"
The hotel porter greets them and opens the vehicle door. Rochester moves his 100kg into the back seat. The porter shuts the door. Wang settles in the front with the driver. They start off. The ride is not very long. It's cold outside but there’s no snow on the road. Five minutes later, they arrive at an official building with inscriptions in large letters on a banner to welcome the honorable foreign guest. The vehicle enters a courtyard. The Mercedes goes around a small roundabout and stops at the foot of a staircase. A welcoming committee is present: officials in suits and ties who are braving the cold. Immediately, someone opens the door.
Welcome wishes are expressed. Rochester climbs out of the vehicle. Someone helps him, which puts him in a bad mood, he is not disabled nor an old man yet, but he knows that it is only kindness. He does not show his irritation. A man comes forward. Though dressed in civilian clothes, Rochester senses he is a soldier, someone with rank. The person approaches and addresses him in broken English:
"Welcome Mr. Rochester. I am Zhou Xiaowen, director general of the Lanzhou Clothing Factory! We are delighted with your visit and hope that our collaboration will be beneficial."

Frederic Rochester shakes hands with Zhou Xiaowen. The man has a grip of steel. His apparent cordiality, however, hides extreme hardness. 

Download GAME OVER at



ONLY $2.00