“Annabel & Sarah” foi o quarto romance que eu escrevi. Antes de terminar o ensino médio e antes de virar o rato de biblioteca acadêmica que sou hoje, logo, eu acho que é uma das coisas mais sinceras que já escrevi – embora, eu veja aqui e ali marcas de imaturidade literária e pessoal. Bem, o mais estranho é que desde que o livro foi lançado algumas pessoas se ligaram de verdade nele – pessoas que gostavam mais da Annabel ou mais da Sarah ou sei lá, de uma raposa iluminada. A verdade é que o livro saiu de mim e me surpreendeu, porque tem gente no país inteiro lendo. Pessoas diferentes e/ou parecidas comigo. Pessoas que andaram por aqueles dois mundos estranhos e se divertiram por lá. Bem, o fato é que pessoas fora do país ouviram sobre o livro e até uma menina da Holanda – Hi, Kayla, talking to you here! – me adicionou por causa disso. Pena que não existia em inglês…até agora. E para dividir a vibe com vocês, aqui está um dos meus capítulos favoritos já na língua de Shakespeare. Um muito obrigado enorme também para a Sabrina Ramsey – uma americana que gosta de Doctor Who – que fez um lindo trabalho com as minhas meninas.
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Annabel and Dean stopped the car at the Ferlinghetti’s Café about twenty minutes after Annabel was almost made road-kill. It was a small and sympathetic place where travelers rested up before hitting the road once again. When the pair arrived, there was little commotion. Rain started to fall.
They hurried into the café. It was tidy and smelled nice. A vacationing family of beavers was sitting at a table in the corner and a motorcycle gang of dogs drank beer at the bar. A pig dressed in a black suit was dropping coins in a jukebox. He was a priest and carried his suitcase with him. Annabel and Dean sat in a table near the entrance.
Annabel heard the fox excitedly rambling with grand gestures when a slender deer came and asked what they wanted. “Hello to you too! How I love this place… every time I come here, I get some crazy ideas about what I’ll do with my life when I get old like my dad or grandfather… I’ll open a pizzeria that looks out to the ocean and- oh sorry, yes, I would like…” He went on to order creampuffs, vanilla ice cream, cupcakes with icing and two soft drinks.
As the two chatted, she discovered more and more about the strange creature beside her. Dean Chinaski could be categorized into a very specific type of group: The kind your parents wouldn’t like to see you in. He was a gifted, self-aware and self-accepting con man. An inveterate gambler, involved in various shenanigans, not necessarily because he was a bad guy, but because that was the best solution he could see to get things he wanted.
A crook. Yes. Dean Chinaski was a kind of Holy Rogue or an enlightened bum. He had an uncanny ability to transform the most uninteresting stories. He recounted a story of mere bar fight, that morphed into a brilliant, epic, glorious battle as he spoke.
He was born on August 29 in a expressionless and conservative family. As he grew older, he decidedly, though without reason, ended up taking the wrong path in life. When he turned eighteen, he moved to a small town and struck up friendship with some urban tribes with a bad reputation. His parents no longer tolerated his seemingly uncontrollable rebellion, and kicked him out of their house. That’s when he realized what came to be he life mantra: when you have nowhere to go, you can go anywhere.
“And what about you, girl, what happened to you?” he asked.
“I need to find a flower called Love-in-idleness.” She then briefly explained the bizarre circumstances that have entered her life from the moment her sister was abducted to the instant he almost plowed her down.
Dean Chinaski straightened his jacket and said, “Well, I know nothing about this flower, but I know a guy who might be able to help. They call him Op Spade, the best private detective around. I work for the bloke and damn, I can bet fifty bucks that’s there is no one like him… I can take you to his office if you want.”
“I can’t pay you,” Annabel answered, starting to get worried.
“I don’t think he would charge you if he took the case. He used to like intriguing challenges. The big problem is that since his family was murdered last year he has been laying low, working just enough to pay the bills and survive. I do odd jobs for him like delivery, night watch and check information in obscure documents for him. It doesn’t pay much but it’s enough to enjoy a Friday night.”
“I see. Dean, when we met, you said something about there being others like me, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, but your kind is an endangered species. Really savage. Most of them don’t even know how to communicate. Those who live in cities are house pets or food most of the time. They are quite cheap in the black market but normally you need a license from the government to own one.”
Annabel was shocked. It was impossible to tell if Dean Chinaski had noticed her bewilderment when he abruptly left a handful of coins on the table and coaxed her to follow him from the table. He did not explain his sudden rush. They jumped into the car and sped off in an instant. The owner of the diner, cursing, tried to run after them. He didn’t accomplish much, other than a sweaty brow. Dean’s coins were worth less than half of the bill.
“Hoo! Yipee! Hoo!” shouted the fox with all the energy of a juvenile delinquent. “Dude, I’m really awesome! Oh, did you see how the old geezer ran? Yes, damn, yeah…”
Annabel leaned her head on the window and watched the raindrops falling heavier, spotting the windshield and mirrors. She was afraid and wondered if she would be able the end of this mess.
The momentum of a rock n’ roll tune playing on the radio and the quivering balance of the car began to make her sleepy. Her eyes were drooping shut when suddenly the excitement in Dean’s singing voice was replaced by alarm.
“Trouble. Jump to the back seat, quick… There is an overcoat back there, cover yourself with it.”
Annabel became immediately alert. Without hesitation, she did as he said and dove into the backseat. Through the glass she could see a black car approaching at high speed and with the siren on. One arm reached out from the window, signaling Dean to pull over.
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Annabel & Sarah em inglês será lançado em e-book mundialmente nas nossas livrarias parceiras até o fim do primeiro semestre. Conheça os romances em português de Jim Anotsu: A Morte é Legal e Annabel & Sarah. Ambos já estão à venda em papel e e-book nas melhores livrarias. Baixe uma amostra agora mesmo.