Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Fantastic Introduction to SUPERHIGHWAY!

Alex Fayman was born in the former Soviet Union. His family immigrated to the United States in 1989 when he was twelve, in pursuit of religious freedom. Alex holds a PhD in finance and enjoys teaching and doing research at a university. He is happily married and has three sons.

This is the first chapter to Superhighway! Read and enjoy!

Chapter 1

            Moving at the speed of light through the darkness of a vast fiber optic spider web always evoked a hypnotic state of peace. The astonishing velocity through hairpin turns and the barrage of oncoming lights falsely insinuated that my problems were being left behind. In the form of amorphous gaseous light, my body was no longer subject to physical pain, augmenting the illusion of healing. At that moment, I was likely in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico, approximately ten to twelve thousand feet below the water’s surface.

The reality was simple: I would never escape my problems. The powers, disguised as a gift, became the root cause for everything that went wrong. I knew that the burden would never relinquish its grip on my psyche and, even though it was easy to blame the circumstances, the truth would haunt me forever. My life was suddenly drained of meaning and purpose, forcing me to consider the alternative. It would not take long. I figured a few minutes would painlessly cease the pain.

            Upon entering a large opening inside of an optic tunnel, I encountered an intense exhibition of flashing lights that failed to captivate my attention. The weakness came on more quickly than usual. A flash fired right in front of my face. I saw a beach and felt the water caressing my feet. A second flash snapped me out of the momentary trance. My strength was waning; the end was near. Another bright flash to my left, and I saw sparks escaping the barrel. I heard the gunshot, and watched her fall. Flash. My heart pounded like a jackhammer as I stepped through the windowpane of a house lit with red neon lights. The stunningly perfect female form held my hand, leading me up the narrow winding staircase into a small room. I saw myself lying naked in front of her as she helped me overcome anxiety. Flash. As my energy wilted and I began to drift, the flashes around me turned into a solid bright light. I saw my father’s face and felt his disapproval of my cowardly exit. It pierced through me like a bolt of lightning, stinging my vaporous soul. Flash. Instantly, I knew that my life could not end. I summoned the remaining morsel of power in order to accelerate in the familiar direction.

I felt the back of my head as soon as I opened my eyes. The swelling had subsided, but it was painful to touch. My jaw did not hurt as long as it remained motionless, but no English words could capture and relate the intensity of hunger and thirst I felt after that exit. My mouth was dry and my tongue felt like a piece of dangling Velcro. By that time, I learned to cope with hunger pangs. The relatively fresh emotional scars proved to be far more difficult to bear. Rising up to my feet, I felt lightheaded as my brain slammed against the back of my skull. Since I deserved every bit of the punishment, and chose to live, I had to deal with the consequences of my own inept actions.

            The newspaper on the table was dated Monday, September 15th, 2008. I ignored it and, like an animal obeying instinct, followed my gut down to the kitchen, past large windows that offered a glorious picture of a Caribbean sunrise. That morning, I was only interested in the contents of my refrigerators, which were always prepared for such occasions. My hands were shaking as I cut into an ice-cold steak. Each bite filled the void in my abdomen, affirming my desire to live another day.

The business day was well underway on the mainland. Despite my remote location and distance from Wall Street, I had precise knowledge of the historical news breaking that morning. Indeed, I was responsible for what happened, and no one was capable of reversing the course of history. I was tired of feeling the weight of the planet on my shoulders. I was tired of power, tired of failure, tired of making reckless mistakes, tired of responsibility, and mostly tired of being completely alone. There was only one person to blame for everything that happened. That individual was trying hard to ignore the fiery discomfort in his jaw, chewing the last piece of a thirty-ounce sirloin. It was a battle between intolerable pain and voracious hunger.

            Just three minutes to warm up the lasagna would have benefited the flavor of my favorite Italian dish. That morning, I couldn’t wait. I had to stop my body from feasting on itself. The food was not some coping mechanism used to displace emotional anguish. Its only purpose was to relieve hunger. When the meal was finally over, I closed the refrigerator doors, admiring the newly created space inside and a trail of dirty dishes on the dark marble countertop.

The sea looked much more appealing after the meal, so I headed upstairs to change en route to the beach. The massive stone staircase curved around a waterfall that was the centerpiece of the castle’s foyer. The real estate jewel was located on a private Caribbean island that also housed 450 acres of tropical paradise surrounded by pristine beaches and clear green water. The land on the island sloped up to the north, where the main house stood on top of a hill, right at the edge of a cliff that sported a 200-foot drop toward a rocky beach. The island of Galicia welcomed only one tourist: its owner, me.

            I stepped through the opening at the top of the stairs into my bedroom. It was a circular space with a low ceiling supported by a series of evenly spaced columns, occupying the entire top floor. Thin white curtains, left at the mercy of wind currents, were the only barrier that separated the indoors from a narrow glass balcony that spanned the entire circumference of the room.

The bedroom was the highest point on Galicia, and offered a selection of incredible views. The south side presented a view of lush gardens, a beautiful marble fountain, and the entire island. To the north, there was a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea. I enjoyed stepping onto the glass balcony, facing the endless blue of the sea and listening to the waves colliding with the giant boulders below.

Galicia was my great escape. I purchased the island from Genadiy Sverdlovski, a Russian oligarch who made billions on the collapse of the Soviet Union. After buying Soviet-era steel and gas assets in rigged government auctions, the freshly minted oligarch built a multinational empire that accounted for most of the world’s illegal arms trade and human trafficking. Parenthetically, in 2006, the CIA connected Sverdlovski to the only known sale of a nuclear warhead. It took a great effort on the part of a Navy Seals team to recover the weapon from a group of Jihadist militants a few hours after the sale. The Russian president ignored the evidence presented against Sverdlovski. He was never punished.

I put on a pair of swim shorts and carefully walked down the stairs. Post-concussion symptoms would haunt me for a long time, though the headaches were becoming less severe. I exited the building and jumped into a golf cart that sported the name of the island in gold lettering and drove a quarter of a mile to a sign that was mostly hidden by the tropical flora.

The horseshoe-shaped beach was at the bottom of a wooden staircase that carved a path through the brush down the side of a bluff. The sand felt warm underneath my feet. I headed for the water and dove under. The wound on the back of my head began to sting, quickly forcing the feelings of guilt and anxiety to the surface. I let out a primal scream that drained the oxygen from my lungs and hurt my throat. Even the paradise cove failed to mask my feeble emotional state.

If the truth found its way to the surface, neither Galicia nor the farthest corner of the earth would offer protection from the wrath of those wronged by my actions. I had acted impulsively. My perception of reality was skewed, and my anger was clearly misdirected. My actions had consequences I did not foresee. People spent decades in prison for much lesser crimes. My sentence would be a lifetime in paradise, a lifetime of wealth, a lifetime without limits.

I swam to shore and lay down in the cabana. As I lit a joint and let the smoke fill my lungs, the first tear ran down my cheek. The headache was relentless and the pain in my jaw was intensified by the meal. Even in paradise, the world that supposedly belonged to me seemed nasty and cold.

I am not certain whether it was the sea air, the weed, or the post-concussion syndrome that knocked me out.  My body, like a broken tool, gave in and finally shut down.


To read more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Superhighway-Alex-Fayman-ebook/dp/B0145QOFEQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441749126&sr=8-1&keywords=superhighway+fayman

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