On an abandoned street in Old Cairo, four Brits are kidnapped. But this is no ordinary kidnapping: the accommodation is three-star and the menu a la carte. They are hostages of The Serendipity Foundation, a mother and daughter act with a millennium-old prophecy to fulfill. Their field of expertise: terrorism with a social conscience.
Little did they expect to abduct four men who view their own kidnapping as a welcome escape. Living with their own regrets, thwarted ambitions, and with nothing left to lose, the hostages propose to join forces with their kidnappers as a final shot at redemption.
And as the ransoms begin, the question of non-negotiation proves impossible for the government to refuse. Can you really allow four men to die because parliament refuses to conduct Prime Minister’s Questions in Haiku? And as the ransoms continue- challenging media, industry and the public- the stakes are raised, but not in the way kidnaps are supposed to: no, the Serendipity Foundation only ransom people for things they would want to give. And with it, ask us all why we gave up early on our dreams, and settled for a world we know we can make better.
The Crest Voyager Hostage Crisis
The Boardroom of GoldBlue Oil, The City of London,
“This will be the hardest conversation you’ve ever had. Remember, no matter what they say, it’s not your responsibility. You won’t be killing the hostages. They will be.”
Richard looked away from the negotiator, up at the grainy photographs of his five employees. The pixilation robbed them of their present tense, as if destined for tomorrow’s papers: obituary portraits for those caught up in tragedy.
“So, is everybody happy with how we’re going to play this?” The negotiator paced at the head of the boardroom table. His ex-military realism consoled GoldBlue’s executives- convincing them that five lives would be a sad but necessary sacrifice for the protection of principles. It was easier to romanticize martyrdom when you weren’t the martyr.
Opposite Richard was the new Foreign Minister, Michael Reyburn. Two advisors sat either side, ushering their fledgling minister away from voicing the concerns written over his face. Richard imagined him better suited to a post in Youth and Sports. His anxiety was foregrounded against a panorama of The City from the thirty-third floor. Such scale quickly showed up those who weren’t comfortable with it.
Richard scanned the table. His eight board members looked more enthralled than nervous, having relinquished their moral responsibility to him.
The phone rang. The negotiator looked around the table and nodded, before one of his team picked up the phone and placed it on loudspeaker.
“Who is this?”
“I’m the lead negotiator for GoldBlue Oil. My name is…”
It is only when you release a book that you overly reflect on the reading habits of those around you. Why are they taking so long? Do they hate it? Have I made a big mistake with my life? I thought to myself the day after The Serendipity Foundation’s release. It seems that people actually had lives to lead and had not booked annual leave specifically to read the book in one sitting.…
I apologise for my silence (or for breaking it, depending on your perspective). However, after a few issues with the warehouse, the time is nearly upon us to let this novel out into the world. As this message is uploading, I will be handwriting the last of the personalized haikus into books in a style that I hope is the right side of legible. Your limited editions should be in the post…
At the end of the week we are officially giving the big boned singer a 5-minute warning. It is time to finalise the list of names in the back of the book. If you have any friends who intended to buy a copy, or if you fancy upgrading to a higher pledge level, now is the time. Of course, this warning is a process- if you are reading this shed post, you are one of those who made this…
My apologies upfront for the considerable time that has passed since I last gave an update. Although I realise: one benefactor’s feeling of being neglected is another benefactor’s welcome release from being emailed by the pesky author.
However, we are now entering into the business end of the process, and there are real, tangible things to report.
Apologies for my recent absence. It may appear that I was all touchy-feely with my shed until I was funded, and then I abandoned you. But let’s face it: it’s damn hot outside, and it’s no weather to be sat in a shed.
In part this has been because I am soon to be married. Yes, I just played that card. Part of the joy/ relief of being fully funded is that I don’t have to have a laptop…
Hello, and welcome to my ‘shed’. It’s a lot more crowded in here than it was when I first broadcast five days ago. You are all most incredibly welcome.
What have our newest arrivals missed? Well, we concluded that you have all funded a book that can be classed already (in the most tenuous way yet ventured) as an international best seller. We also discovered that funding percentage 29 hung around…
Well this has gone rather well so far. We’re almost half way, less than 48 hours in. But man, I’ve felt these hours. I’ve spent more time on social media collectively in two days than the rest of my life. I’ve got angry with the percentage marker at the top of the funding page for its refusal to grow. It should be innocent in this process, merely reflecting what has been pledged, but Unbound have…
These people are helping to fund The Serendipity Foundation.