In the Regeneration - the man-made messiah

Chapter March 8, 2012



Inevitably the process of contemplation ran its course – Max could never sit in one place for long. Eventually he simply had to get up and do something. He rose to his feet slowly. People were sprawled everywhere – like bodies dragged from the grave for a few hours discomfort.

He turned to the faces behind him – there must be something…

“Like a drink?”

The young woman was dark, with rich, coffee coloured skin and a dazzling smile. She looked a little older than Max – he thought around twenty-eight or thirty.

“Sorry, I don’t drink.”

“But… aren’t you Max Austin?”


“What… do you only do cocaine?”
Max was shocked and didn’t answer immediately. She was obviously referring to the drug charge. No doubt she’d seen his photograph in the paper, and read some of the articles. It was embarrassing.

“No,” he said quietly. “Not at all.”

“What – the papers got it wrong did they?”

“Don’t they always?”
The plump chap sitting next to her had already heard enough. He stood up abruptly, as if to say – “I could not stand another word of this!” Perhaps he’d also read about Max in the paper.

“Sit next to her if you like,” he said, offering Max his seat.
Max was unsure. The plump chap stood impatiently in the aisle as the gorgeous young woman tapped the vacant seat beside her.

“Come,” she said. “Do as the man says. Sit with me.”
In another place, at another time, Max may have thought that this was just about perfect. As it was, he wasn’t completely convinced. Something seemed wrong. Perhaps it was all just a little too perfect. But of course, he sat down anyway.

“Where are you going?” she asked.
She had a lovely voice – husky, promising.


Although she looked Indian, and Max had imagined she was probably going there herself, she appeared surprised by his answer.

“Why would you want to go there?”
A crease of worry or doubt formed on the top of her nose, putting him off – just a little. And presented with this perfect opportunity to launch into his new persona, he couldn’t actually bring himself to say anything much at all. As for telling her that he was going to India to research a novel about sadhus…
with perhaps even himself as the hero…
Anything like that was out of the question.