Home Underground The Axles of My Wagon Wheels Talal Chami’s latest short story: Wesley Ruggles live from Jurassic Suburbia

Talal Chami’s latest short story: Wesley Ruggles live from Jurassic Suburbia

Image credits: Palestinian PLO fighters in Beirut. 1982. Photo by George Azar.


By Talal Chami
Stonie wore a Machiavellian smile and fashioned a Cobra Shades like Stallone wore as Marion Cobretti in Cobra, 1986.  The truth of the matter is that this guy looked more like a train-ticket conductor or inspector with a twist, for all I know. He looked like a mutant gorilla on the run.  And not even close to what a member of an elite division called Zombie Squad looked like. A truck is macabre.  After a moment, he panned his head, appearing entirely as a more recent version of the black drummer in Youtube Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine, with a grin.

He looked up from his tiny, half-open, smoke-twirling window and said: Hello, Mr Ruggles, I am Stonie.  Welcome to Lebanon. The Switzerland of the East. Wesley Ruggles – was an accomplished and prominent American photojournalist.  He got in the back seat of the white Peugeot 504 and smiled all the way to the Commodore Hotel in Hamra.

Stonie looked at his customer, adjusting himself in the back seat, as he got in, on the rear-view mirror and said: Our country is the best place if you wish to take on the challenge of surfing and skiing the same day. There’s no particular way to do it – some prefer to hit the waves early in the morning and end the day with a cup of mulled wine after a great ski or snowboard session; others prefer to hit the slopes in the morning and watch the sunset from Ain El Mraisse on West End, after catching some waves. It’s really up to you, Mr Ruggles. You decide.  I leave it up to you. Wesley Ruggles grinned.  He wasn’t much of a talker if you know what I mean.

He nodded affirmatively to all the words Stonie shot at him.  Lester Young Stardust – 1952 was coming out of the radio. Soft and easy. Let me tell ya a story…

Continue reading the story here.


Talal Chami
The Liberum runs on your donation. Fight with us for a free society.
Donation Form (#6)

More articles you might like

- by The Liberum on 10/12/2023

Kahlil Gibran Kahlil versus Friedrich Nietzsche: Are we all trapped in a bubble?

A remarkable discovery over the reading and the influence of Lebanese poet, writer, and artist […]

New TV show ‘Phoenix Oracle’ about the fascinating history of the Phoenicians, is set to launch in early 2024 (with first trailer)

‘Phoenix Oracle,’ a new 12-episode-TV Show inspired by the work of Lebanese author Karim El […]

The Relevance Paradox: Storytelling in Times of Turmoil

I woke up this morning feeling particularly lucky - I'm healthy, and that's huge. Lately, […]
- by The Liberum on 12/11/2023

No apology is necessary, but accountability will be inevitable

Britain’s prime minister recently rejected slavery reparation calls, so contrition for giving away Palestine on […]

Parallel dimensions – When Chinese and Arabic science fiction almost meet

One last report about the Chengdu WorldCon that I attended last month. When two parts […]

Controlling your Emotions

Whenever many ideas start storming in my brain, I need to write.  It calms me […]