When Broadway Comes to a Small French Village

This is an excerpt of the novel I’m working on, based on the screenplay written with Justin Warren Jackson, “Lighten Up!” The American Broadway star Andre Savroy inherits a property in Alsace, from a great-uncle he didn’t even know existed. He discovers a small village that has more to offer than what meets the eye: Lady Schnitzel the drag queen, Hector the handsome piano teacher, the pot farm, the WWII soldier dug up in the garden and so much more!

(…) Andre changed into his now slightly too big gym outfit, and joined the other villagers in the overheated, packed yoga studio. Sitting in the lotus position proved more challenging than expected and most uncomfortable. Francine the hairdresser, wearing a black leotard and pink leg warmers, a la Jane Fonda, waved at him. Hector’s see through mesh tank top revealed a toned and trimmed torso, way too distracting for Andre, who quickly looked away. Turning his head to the right, he noticed Biquette staring at him. He winked at her. Gerard, who didn’t care about the benefits of yoga, was there to keep an eye on his goat and gave Andre a warning look.  

The meditation leader/yoga teacher, came in. Bloom, known by all as the butcher’s daughter Brigitte, wore loose cotton pants and a matching green top. She welcomed the class. First, she encouraged all participants to choose their yogi name, based on a chart she handed out. She explained: “All you need to do is check the chart and match it to the first letter of your first and last names.”

“I am Sky Dancer!” beamed Hector.

“Sunshine Spirit!” giggled Francine.

“There must be a mistake…” muttered Andre. Everyone looked up, Bloom came over and looked at the chart with him. “No, A for your first name and S for your last name, it matches the chart, see? Mind sharing with the class?”

“Mystic Pigeon.” Andre whispered.

“Louder, please” prompted Bloom. Andre reluctantly repeated his yogi name louder. The whole class burst out laughing. Bloom smiled benevolently at the Broadway actor, then turned to the class.

“Now that this is settled, let’s all focus on our sixth chakra. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and focus on your sixth chakra.”

Andre tried hard to find his sixth chakra, but soon gave up. He opened one eye and looked around. Everyone seemed in tune with their chakra. Mystic Pigeon, really? Who came up with that stupid chart anyway? Mystic Dove maybe, but pigeon?

Andre shook his head. He felt uncomfortable and hot. Under his breath, he started singing ‘Ra ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian Queen,’ by Boney M. that he had heard on the radio earlier. Unaware the others could hear him, he sang a bit louder. Suddenly, the other yogi sang along “Ra ra rasputin.” They all burst out laughing, except Bloom, who asked them sternly to focus on their chakra.

Andre leaned over to Hector and whispered “I might need to lose a little more weight just to find my sixth chakra!” Biquette went over and nuzzled Andre, under Gerard’s watchful eye. Andre fell over laughing. Bloom smiled, less benevolently this time, and dismissed the class. Sunshine Spirit went out and lit a cigarette. Hector rolled up his yoga mat and Andre asked “Hey, Sky Dancer, how about a drink? Mystic Pigeon is thirsty.”

As they reached the door, Andre turned, winked at Biquette and gave her his best jazz hands wave. (…)

Happy reading, stay tuned for more soon!

Evelyne


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