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H.I's Women - Perna By Charles Coiro
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H.I's Women - Perna By Charles Coiro
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The story takes place in Pakistan and New York. It involves a young Pakistani woman who with her young brother talks of joining the Taliban. He as a martyr and she as an instigator of unrest so as to unsettle the government of Pakistan. Perna is sent to New York to foment distractions and to create the same kind of protests among the rebellious groups of young students. After a length of time, the Taliban decides to use the young groups for more active and destructive measures. It is here where Perna must decide whether to follow the dictates of her personal feelings or her duty as a member of the Taliban.

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It had been a long, hot, humid day. With no air conditioning to help, Henry raised the wooden sash until he heard the counterweights strike the sash frame. The building had once been a 5 story Brownstone in one of the most sought after neighborhoods of Greenwich Village. It was old but had been restored to its former high ceilinged, large roomed original. The owner had a fetish. Everything had to be authentic and even though the windows stuck as you opened and closed them, they were proudly pointed out as being original. That meant that there could not be any appurtenances defacing the façade of the Brownstone. After pleading for the right to add a ceiling fan, he was granted his request with the proviso that he replace the ceiling fan with the original light fixture when he vacated the apartment. The rental cost plenty but you knew that you were one of the ones who was keeping the Village as it was originally built. Why even Ada Louise Huxtable (the architectural critic of the New York Times) had written a short paragraph about the genuineness of the restoration.

Outside it was even worse with the late afternoon sun, pouring a lambent sunlight, unimpeded by clouds onto every westward facing hot brick façade. Henry Whorl, awaited his best friend Simon Predtz with his shoes off and his feet up on the small coffee table with the cigarette burn marks and the beer bottle rings that had eaten the varnish coat that supposedly protected the table from being completely disfigured. There was a slight, odor from his sweating feet and so instead of taking a bath, Henry simply took off his socks and threw them in the corner of the room. After all, Simon was an old friend and there were certain liberties one could take with a friend; like a decent burp after a good swig of beer or even a discreet fart when it was unavoidable.

Simon would welcome the cold beer that he knew awaited him and would probably take off his shirt while he was visiting. Simon Predtz, of Czech descent was a psychologist whose experience as a lady's man made him feel qualified to express his opinions of the different women he had encountered; both professionally and in his private life. Of course, Simon was a bachelor and had spent at most, a long weekend with one of his paramours. Never-the-less, everyone who knew him felt that with his glib tongue and his non-stop opinions, he was an authentic and knowledgeable “expert”. Simon was also the staff psychologist at Columbia University as part of the medical staff.