Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Chapter Four

As Alma’s’ vision adjusted more to the light in the room she saw that the gun was being held by a tall man of about 35 to 40 years old, with a dark complexion and dark hair. He was wearing a black leather jacket and jeans.

She slowly raised herself from the suitcase, her limbs feeling as if they were made of lead. She was so stiff and tired from her time in the case that she had difficulty in standing, and stood swaying slightly from side to side.

She noticed that the dog from the plane was here too. It sat at his masters’ side, lips curled back over a set of very sharp teeth, growling quietly and obviously waiting for the command to tear her limb from limb she thought. Her eyes returned to the man with the gun who stood silently looking her up and down.

“Name?” he snapped. Alma thought quickly, ‘Better not give my real name, could be trouble’, she replied “Smith, Mary Smith”

“So, Mary Smith, what were you doing in my suitcase?” Alma detected a slight accent which she couldn’t identify, but thought it was possibly Eastern Europe. “You do realise” he continued, “I could just turn you over to the police and be rid of you? However I would like to hear your explanation first, and I think we will start with your real name please”.

Before she could answer his mobile phone started to play the first few bars of “The Song of the Volga Boatman”. He flipped it open. “Da?” So that was it, she thought, he’s Russian, possibly attached to the embassy here. That’s why the case wasn’t searched at Customs. Diplomatic Immunity!

(click for bigger)

As he was talking she noticed that the gun was no longer pointed at her, in fact he seemed totally unaware that she was even there. Now’s my chance to escape she thought. She slowly edged her way to the door, intending to make a run for it once outside, but was stopped short by the dog, who had never taken his eyes off her. He was now sitting by the door, barring her way out. Alma stood very still; unsure of what to do next, when she saw the notice on the door. “Hotel VIP Diplomatico, Rua Castilho, Lisboa. Reguas e regulamentos”. So I’m still in Lisbon, she thought, that’s good.

Boris, she later found out that was his name, snapped the phone shut and spun round to face her. “Naughty, naughty” he said, raising the gun again. Alma sat on the bed, “Do you mind” she said, “I am really hungry, thirsty and tired and I would appreciate something to eat and perhaps a little sleep before I tell you how I came to be here?” He thought for a minute, “OK, I’ll call room service and get us both something”.

Later that evening they sat facing each other across the small table. “I’m waiting.” Boris said. By now Alma had decided that that she could trust him and had decided to tell the whole story from the beginning, and just hope that he believed her. Something inside her seemed to warn her not to mention that she had given Mr Pyre her “Precious Thing”, apart from that she related all the events that had taken place, even that her husband had left her and how she came to be in his suitcase.

She told him where she lived in Manchester and when she mentioned her friend George and that he was an Antique dealer Boris immediately took more than a passing interest and stopped her there. “Does this George have an Antique shop in Bramhill?” he asked. “Why, yes,” she exclaimed, “Do you know him?” He replied “Only that I had cause to visit his shop about two weeks ago. You see, I have been in England trying to find a certain antique that was reported to be there and during the course of my investigations I was led to Manchester. This George person said that he knew exactly what it was I wanted and he could get it for me for a reasonable sum. I told him to phone me as soon as he had acquired it and I would return with the money, but do go on”.

Boris sat quietly listening to her story and afterwards said “But why did you take such a risk to follow Pyre here?” “I don’t know” she lied, “I just wanted to know why he did such a terrible thing to me”.

“Can you help me find him?” she asked “ I know it’s a bit of an imposition, but with you being a member of the Diplomatic Corps at the Russian Embassy, it would be easy for you. I don’t have my passport, any money and not even a change of clothes so I don’t even know how I’m going to get back to Britain.” She felt the tears welling up behind her eyes. Now things were proving to be more than Alma could bear when she realised that she was in serious trouble, with only this stranger to turn to for help. She suddenly burst into tears and threw herself back on the bed, sobbing violently. Boris sat down beside, all his earlier anger at losing his personal possessions out of the suitcase gone. He put his arm around her and tried to console her, saying “First thing tomorrow we will get you a change of clothes and I’ll take you to the British Embassy where we can sort things out and get you back to England, and no, I am not with the Russian Embassy, I am with the Organizatsiya, who have more power than the Embassy and can help you better”. Alma thought to herself “No way am I going back home without my Precious Thing, I’ll find that scum Pyre if it’s the last thing I do!”

By Keith

Illustration by Wally Torta


Blogger lucy pepper said...

marvellous stuff, keithikins, the thot plickens!

12:06 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Bloody hell, Keith!
Things are gonna hot up now that you've got Roman Abramovitch and the Russian Mafia involved!

Somebody's got to Putin some hard work to get out of this Russian doll!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Vit - Didn't know that you had a peech imspediment! Have you seen anyone about it?

12:15 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

This is FUN! I've never enjoyed myself so much since my leg went septic!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Clair said...

Does the dog have a name? I want more about the dog!! heheheh

This is great...

11:16 AM  
Blogger Mimisa said...

Wow, Keith - that was very good and very quickly done!
There's only one thing, though - what's that about "reguas e regulamentos"? Never heard anything about rulers in a hotel... ;-) Well done for making an attempt with the Portuguese, though.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous digger said...

shaping up nicely, chaps

1:28 PM  
Blogger Clare said...

ooooh, intriguing. What does our Russian friend want with the precious thing? What is the precious thing?

Isn't it a weird feeling to be writing a story without knowing what will happen next?

Brill stuff.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Ana Vicente Ferreira said...

That's good, Keith!

And the russian makes so much sense!

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

oooh...luvverly...Russian mafia and sought-after treasures....bet Alma wishes she was back in old Blighty...

4:16 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Keith, that sure added punch, woohhh!

The Precious Thing is worth MILLIONS so everybody wants it. The Russian Mafia, the wicked pyre man.

I have my theories as to who has it!


7:24 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments *blushing*
It was nothing really....(don't answer that!)

mimisa - I tried to put "Rule & Regulations", but I guess I failed miserably *sob*

Clare - I want to call the dog "Phideaux" (Fido?)
Hang on a minute, YOU invented the precious thing! If you dont know what it is, then what chance have WE got?

I KNOW WHAT IT IS! Na..na..ne..na..nah!

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Vitsma said...

Keith - the peech imspediment is caused by too many home comforts in the old homestead.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Great stuff - I love the tune he has on his mobile phone

11:08 PM  
Blogger Clare said...

Phideaux, LOL.

I haven't a clue what the precious thing is... I'm waiting for someone to tell me! (go on Keith, whisper it to me. Nobody's listening).

But I do know it is very precious. And very beautiful. And quite possibly a little bit sparkly.

But I don't know who has it.

I suspect the dog.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Oldbat said...

Oh this is great - I can't wait for the next installment - well done all you - next step? Publish and be Damned!

Cheers Oldbat in S'effrica

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

is it an egg shaped precious thing?
This is getting very good :)

7:45 PM  
Blogger Ana Vicente Ferreira said...

andy, yes, I too have been wondering if the precious thing might be of the eastery persuasion... :)

7:38 AM  
Blogger cream said...

What a great illustration, Wally!
It has everything! Well done!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Brill illustration - well done!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Ana Vicente Ferreira said...

I love the illustration, love it, love it, love it... :)

7:39 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

We want more!

This is great.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

Oh, lovely illustration.

My, but aren't we a talented lot?

11:10 AM  
Blogger Dr. Rob said...

I'm so impatient for the next chapters, I've already started writing mine...I hope things work out, and the other writers grasp the mettle, and the aliens start arriving soon (Chapter 5), once we've survived the avian flu holocaust (chapt 6) and the sunami that wipes out lisbon (Chapter 7) and sets the protagonists off on a journey in a small row boat with only a Lion, a rinocerous and the precious thing for company (chapt 8) (or is that a bit derivative? then I'll be ready to take the reins, a drive the story onwards and upwards.....Hmmmm

12:05 PM  

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