Nov 9, 2009 by

Round 10 Challenge – Kill off one of your characters (Word limit – 1200 words)

Read COCO 9 here (see “Similar Posts” at the bottom of this post for any earlier entries)

Say bye to Cyprus Frank says. He look at me and then back at road. You don’t believe me do you? About Washington.

I laugh again but this time also am little sad. Biggest dream I have is to leave here and go to America and make new life. Easy to believe in dream when chance of it to happen is far away but not when close to happening. Because it can kill your dream. Anyone can hope for impossible. More hard to believe when it have chance to come true.

Sun rising behind us and hole earth glowing. I can’t remember last time I been outside early in morning. Only time I see warm light like this any more is when sun go down. Always this is before cabaret so colour of light like this carry bad feeling for me.

Ahead of us airplane make take off. Airport soon appears. Frank turns into car rental place and parks car.

You don’t believe I take you to Washington? he say. I shake my head. He reaches in his bag and hands to me American passport. Open he says.

I open. Inside is foto of me. Under it say Ivana Braun.

We’ll have to make pretend like your my wife. Its not best fake passport but we need only to get you out of Cyprus. Into America isn’t problem. I have the special clearance for that.

Its crazy what he’s saying. Like I’m having fantasia about man coming from America to take me away and its coming true. Ok maybe not so much romantic man like in fantasia but also that make it more real. Like piece of good meat. Raw it look better without fat but never taste as good after you cook it. And anyway once you cook meat you can cut fat away always.

Frank looks outside. I don’t have time to explain detail. Stavros and Yiannis are mixed up in something too much big and we need you in America to make testemony. Don’t worry. We protect you there.

Frank reach back into his bag and pull out a Louise Ferre wig of long brown straight hair. He put it on my head. I look in mirror. Incredible how real it looks.

Its real human hair he say. You don’t find these in Cyprus.

Then he get from his bag a necklace. It has heart of half pink crystal and half silver. He place it over my neck.

I turn heart round in my fingers. Crystal is very much pretty. Swarovski. Why do you give this to me I say?

Just keep it close to your heart.

Then Frank take my hand and places wedding ring over my finger. His hand a little it shakes. I stare at his face while he slides ring. He avoids to look back. Almost like shy. Then he goes to drop off car keys.

Now I know he’s not making pretend about America. It make no sense to me but I decide no matter what reason he want to fly me I’ll go. I did long enough the cabaret. I’m ready for change. For new adventure. My passport and everything is back in my room but its okay for me this. When you own nothing you have nothing to lose. When you want new identity you don’t need old passport.

For half hour Frank practice with me our pretend story about when we did the marriage and where we live and detail like that in case security ask. He make quiz to me and have me repeat everything back so I know it correct.

I tell him it sound like we have boring life together. He make a smile. It will get more exciting I promise he say. Then he look away almost like ashamed to have shown little emotion to me.

In airport we go to desk for the Business Class. I can’t believe. Frank gets our tickets and we walk to security.

Let me make the talking Frank whisper as he take my hand. My hand feels small in his. He holds strong but not dominational. Not like grip of man trying to own me. His thumb make small caress on my fingers. Maybe just my imagination and fantasia. But walking towards security holding his hand I feel for moment like he’s really my husband and we’re just hear in Cyprus on vacation and now returning to Washington. Really I believe this. To believe in lie is not so hard when you want too much to believe its reality.

Security guard examine our passports and ask Frank some few questions. I stand looking around at airport and suddenly have big fear my husband Steven will show up. Fear he has come from Ukraine to find me and will catch me here with Frank and bring in police for arrest to take me back to hopeless life in Donetsk. Fear always come to me like this any time something good might happen. Maybe its how I prepare myself if something bad go wrong.

But of course life isn’t like bad action movie. Steven is in Donetsk. Security guard ask few questions then wave us inside. I squeeze Frank’s hand and we walk toward x ray machines. That’s when I hear someone yell Ivana.

Frank pull my hand back like warning but its too late. I make mistake to turn head back and make eye contact with Yiannis. He’s wearing jacketa with silk shirt opened half way down chest. When he sees its me his eyes open wide and anger take his face like I never seen before. Not look you want to see. Look of violencia.

Yiannis start running at us and pulls out gun from inside jacketa. He shoots. First shot goes over our head as woman screams.

Frank pulls me to ground and throw himself on top of me like to protect me. More shots and people shouting. This time Frank’s body jerk into me with each shot and I know bullets are hitting him. Then I hear few more shots except from more far away. Shooting stops and I only hear yelling and running.

Frank’s hand moves shaking and trembling over my chest to necklace. He grabs it and squeezes hard.

Open your heart Ivana he gasp to me. He’s making choking sounds. Open your heart.

Then he puts necklace under my blousa like to hide it. Like it’s important nobody else know about it.

I see boots running toward me. They pull Frank off me. His arms and head hang down loose when they pull him away. Then suddenly whole scene go silent. Around me people running and shouting except everything slow motion and without sound. Almost like peaceful scene except everyone have expression of panic.

Yiannis is nearby face down in his own blood where police shot him dead. Police are kneeling over Frank. I try to see more but can’t too much well because my fingers make blocked my vision. Then I realise I’m kneeling with my hands covering my face. And then from this silence I hear my own cries and sobbing. But only for moment. Then everything go black.

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  1. Joan Begs

    You are fantastic COCO! I can’t wait till next round as I’m sure you will go on!

  2. Tony

    so even with a wig on, your girl is recognized by what? the shape of her ass? since she turned around, Yiannis could only have recognized her by her ass.

    • Your right Tony how Yiannis must have recognised her from behind. But its not only zhopa he can recognise. Its hole body. Owner of cabaret know exactly what all women who work there look like front or back with or without the clothes.

  3. tetra

    “Like piece of good meat. Raw it look better without fat but never taste as good after you cook it. And anyway once you cook meat you can cut fat away always.”

    Im assuming you dont think men can change or be changed, rather that the bad bits can be ignored or tolerated. Otherwise I might accuse you of fantasia. hehe

    • Tetra may be I do have some fantasia in me because I think any man or woman can change. Probably not but at least possibility of it exist. But like metaphor with the meat it have to be cooked first. And its cooking part thats too much difficult.

  4. tetra

    An affecting post despite the fact we knew it would end in tears. You are making the territory in between hope and despair all your own.

    I think Nora left a poison pill for the remaining contestants as we know what the end will be. Well done Coco. Now for what the others have to offer!

  5. Well done Coco. Whatever her intent, I don’t think Nora’s original challenge would have stopped you anyway.

  6. There was always an outside hope it wouldn’t be Frank who got it. It reminded me of the scene in “Twelve Monkeys” with the guy getting shot and everything going into slow motion … but better because it came from your “pen” Coco.

    The start was a bit slow to get going – perhaps a symptom of finally getting a longer word count, but once it fired mid installment I had one of those moments where I realised I was holding my breathe (aphysxia does not make a good reading companion!)

    You leave lots of wonderful little clues at the end. Very subtle but powerful hooks. Shall be very interesting to see what Olaf and Utah have to offer.

  7. Thanks to all of you for comments. Yes start was little slow. I wanted it like that to take the time to build up the storey. But I should stop with talking any more because I don’t want to spoil rest in case I make it to next round!

  8. tetra

    “Tetra may be I do have some fantasia in me because I think any man or woman can change. Probably not but at least possibility of it exist.”

    Its not the despair that kills me. Its the hope I cant stand!

    Just kidding.

    Maybe you and I are more alike than we probably look.

    For starters surely we both live on the same island and we are both foreigners here.

    But Im not sure where this comparison ends. Are you…?

    • Haha Tetra. Of course everyone have some hope (like me for going to next round!) May be you should put foto of your self up so I can make comparison. Right now when I see you I see only Christmas tree with green legs and arms!

  9. Jen

    Having this longer section of your story really helps me get into the feel of it, and I appreciate your writing more this time than I have before. I’m also glad things are moving forward (and out of the brothel) and interested to know what happens next.

    • I’m very much glad Jen to hear that. To know I can make interesting writing also outside cabaret life. It was time for Ivana to leave that. Contest is very exciting now with only 3 of us. I’m very much impressed with storeys of Olaf and Utah. Everyone deserve to be favourite!

  10. tetra

    You Cheeky lobster :)

  11. Wonderful way to end this passage Coco!
    It was nice to see a small glimpse of Frank as a real human, and it was nice to guess that he was developing feelings for Ivana. I mean… before you killed him that is 😉
    Although, I have to say, Frank’s death does empower Ivana a whole lot, which I like. Instead of having him save her, maybe she can save herself instead, now that he fulfilled his role of showing her the way out?

  12. “When you own nothing you have nothing to lose. When you want new identity you don’t need old passport.”

    Coco, this is pure poetry! I love this passage.

    Just today I had time to read it, and I was really curious. I have no words to describe how beautiful and sad this round was. You’re a wonderful writer, Coco, and, I’m sure you know, you’ve got my vote -again!

    But I still have a slice of hope that Frank is going to make it… You only had to kill ONE character, Yannis death is good enough for me! 😀

    • This was my favourite line also Renata. There is a slim hope for Frank I guess – I hadn’t seen it that way.

      • Yeah, Jodi, I know, but I’m a hopeless case of never-ending-hope (no pun intend :))

        But I guess Anna has a good point; Ivana is a big girl, it could be better if she saves herself…

        Anyway, everything Coco write will be excellent, I’m sure!

  13. Reading all of your comments about Ivana and Frank is like reading my own thought and debate about it. Its too nice of you Renata to make me such complements especially after I make you into cabaret woman!

    • It was an honor to be one of your characters, Coco! Besides, a cabaret woman’s life is so completely opposite of my own catholic-church lady-life, that I thought it really fun. :)
      You deserve every single compliment!

  14. I agree with Renata on the great lines here. That is what has kept you up in the front, in my opinion. There is a rare wisdom in your prose, and a rare but natural talent for metaphor and imagery in general. You have my vote.

    • For me it means a lot to read this. Rare wisdom and natural talent… I don’t know how to respond except with thank you. Even if readers vote me off now this give me great courage.

  15. Well done, Coco. It is obvious to me why you have lasted this long in the competition.

  16. Eros

    Coco, I love your take on a white dove story, it’s just too bad that Frank had to be the one to get killed. Why didn’t you have Frank kill Yiannis? You still would have met the challenge. But oh well you have still managed to keep the story going with the use of the necklace. The other thing I wanted to bring up to you is that Nora is not completely wrong about your need to use punctuation as the word count gets higher it is getting harder to read and understand your work without it. I am only bringing this up because it maybe the only thing that decides this competition. I hope to see more next round. Love, Eros

    • I think the shy, shaky little “wedding” between Ivana and Frank may be one of my favourite Coco moments so far – that was simply perfect (c:

      Frank had to go. With him and Yiannis out of the way, I’m hoping Ivana finds it in herself to escape her old life, and not just let herself be dragged around by men her whole life.

      If she ends up back at the Venus de Limassol, you’ll break my heart (and Ivana’s).

      Best way to silence your critics – is to just keep doing what you do best, and doing it brilliantly.

      I’m so glad you guys all got 1200 words this week! It really showed us readers what you can all do – and you all write so well!

      • Yes wedding ring scene was for me too one of favourite moments littlestar! Interesting how some want to see Frank dead and others to see alive.

        Of course Eros its true correct grammar is essential and may be when I finish with project I can make more practice but for now I can’t change what I’m doing. If I knew to write completely correct I would be doing it from beginning no? I’m just as surprised like you. Never I expected to make it so far.

        • Eros

          I am not surprised you made it this far Coco, I love your story and how you tell it. You have been one of my favorites right for the start. I was just trying to give you a little constructive criticism, not put you down in any way. I do hope to see you next round. Love, Eros

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