Round 11 Challenge – Put your main character in danger in a new and hostile environment. There should be a struggle for survival through which new aspects of his or her personality are revealed (Word limit – 1500 words)
Read COCO 10 here (see “Similar Posts” at the bottom of this post for any earlier entries)
Sea is sparkling outside airport window when my eyes open. Airport guard is on each side of me holding me up and carrying me along hallway. I see my feet dragging along floor and long brown hair hanging. This confuse me until I remember wig Frank give me. I feel weak so I let them carry me. Like drunk touristes I see on Limasol streets after cabaret closes.
Thinking about cabaret make me remember Yianni’s death. I make realisation I’m in most danger of my life. Cabaret owners is like mafia in Cyprus. Usually they just do car bombs to scare each other but when someone die its real trouble. No matter if Yiannis was trying to kill Frank or me I know they’ll try kill me. For them I’m just package of shiskebab meat from butcher. When shiskebab go bad they throw it out. Easy for them to make new order.
They take me into room and bring me glass of water. Long interrogation is coming. Its not Philipina and Romana who was killed. Death of foreigners like that don’t matter. Its Cypriot dead. And may be American too. Sorrow take me and not only because Yiannis shot Frank. I almost escape cabaret life and last minute my hope was killed. Now I’ll go to prison again little while and then mafiosos will hunt me down like pack of dogs to finish Yianni’s job.
Guard give me napkin to wipe tears. Sorry about your husband he say.
Lucky I’m looking down because it hide my surprise. I can’t believe. They think I’m wife of Frank. Suddenly hope return. Tiny hope but enough. Every bonfire begin with flame. Important thing is keeping flame alive until you find place for it to spread.
Other guard begin arguing with him. My Greek isn’t too much good but I know he’s saying Be quiet. I think he also say We don’t know for sure who she is.
Everything now depend on how well I can make pretend as wife of Frank. If they discover I’m cabaret woman I’m finished. Even if no one kill me something inside will die. Then permanent Ukraine winter where no fire can ever burn will take over my soul. To feel that cold freeze in warm relaxation country like Cyprus is worst kind of suffering. When others live with your misery its more easy. You carry each other’s trouble. But suffering in isolation where everyone is comfortable makes burden to much.
Footsteps come from hallway and two guards jump up with arms straight at sides like wood puppet. A police chief come in followed by three policewoman. He wave for guards to leave. Despair crush me. Its police chief from Limasol who brought Frank to me in prison. Its over.
But he doesn’t recognise me with wig. His eyes drop to my breasts and then back up. I make big desperate eyes to blind him with desire. This I know how to do.
I stand and lean forward so he can see down my blousa and touch him lightly on arm. He make flex under my touch. Men do this always to show how strong they are.
Please tell me. How’s my husband?
Sorry. He’s dead.
I cry out and fall forward with my head on his chest. Police chief pats my back and then begin stroking it.
Policewomen are looking at him and he pull away. He motion me to sit. Please he say. We must ask few questions.
He start talking in low voice to three policewomen. Their expressions tell me they suspect. Maybe he knows I’m not Frank’s wife but needs proof. Flirting was wrong thing. Situation require different acting from me. Police chief give crocodile smile and leaves room.
Policewomen sit around me. One has tape recorder. All have hair pulled back tight and lips pressed tight together. Like caricaturas of each other. I’m in very bad position. Men I can manipulate but women is more difficult. Their more smart. And in group more vicious too. Policewomen have suspicion and hate in their eye like I’m witch for burning.
They ask me same questions customs officer asked. I tell them I met Frank in Donetsk and he took me to America for marriage. That I came to assist him with his assignment. They don’t believe. My voice is turning quieter and weaker. I feel myself shrinking into myself.
No chance they’ll believe I’m rich wife of American detective if I continue like this. They start making whispers. I hear one say Butana. Their ready to close in on me like wolves. So I take risk.
I stand up. With voice like ice I say You call me butana? You think I don’t know this word? Cypriot man kills my husband and you dare call me whore!
Policewoman’s eyes open wide and now she’s one shrinking back. Never have I been good to make lies. But I know now my only chance is to make biggest lie of my life. Like its not truth that will set me free but a lie. Because when your hole life consist of lies then sometimes only bigger lie can escape you.
I stand over woman and pull out heart necklace Frank gave me. I say Does cheap whore wear Swarovski? I know all about Russian women who come to your country to make sex with your husbands. Don’t make association to me with these butanas! Their rotten inside. Like dried pomegranate. Pretty outside but inside dry and hollow. Without soul.
Policewomen are nervous not knowing what to speak.
I continue. Why you think I left Ukraine? Because its in their blood to be whores. Thank God I escape. I pity you here in Cyprus. Whores everywhere here. Polluting your country.
One policewoman nods and make murmur agreeing.
God is watching I say. Watching these whores who open their legs to any man with euros in wallet. They forget Christ know everything. God have mercy to their souls.
Policewomen nod and one makes cross twice. Her eyes are on my Swarovski. Other two women see her and they quickly do crosses too.
I never knew I had capacity to make lie like this. But I imagine what it must feel if I was Frank’s wife. Fury rise in me. So really feeling is true. Anyway what’s truth but the lie you believe in most?
I feel incredible strength rising inside me. Like realisation in sea this morning I have power over my life. Like existence is wet clay for me to shape any way. Like I can make anything happen I want.
Police chief return and I point finger at him. My husband is killed because of useless airport security and all you do is leave me for questioning by women calling me butana!
Policewomen start protesting in Greek but I continue. I say You know how powerful my husband is. Put me on next flight for Washington or I make trouble for you. You know Frank’s connections.
Police chief can’t hide his fear. He begin to argue about murder investigation. I tell him they can send Frank’s body tomorrow but to keep his job I better leave now.
Three hour later I’m in first class seat heading to Washington. When plane takeoff all my strength drain. Remembering what I say to policewomen make me vomit in bathroom until nothing left inside me. In seat I stare out window so noone see my crying. But not even sadness I feel. Just confusion. Too many strange unreal things happening.
Now I’m convinced I’m involved in something bigger than myself. Something behind crazy events. American detective tries taking Ukrainian from Cyprus cabaret to America as wife and then is killed in airport but she manage to go alone anyway… Sound like novella you buy in plastic wrap at kiosk in Cyprus. But since this is reality not fiction then greater purpose must exist. I don’t mean like God. Anyway better chance of Devil than God. One glance at world shows who’s been busy and who’s been taking permanent vacation after only six days work.
I feel this like intuition. May be it’s cliché but really I know it inside my heart. Understanding for me come not from head but heart. I know purpose have connection with Frank. But not just Frank. He is catalyst. Like first domino pushed to knock down wall of confusion.
I remember how Frank dive on me to protect me from bullets. Like its more important I live than he do. How he say Open your heart before dying. I thought it was from affection but maybe that’s just fantasia I wanted to believe. Maybe other reason he try protect me.
I rub my thumb over heart necklace he give me. I feel ridge in middle where crystal and silver part meet. Then I realise. I pull each half of heart and they separate. Attached to silver half is USB memory key.