Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 52

 

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CARLOS BACK...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

The fate was never to be foreseen.There was not yet one month passed of Tadek Vangard’s stay in “Beethoven House”,when he was reached there by Herman Van Veenen who insisted he should move back to their villa and live together with them.
-“But I broke with Raquel?…She is Helene’s sister!”- Tadek Vangard replied with astonishment.He imagined Helene might somehow dislike him for going away from her sister who “gave him roof over his head”.
-“Don’t bother,Tadek.Helene is not concerned at all.To her,as much as to me,Raquel is a very controversial human being and she dissassiociate herself from any affairs of her sister.She still likes you and,in fact,it is Helene who insisted the most you move back to us for some time until we can find a decent appartament for you.”
-“God,I have here a paradise! I’m meeting here tourists from every corner of the globe! Young as me! I feel here great!”
-“Well,I still insist you move back to us.”
In the end he agreed to move back to the villa of his rich friends,astonished anyone could have proposed something as this to him.There still were great people in this tragic world!
A few days later he found himself in the Range Rover jeep and Herman Van Veenen was bringing him personally back to the Angela Butterby’s estate.It was a strange feeling this time.He felt himself somehow deeply involved with this family and not without a sin.Everything because of the unfortunate end to his relation with Raquel Hendrics and the death of Sonia Dandermond.He felt deeply in his heart there was something strange with the circumstances her death occurred.He knew her boyfriend,Jack Waugh,and knew also he loved her very much.Secondly,where Raquel and Johan Dandermond were the night the murder happened? He felt there was something deeply disturbing in the behaviour of Raquel when she came back home in the early morning the murder occurred.There was fear mixed with wildernees in her eyes,and she has never before locked herself in the bathroom for so long.She never behaved like this!Even,when she finally got out her bathroom,she still behaved abnormally.As if she was drunken and consumed by overwhelming guilt.What was it? Tadek Vangard began to suspect for the first time Raquel might have been involved in the murder and if this was the case then the murderer might be…the son of Sonia Dandermond! God,then the Sonia Dandermond’s boyfriend had to be totally innocent! He felt dizzy for a moment and thought he is going to vomit.
-“Tadek,something wrong with you? You became white as school chalk.”- Herman Van Veenen looked at him concerned.
-“Don’t bother,Herman,just a bad memory hit me.It’s over now.”- He said.Nobody would believe him if he said what he thought about the murder of Sonia Dandermond.There was no whatever evidence,satisfying the police,of whatever wrongdoing on the side of Johan Dandermond and Raquel Hendrics.Whatever were said against them would look as a sort of revenge on the side of ex-lover.He was effectively shut up.So,when they entered the estate his first look shot at the house in which lived Sonia Dandermond.He felt shiver down his spine and began to feel unhappy he agreed to come over here.Yet another mistake in his life.It was so good in that “Beethoven House”! The music of the master,Beethoven,played every morning by the owner of the hostel who was previously a lawyer,somehow disaffected with his job.The never ending chats with nice,young people from the States,Scandinavian countries,Switserland and many other parts of the world.The excursions with them to the city,enjoying the New Zeland pubs and taverns with their quite good native beer,going to the concerts of some idols…He was even lucky to participate in the concert given by Joni Mitchel,for free! They simply made fun and decided to get inside the Jack Foster's Hall where the concert was given,using their cleverness.Out of twenty of them only seven managed to get inside.He was one of them.They had lots of fun every morning and every evening.He listened,breathlessly,to every story young tourists narrated about their travel round the world.This was over now.He was back in the environment of rich people where he expierenced something else.A sort of world within a world.They just passed the house of Sonia Dandermond ant Tadek Vangard noticed there was light in one of the upper apartaments.
-“Who lives now in Sonia’s house?”- He asked,unable to curb his curiosity.Herman Van Veenen looked at him with astonishment.
-“Her son,natuarally.Johan Dandermond.”
-“And Raquel?”
-“What Raquel?”
-“Oh,Herman,let’s not play a fool! You know they were in love and this is,primarily,the reason why I finished my affair with Raquel.”
-“Well,Tadek,there is something strange here.Raquel never visits him.He lives alone,meets with no one and became an alcohol addict.There is definitely something strange in this.”- Herman Van Veenen answered and touched his beard with one hand,something what he did every time he felt concerned.
Tadek Vangard said nothing.He was now even more convinced in his suspicion both Johan Dandermond and Raquel Hendrics were the real killers and not the boyfriend of Sonia Dandermond.Poor guy,he thought.
They found themselves before the Herman Van Veenen’s villa.Helene Van Veenen and her daughter Angie were already waiting outside with open arms,as well as their three boovies and little Rakker.She looked like a Goddess and there was something in her the Hoolywood legendary female actresses had in their beauty qualities,a bit of Linda Evans,a bit of Elisabeth Taylor and a bit of Brigitte Bardot.In contradiction to Raquel,who was as much beautiful but in some other way,her life was already organised,she had a husband,a child and therefore her own family.When Tadek Vangard approached her,she put her hands on his arms and kissed him passionately while laughing and laughing.He felt himself in the seventh paradise.
-“Tadek,welcome in our house! It is also your house!”-She said simply and still laughed happily.
-“You look great,Helene!”- He answered.She bursted with laugh again.
-“Oh,Tadek,beauties are dangerous!”-She exclaimed.But then stopped laughing and said seriously:”Tadek,I feel so sorrow for you because of …Raquel.”
-“That’s life,Helene.I hope you don’t have anything against me because of it.”-Tadek Vangard answered shortly.
-“Absolutely not! It is Raquel who is troublemaking! Sometimes I hate her,I really hate her.”- An expression of sadness crossed a beautiful face of Helene for a split of second.But then she returned to her normal,happy behaviour.
-“I’m not going to ruin my way of life because of Raquel.I liked you,Tadek and I like you and I wil do so.”-She announced.
-“Thanks a lot,Helene.”- He said and turned then to her daughter.
-“Hello Angie! I’m happy to see you again and be with all of you again!”-He said to her and kissed her on her cheeks.
-“We’ll you go with me and our dogs up the Mount Victoria hills?”- She asked.
-“With great pleasure!”- He assured her.Then they just went inside the house,accompanied by their dogs and a moment later were sitting around a table in the dining room and treated themselves with delicious deserts.
-"Tadek,do you know that Marillion is expecting a baby?”-Helene Van Veenen asked suddenly.
-“Marillion,wife of Charles?”- Tadek Vangard had the wife of Herman Van Veenen’s brother on his mind.
-“Exactly.”
-“Great! Family of Angela Butterby will become bigger.”
-“Also Lorraine is expecting a baby.”-Herman Van Veenen added to the news.Lorraine was wife to Sjef Van Veenen,the son of Herman Van Veenen’s father but his mother was the second wife of Ghandy Van Veenen,Amalie Holtman.
-“That’s really great! And how is your grandmother,Angela Butterby?”
-“She runs a quiet and peacefull life.She deserves it,doesn’t she?”- Was the answer from the Herman Van Veenen’s lips.
-“Absolutely so,Herman!”
-“Not all the news are as good,Tadek.”- Sonia Van Veenen became suddenly unusually sad.
-“What’s that?”- He felt himself worried.
-“Do you remember,Tadek that old man,Joseph Bundy and his much,much younger wife,Emilie? You met them at the only Christmas party you participated.”
-“Yes,I do.She was fircely beautiful,as much as you are and at the same time so much younger than her own husband,perhaps thirty years younger than he was.”
-“That’s right.He mistreated her,Tadek.He is a tyrant in his own house.I myself advised her to take a divorce.But...she is so gently! She just suffers.And now the worst happened.Doctors diagnosed her with a cancer.She’s got only one year of life left.”- There were tears in the eyes of Helene Van Veenen.
-“I called to him and said that if he makes one more quarell and mistreats her in whatever ways,now,in her finals days of life,I kill him.”-Herman Van Veenen announced angrily.
Tadek Vangard did not know what to say.When people were in trouble they were kicked by the fate even more the wrong way.Why it was so?
-“What about the children.As I know they have two children.”
-“We’re concerned about them.For the time being we just watch.We try our best,of course,to do everything to keep her in life.But the doctors say one only thing:there is no chance,she will die.”
There was a long silence.
-“I hope there are no more bad news concerning your family.”- Tadek Vangard really hoped so.
-“There is one more bad news.Dick Butterby will soon be divorced from his wife,an actress,who is determined to take their children away from him.She will most probably win.”- Sonia Van Veenen said with a dispirited voice.Nobody here liked Dick Butterby much despite that he was part of the Angela Butterby’s family as one of her sons.
-“I expected this for some time yet.Ever since Raquel told me of their problems.”- Tadek Vangard was not surpriced what he heard about Dick Butterby.
The lunch was over.Half an hour later Tadek Vangard went with Angie and all the four dogs for a walk up Mount Victoria.It was warm outside,the sun shone and,as usually,there were nearly no people around.Entire mount was for them only.Their kingdom! Angie was brave and did not need much to rest.Dogs were noisy,incredibly happy and ran from place to place,spotting sometimes a rabbit or a squirrel.Naturally,they ran like crazy after the animals living in the wilderness but were unsuccessfull in their aggressive behaviour to the relief of Angie and Tadek Vangard.The view from the top of Mount Victoria was breathless,all the city of the capital surrounded by the ocean which here or there made foothold deep into the land,creating spectacular seasides,as Oriental Bay,Seatown Bay and many other bays.The sky was cloudless.Angie and Tadek Vangard observed everything what they could see while the dogs had their own objects of interest,going from tree to tree and urinating.It was already evening when they were back at home,just on time for a dinner to which they had great appetite,thanks to staying long ours in the fresh air.
When Tadek Vangard finally found himself in his appartament,he felt himself strangely,out of himself and had impression his life was …empty.He felt sad somehow when he was overcame by the desire to sleep.He just went to the bed and soon slipped away out of the conscious way of life.He had a terrible sleep,a nightmare.There was some sort of disaster and he found himself in a small,fully glassed box,a sort of glass coffin.He tried to break it but could not.What was amazing the whole of the world just watched and did nothing to save him from the unbelievable agony.He was dead while alive.Suddenly,a fierce fire was getting inside the glass coffin,out of nowhere,and its smoke gave him no space to breath.He was chocking from the smoke,the fire consumed him and it looked it must have been his hell.But the world has still nothing done to get him out.
-“Nooo!”- His soul cried out and he woke up,perspirated.He saw the face of Herman Van Veenen above his face to his absolute bewilderment.
-“What happened?”-He wanted to ask but was unable to say one word because one of the Herman Van Veenen’s hands landed on his lips while with the other hand he made a sign he must be silent. Then he heard shocking news whispered by his friend.
-“Tadek,probably Carlos and the KGB agents found you.They are around here.Angela Butterby is wounded mortally.The only chance for others to survive is you show yourself up to them briefly and then escape.I give you my Range Rover jeep.Sorry,Tadek,please do it,if you don’t want others in this family to die.” His hand went away from the Tadek Vangard lips,who instantly knew what was going on.He jumped on both his legs,put jeans and a polo shirt on himself.
-“Give me,Herman,the key to the jeep!”-He simply commandered.-“And sorry for what happened.I shouldn’t have stayed here!”
-“It’s not your fault,Tadek.”- Herman Van Veenen answered and gave him the key.
Tadek Vangard ran to the garage,jumped into the van,put motor on,opened the gate with remote control and went like crazy with his jeep onto the courtyard.He stopped for a moment and put a light inside “his” jeep,giving a chance to his hidden enemies to recognise him.Then put the light off inside the van and started violently and with bravery his escape towards the top of Mount Victoria.Somehow he knew if he turned right,in the direction of downtown he would be stopped on the way by the people of Carlos and Andreyev Golubin.They probably did not expect him to escape to the left,in the direction of the top of the mountain because this would be a sort of kamikaze like escape.Once he is on the top of the mountain,what’s then? This was a matter of decision for later.The primary thing now was to get all of the enemies out of the estate of Angela Butterby.He absolutely did not want anyone to die because of him.He probably succeded in his maneuvre.Five cars apperead suddenly on the way after him.Tadek Vangard beamed the light out of his reflector towards the driver of the nearest car approaching his jeep.He instantly recognised the guy.It was…Carlos! He maximised the speed of his jeep.Perhaps normally the speed of the cars his pursuers had was faster but not up such a mountain as his jeep was.Here,up Mount Victoria,his jeep was strongest and therefore the fastest.He knew yet another thing why he turned left towards the top of the mountain and not right towards the city.While getting into the jeep he noticed a parachute on one of the back seats of the jeep.Parachuting was the Herman Van Veenen's hobby.He instantly knew,subconsciously,what he will do,once he will find himself on the top of the mountain.He will have to parachute himself,despite the deadly fear of doing so.He has already once did it,in Burma,and it was to him a sort of descending into a heart of hell.Now he will have to do it again.Still in the deepness of the night.There was not any other chance.Otherwise he would simply be shot and killed.Carlos and the KGB agents were thirsty of his blood.The vampires!
-“God,Angela Butterby is wounded mortally!”- He recollected the Herman Van Veenen’s words.He felt an overwhelming guilt in himself.He felt rage at the same time at Carlos and other pursuers.He was non-violent and he would never kill but this was now his desire they become dead somehow.He concentrated on possibly fastest going up the mountain.There was left,perhaps only plus minus five hundred meter yet before he would find himself on the top of the mountain,decorated with the blanket not only of the eternal light of stars but also the lights of Wellington,the town which spread far around Mount Victoria.He was already enough times on the top of the mountain to know exactly which its part was steep,nearly razor-edged,so dangerous,city council built special barricades there long ago to ensure the safety of visitors to Mount Victoria.Tadek Vangard knew he will have to hit the barricades,break them and then have a fly into the precipice there.God,how he felt! He was dying from anticipation and fear.He would never do it under normal circumstances.But these were not normal circumstances.He was raged at what Carlos did to Angela Butterby and was determined he will not give the pleasure to Carlos to shot him dead.He knew he had half-half chances.Everything will depend on whether he will jump in the right time off the jeep and also whether his parachute will open at the right time.If it opens at all! He was nearer and nearer the top.The pursuers about fifty to hundred meters behind him.They were certainly sure they will get him.
-“God,it’s only two hundred meters left.Give me,please,strength to overcome my fear!”- He prayed to God.It was struggle now within him,between his overwhelming fear which nearly paralysed him and the determination which convinced him he cannot,absolutely cannot give himself over to Carlos.
-“God,it’s already a hundred meters!- He whispered.His head and entire body were showered in lots of water who got from inside of him.What fear could do!Yet he knew he had to play a superman.Why was it like that? Why he was never left in peace? Why people had always pretenses to him? Why???…Was it because of his independent thinking and way of living? Of his straight saying every man had a right to be the way he or she was,even if it meant to be homosexual or lesbian? Of his saying the Israelis should stop their propaganda against the Palestinians,their occupation of their homeland and bombarding everything what belonged to them?! The Palestinians should have had every right the Israelis had,yet they had no schools,no universities,no hospitals...Everything bombarded down to earth by the Israeli army...Where was the justice? Have the Israelis forgotten the Holocaust? They were in the same situation then as the Palestinians were now! Yes,of course,there could be no place for terrorists! They were evil in the modern world,breeded by fanatism! There was a wonderful example for people in any nation who felt themselves unhappy because of this or that problem.For Palestinians,Iraqians,Iranians,inhabitants of Myanmar,Chechnya and many other regions of the world.They could simply take that example from the Solidarity Union in Poland which numbered ten million members in the decade of the eighties and which had its part to bringing down the communist regime in that country.It happened peacefully,without violence,without bloodshed!...
Yet,there was a certain paradox there,in Poland.When the country regained its independence and became "free" and capitalist,the church clergy,and especially the leaders of the catholic church began to pursue an unprecedented campaign against all people who did not fit the social system envisioned by them.They cursed them in their sermons,openly and publicly,dishonouring them with no whatseover pardon.Some people were placed there lower in the public esteem than dogs were,especially homosexuals whose acts,their private acts,were called as the ones which were against nature.Those people were raped mentally nearly at every church sermon,without any regard to their privatness and rights.Raped mentally,because who they were,what they felt,desired,dreamt about was their nature,which they had right to exercise in the privatness of their lives.A man could not be degraded to an animal following some other nature foreign to his or her mind.He had to follow his own mind,he had to live in harmony with his own mind.The nature of his or her own mind certainly had to have a priority before any other sort of nature,including the universal one if such one exists.
The nature of one's mind must absolutely be the most important if one wants to feel himself or herself a human being,the one who has got a mind as opposite to what characterises the animal world.Yet,one would never convince the religious dogmatists,blind and deaf to whatever else other than what they preach.There was no way to explain to the catholic church leaders everyone had right to being himself or herself and not only the followers of their dogmatic views in which they portrayed themselves as the ones who know the only truth.No,only God knows the only truth! Perhaps God created all sort of people in order to make the world full of diversity? Perhaps God did it this way and not any other way because He knew that diversity was the key towards well being of all people.There will come a day the world will become a global village...
He thought,probably the fault of evil in most extreme cases,from mistreatment of different people in Poland and many other countries to enmities among the Israelis and the Palestinians and a plaque of terrorist attacks worldwide was in the nature of religions,the monumental dinosaurs of the modern world! No religion should be connected to the affairs of state,any state! Beacause,otherwise,there is nothing but intolerance,fanatism,hatred and whatever evil towards any man or a community,or even a nation which do not belong to this or that system! Why only the grandparents of America had the courage to seperate religion from state affairs? The diversity,just the diversity made America great!
In his mind,a religion,any religion in the world,should be just a private affair of every single person who should have right to choose from variety of religious beliefs without being afraid to be harmed in whatsoever way for this...Religions should not exist the way they were existing now,as systems,and very cruel systems to some people,their victims,because they,the religions-from Christianity and Judaism to Islam-or at least the religious leaders,from Pope to Ayattollah,used the name of God against their victims...Was it Godlike?...Have they forgotten one can never kill,one cannot spread homophobia,one cannot allow using the name of God against anyone! No,those dinosaurs would probably never learn it...
-"Oh,strange is this world indeed!"-Tadek Vangard heaved a sigh...
There was no more time to think.The reality turned absolutely into a full action.
God,how he hated it!
But...he was already approaching the top of Mount Victoria!...He finally approached the doom which agonised him beyond anything!...God,he was already on the top of Mount Victoria!...Oh,what a desire he had to stop this madness!...
-“No,I can’t do it!”- He warned himself.He never before thought there could be such a big disharmony between the state of his mind and his body,so many forces within his mind and his body which would shatter him and his nerves entirely.The pursuers were also approaching the top of Mount Victoria.
-“God,now or never!”- He exploded with a yell which might have pierced the stars' blanket and brought the entire Universe to a standstill.He applied even more speed to his jeep,and now,with nearly two hundreds kilometres an hour went onto the barricades which broke easily.The jeep went a bit up the air at first,by the force of jumping off,and Tadek Vangard knew he had to put the parachute on himself and jump off within a split of second,just in that moment before the jeep will loose its momentum and will go down the abyss like a block of monumental stone.He had to jump off before that.He put the parachute on,opened the door and …jumped.He pulled the handle of the parachute and his fall was reduced substantially.The jeep in the meantime went down,quite close to him.But not only the jeep.There were also four other cars which went down the abyss.The pursuers simply have not noticed there was the sudden edge of the mountain.But only one car stayed there,on the top of the mountain.Who was the one who survived? Was it Carlos? Has he survived?…There was no answer at this stage…
To be continued…
Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or: clubbers@funworld.be
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