Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 72

 

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GONE WITH THE WIND...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

The first days of the New Year were unusually quiet and peaceful on the Stewart Island.The summer had a very special shade,gentle and without a wind.It was this what Tadek Vangard liked the best:no wind! In Wellington it was always the opposite,always the wind.There he had to adjust to it and here,on the Stewart Island,he could just enjoy many days without it.
He wanted to feel himself careless and he did so.Of course,he knocked into the minds and hearts of his family members and his friends with his thoughts.He wished them the best.He was certain they managed their lives at least satisfactorily.A stone was gone away from his heart ever since he learnt his best friend,Steven Mac Dantosch,proved his innocence and was no longer a fugitive.There was some concern when he thought about his two years younger brother,Robert,who was struggling with his alcohol addiction.Despite it he was certain his brother will have a victorious hand in that regard and once it will become a fact nothing will stand against a happy life within his immediate family.He promised to himself he will help financially his younger brother as soon as he will get in touch with him.He was not concerned about his older brother,Marek,knowing of him that he was a successful businessman.In fact they cooperated together.There were still containers coming to Poland from China,yet from the time he stayed in the “Kingdom of the Middle”,as China was known a long time ago,before the communists got to power.Yet thinking of themselves as the people of the central part of the world remained in the Chinese heads.Some containers were sent to his brother from New Zealand,too.The business seemed to be prosperous.He did not have to be worried about money at all.The strangest thing was the New Year itself.It was already 1993. God,how the pace of time was fast! The communism was already gone from all European countries east of the European Union,which now knocked on the door of that exclusive club.Everybody knew final reuniting of Europe was possible only after joining it by the countries which were suppressed by the Soviet Empire for long decades.Nobody questioned it would and should happen within the next decade.Optimism beamed from every corner of the old continent,except of Jugoslavia where the Serbian leader,Milosevic,and a number of other Serbian nationalists,including Karadzic and Mladic,engaged in a bloody ethnic cleansing,in the name of the so-called Greater SerbiaThere was a suspicion,however,the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo had a similar aim of creating a so called Greater Albania.Whatever was the real truth there should have never happened what happened any other way than by the means of democratic tools.In the meantime the biggest lossers of the moment were the Muslim people of Bosnia where similar methods were used against them as Adolf Hitler's army did during the second world war.Random killings and concentration camps were a slap in the face of the last decade of the twentieth century.Sarajevo was on fire and looked more and more like a ghost town,bringing memories of yet another European capital ,Warsaw,who was a ghost town of all times in the imediate aftermath of the II world war.
On the third day of the New Year Tadek Vangard decided to telephone to his older brother,Marek Vangard.The afternoon was already ending and the sun looked like a monumental red ball,nearly falling on the land of mother Earth.After the call to his brother he planned to phone to the rest of his family.He wondered why he did not do it earlier.Perhaps because he was so much out of touch with everything.He was a man thrown by the fate to a wanted unwanted piece of land,somewhere on the outskirts of the world.It had to have some influence on his psychic behaviour.
He reached for the phone and dialled the numbers to his brother.
-“Hallo?”- he heard the voice of Maria,the wife of his brother.
-“Hello Maria.It’s me,Tadek.Happy New Year to you and Marek! What’s new…”
-“Hello Tadek.It’s a pity you didn’t call earlier.Marek is here.I give him to you.”- She interrupted him instead.Besides,her voice was strangely sad,strangely too sad.
It made Tadek Vangard shiver and he felt instantly something was not the way as it should be.What was it?
-“Tadek?”-He heard the voice of his brother.
-“Happy New Year,Marek,to you and Maria…”- Tadek Vangard hurried with the New Year wishes.
-“Tadek?”- He heard again unnatural voice of his brother.There was definitely something strange.It irritated him.
-“What?”- He just asked.
-“I have a very bad news,Tadek.”- He heard his brother to say.
-“I hope not that bad!”
-“No Tadek,very bad. Robert…”
-“Oh,Marek,don’t say that Robert divorced or something like that…”- Tadek Vangard shivered like an epileptic from anxiety.
-“No Tadek,it’s even worse…Robert…”
-“Oh God,what’s Robert?…”- Tadek Vangard nearly shouted,feeling this time something was real terrible.He nearly panicked.The voice of his brother sounded so low,so resigned,so liveless…
-“Robert…died!”- He heard finally the worst,something what have not crossed his mind even a moment earlier.Yes,his brother might be divorced but...
The handle fell down to the floor.Tadek Vangard stood without moving like if he became totally paralysed on the spot,he only moved with his lips trying to say what he just heard was not true.Perhaps it was a dream in the worst nightmare he ever had.He had to wake up.He tried to do it.But it was impossible.Despite that he lived in the world in which everything was possible this,the waking up from the nightmare,was indeed impossible.He was realising it was not a dream,it was a reality,a cruel one but reality.He managed to bring one hand to his lips and still stood as if he were spell-bounded into a stone figure.He was saying "no" with every piece of his thought.It could not be.Robert was too young to die.Only twenty nine years old.It could not be.Yet there was the handle on the floor which remained him of the cruelty of reality at that moment.He was somehow gathering his thoughts,despite the ultimate shock he felt within himself.He felt as if part of his mind and part of his body as well were chopped away,as if part of his identity and part of his entire being were taken away from him.
What an agony was it!
Yet he searched with his thoughts within his mind.How was it possible his brother died? Was he killed?
He felt as if some sort of alarm bell rang within his mind.He went back within his mind to all the facts from the time he emigrated out of Poland.He was threatened by Carlos numerous times,he was threatened also by Andreyev Golubin,the KGB spymaster and his people indirectly.They must have taken their revenge on his family! Robert paid the price with his life! His mind now worked furiously.If his brother was killed he had to try to solve the puzzle.He reached for the handle.
-“Marek,are you still there?”- He asked.
-“Yes,Tadek.I was already worrying something bad happened to you.”
-“Marek,please,narrate to me every single detail how did it happen…The Robert’s death,I mean…”- He asked.
His brother began to do it,he narrated about Robert’s coming home from Belgium,his problems with his wife and finally the fatal day when he went to the Parkova restaurant and got drunken in the company of some Russians…”
-“You said ‘Russians’? Did I hear it correct,Marek?”- Tadek Vangard was never so nervous as just at that moment.He was now convinced the death of his brother had to do something with that mysterious Russians.
-“Yes,Tadek.In the company of the Russians.”- He heard his brother say.
-“Marek,I beg you tell me every single detail about the Russians.I suspect they actually killed our brother.”- He shared his thoughts now with Marek Vangard.
-“Tadek,what are you saying! Everybody knows he died because he hit the stairs with the back of his head!”- His brother objected.
-“But…it might have been consequence of a devil's plot.Remember that the people who were after me,Carlos and the Russian spies,threatened to takke a revenge.They finally did it,on our brother! I’m getting more than sure about it with every split of a second!”
-“It’s indeed strange,that affair with the Russians.We never had Russians in our village and suddenly so many at one time…”- His brother began to narrate everything what he knew about the Russians,especially the moments before the Robert’s death.
-“You say,Marek,Robert drank Smirnov,the Russian vodka with them?”- Tadek Vangard again interrupted his brother.
-“Yes,exactly!”
-“Have you,have anyone checked the contents of that vodka? Heavens,they might have poisoned him! They might have intoxicated him! They might have put some chemical agent into it! They might have treated him with a one hundred percent volume of a pure alcohol,or even might have added into it something what multiplied its negative influence! Remember that he always managed to get back home.Only not then,that fateful and dready day when he dealt with them,the mysterious Russians.It’s a murder,Marek.I’m more than sure about it.I beg you,try to recollect some more details.Was anything found on the table? I mean the table at which he sat with the Russians.”
-“Not much,Tadek,was found.There were a few pieces of paper in the asthray,with the names of the Russians printed on them and a sentence which meant Red Devils,in Russian naturally.”
-“Something else?”-Tadek Vangard shivered again like if the Russians themselves this time threw him into a fridge.
-“One piece of paper was split so badly into smaller pieces that nothing could be understood from them.”
-“Marek,please,tell me at least a bit what was on them.Perhaps there is the key to solving the puzzle.”
-“Well,I try,but am not sure whether I can succeed.There were fragments of some writing such as:’yev’,’Gol’,’Andre’ and yet one more scratch of writing which I can’t recollect.”
Tadek Vangard,naturally,was totally pale and shivering uncontrollably.
-“Was it ‘ubin’,Marek?”- He asked with unnatural voice.
-“Oh,yes,Tadek.I remember it now.It was indeed,’ubin’,Tadek”
-“Then,Marek,you don’t have to tell me more.I know for sure what happened to Robert.He was murdered!”
-“I don’t understand.How can you explain it.”
-“Simple.No Sherlock Holmes is needy for it.The pieces of the split paper prove it.The Parkova restaurant we are so familiar with since our childhood was a stage for murdering our brother for...Andreyev Golubin,the KGB spymaster and certainly one of the influencial people within the Russian spy agency now.Look,we have the pieces:-yev-Gol-Andre-ubin.Put them in right sentence and you have the right full name:'Andreyev Golubin'.He hated me beyond whatever to say,because I passed the strategy Beehive into the hands of the Americans and the outcome was a total embarassment of the Soviet Union on the world stage and its fall in the end...”
There was a long silence on the other end of the telephone line.
-“Heavens,you’re right,Tadek.”- He heard his brother finally.
-“Marek,what happened with that pieces of paper? They’re a tremendous evidence.For us,naturally.”
-“They’re as other things found on the table are at the prosecutor’s office.I’ll go there yet tomorrow and tell them about our findings.”
-“You can do it but…nothing can be done beyond this.The Russians are certainly gone and Andreyev Golubin would laugh off anyone who would suggest the complot to him.”
-“Poor Robert! The Russians are indeed gone.Nobody knows about their wherebouts.”
-“Marek,I think they left the pieces specially,for us to decode them and especially for me.They wanted us to know they did the revenge.We know it now and I suspect they might do a revenge again.”
-“You’re sure?”
-“Absolutely! Marek,please,warn evcery single person in our family.Let them know what really happened to Robert and let them realize the same might happen also to them.No talking to strangers and especially no talking to the Russians.”
-“I’ll do it,Tadek.You take care,too.”
-"I feel faulty,Marek.It's because of me Robert is dead."-Tadek Vangard expressed his feelings with a weak voice.
-"No,Tadek.Not because of you! Because of the circumstances you were thrown to at that time,the time of the rivalry among the special services in the East and West.You could do nothing about it."
-"I know it,Marek,but I still feel terribly uncomfortable.He might have lived! He should have lived!"
-"Take care of yourself,Tadek.We are also suffering,all our family.It will take time to heal the wound."
They chatted a bit longer,both devastated with their findings and then bod farewell to each other.
Tadek Vangard did not know what to do with himself.He did not come to the dinner table,had a long nightmare at night and the next day left early in the morning leaving only a note behind himself in which he announced the news about the death of his younger brother.
He was consumed by qualms of conscience all that time.If not the strategy Beehive his brother would be alive! If not the adventures with the Soviet spies! He felt himself as if he were one of the two brothers,Abel and Cane,the one who killed his own brother.He could not imagine he would ever be able to get over with his qualms.They pierced every piece of his body and his soul.He felt as if a lion attacked him in a Safari lowland and dealt with him violently the way as the beasts do.But he was still alive and suffering so much.
He found himself on the top of Mount Anglem.As so many times before.But this time so early.The sun was just rising to his daily tour.It was then,on the top of the Mount Anglem when he pressed palms of his hands to his face and began crying,while being sure nobody witnessed him but God Allmighty.
-“It happened because of me,because of me,because of me…”- He repeated constantly.The rays of the sun began to beam brilliantly at the nature of the planet and he felt some of the rays beamed at him,too.
Something was also happening within his own mind.There were some rapid impulses,some sort of inner rays spreading all over his self being.Was it the return of the sixth sense he has already once expierenced when he learnt about the good fortune of his best friend,Steven Mac Dantosch? The inner rays warmed him up and beamed even more brilliantly with every passing moment.It was something new he never expierenced before.He began to pray to God on behalf of his dead brother.He even spoke directly to him in his preayer,asking him for forgiveness.
It was then when a miracle happened within his mind.
A fountain of light spread all over it and he saw…Robert.He was smiling to him,and so young,forever young!
-“Tadek,throw away the qualms of your conscience.You’re innocent.Don’t cry for me,because I’m happy here in the Kingdom of God.Bye,Tadek.”
-“Bye,Robert.”- Tadek Vangard whispered.
As suddenly his brother appeared in his sixth sense so suddenly he disappeared.Yet the fountain of light still beamed within his mind and he could now witness what really happened with his brother before he died.And then new images appeared,the ones which concerned his future and the future of the people he dealt with.He learnt from them there was still a bed of thorns ahead in his and his friends' lives.But this time he would be protected by his sixth sense.It was sure he aquired one.He knew also he decided something what would become crucial to his life.
-“I’ll fight till the last breadth of my life! I’ll become a warrior! One against the evil people and all those who are cancerous to the free spirit of a human mind and human life! Gone with the wind are the times when I escaped through my life because of fearing the people who harmed me,one or the other way!”- He swore in the presence of the sparkling fountain of beams within his sixth sense.
He has gone to the Halmond Bay yet the same day and when he returned and appeared at the door before the Maori family,they really made big eyes.They knew him as the one with long hair and a beard and now they saw him as a quite handsome young gentleman with short hair and no a trace of his beard.
He announced to them he is leaving soon for Wellington.
-“You see,my life is no longer the same.I became a warrior.I will never forgive the killers what they did to my younger brother.I’m no longer afraid of them.I’ll probably even pursue them if it’ll be possible.”- He explained his decision to Frank and his wife,Eleonora.
A few days later they had a farewell dinner.
-“Tadek,you go to Wellington and what’s then?”- Frank asked at some point of their discussion.
Tadek Vangard smiled to him and his wife.
-“I think as soon as I have the New Zealand passport I‘ll head for Europe.”- He announced.
Frank expressed a surprise.
-“It's strange,you wanted always to go to the States.”- He remarked.
-“Yes,indeed.But,you see,I haven’t seen my own family for so long.I desire to see them.Only then will I decide to go to the States.The land still remains the promised one,the ideal one.It was there were the modern,liberal order evolved which gave a way to freedoms the Americans enjoy,still the best way,better than anywhere elsewhere.”
-“I wish you lots of luck,Tadek.”- Eleonora said sincerely.
-“Thanks a lot my dear friends.”- He answered and really meant it.
Before the rise of the sun the next morning he was gone on his way back to Wellington.The Maori family still stayed in their beds.And only memories were left…Just one more episode in his life was gone with the wind...
To be continued…
Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or: clubbers@funworld.be
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