Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 92

 

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MAFIA...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

 

Marek Vangard just dined in the Mariott Hotel restaurant when his GSM began to sound.He reached for it.
-”Yes?!”- He said with a tone which displayed his displeasure.
-“Marek,it’s me. Staszek!”
-“Shit,what happened?! I’m just dining!”
-“I’m sorry,but you have to know it.”
-“Know what?”- An agony began to spread throughout his mind.
-“All dozen cars which were transported to Moscow are gone!”
-“What do you mean by’gone’?”
-“Just gone! Stolen,man! The driver was kicked out the transporter and they,whoever they are,went away with everything we had,both the transporter and the cars inside it.I think it was a Russian mafia.”
-“And Jan,I mean the driver,is he able to say anything what would give us some clue,any details which could bring us to those bandits?”- Marek Vanguard felt raged as hell.
-“No,absolutely not! He is in fact feeling very happy,because his life is spared.There were many cases of drivers being shot dead!”
-“Shit! You organised the transport the wrong way.Probably some people knew!”- Marek Vanguard did not really like his business partner who lived in Minsk,the capital of Bielorussia.In fact he never fully trusted him.So why did he choose him? He had no idea.Simply because of a shortage of time and a knowledge that other eventual partners were not much better.Having a partner was like playing a lottery:once you won,the other time you lost.But the transporter and the dozen cars?! No,it really felt as if he got a knife in his back!
-“Oh,Marek,I don’t know what to do!”
-“Just,shit,wait! Try to get some information. I'm in Terespol tomorrow in the morning.It’s already an evening and I have to get some sleep.I think I’ll sleep with one eye open.Your message is a real nightmare! The cars were brand new!”
-“Sorry,Marek,where are you now?”
-“In Warsaw! I wake up at 4a.m. and will be driving like a nuts,I think I should be around 7a.m. in Terespol.”
-“I’ll be waiting for you,Marek.”
-“Good! Try to learn more!”- Marek Vangard ended the talk without saying ‘bye’.
He felt terribly irritated.He never enjoyed going to Bielorussia,a country which was en empty spot of civilisation within Europe,bloodied by the Lukashenko dictatorship and without fundemantal means of survival.The inhabitants of the country lived one step from starvation and one or two potatoes per mouth,milk,flour and eggs during a single day were all what they could afford.In Russia it was much better.Reforms were there introduced and the capitalist system gained more and more foothold.Marek Vangard had no choice as to do what he did.He needed to earn money which would give him a chance to live out his life the way as it was known in the West.He knew that if he had any chance it depended entirely from him and only from him alone.
He felt even more irritated when he thought about his brother,Tadek Vanguard.
What an idealist and a dreamer was he! How mismanaged picture of Poland he had within his mind! He thought that Poland developed rapidly and was a tiger of Europe. Nonsense! Yes,Ireland was a tiger of Europe but not Poland! Perhaps there was a chance at the initial stage when Balcerowicz launched his “Shock Theraphy”,but quite fast it showed up as yet another mismanagement of the Polish economy.Very many things happened since the 1989 revolution,which resulted in overthrowing the communist regime,all sorts of political parties swept through the political scene,all sorts of politicians,from Walesa and Kwasniewski to Buzek and Miller and…people of Poland were even more poor than ever before.The unemployment skyrocketed to nearly twenty percent of total labour force,something what should have been unthinkable.But…it was not unthinkable in this country.Demagogues were spreading like mushrooms after raining,such as Lepper and his”Samoobrona” what in English meant”Selfdefence”.That guy knew only one thing to say:”No”.
In the West the picture was not much better.Rightist parties gained a momentum practically in all the countries,Jorg Haider in Austria,Frank van Hecke and Filip De Winter with their Vlaams Blok in Belgium,Fortuyn in the Netherlands,French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen who even has vowed to turn back the political clock and take the country out of the European Union if he becomes president of France and many,many other fircelly anti-immigrant pseudo-politicians.In the movements they headed found a place many neofascists who were apostles of Adolf Hitler! Yet another proof that people cannot learn from history and repeat their mistakes again and again.There were concentration camps in 1939-45 and there were again concentration camps much later,in the Balkans.How many times he watched gruesome pictures on TV from what just was happening in Jugoslavia! There was something not normal with people,then.
The Middle East was a complete shit! Why people could never compromise? Why did they stay at extreme polars? How was it possible that the religions which had common roots,such as Christianity,Moslem religion and Judaism were so hostile to each other? The Old Testament was the roots to all those religions.Partially,religious leaders were to be blamed.They demanded to believe in God-whether Allah,Jesus Christ and whatever denomination-and were forgetting to say to their followers that they must accept a stranger in the street.Because if they did not accept the stranger,whoever he might be,then they did not really believe in God.The teachings of God were about love,tolerance,acceptance of another human being as he really was and this way only could be expressed the real homage to God.Not any other way,even if you stayed in the church,mosque and whatever other holly place day and night,even if you made a pilgramage to Betleyem or Mekka.It still would not be acceptable to God as long as you despised a man in the street.An unknown man! There in an unknown man was the soul and spirit of God! The God Himself! And yet all sorts of fanatics turned themselves into terrorrists and blew up innocent people in the name of God! How could they do such an evil! God Allmighty,forgive them because they do not know what do they do!
Well,what was wrong with the world? Why the world could not be a more happy place? Was it good that so many foreigners were coming to the prosperous countries of Europe? Millions of Moslem people,Africans,Asians and all other people from all over the world were coming to Europe and stayed there,with no intention of returning to their home countries.Millions of people within fifty years! While before just hundreds of thousands in the entire millenium! Was the migration to Europe not overexagerrated? The people of Europe became suddenly confronted with philosophies,ways of life and even doctrines which were foreign to their ways of life.They began to fill threatened.And again...some of the foreigners turned to fanaticism,even to terrorism...Well,why were they coming to Europe in the first place if they hated the European ways of life so much? Could not they see that the liberal European model was the best medicine they needed?...
-“Stop it!”- He ordered to himself.He knew he had to think what next to do.Was there any chance to recover the transport.Probably not.But he had to try.Otherwise,so much invested money were lost.The dish had a sour taste and he discontinued eating it.
He stood up and went to his appartament on the sixth floor of the Mariott Hotel.There he had a look for a moment at the city lights landscape of the capital,took shower afterwards and went to the bed.
He woke up at 4 a.m. and fifteen minutes later was already driving his car,Ford Mondeo.There was no much traffic at that hour,even in the Warsaw streets.So he was lucky to find himself quite fast on the motorway encompassing the capital.
Then it was just a smooth ride,with a music from the radio,sweetening his mind a bit.That bitch,what was her name?,she even kissed with Madonna! But,to be just,she sang quite good!
He found himself in Terespol at 7a.m.,exactly as he has foreseen.Staszek waited already there,on the Polish side of the border,for him.He got into his car and they drove through the border checkpoints to Brest,a town on the Bielorussian side.There they met with other partners in a local hotel.Both were Bielorussians,one was Misha,the other Sergiej.
-“Well,does any of you know anything more?”- Marek Vangard demanded.
There was a silence.
-“Did you call to the authorities in Minsk?”- He interrogated further.
-“Marek,you know we couldn’t do it! Our transport was not entirely legal.You know it!”- Misha objected.
-“We would get even more problems if we did!”- Sergiej got along the line as portrayed by Misha.
-“I don’t believe it! Who knows,maybe you’re connected to those who robed us!”
-“You’re brutal,Marek.You must apologise!”- Misha was red faced.
-“O.K.,no time for quarrel,I take my words back.But…don’t you see that you present me with completely nothing?! Nothing at all! Say something! Give me a clue or an idea!
-“Call to Nikolij in Minsk.Perhaps he could give you some advice.”- Staszek suggested.
-“A good idea.I do it. Hmm,guys,maybe you are able to tell me at least where all this happened,still on the teritorium of Bielorussia or already within Russia? Perhaps we aren’t dealing with a Russian mafia but a Bielorussian one."
He did not wait for their raction and called to Nikolij.
-“Hi,Nikolij,I think you already know everything.What do you think,who did it?”
-“This I don’t know.”
-“You think Bielorussians could be behind it?”
-“It’s possible.If you want I can try to learn as much as I can.I know some guys who are mafia members but they are not real high in their hierarchy.But maybe they know.I let you know this evening,at least by midnight,O.K.?”
-“I think we see each other in the evening.I go to Minsk.”- Marek Vangard announced and discontinued further talking on the GSM. What a great technological thing was that mobile telephone! One did not need to seek a telephone,which was a rarity in that backward country.
He had busy the rest of the day,went to a number of garages where second hand cars were being renovated,to a restaurant which he himself financed and to a local clothing manufactury which he shared with Siemioslaw,a Bielurussian friend of his.The guy was the only one whom he trusted entirely.He was married to a Polish woman who also invested in the manufactury.He stayed with them the rest of the day,enjoying their companionship but had no choice as to say good bye and left for Minsk in the late afternoon hours.
It was already dark,around 9p.m. when he was close to Minsk.About thirty kilometres away.He was just driving through a countryside full of woods.There were no street lights,dus it was real dark.He noticed a group of people on the street before him.They had machine guns in their hands.They were not uniformed.It meant they were neither from the police nor the army.They might have been in the civil but it looked rather they were part of…mafia.
Marek Vangard felt he panicked.He wanted to turn his car back and drive away but then he noticed two cars were following him from behind,without lights on.He had no choice as to drive ahead.He was already about twenty meters from the guys,around twenty of them,who had their guns directed at him.One of them,probably their leader,gave him a sign to stop his car.He did so.The only chance he saw now was in a sort of a psychological persuasion.They circled his car and approached him.The guy who earlier gave him a sign to stop his car now directed a beam of light at him.He did not take it away so he was blinded and did not see really much.It was now when he realised how a great mistake he did by travelling in the evening hours.In a country as Bielurussia one could travel only during a day and there still was not a guarantee for getting safely to the destination.There was a brutal dictatorship on one side and even a more brutal mafia rule on the other side,in that forgotten part of Europe.
-“Guy,you know who are we?”- He heard one of them,the one who earlier ordered him to stop his car.
-“A patrol,I think.Thank you,gentlemen.I’m a businessman and have many enterprises here in Bielorussia.Right now I’m going to meet a business partner of mine who waits for me in Minsk”- He said as politely as he only could.
There was nothing but laugh,cold and sadistic one.
-“Forget it! You go nowhere.Your trip ends up here!”
-“What do you mean by it?”
-“Your death,guy! We’re a mafia!”
-“I don’t really joke!”- Marek Vangard tried to save himself from the worst.-“I really have many enterprises here in Bielurussia and also in Poland.You can gain much more if you let me live than if you kill me.
-“We can have your car!”
-“Men,you can have my car if you kill me but you can have hundreds of cars if you don’t kill me.Look here at my business cards and my papers!”- Marek Vangard felt desperate.He got his plastic cards from his jacket and passed them to the leader of the mafia.He passed to him also a plik of documents which he had by chance with him.
They looked at the cards and the documents,and they whispered something among themselves,something what Marek Vangard knew was on a scale of life and death,this time concerning him.How many times he heard stories like that! But he felt nothing more than just sadness.Now,when it came to his own life,his agony had unbelievable highs and downs.It felt like if falling down to an abyss and their judgement was his…death.And yet he had a flame of hope within himself.A hope for life.Even at that dready moment of falling into abyss.Falling and falling,an endless falling.How endless a minute or two could be!
They stoped to whisper and looked down at him.One of them hit him with his gun at his forehead,professionally,unexpectedly.A total darkness overpowered him and he did not even had time to apprehend whether he lost only his consciousness or much worse…his life.
To be continued…


Author: Thaddeus Hutyra.
e-mail: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or clubbers@funworld.be
Address: Frederik de Merodestraat 1.
2600 Berchem.Antwerpen.Belgium.
All Rights Reserved.

 

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