miércoles, 1 de abril de 2015
Looking for danger
Earlier we learned how auntie Angela imposes austerity on the boy shelter because the coal merchant can't make it through the snow, when suddenly there is Barack who promises fracking.
Many things were happening in the boy shelter on the plain. It all started with the return of Barack Hussein. He immediately noticed the boys hadn't dug a single hole during his absence.
How can I help if you boys are hanging round?
He quickly put them back to work again. Winter had not waned but the sun was much stronger in late February, so at least during the afternoon they were able to make inroads. There was a new lad in the shelter, Alexis, a poor and unhappy looking type whom Auntie Angela had taken a dislike at right from the start. She put him on extra meagre rations and quietly requested Barack to give the newcomer the dirtiest job. Barack didn't especially mind so he put Alex to digging at the bottom of the pit. Barack never seemed to mind much.
And then one day Vladimir Vladimirovitsj was back.
Who is he, Barack demanded to know.
He's our uncle Vlad, the boys told. Vlad Vladimirovitsj, the coal merchant.
The two men looked each other in the eye and instantly felt mutual distrust.
I've come to make you a good deal, Angela, offered Vlad with that tiny smile of his. I'm going to send you monthly deliveries from now on. We have more capacity this year, see?
I think that's just hollow talk, intervened Barack Hussein. I mean, monthly deliveries, it's hard to believe. Anyway, there's no one like us, everybody knows that.
And who are you sir, informed Vladimir Vladimirovitsj with as shallow an interest as he could muster.
Barack is the name, fracking my game.
Vladimirovitsj nodded. You're from the other side, right? The speed drill boys. I tell you, we have our own business here, mister. I've come to be helping auntie and the boys over the years and we are currently in a pleasant arrangement. So please, go home.
You tell me what I do?
Hussein's laid back posture was suddenly all gone. You think you can call us, right? He straightened his back and measured up his size to the sturdier Vlad Vla, who seemed equally surprised and disgusted at Barack's behaviour.
Quiet now, uncle Vladimir, came Angela's voice. We don't want to make Barry here angry. It'd be best if you went home and I'll be in touch when the time comes.
After the slightest of hesitation Vladimir Vladimirovitsj accepted her verdict. Who's the little kid, he asked, nodding at the skinny creature down in the pit.
O, that's Alexis, he's new, blurted a boy from Scandinavia.
Vlad Vladimirovitsj bent over the hole in the ground. Come up, my boy. Let me help you. Will you learn to drive for the coal merchant?
Sure will, sir, came a tiny voice.
Not so fast, Barack broke in once again. There's no one going anywhere here. He pointed his long finger on a long arm at Vlad. I don't get your story, mister, and I think you are a liar and a thief, like all you guys out here. If you move as much as a finger to my side of the table, I'm mean Angela's side, I will kill you. Have you got that clear? I'm going to find you and I'm going to bomb your house.
No you don't, because you know I would do the same to you, Vladimir Vladimirovitsj looking better than he was feeling. I'm not bluffing.
Barry shaking his head, shook it long as in a Clint Eastwood movie, and blurting: I don't know what to say to this shit, man. Angela, please help me out here.
Let Vlad take little Lexi home, pleaded auntie. I don't trust the kid anyway.
But Barack Hussein once more was quickly back on his feet again.
I'm afraid it won't happen. You see, where I come from we never lose. We simply don't. So it's not a matter of you making your own choices, it's us calling the shots.
Vlad go now, called out some big boys. We will see us again. For now we must stay with Barack the frackerman.
Vladimir Vlad dropped his shoulders for as much as his well-kept body allowed.
There's no reasoning with you, is there? Well, if you must, I shall leave you to it. He turned his sleigh on the retreating snow, broken and wet. And you, Barack, have a break. We don't need that kind of madness here.
And so uncle Vlad Vladimirovistj for the second time left their lives and this time the boys understood there were few last times left.
Aunt Angela stayed on the road until she no longer believed she was seeing the last of him, then she turned and asked: when is the fracking starting?
That's all not quickly going, Barack admitted. But as I was telling you, I think we should take out Vlad first.
Vladimirovitsj? You really want him dead?
Just to make sure he's not going to get back at us. You know, he may be wanting to do us all harm.
I find that highly unlikely, big François unexpectedly entered the arena. Uncle Vlad is not an aggressive person.
Not aggressive? screamed Barack Hussein. That man Vlad of yours used to be a professional killer before he got into the carbon business.
That's all a long time ago, countered Matteo, bolstered by the sudden mood swing.
Yet I don't believe this is the right time for change, sounded high pitched Mariano. We must stick to our beliefs if we want to honour our parents.
Barack smiled at Mariano's words. He was the finest example of a useful idiot the boy shelter had on offer.
Also Wolfgang, auntie Angela's compatriot who had one day shown up at the door, walking badly on his crippled foot but with a strong will to have things go his way, applauded Mariano. We must and we shall hurt the ones who fail to compromise, he spouted.
Yes, we hurt, Barack raised his voice. We're going to give Vlad a bad time and when he exposes himself we'll kill him.
Kill, echoed Wolf.
The other runaway boys, each of them having left home for fame and fortune and all of them ended up here in this dump, this poorest of roofs in the endless plain surrounding, were too afraid not to trust Barack. Young David, who wasn't so young at all, of course was all smiles with everything Barack wanted, as he had originally brought him in on that bitter cold night he had meant to escape from the shelter. Now he was trying to become Barack's favourite helper, the one who was directly under his command and not through auntie, like François. Wolf though was giving him a hard time. Since Hussein's first arrival many boys had started questioning auntie Angela's rule over their minds. They felt they were allowed their own opinions. But in the whirl of the moment most chose to follow Barack's word. No time for change, they echoed Mariano, stay the course till the end.
Yes, we hurt.
The boys applauding in unison.
And so Vlad Vladimirovitsj was gone and the excitement was over and nobody knew what would come next. But they all loved Vlad and felt bad about their weakness.
Will Barack Hussein really hurt Vladimir Vladimirovitsj, or is it in the end all but a game? Find out in our third entry of life in the boy shelter, expected soon.