He was small, but knew that if he got onto the tips of his toes he could probably lift the latch, open the rusty gate and walk away, but here in the enclosure, he felt safe and protected from the outside world.
He couldn’t remember how long he’d been here, but he’d counted 1034 steps to go all the way around. He’d eaten the candy bars as slowly as he could and only taken small sips from the bottle, but the crumpled wrappers and empty bottle beside the drinking trough were a reminder that he needed to make a decision soon.
Perhaps just one more round to check that the fence was secure.
Then, with the setting sun, he spied the man in the long black coat coming back.
He knew what to expect.
After, he would get more candy and if he was lucky, some coke.
He took the blindfold out of his pocket and held it out, arms stretched and trembling, for the man to snatch from him. (170)
Today marks my return to writing after a pause, due initially to my trip to Myanmar but then prolonged after the passing away of my Mum a few weeks ago. She is constantly in my thoughts and I’ve been busy preparing her funeral which will be held next week.
Anzhelika or Olga would have felt more appropriate. Her name was Cynthia.
We met on the plane from Frankfurt and she’d promised to show me Moscow.
From the hotel window, I could see it was another wet, winters day.
The front desk rang.
“Professor Blythe, a car is waiting in front.”
Downstairs the doorman shielded me from the rain and ushered me into the limousine. During the 15 minute ride to the Romanov Sinema, a short walk from Red Square, I sank into the plush leather heated seats and daydreamed of Cynthia.
On arriving, I was led to the front row. Cynthia was already seated.
We were alone. Soft music. Dim lights. High expectations.
“Taste the house speciality Don, Lemoncello Popcorn,” she said with a winning smile.
Two burly men wearing dark raincoats and single earpieces appeared from a side door.
One of them barked, “Please come with us, Professor.”
This week I strayed a few minutes from Red Square for my What Pegman Saw challenge.
Jack was a darling baby. We knew it was just muscle spasms, but he smiled at us minutes after leaving the womb. We were prepared for sleepless nights and endless tantrums but he remained calm and cheerful, even when he was sick or frustrated. We would fight to read him his bedside story and as he progressed from nursery rhymes to children’s fiction we would often stay with him until he dropped off to sleep.
Jack met Jill a few years before leaving school. We watched, amused, as his body transformed itself while his voice broke. They spent long hours in his room, supposedly studying, and we exchanged knowing glances as we heard them laughing and giggling.
Jill had long blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and dimples every time she smiled.
They made the perfect pair.
She was almost unrecognisable when we saw her in the morgue after the accident, and the hit and run driver was never apprehended.
Now Jack punishes his body with tattoos and spends hours scowling in front of the mirror. We are often woken in the middle of the night by his screams.