Of Moscow Mysteries
A man in a tan coat swept his presence over the entire team. Fast Russian was burbled. A smart brunette guided him over. An American was there, a younger man with spiked black hair. He was ignored again as the fast Russian words were more important.
“Who is he?”
“Petre Rusav, policeman. Found with a stab wound to the upper back, deep, would have died instantly. Lay at the corner of Lysten Road and the alleyway that would lead to Tharadned Place if it hadn’t been bricked off two years ago. Time of death: early morning or so…”
“Hey. Hey- are you gonna tell me what-?”
The man who had spoken was guided by his assistant into the mortuary. Bright bland lights…
The over-bright LED lights flickered. Obviously the government still hadn’t got airports sorted.
A platinum blonde, her long straight hair a beacon, glided down the ‘arrivals’ floor, separated from the wondrous travellers by a mere metal bar, and followed by several enthusiastic paparazzi.
A smartly groomed man in what looked like a chauffeurs’ outfit cursed, but put on a forced smile and welcomed the lady. Faces turned, eyes flashed like shutter-bulbs, curiosity was swarming everywhere…
A voice pulled me from my semi-daydream of watching the fellow travellers. I had not a clue that so much happened in London Gatwick.
“Agnetha King, I’ve found us our gate; if we don’t go now, we could miss the plane.”
“Not likely,” I murmured to myself.
My mother, Mrs. Abigail King, however, as well as being a divorcee, was a great worrywart. She was intent on not spending any more time in the airport, even when she was just carting her family off to Russia on her daughter’s ‘whim’. Yes, I could not tell her that I was going to meet an old, and troubled, friend.
I unfolded the crumpled piece of paper once more, quickly scanning the writer’s frantically-scrawled handwriting. The note chilled every bone in my body. It was desperate. What had happened? What had been done now? My irrational thoughts dripped around in my brain like poison to the senses.
“Agnetha? Oh, Benny!” Now my mother had given up attempting to call us and had strolled over to the two of us; me, absently gazing at the small note, my younger brother, Benny, gazing open-mouthed at the blonde and her smartly dressed friend, now embracing.
“Muuuuum!” he reiterated his favourite syllable. “It’s Marina!”
“Marina R. The new singing sensation!”
My twelve (-and a half, he insisted) brother had suddenly started to get ‘into’ modern pop music. For his birthday, he had managed to convince his big sister and mother to buy him a dark blue electric guitar, and suddenly his aura was changed. He suddenly saw himself as ‘much cooler’ and joining my secondary school with the new pack of boys had helped the rise in his ego.
He had heard her sing on the radio, bought a CD, and would not stop playing it. It was obvious he was smitten with her.
“Who’s the guy?” I asked, encouraging my brother to ignore our mother. I used this opportunity to quench my hungry thirst for knowledge.
“Her manager/partner/chauffeur-dude, Quentin. Don’t ask me how it’s going; their life is pretty private, although Marina has stated once that she’s not the type for a long-term relationship.”
I saw a small smile creep onto his lips.
“Ben! Forget it!”
“Agnetha…” I began to notice the warning tone in my mother’s voice.
“Can I at least get her autograph?” Benny moaned beside me.
“Oh, come on!” I pulled his arm roughly towards the direction our mother had just begun walking away. Benny struggled in my arms, infuriated, but compliant.
“But…this may be my own chance…” He gazed longingly at the woman, who was now being flocked by fans (much to the annoyance of Quentin), waving paper slips and cameras.
“You’ll find some time, hey, Ben. Anyway: Moscow. Isn’t that brilliant?”
However, my heart was doing somersaults. Anticipation and fear for my friend built. I guessed I’d just have to see.