Jay steps through the back door into the back garden and pulls out his M9. He aims for the grass a short distance ahead of him and fires a shot into the ground. He repeatedly shoots into the grass.
Alan screams in pain and sobs aggressively. His eyes are deep red and heavy from sobbing. He is tied to a chair in a dimly lit and expansive backroom of the restaurant – Sophia’s Place. The entire room is covered with heavy-duty clear polythene sheets and the walls are padded – no one will hear him scream.
Vasily rises from a crouched position by Alan’s feet to tower over Alan. He cradles a bloodied hammer and stares down to Alan’s feet with glee. All the toes, apart from the little toe, on Alan’ left foot are crushed; his right foot is untouched. There are several incredibly unnerving torture devices neatly arranged on a small table beside Vasily.
Natalia stands a short distance away, with Alan’s phone to her ear. Mr Petrov is sat at a desk at the other end of the room, watching Alan’s torture with a distant gaze.
‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ Natalia cordially says into the phone. ‘You’re the wrong Jason.’ She listens briefly and replies. ‘No, I’m not his girlfriend.’ . . . ‘Do you have his brother’s number?’ . . . ‘His brother, Jason … or Jay.’ . . . ‘Yes, he has a brother.’ . . . ‘No, he’s not as much a twat as Alan. I have to go, someone’s on the other line.’
She ends the conversation with a sigh and walks to Alan. She reaches for his face, but he recoils.
‘Alan,’ she says, easily hiding her exasperation. ‘That’s a different Jay.’
‘Take my car,’ he pleads, through tears.
She is amused by his plea and smirks – showing him her true character for the first time. ‘Just give me his number … the real one. We don’t want to hurt him.’
He shakes his head vigorously. ‘I promise. I’ll get your money first thing tomorrow …’
‘Shh! It’s too late for that now, Alan.’
‘Roman gave me his word.’
‘His word is nothing!’ Mr Petrov suddenly declares in English, and continues in Russian to Natalia. ‘Enough of this talk. Why hasn’t your brother called you yet?’
‘Take it easy, dad,’ she says in Russian.
‘It’s my son!’ he snaps.
‘Yes. HE is your son,’ she says sternly, almost adding ‘too’, but she is sure he fully grasps her sentiment.
He does fully grasp and slowly leans back into his chair.
She steps away from Alan and gestures to Vasily to continue the torture.
Vasily savours the moment as he slowly crouches and slowly raises the hammer above his head. Suddenly, he smashes the little toe, and Alan screams in severe pain.
Natalia nonchalantly turns away from Alan, who’s violently screaming, to her father.
‘You really need a mobile phone of your own,’ she says to him in Russian.
‘No, that thing kills people,’ he declares.
She stoically stares at him for a long moment, hoping the stupidity of his statement will dawn on him. That doesn’t look to be forthcoming, so she turns away from her father to watch as Vasily prepares to smash the toes on Alan’s right foot.
‘Well, have an extension put in here then,’ she says to her father, without looking at him.
‘You think I want to be receiving calls when I’m in this room? And stop making excuses for your brother. He knows you’re with me. He can call you. You would.’
She can’t deny that assessment.
‘Just tell me his number, Alan. You know you can’t keep this up. You’re …’
Alan giggles between tears, and this surprises them. He soon begins to laugh enthusiastically.
Vasily turns to Natalia for a moment, mildly befuddled. She shrugs and attempts to speak, but Alan beats her to it.
‘I know,’ he says. ‘But I just want to keep it up till this BDSM motherfucker cums. It’s the least I can do. I strife to satisfy.’ He smiles widely, baring his perfect teeth.
She laughs suddenly, and Mr Petrov and Vasily turn to her with confusion. They both understand English, but their grasp of the language and popular culture isn’t enough to fully understand Alan’s comment. Vasily turns back to Alan and angrily head butts Alan in the mouth, shattering three of Alan’s front teeth.
Alan screams in pain and coughs vigorously, spitting out loose and broken teeth with blood.
Natalia is visibly enraged.
‘Did I tell you to do that?’ she scolds Vasily in Russian. ‘Idiot!’
Vasily attempts to speak, but she shuts him up with a raised hand. He angrily turns to Mr Petrov, but Mr Petrov has no reaction – he’s returned to blankly gazing at them.
She gesture to Alan’s right foot and commands, ‘Continue.’
She stoically watches Vasily smash the big toe on Alan’s right foot and watches Alan scream and quiver – he’s in desperate pain and bleeding profusely from his mouth.
She pulls out a cigarette and reaches into her jacket pocket for her lighter, but it’s not there. She ponders for a moment and smiles as she remembers she left her lighter in Jay’s jacket. She opens her mouth to speak.
‘Superman!’ Alan declares, through immense pain. ‘He’s superman.’
Her smile broadens and she scrolls through the contacts on Alan’s phone to “SUPERMAN”. She calls “SUPERMAN”.