Brother’s Keeper: Episode 33

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Jay takes a deep breath and slowly exhales. Suddenly, he pulls out the knife and drives it into the throat of the square jawed henchman in one swift motion. He then simultaneously grabs the henchman’s Desert Eagle with his left hand and pulls out Slim Charles’ gun through his jacket pocket with his right hand.

***

Robert struts confidently past the square jawed henchman into the back room of the restaurant. He stops momentarily to stare at Alan, who is lifeless, absolutely battered, and tied to a chair as is customary when Vasily is on the job.

He turns to glare at Vasily, but then he hears the door shut behind him. He looks behind to see that Jay and Samuel haven’t been let in. He is alone. Immediately, his demeanour changes; his confidence withers into immense fear. He turns to his father, sat behind his desk and glaring intently at him, and this only reinforces his fear.

“Fuck that,” he thinks. “Fuck him.” He attempts to strut towards the desk, but as he approaches his fear threatens to overcome him.

He stands at the desk, like a student awaiting punishment from the headmaster.

‘Sit,’ Mr Petrov says, and gestures to a chair beside Robert.

Robert diligently sits.

Faint noises of continuous semi-automatic gunfire from just beyond the thick door seep into the room.

Robert is alarmed. ‘Can you hear that?’ he asks Mr Petrov in Russian.

‘I hear nothing,’ Mr Petrov stoically replies.

The faint noise of gunfire abruptly ceases.

‘Why did you do it?’ Mr Petrov solemnly asks.

‘Do what?’

‘Why did you kill my boy?’

In that moment, Robert notices the silver revolver on the desk in front of his father. He looks up to his father and sees the quiet rage in his father’s eyes. He’s seen that look several times before, although never directed at him, as if it was he’d be long dead. Now though, the look is directed at him – his life is in the balance.

‘I didn’t,’ he says earnestly. ‘It was a mistake. I specifically told the Captain not to touch Fyodor.’

Mr Petrov is evidently agitated by Robert’s response.

There are two loud knocks on the door.

‘I’m not ready for them!’ Mr Petrov screams at Vasily.

He returns his focus to Robert and there is a moment of silence as they stare intently at each other.

‘I’d respect you more as a man if you just admit you did it,’ he says, and pauses. ‘I understand. If I were you, I’d have killed him too.’ He pauses to allow that statement to sink into Robert. ‘You think I killed your mother, don’t you?’

Robert opens his mouth to speak, but he stops and doesn’t speak.

‘You’re a man now,’ Mr Petrov continues. ‘Well, you’re of age to know this things. Yes, I killed your mother.’

Robert leaps out of his chair, fuelled with rage.

‘Why!’ he demands with a scream.

Mr Petrov stoically stares at Robert for a long moment and then shakes his head in disappointment.

‘Now that you know for sure that I killed your mother,’ Mr Petrov says, and gestures to the revolver. ‘Kill me. Be my son. Do what I would do.’

Robert’s rage is on the verge of eruption as he stares at his father and glances at the revolver.

There is a long quiet moment as Mr Petrov casually waits for Robert to act, but then Robert’s rage begins to simmer and he sits.

Mr Petrov shakes his head in disappointment.

‘Now tell me, did you kill my boy?’

Robert doesn’t respond; he looks to the ground and fights back tears.

Mr Petrov stares intently at Robert with a mixture of shame, disappointment, rage, and resignation – shame, because he had a hand in raising a coward and his blood runs through the coward’s veins; disappointment, because even though he’d given Robert more than enough chance to grow into a strong and brave man like his father, Robert is in fact nothing but a coward; rage, because this coward has killed his son, his chance at redemption; and resignation, because he will kill the coward.

Mr Petrov turns to Vasily.

‘Bring in the Captain. Maybe he will be a man and talk.’

Vasily nods and unlocks the thick door. As he pulls the door open, there is gunfire and the back of his head explodes. He collapses backwards onto the floor and there is a large bullet hole in his forehead.

Mr Petrov stands, alert, and watches Jay step into the room with two guns raised.

Jay’s face is almost entirely covered in blood splatter, but there is calmness beyond the blood of several dead men. He turns and stares at Robert and Mr Petrov.

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