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.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 31

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

Robert gestures at the duffel bag, which is full of money, and says to Jay with a wide smile, ‘You want to count …’

Suddenly, a loudly ringing phone interrupts him.

***

Alan appears lifeless, but he’s still tied to the chair in the expansive backroom of Sophia’s Place. All his toes are smashed and bloodied and the fingers on his left hand are also smashed and bloodied. Vasily stands over him, cradling a bloody hammer and admiring his brutal work.

At the other end of the room, Natalia sits on the desk beside her father, who is evidently anxious and deep in thought.

‘I’m going to their house,’ she says to him in Russian.

‘You want one of the boys to accompany you?’ he asks, also in Russian.

She glares at him with a raised eyebrow, and he nods – almost apologetically.

‘Call your brother before you go,’ he says.

She nods and makes the call. It’s answered after a few rings.

‘Are you done?’ she asks Robert, through the phone.

‘No, why?’ he snaps at her.

‘What do you think, Roman?’ she replies, hiding her annoyance. ‘Alan is here. He has nothing for us.’

‘What’s he doing there?’ Robert angrily questions, and continues fuelled with anger. ‘I gave him till tomorrow.’

‘Calm down, dad wanted it this way.’

‘What the …’

‘Hold on,’ she says, and passes the phone to her father.

‘Why haven’t you called?’ Mr Petrov demands, in Russian. ‘I’ve been waiting.’

‘I was going to …’ Robert begins responding in Russian.

‘Going to?’ Mr Petrov questions with more than a hint of hostility. ‘The Captain has done it?’

Robert hesitates for a moment. ‘Yes, but …’

Natalia watches her father face fill with worry and she as well becomes incredibly worried, hoping its not what she fears.

‘But what?’ Mr Petrov demands.

‘Yes, he did, but …’ he hesitates for a beat. ‘Fyodor was killed. It …’

‘What?’ Mr Petrov screams.

Mr Petrov’s distraught startles Natalia and confirms to her that it is what she fears – Fyodor is dead.

‘It was an accident,’ Robert says. ‘Fyodor was caught …’

‘Bring the Captain to me,’ Mr Petrov sternly commands.

‘I can deal with him.’

‘You can’t deal with anything!’ he screams, and pauses for a beat. ‘Nothing, you fool! Bring him to me, NOW.’

Mr Petrov ends the conversation and stares down at his desk, seething. Natalia and Vasily watch him with deep sympathy as he struggles to fight back tears.

He slowly pulls open a desk drawer, picks out a silver revolver, and places it gently on the desk.

‘I’ll wait with you,’ she softly says.

‘No. You go,’ he says coldly.

Natalia attempts to object.

‘You go!’ he barks at her.

***

‘Fuck!’ Robert yells, and tosses his phone hard onto the ground, shattering it.

The room is silent as Jay curiously stares at the duffel bag, not at all bothered by Robert, although he is somewhat surprised that Robert can speak Russian – he isn’t entirely sure it was Russian, as Russian is one of the few major languages that he doesn’t at least have a passing understanding.

Suddenly, he recognises the bag – he’d seen it in Slim Charles’ house – and it immediately becomes apparent to him that Robert is in fact Roman and “What is he doing there? I gave him till tomorrow,” must be in reference to Alan.

He looks up to Robert and says, ‘I can help you with that.’

Robert stares intently at Jay, unsure of the exact meaning of Jay’s offer.

‘Your problem,’ Jay says, and gestures to the shattered phone. ‘I can help you with that.’

Robert takes a moment to contemplate and then looks to Samuel for approval; Samuel nods approvingly.

Robert takes a deep breath and says, ‘Okay.’

The room is silent as Jay and Robert stare intently at each other.

‘You’re going to need a weapon,’ Robert says, breaking the silence.

‘What about the M9?’ Jay asks.

‘I’ll be using that,’ Robert says, and pulls out the M9 from the brown envelope. He tucks the gun in his waistband and asks Jay, ‘Are you good with a knife.’

Jay nods.

Robert pulls open a desk drawer, picks out Slim Charles’ knife, and hands it to Jay.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 29

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

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”.

Brother’s Keeper: Episode 25

New to Brother’s Keeper? Read Episode 1

The man in the golf attire pulls out a claw hammer from his waistband, raises it high above his head, but before he swings the hammer into Slim Charles’ head, Robert and the large white man with him at the Shisha bar burst into the room.

***

‘Vasily, stop!’ Robert commands the man in the golf attire – whose name is Vasily.

Vasily stops in the middle of his swing and looks at Robert – who’s visibly enraged – for a moment, before he turns to Mr Petrov.

Robert follows Vasily’s gaze to Mr Petrov and his visible rage is immediately dampened when he sees Mr Petrov staring at him with deathly intent. Robert opens his mouth to speak, but doesn’t.

Mr Petrov slowly turns to Vasily and nods.

Vasily turns to Slim Charles, still unconscious on the sofa, and begins to viciously smash Slim Charles’ head with the hammer.

Robert watches and struggles to restrain his rage as Vasily takes his time to savour every smash and its effects obliterating Slim Charles’ head.

Robert walks calmly to Mr Petrov and says quietly in Russian, but with a very poor Russian accent, ‘You didn’t need to do this. It makes me look bad.’

Mr Petrov instantly backhand slaps Robert in the face, and Robert begins to bleed from a cut on his bottom lip.

Natalia looks away from Mr Petrov and Robert to Vasily. It’s a grim sight watching Vasily do his thing, but she’d rather watch that; she can’t stand to watch Mr Petrov and Robert fight.

‘You’re making ME look bad,’ Mr Petrov says in Russian. ‘You can’t even handle some rich boys.’ He gestures to Slim Charles. ‘Look at what they did to your man. I’ll be handling them from …’

‘I …’ Robert begins to interrupt, but Mr Petrov backhand slaps him again in the face, and Robert bleeds more profusely from his cut lip.

Samuel – Robert’s associate; the large white man – struggles to contain himself as he watches Robert and Mr Petrov, and he’s keenly watched by Mr Petrov’s man in the adidas tracksuit – called Gennady.

Mr Petrov grabs Robert’s lavish silk blazer and uses it to wipe blood – from Robert’s cut lip – off his ring.

‘Roman, you’ve become a disgrace of a child, not to mention my first son,’ Mr Petrov says, and shakes his head – he only speaks Russian, although he understands English. ‘This country has spoilt you. And your mother too, God rest her soul, she spoilt you.’ He gestures to Natalia. ‘You are nothing compared to your sister. I raised her well.’

Robert – birth name Roman Petrov – nods and fights to hide his anger.

‘The man from Cuba agreed, yes?’ Mr Petrov asks Robert.

‘The Captain?’ Robert asks in Russian.

Mr Petrov stares stoically at Robert for a long moment.

Robert nods and continues in Russian – his father doesn’t acknowledge when he speaks English. ‘But for 200 …’

‘I don’t care about that. I just want my boy back,’ Mr Petrov says, and pauses for a moment. ‘I also want my ring back. Tell the Captain to take my ring back from the rat BEFORE he kills her.’

‘I’ll let him know.’

Mr Petrov turns to Natalia and demands, ‘Bag.’

Natalia picks up Slim Charles’ duffel bag and walks to Robert to hand him the bag. She stares lovingly into her brother’s eyes, but he looks away. She takes a step back to stand beside Mr Petrov.

Robert looks into the bag. ‘This is not 200 …’

‘I know,’ Mr Petrov interrupts. ‘It will not matter. You are going to kill the Captain.’

‘What?’ Robert exclaims in English.

Mr Petrov shakes his head in disgust.

‘His people want him dead. That is the deal,’ Mr Petrov says, and pauses for a moment to stare intently at his son. ‘You can do that, can’t you? Unless you are afraid to kill a man.’

Robert nods.

Mr Petrov turns to Vasily and commands, ‘Enough, Vasily!’

Vasily stops smashing what’s left of Slim Charles’ obliterated head. He pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket and takes his time to clean the hammer. He tosses the bloodied handkerchief onto Slim Charles’ lifeless body and turns to Mr Petrov.

Mr Petrov walks out of the room, closely followed by Vasily and Gennady.

Natalia takes a step to Robert – her younger brother – and attempts to speak, but he looks away from her, uninterested. She strokes his arm and walks out of the room.

Robert seethes as he stares at Slim Charles’ lifeless body.

Samuel watches quietly as Robert walks over to Slim Charles – who was a long time associate of Robert; both Samuel and Slim Charles had worked for Robert approaching six years and had become almost like brothers.

Robert crouches to Slim Charles and gently pulls out Slim Charles’ knife from its sheath inside Slim Charles’ jacket.

***

Jay – dressed smoothly in black – uses scissors to cut the bottom out of his trench coat right pocket. He places the coat and scissors on his bed and picks up the handgun.

He ejects the magazine of the gun to check if it’s full; it is. He reloads the magazine into the handgun and chambers a round. He tucks the gun into the right side of his waistband.

He wears the coat and buttons it up. He softly taps his left breast pocket and reaches in to pull out Natalia’s zippo lighter. He stares at it for a moment, and forces back a smile before he puts the lighter back into his pocket.

He walks to the full-length mirror in a corner of the room and stares at himself for a moment. He slots his hands into his jacket pockets and, suddenly, pulls out the gun through his jacket pocket and aims at his reflection in the mirror in one swift motion. He nods approvingly and returns the gun into his right waistband through the jacket pocket.

He grabs the bin bag, full of his bloodstained clothes, and walks out of the room.

He steps off the stairway and walks towards the front door, but stops and turns to stare at the cellar door.

***

Jay walks purposefully along a quiet residential street close to his home, and surreptitiously tosses the black bin bag into a skip he’d seen the night before, and then heads off towards Epsom railway station.