I WAS about to say the Turkish guards were coming – urgency came up through me like a flume – but as soon as I opened my mouth, the guards crashed through the door behind me, their rifles raised and all of them shouting orders. But the five did not move. Indeed I was the only one on that roof to cower.
I watched as through the line of guards, their rifles raised, came a commanding officer or some such – a captain – and the rifles lowered. Loquaciously, this officer went up to one of the two women of the five, and they began conversing in Turkish.
The woman pointed at Dina and Darya, the officer followed her instruction, and then she did the same to Lou and Stelly. And me? I placed Viktor’s revolver carefully on the floor to make clear I was certainly no threat. The officer, it seemed, had something to contemplate, and a phrase kept coming up in Turkish, and the woman pointed at Stelly, and Stelly, his shot-up arm now bound with a rag tourniquet, looked up at them both, as if he was in school detention. He licked his lips and smiled with that ugly reptilian way of his.
The officer rubbed his hand across his chin. It felt as though I was the least of anybody’s problems at this moment, so I stepped forward to him. “Sir, you need to understand that these girls are the ones in danger,” I said, gesturing to Dina and Darya. He looked at me as if he had not even noticed I was there. “This woman is trying to kill them, and she has already killed two men downstairs in one of the rooms.”
The look he gave me was almost one of surprise that I was even talking to him at all. And then I realised I had made the mistake of thinking he was the law here, that I was inviting myself into a police procedure, that I was pleading with a court officer.
“This woman?” he said pointing down at Lou. “Trying to kill these girls?”
Lou glared at me.
“Is this true?” the captain said to her.
“He has no idea what he’s talking about,” she said.
He looked back at me. “She disagrees with you,” he said.
> The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond is published by Parthian www.parthianbooks.com