As the shopkeeper walked over to the shelves at the back out of sight, Emile crept to the back counter to lift a packet of cigarettes and a lighter. As he turned he knocked over a glass that had been set on the floor, ‘Who's there!’ Roared the keeper. Emile jumped the counter and sprinted off hearing the man's curses. As he ran he barged into a man, knocking him from his feet. Emile said nothing and ran on reaching an alleyway out of sight of the shop. As he lit the cigarette he felt a had on his shoulder, turning on his heel, he spun with his fist clenched, aiming for the stomach of the man. Before he could make contact he felt a blunt pain in his jaw. ‘Try again’ taunted the stranger. Back on his feet Emile lunged forward in attempt to silence him. The man sidestepped and hammered another blow to Emile’s face. The mysterious man laughed ‘You are very quick to anger, aren't you boy. ‘I'm no boy you prick’ Emile replied, blood gushing from his mouth. ‘Give me a cigarette child’ Reluctantly, Emile handed him a cigarette and lit one of his own. They stood under a small shelter from the rain in an awkward silence till Xaver broke it. ‘What is your name?’ ‘Emile and yours?’ ‘Xaver. You are Merik’s son, he's a good man, how is he?’ Emile shied away and sniffed, ‘He's dead. A fe… fever took him last night.’ he mustered out. Xaver sighed. ‘I'm sorry to hear that. It's always a sad day when a good Chernarussian passes on.’ Emile stared at his feet watch his cigarette burn out on the wet ground. ‘Come on. Let clean that blood of your face Eh?’ Xaver said.
‘Come on Emile! You're not a boy anymore! Kill this fucking pig!’ shouted Xaver. Emile hefted the metal bar and looked into the man's crying eyes. He began speaking Russian and in that moment Emile swung, connecting the bar with his jaw. Hearing the Russian pigs screams he swung and swung again till his arms gave in. Dropping the bar to the floor, he wiped the blood of his face with his sleeve but only seemed to smear more on. ‘Good job Emile! Now, you really are one of us. Blood in.’ said Jitka with a smile across his face handing the young Chernarussian a bottle of vodka. ‘It is time, you got a drawing?’ Nodding he hand Jitka the page. ‘Koba, you and a few other clean this shit up, then come back to the apartment.’ Emile followed Jitka out of the dingy shed and to his car where they drove home, back to dubky. He walked in to the bathroom and looked into the broken mirror staring at himself before taking another swig still hearing the cries of pain from the Russian scum. He washed his face and removed the coke from his back pocket and poured out a large bump and sniffed it. The dust hitting hard and causing him to winch but he walked out the door, wiping away the residue left from the drug. He sat down beside the tattoo machine where Jitka was looking at the drawing. ‘Are you ready brother?’ with the cocaine causing his nose to run he nodded removing his t-shirt exposing his back. The tattoo had been painful but Emile endured it without showing any. The tattoo covered his who back and showed a fox standing proud with tired eyes, in its efforts to clean his home. As the evening turned to night Emile stood, ‘We're almost out of vodka and beer, I'm going to get some more.’ with that said he walked out of the apartment and in to the shop on the other side of the blocs.
As he was lifting the drink he heard the keeper shout, ‘What are you doing! Trying to steal from me! Get out of here you bitch! Get out!’ Emile looked over seeing the shopkeeper looming above her. The young woman drop the bottle and ran from the store almost in tears. Seeing the encounter, Emile lifted the bottle of cheap wine from the ground and bought it forgetting about his own alcohol. He saw the girl sitting alone under the lamp light of the bus shelter, her brown hair glimmering from the lamp. Emile approached the girl sitting awkwardly beside her, ‘You eh…. Forgot this’ he mustered out of him with a queer smile. ‘Thank you. What is your name?’ She said with a shy smile ‘Emile. And you would be?’ ‘Mara…’ The night passed on and they talked and laughed and drank. By the time the bottle was finish they had kissed. Mara pulled away smiling at the young man and then the bus appeared. She stood and Emile grabbed her hand, ‘Don't go. Come with me, I've got an apartment not so far from here.’ They both stood in silence as the bus was running beside them. Emile’s heart was racing, waiting for an answer. The bus driver becoming more annoyed closed the doors and drove off. Mara stood there and kissed Emile again, and the walked off to his apartment.
‘EMILE! EMILE!’ Shouted Xaver, hammering on the door. Emile opened the door with and irritated wishes, ‘What?’ Xaver moved into the apartments living room ‘Where the fuck did you go last night eh? You said you went to get drink and that was the last we saw of you!’ Emile sighed ‘Sorry brother, I felt sick on my way to the store and threw up, so I came home.’ It was at this moment Xaver noticed all the clothes lying on the floor, even spotting the women's clothes. Xaver snapped back to Emile with a sharp, boyish grin, ‘Who here?’ Emile’s face went red and stuttered out, ‘What? No one. I think it's time for you to go eh? We've got to go work in a few hours and I need a bit more sleep.’ ‘I suppose you're right Emile I'll go.’ As Xaver went for the door, he changed directions and into Emile’s room. Seeing the woman who shifted in the bed pulling the covers tight over herself. ‘So Emile, you left us for a bit of pussy eh? You fucking dog! Fine get some for rest eh! I'll be back in a few hours.’ and with his jokes made, Xaver left the building chuckling to himself.
The upcoming years were good to Emile, he rose quickly through Cerna Liska, becoming a prominent member dealing with matters like supplying drugs and weapons off a strange, yet reliable accomplice, Konrad, or finding and smoking out any rivals that he comes across. He had garnered quite the reputation, breaking many Russians in the process . Him and Mara were still together the past five years keeping them close and now with a baby on the way things were looking up.
They were on their way home from the bar and Emile looked at Mara smiling, ‘Marry me.’ Mara went red, ‘Stop playing with me Emile.’ she replied laughing. Chuckling yet keeping his focus ‘I'm serious. Let's do it’ Lightly moving his hand across her belly where the baby was beginning to show. ‘Alright, lets see, you have little to no money, your apartment is tiny and it smells, you’re a dangerous man in a dangerous line of work…’ she went on, looking into Emile’s green eyes, ‘Okay’ her face staying red and holding everlasting smile. They stopped to share a kiss and turned down the alleyway to get to Emile’s apartment when he saw a man at the end drinking and singing. As they approached Emile realised the Russian national anthem and his heart stopped before hearing ‘Chernarussian scum!’ and seeing him pull a gun. Emile heard a shot and grabbed Mara covering her and Emile felt an immense burning pain lance through his back as he fell. As he lay there hearing the man run off he looked to Mara, her belly covered in blood. Emile said nothing, his face in utter disbelief. Emile collapsed over Mara, and the unborn child, closing his eyes as he fell into darkness.
The months dragged along with each day as painful as the last. Once recovered from his coma and discharged from the hospital he did nothing but drink alone. Unable sleep due to the pain of the two bullet that entered his upper back and shoulder, yet the pain of losing Mara, the only person he had truly loved, the only person that made him feel love let him in an even deeper hole. Four month after losing her, Four months of no sleep, he had enough. He walked to Jitka’s apartment as he knew he would be there. The door open and Jitka stood there with a queer look in his face, ‘Emile… I… it good to see you brother’ he muttered as he wrapped his arms around him. Emile press his hand on jitka’s chest, easing him back and handed him the drawing. Moment later he was sitting in the chair waiting for Jitka to press that painful needle of the tattoo machine to his back. Xaver offer Emile vodka but waved it away and the needle struck like a bullet. Emile shuttered but remain expressionless staring out into the nights sky. He stood, walking to the bathroom and turned his back to the broken mirror showing a vixen nuzzled up next to the proud fox with a full moon above their heads. ‘We got him Emile. It took us some time but we got the cunt. He out in the shack North of Kamenka. He still alive, we've been waiting for you brother. You want one of us to take you there?’ Emile stood there fixing his jacket over himself and lighting a cigarette. ‘Please’ he mumbled walking out the door. Only Xaver went with him knowing that to many people might not be the best thing for him.
As they pulled up outside the large shed. Xaver open the trunk and lifted out a metal bar, but Emile shook his head, ‘I won't need it.’ he said walking past his old friend. The door open with a threatening creek to it, and Emile could hear the Russian wimperings over it. The smell of shit, piss and blood was pungent but the man was already bruised and bloodied, tied to a chair with thick metal wiring. ‘No more! P..please, I beg you! I’ve told you everything already...just kill me!’ Emile removed his jacket and t-shirt dropping them to the floor. In a rather sadistic tone, Emile whispered in a deep tone, ‘Hush now, don’t worry, everything will be over soon. With in the hour in fact.’ The man’s cries grew louder now to the point where he began to wet himself. Emile drove his boot into the Russian’s chest, sending him to the floor at which point, Emile lift him up again, blood pouring him the prisoner's head. “You killed an INNOCENT woman, who had nothing to do with Cerna Liska! You kill and unborn child, my child!... But worst of all… You didn’t finish the job and now look where you are. Where are your Ruski bosses now huh?’ Emile flip the chair onto the floor again and repeatedly bashed his fist into the dying hostage.
Xaver was in the car, trying to keep dry out of the rain that began to spit. He could hear the Russian pig’s screams and suddenly everything was silent. Emile marched out of the shed, swing the shed door open as he pulled his jacket over his shoulders, lift up the truck and removed a small jerry can filled with petrol. As he poured the liquid around and over the Russian he spoke, ‘Don’t worry, you dog… just a few more minutes and it will all be over. And I must say you have impressed me, surviving this far tonight. They must breed you well North of the border. But not well enough.’ Then he the dropped the lit match and stepped outside, watching the flames engulf the shed and hearing the last, painful cries of the dog that took his love. ‘Brother’ Emile began, ‘I’ve been waiting on this for too long. And it has not helped me at all. I.. I thought that by breaking everything in his body, it would help. By watching him burn for what he done to we, it could give me something. It didn’t… Know, I can’t even sleep...Take me home Xaver.’