Yo Chateau 4 Seasons
I did the study of magic
Happiness, no one evades.
I no longer have any desire,
It is responsible for my life.
The charm took body and soul,
And scattered all efforts....
- Fuck ! That can't be right !
It must have come out loud.
- Can you see what's written here ? "Do Not Lean Out", "Please Draw The Curtains During In-Flight Entertainment" ?
Do government bans and orders mean nothing to you, young lady ?
I turned away from the screen.
- Do you know when we're landing ?
- If I'm asking if familiar with prohibitions and injunctions, one should answer first and only then ask questions !
I wasn't in the habit of noticing men on planes or anywhere else but no one had been so memorable before. A gentleman, clean shaven and ruddy, stern. Very bespoke.
- And no murmuring and scribbling rubbish.
- Sorry, me - I responded immediately and recklessly - I'm writing this important stuff, traveling for treasure. My head gets light sometimes..
He softened and smiled.
- Do not worry. The accent's fake. I only use it at Gatwick to intimidate teenage immigration clerks. Hey, I'm a travel writer myself. Lookie here. It's called "My Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice". I wrote it back in 1952 when beach front property was considered unhealthy and swine-like. What's in yours ? Show me !
- I don't know - I started - it took a lot of research, and there are dangerous...
- Here, here, you can trust me. I don't own half of Yucca Town for nuthin'. Them campesinos have no case. But - he smiled sweetly - I interrupted a lady, please accept my sincerest apologies.
I was flattered. No one ever listened to anything I had to say. It was always "Kuznar sit down and no fidgeting" or "Kuznar, we are not speaking when not spoken to" or "Kuznar, there are only 3 proper answers : yes Ma'am, no Ma'am, and Glad To Be of Service". He blew gently into my ear : "I am lissstenin.."
- It's in Rus-sia - I whispered back - near-the-sea. The treasure all think lost for ever in God-forsaken corner of Europe, damned for millennium, cursed for eternity in memory of genocide and ....
I suddenly realized I was gushing, out of breath. What was it ? The guy was over 50 or 30 or something, I can't tell them apart once they start wearing ties, but I was flushed. And happy. I could tell he was listening intently, even as his fingers wandered the length of my exposed thigh. I didn't mind.
- Imagine Middle Ages, darkness, Ivanhoe.. The last crusade in Europe..
- Damn Englanders ! Fucking slime took a millennium to fuck off me isle too...
It was nice to know he hanged on my words, even the "millennium". But I had to correct him.
- The Kaliningradskaya Oblast.
- The what ?
- .. The Chamber ! Near old Konigsberg. Old Prussians... like Indians, wholesaled by knights in pre-Boss black and white. There, on a sandy spit, just out of reach of cold dark sea, a castle.. a ruin.. a goth God's place of fear... - I made a long pause and lowered my voice - ... Balga..
His fingers stopped their march but I was getting even more bothered. The power of my words, the sway they held.. I was giving away my secret but what rush..
- You mean to tell me the Proosians have some seaside real estate left ? Sylt is so sixties ..
I straightened and sat upright. I pulled my skirt down and held him by the shoulders.
- Can you keep a secret ? - I felt a sudden surge of confidence. I shook him lightly - Can you zip it if needed ? Even when tortured ? Waterboarded for years ?? Threatened with mutilation ???
He was backing away, but listening. Listening !
- .. Gotterdammerung. Roar of rockets. Molten metal over Sambia. Trucks in darkness, boxes on trucks. Rows and rows of boxes. Then.. a ruin, a castle so remote, glimpsed in headlights. Crates into dungeon, rubble and sand on top, machine-gun spray over the wretched workers, then shorter bursts over the sprayers, until only one, an old nazi sage, over a hundred years old, in a nursing home where our class had a field trip...
- Young lady - he started - I don't know what you're on...
- Okay, okay.. it was no field trip. This idiot judge gave me 50 hrs of service for.. but never mind... I need you. Need your money, your expertise, your worldliness. We must pay a lot of bribes, slash and burn, maim if necessary, it won't be pretty.. but we can do it !
My skirt hiked up again, I brought my lips closer to his face and staccated :
- Are.You.In ?
... but I see my word count at 366 already (and that's without all the the's and a's which I promise to go back and delete later).
I could probably squeeze in a quick summary of what happened to the Amber Room after I found it, and who took it and where is it now. But I won't win this contest anyway, there'd be nothing, not even an emailed "we regret to inform you.." so I'm not giving anything away for free as I need cash, cash, lots of it. Now back to my translating day job.