Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Evacuation Part 1

For audio click here 

Čestmir was one of the least trustworthy people David knew, but in times of need, it’s often better to head to the bottom and work up, rather than the other way around. Over the last few days, the swamp people had emerged from their murky lairs and were looking more than at home on the streets of Prague. David handed over the money and watched the bastard smile; the black of the gaps in his teeth almost indistinguishable from his dirty ones.
“Thank you, my friend,” he said in the English that David had taught him. “The train leaves at ten p.m., be here at nine sharp. Remember only one bag each. And the baby, she counts as a bag.”
“Čestmir?” David said. But he cut him off. “Either the baby is a bag, or she’s a person. Another person, another 1000 Euro.” 
“Okay,” David said. “She’s a bag.”
“By the bookshop at nine!” The rat had turned his back on him before David could agree.
Prague was strangely empty. Only a few people scurried through the flurries of snow. Only a few rode the trams. It was a ghost town.
“Thank you.” David heard his wife say to Mr Novák.
“Thank you,” he replied, “your foreigner man won’t be missed around here.” Novak might not have liked the ciznec, but it didn’t stop him from leaving with his arms full of his computer equipment.
Iveta showed him the notes. It was a paltry amount for what he had taken, but it was all they could ask for.
“He wanted to fuck me for them,” Iveta said.
David could see she wanted to cry, but she knew if she started, it would set him off and that would set Lucie off. They all had to be strong; bravado was all they had left.  
“Hubka is coming for the furniture in an hour,” she said. “Did you get them?”
David told her what Čestmir had told him.
“You gave him the money, but didn’t get the tickets?”
“What could I do?” he said.
She sighed a sigh so heavy it could anchor a ship, but it was no time to drop anchor.
They re-packed as best they could, working mostly in silence, holding up items and shaking their heads or nodding. Who knew if they’d ever see any of this stuff again? Iveta’s parents had agreed to clear the flat and store the stuff they hadn’t sold, and then try to sell the property. But even that might not be possible. They’d begged her parents to come with them, but they didn’t want to leave their homeland, not matter how uncomfortable life might become.  David knew that part of Iveta wanted to stay too. But in the grander scheme of things, staying really wasn’t an option.
“You take these.” he said, giving her Lucie’s and her own passports and the letter of invitation from his parents.
David didn’t want to say it. He didn’t want the idea to be out in the open. But Iveta wanted the opposite. She wanted him to voice the possibility, so she knew she wasn’t the only one worrying about this.
“Just in case they get split up.” He said.
Iveta nodded.
“But they won’t,” He said, both of them were well aware that he couldn’t possibly know that.

He pulled her in for a hug. It was good to have her warm body close to him, but the intimacy didn’t solve any of their problems.

For part two click herefor part three click here, part four here and for part five click here

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