Monday, 8 February 2016
Through the Fog
Kia knew her life would end today. The drive to the border was long and laborious, the anonymous man driving the jeep silent except for the odd grunt when he made a sharp turn or got caught in traffic. Of course, the windows were darkened both inside and out, so she could not know where her chaffeur was taking her. Kia checked her nails, dirty and broken, as the vehicle moved on; inside, her heart beat like a drum, fast and hard. Thoughts ran around her mind. Will it be firing squad? A quick bullet from behind? Or something worse? Such thoughts distracted her from the abrupt end to the journey, and it wasn’t until the door was opened that she realised her end was near. The man was different now, tall and muscular with a dark goatee as his only form of decoration. Goatee seemed hesitant about dragging her out of the jeep, and ended up pulling her by the hand instead of the usual grab at the elbow. He walked slowly, almost as if he was matching Kia’s stumble. A last act of kindness, perhaps. When the disorientation faded, she gandered the bridge looming ahead of her. A thin layer of fog made the end invisible, possibly for the better, and the guards posted at the sides of the bridge watched Kia with suspicion. She wondered which one was to be her executioner, or if they lay in wait beyond the fog. Goatee in particular eyes her up with steely eyes and a matching grimace, before looking towards the fog and leading her towards it. No, no. Leave me here. Just put me out of my misery where I stand.
The walk across the bridge seemed to last a lifetime, giving Kia time to pray for her soul. As the fog cleared, two men could be seen walking towards them. One looked to have his arms thrust in front of him whilst the other one, the fatter one, held him by the shoulder. The closer they got, the clear it became. The thinner man was in handcuffs, the fat one in a suit, a british flag neatly pinned to his breast. What? Goatee brought her to stand face-to-face with the shackled man, who looked upon her with some sort of empathy. They spoke, half of it in Queen’s english, the rest in broken english. Next she knew, Goatee flung her towards the suited gent, and the shackled man was uncuffed and gently pushed towards Goatee, who said something to him and lead him to his side of the bridge. What just happened? She asked the suited man, and he just grumbled “exchange”. Kia was confused, still convinced she was to die. Suit turned and walked back to the side of the bridge he came from, Kia’s hand in his gloved one. Was this a trick? The closer to the other end of the bridge she got, the closer to the big Union Jack flag she got, the more paranoid she became.