New York 1980’s
He closed the door behind him and heard it click when it latched closed. He rubbed his hand over his face as if he could wipe away the exhaustion he felt. But all he felt were the rough callouses irritating his skin. He found where his black robe hung from a copper hanger from one of the many shelves in his chambers. He slipped one arm into the robe and the door clicked open. “Judge, your next case has shown up.” The voice belong to a cute brunette who served as the judge’s court reporter. She was serving at the court house over the summer while her schooling was at a recess. Her aspirations lead in in the path of being the district attorney’s replacement. He smiled, such ambition.
“Thank you Madalynn, I’ll be ready in a moment. Have them read through and sign the waiver of rights.” He said while slipping his other arm into the remaining sleeve.
“Yes, Judge.” With that she disappeared from the chambers being sure to close the door behind her. Such a nice girl. Shy, but she was nice. If it was the District Attorney’s position she wanted, she would need to lose that.
The door opened again. “Madalynn, I will be out shortly.” He wasn’t angry, just annoyed.
“Beautiful girl, that one is.” The voice did not belong to the twenty-three year old law student. The judge turned around. A man of approximately six three and two hundred and thirty-five pounds filled the door frame. The man had hair as black as pitch with eyes as blue as a husky, they were haunting. The man had high cheek bones and spoke with a thick accent the judge hadn’t heard in twenty years.
“No one is to be in my chambers, get out.” The judge said. The man was un-phased rather than taking the words as they were he took them as an invitation and walked further into the judge’s chambers. Trailing his fingers across the long oak desk that had a wax glaze over it as to preserve the oak that glowed when the light came in through the windows. They paused tracing over the carved letters of the name plague on the judge’s desk. Judge Alexander Jones.
“That is a very American sounding name.” The man said coming to lean against the middle of the desk. The judged peered at him through his contacts. “But I know better.” He spoke crossing his arms.
“I don’t know who you are or what you think you think you know, you had best leave or I will have no quarrels with calling the bailiff in to not so kindly remove you.” With that the judge moved toward the door placing a hand on the knob he twisted.
“Enough games. I know you Viktor Dashkov.” The man said almost spitting the name. With that the judge spun.
“Who told you that name?” He asked acid lacing his words. With this the corner of the man’s mouth curled into a half grin.
“You know who told me. It took us long time to find you. For an old man you are still highly evasive.” The man said. The judge let go of the door and turned sighing as he went. He had managed to live in
Pakhan- The Boss
piece for twenty years. He had to have known that wouldn’t last forever that they would eventually find him.
“If you know who I am then you know that I am no longer a part of your….extracurricular.” Judge Jones lost the American accent he had so tirelessly worked to acquire as his cover. His accent was that of Viktor’s now, like the other man’s but less thick from his years in the states.
A knock on the door rang deafly through the room, “Judge?” It was Madalynn. Viktor looked at the clock, shaking his head. It had been twenty minutes since the last time she had addressed him.
“Come in.” He said. The door creaked as she pushed it open, after she had materialized inside the door. He addressed her, American judge returning, “My apologies, we are going to have to postpone the hearing, something unexpected came up.” With his last words Madalynn’s gaze flicked to the other man in the room. As if sensing the situation she didn’t asked any questions.
“Should I call for someone, sir?” She asked hesitantly. The judge smiled.
“I will be fine Maddie, dismiss the court and take the rest of the afternoon for yourself.” He said. With this she smiled daring not say anything less the judge change his mind.
“Thank you Judge Jones!” With that she disappeared. A chuckle erupted in the room the judged turned watching as laugh lines appeared on the other man’s forehead making him appear somewhat older.
“I think your time away has made you soft Viktor.” The man said. The judge shrugged out of his robe and laid it across the back of his desk chair.
“Enough. What is it you’re after?” Viktor asked. Pushing himself from the desk he strode toward the back wall with the built in oak shelves, fancy and expensive. The judge does well for himself. The other man looked over the framed diplomas and certificates hanging staggered on the side walls near the shelves.
“Is this what you have been doing all this while, Viktor?” He said pointing to the collection of certificates on the wall. “Who knew you would have been capable of such knowledge.” He said. Viktor had heard enough. The insult tried his patience and he found he had ran out. From the back of his waist band the judge pulled a revolver, cocking the hammer he aimed it.
“I’ve heard enough. You come in
here and address me in such a manner, you know who I am. You know it would be
nothing for me to pull this trigger.” Even
though he had not spoken in over twenty years, he had not forgotten, his
Russian. Having apparently tired of his own games, the other man returned in
“My name is Yruik Dashkov, my mother sent me to find you.” Viktor took a step forward his expression hardening lowering the gun, he un-cocked the hammer and slipped it back into the holster he had hidden inside the waistband of his jeans. At one time Viktor would have stood above Yruik but with old age he fell a few inches short.
Pakhan- The Boss
“What did you just say to me?” He asked his face merely inches away from Yruik’s. When he spoke Viktor could smell the faint scent of sweetness, a fruity aroma emanating from Yruik as if he had just been out drinking.
“My mother sent…” He began.
“No!” Viktor shouted. “Irina is dead! What you are saying is a lie! Get out!” All calmness and all the patience that Viktor had accumulated in his years as a practicing judge waned and he lost it.
“Viktor…” Yruik began.
“Get…OUT!” Viktor called. Without further incident Yruik left taking a second for one last glace to the man he had come all the way from Russia to find, before disappearing out the door.
Viktor sat in his reclining chair a baseball game playing mutely on his small television. He sat with a glass of whisky in his hand he lifted the glass in front of him and watched the liquid swim to either side of the glass when he tilted it. For several minutes he just sat and tilted the glass like a pendulum, side to side. He stared into the glass completely oblivious to everything else around him. The grandfather clock butted up against the wall behind him clanged sending out a deafening vibration throughout the silent room. He didn’t flinch, he didn’t blink he just stared into his glass of amber liquid. For a split second he looked up his eyes catching on the picture to the slight left of the TV hidden away on a shelf screwed into the wall. Irina…His mind whispered. What do you want...He clamored unsteadily to his feet. His eyes never wavered from the picture. Yruik Dashkov…My mother sent me… “NO!” He yelled staggering forward. “NO!” He yelled again. “No, Irina is dead!” He cried throwing the glass. It shattered as it hit the picture and the picture was thrown against the wall behind it. Glass shattered and rained down bouncing around on the carpet like crickets hopping around. Upon impact the little bit of whisky left in the glass misted covering the walls. Little droplets collected and rolled down the walls and soaked into the edge of the carpet. Viktor sank to his knees burying his head into his hands. “You dead.” He whispered he dropped forward his head hitting the edge of the coffee table before crashing onto the carpet. Blood drizzled from the abrasion and ran down the side of his face pooling and soaking into the cream colored carpet.
Twenty Years Ago (1960’s) Russia
“Did you make it clear to him what would happen?” Viktor said, turning blue eyes onto the man standing before him. They eyes Viktor showed right now reminded the man of a predator looking for prey. The man gulped. He was finely dressed, a cotton polyester blend pinstripe suit clung to his skin as he stood sweating. His hands folded in front of him, were slick and clammy.
“Da, Viktor I did.” The older man in a suit of his own slid his tongue over the front of his teeth, clenching his jaw.
Pakhan- The Boss
“Perhaps he needs a little motivation to help…spur him into action.” Viktor said cheerfully taking long strides toward the door. Following after him were three large Russian men all clad in equally expensive cotton-polyester blend suits.
Viktor stood off to the side his hands crossed over a decorative cane resting on the ground in front of him. One of his men held a brunet woman to her knees by her long hair. She was weeping profusely tears rolling down her cheeks and dripping to the tiled floor from her chin. The man Viktor addressed was hysterical.
“Please! Please let her go. This is on me. Just leave her alone!” He cried. Viktor shook his head.
“Mikhail, I asked you to do one thing. One SIMPLE thing. And you haven’t done it. Was I unfair in asking you? I gave you the brunet as payment, a sign of good faith. Was my payment not enough?” Viktor asked taping a finger angrily.
“No! Viktor you have been very gracious. But what you ask is heavy, you are asking me to take a life!” Mikhail cried. Tears too, were streaming down his cheeks leaving stains in their wake. Viktor looked over to the brunet kneeling on the floor at the hands of one of his men. At his nod, the man gripping the hair of the woman yanking her to her feet. She yelped with pain. He gripped her by her jaw and flicked out the pocket knife that was clipped to the inside of his trousers. In one smooth fluid motion he flicked the blade out, the stainless steel glinting in the dim light of the small apartment room. The girl’s eyes widened as the blade neared her eyes.
“You forget Mikhail, I gave her to you. I can just as easily take her away.” Viktor said. With those words the man gripping the woman took the blade and drug it down the side of her cheek drawing blood as he went. The girl screamed in pain dropping to her knees she gripped at her face her fingers dripping from the blood. The wound would scar. “A reminder of what you owe us.” He nodded to the men. The one that had cut the brunet bent down, smiling as he wiped the blade across the brilliant flowery blouse she was wearing, clearing it of any blood. The blouse now stale with stains of sweat.
Viktor materialized outside of the small apartment next to his automobile. He looked from the car handle to his man standing on the other side of his car. “Give him three days. After that no more, punishment I will leave…” He paused pursing his thin lips, “at your discretion.” He ducked inside the car and surged off.
He pulled into a paved driveway and sat for a moment inspecting himself, he wouldn’t want to walk inside the house with signs of his work covering him. Satisfied, he exited and walked taking large strides to his front porch. His hand coming to rest on the knob. Twisting it, he went inside.
Bloody hand prints marred the once pristinely white walls. A sense of panic over came him he dropped his coat and cane and rushed through the house. “Irina!” He shouted. No response came. “IRINA!” He called louder. Blood. Blood everywhere. Hastily he cracked open rooms peering hesitantly inside them, nothing. The room at the end of the hall was marked with a clear bloody handprint. He cracked the door open slowly stepping inside as he went. What he found would haunt him for the rest of his existence.
Pakhan- The Boss
Blood spatter was everywhere, pools of blood soaked into the pale colored carpet on all sides of the bed. There on the bed clothes shredded, lay Irina. There was nearly nothing left of her. Her face barely recognizable. The only thing he could see clearly was the large princess cut diamond ring he had bought for her for their 35th anniversary. Now there would never be another one. He turned from the gory scene before him slamming the door shut he sank to his knees and sobbed.
He didn’t know what time it was or how long he had been laying on the floor until the sunlight flooding through the skylight in the center of the house, blinded him. He had been there all night. His muscles also gave the indication he’d been there all night in the same position because they screamed in protest as he tried to right himself.
“Boss!” The words rang through the house bouncing off the walls sounding panicked when they reached his ears. “Boss! Viktor!” A tall man appeared at the end of the hall panicked at what he had walked in on. Seeing his employer in a heap on the floor before the bedroom door. The man ran sliding on his knees reaching for his boss looking him over. “Viktor, what happened?” He asked looking at the blood everywhere in the halls.
“Irina.” Viktor managed. He felt drained it took everything he had to force the words out of his throat, and yet it was barely audible. “Someone murdered Irina.” He sobbed out. With that the other man stood cracking open the bedroom door nearly sick with what he found inside. He turned around shutting the door behind him. He gripped Viktor underneath his arm and hoisted him to his feet.
“We must leave here.” He said. Viktor struggle but his efforts were futile.
“No, I can’t leave her.” He managed to call out.
“There is nothing you can do for her now.” He said practically dragging Viktor from the house.
New York Present Day 1980s
Far off in the distance he heard a knock. He just laid there. The knock came again a little more persistent this time. It’ll stop, he controlled his dreams it would stop if he wanted it to. Only it didn’t stop the knock came again. “Judge?” It came to his ears in a whispered tone. Where was he? Why was his head pounding like someone was doing the marimba. He opened his eyes and saw the carpet. He was on the floor. On the floor where? “Judge Jones?” The voice was closer this time. He knew that voice. He heard footsteps. Faint at first but louder as they neared. “Oh my gosh! Judge!” The voice was next to him now. He could smell something fruity when the person neared. He felt hands under him helping him sit. He rubbed his hand over his eyes. Forcing his vision to clear. He stared willing his eyes to focus. Madalynn. He could see her clearly now. She looked to the side a look of slight disgust on her face. He followed her gaze to see a small pool of dried blood staining the carpet. His fingers found their way to his forehead where they felt a gash that was scabbed over. Her eyes went to the knocked over picture on the shelf and the shattered
Pakhan- The Boss
glass on the carpet. “Sir, what happened?” She asked. Taking an alcohol wipe from her purse and tearing it out of the package gently she dapped his forehead. He hissed. “Sorry.” She responded.
“Why are you here?” He asked. She looked at him.
“Sir, do you know what day it is?” She asked. He looked at her. What kind of question was that? Of course he did. He left his chambers Thursday night.
“It’s Friday.” He said decisively. Her eyes widened shaking her head her voice softened.
“Judge…its Sunday morning.” He looked at her.
She was lying, he shook his head. She turned to the side and picked up what she
had carried inside. It was a newspaper unfolding it she handed it to him. It
was there in black and white Sunday,
September 5, 1960. She had been telling the truth. Panicked, he looked up
“My cases.” He said hastily.
“They’ve been handled. Judge Carson came in for you.” She said. He relaxed slightly. Taking a moment to look around. A nearly empty bottle of whisky was laying on the floor. He looked at the bottle incredulously. He never drank, at least not an entire bottle of hard liquor. He rubbed his temple, what had happened? He tried to clear the cobwebs from his mind. He looked to where the picture of his wife lay knocked over on the shelf, the corners of the frame handing over the edge. He remembered the impromptu meeting he had Thursday night. My mother sent me…He could hear the other man’s voice in his head, what was his name? Yruik.
He looked up at her. “Madalynn?” He asked. She looked at him helping him to his feet.
“Yes Judge?” She replied.
“I am going to need you to take care of some things for me. I have something that came up recently that has demanded my attention.” He said, launching into further conversation.