Scriptor and Joe Collaboration Six
Hi there! It is that time of the month again for a collaboration between myself and that most excellent writer Scriptor Obscura. We each contributed different parts to this little story; if you want you can guess which of us wrote which, though we won’t tell. Anyway Enjoy! 🙂
When I was a student I used to visit the art gallery on campus from time to time. I enjoyed to wander around the silent halls on a rainy Saturday or whenever classes just got too much to cope with. I freely admit that I didn’t “get” art most of the time. But sometimes I would see something that would move me to my core.
Today however, the gallery was abuzz as I approached. A small crowd had gathered in front of the doors, cordoned off with yellow police tape. The street was lined with squad cars, lights flashing off the windows of nearby buildings. I turned to the man next to me.
“What’s going on?”
“Bomb-scare!” He said. “Some lunatic pulled out a grenade inside. It scared the hell out of everyone. They have a negotiator in there at the moment trying to tell him to put the pin back in.”
The doors burst open and there was loud shouting from inside. Two men in full body gear rushed out holding an armoured box. He was followed by a number of cops surrounding a handcuffed man. It was hard to see him so tight was the crush of police but I managed to catch a glimpse of his face.
The officers turned, stared at me. Derek looked up. Our eyes met for a brief moment before he was bundled into a waiting van.
“You know that guy?” the man next to me said. The crowd was beginning to stare at me, pointing and whispering.
“He’s my brother.”
The man blinked, his mouth wide.
“Sir, we need to speak to you.” An officer was parting the crowd, coming towards me.
I was marched by heavy hands into the same van as my brother. The door was slammed behind me and I took a seat opposite Derek crushed between two burly policemen.
I ignored them and for a minute we were just two brothers talking.
“You stole Dad’s grenade then?” I asked.
He grinned at me “Well he was never going to use it. Was he?”
“You idiot. What the hell were you thinking.” I shook my head.
We arrived at the station a few minutes later. We were immediately separated. I was taken to an interview room where an officer questioned me for what seemed like hours.
“Does your brother have any ties to any organizations that you know of, any political or religious groups? Has he been involved in any unusual activities recently?”
“What do you mean by “unusual”…?”
“Has he been meeting with anyone, talking to anyone, does he hold a grudge against anyone that you know of? This is serious, sir. We have a potential terrorist incident here. I’d appreciate it if you’d answer me to the best of your ability.”
“My brother is not a terrorist, what are you talking about?”
“Sir, please. We’ve traced his cellphone records and it seems your brother’s been speaking to someone in Chechnya…Do you know anything about that?”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“A Mr…Akhmatov, it seems…Do you know him?”
“Pavel Akhmatov” He checked his notes again.
There was a burst of recognition and my memory fell into place.
“Pavel? Yes I remember him. Little guy! He spent a month here about a year ago. I think he stayed with Derek for some of that!”
The questioning continued “We were aware of Mr Akhmatov’s visit to the country. Did you ever hear him talk politics or religion or anything like that with your brother?”
“Sometimes! They would talk about a lot of things.”
“Oh no certainly not!”
“How can you be so sure? You did say they would talk politics!”
“I know it wasn’t like that! You see! Derek and Pavel they were very close when he was here. I mean; really close.”
“Well! They were lovers!”
“I see.” The officer shuffled his notes, tight-lipped. “Well. Do you have any idea why your brother would have pulled out a live grenade in the middle of an art gallery?”
“I don’t know, why don’t you ask him? You have him in the other room don’t you?”
“Sir. Your brother will be spending time in jail. Do you believe Mr. Akhmatov may have put him up to this?”
“Well he is an artist. Likes to do stunts, shock pieces, that type of thing. Guerrilla art, he calls it. Got a couple of videos on YouTube,” I shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t really get art.”
“Tell Pavel I love him!” Derek’s voice drifted through the door. “Tell him our names’ll be in the paper! Tell him-”
“Quiet!” a voice barked from the hallway.
Across the table, the officer stood, smirking.
“You’re free to go sir. Thank you for your time.”