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It was an unusually dark winter night. There was no moon and dense clouds were covering the sky. Even if I had been stuck in the ass of a mole in its deep hole a hundred kilometers underground, I doubted it could be much darker. Chinatown in Nuuk is really the end of the world!

I slowly turned left and strolled up the street, trying to avoid those street lamps that were working. Fortunately, they were few and the fact spared me the effort of zigzagging from one sidewalk to the other. After about twenty minutes, I came to the Red Dragon ready for my reckless assault. I looked around, pretty nervous.

The place was quiet and it showed no signs of life. It was midnight so I guessed that most of its residents had already gone to bed. At least, I hoped so. Despite the street looking peaceful, I still had the feeling as if I was heading for the scaffold. If something went wrong, I simply had no idea how I was going to save my poor ass without a car. I had come here in a cab but I’d let the driver go because I obviously couldn’t tell him, “Will you wait for me, please, and make sure I’ve successfully stolen that Hondsu over there? Then you can go!”

I slowly walked for another fifteen meters and cautiously approached the Amphibia. It was still parked where the jerk had ditched it. I tried to look inside but I couldn’t see anything. No street lamp was shining near the restaurant and it was dark as hell. After a brief consideration, I cautiously took out my searchlight. It was probably a stupid idea to use it but I simply had no option—without it, I had no chance of even locating the door lock. After a brief hesitation, as I listened tensely in the darkness, I flashed the light around a couple of times. The car was really a 370z—just like Sharon’s car—and it was locked. I had only just finished with identifying the vehicle, when I instantly regretted my decision. Some voices echoed up the street as if someone had been waiting for me to arrive and start my midnight activities. The voices were not agitated but they sounded disturbing enough and they were coming my way.

Silently cursing my bad luck, I hurried behind the nearby telephone booth and knelt down. My stomach was aching and I had a terrible feeling. It was not very likely that the Chins in the restaurant had waited for me, but I couldn’t scratch this possibility entirely. Soon, however, I realized it was not the case. When the voices came close enough, it became clear that they belonged to a man and a woman who were just taking a midnight walk. They seemed to have had a couple of drinks too. I remained quiet beside the booth and patiently waited for them to pass. In a few minutes, they came closer and their voices made me creep halfway around the booth because I wasn’t sure what they were doing. I feared they might want to make out and would accidentally run into me in the darkness. Not long after that, I sharply stopped hearing their voices, which led me to think they had turned into the next intersection.

I waited for a while longer, just to be sure, and then cautiously stood up with the searchlight ready in my hand. I went back around the booth and I was just about to go on with my midnight affairs, when I heard something too close to me that made me freeze again. This time, the noise was rather uncanny. It came from the place where the Hondsu was parked and it resembled rustling with some clapping and clicking every now and then. It was so strange that a whole bunch of crazy ideas pop into my mind immediately. Then I heard someone whisper indistinctly in the darkness.

“What the fuck is going on? What the hell is happening?” I thought, alarmed, and tried to retreat to where I had come from. A creepy feeling started crawling up my spine and I asked myself whether it was possible that someone had come to steal the car in exactly the same moment when I had come to do the same thing. It would’ve been such an irony! Then all of a sudden, the mystery revealed itself before I had even reached the other side of the booth. An extremely bright light exploded before my eyes and made me jump up terrified, with my heart going for my throat in an attempt to come out and save itself individually. It scared the shit out of me, and I froze, totally unable to move.

I saw a white man and woman embracing the nearby street lamp not far away from me. In fact, the man had embraced both the woman and the lamp in an attempt to convince her to have sex with him right here—on the street. He had bared her breasts but she was trying to pull her blouse down and talk him out of it. They were oblivious to my presence and each time the man pushed his sweetheart to the pole in order to kiss her, the lamp flashed for a moment. After a while, the guy got really mad at the flashing and gave the pole a heavy punch with the heel of his hand. The lamp crackled a few times and then it stayed on. He punched it again but it refused to go back to normal and this finally convinced him to give up the idea of having sex.

Meanwhile, I had managed to hide at last. The scene I was witnessing reminded me a bit of the time when Bobby and I had sex in my kitchen. Only, if it were us here, fooling around, mine and Bobby’s role would probably have been reversed: I would be the one pulling the blouse down and she would try to talk me into it!

I stayed in my hiding place for a while until the couple had had enough of playing and walked away. Then I waited for another three minutes, just in case, and came out from behind the booth, cautiously approaching the car. To my annoyance, the situation was significantly different now. The stupid lamp was shining hideously in the darkness and I had to steal the Hondsu in the spotlight as it were. The damn thing refused to go off even when I kicked it a couple of times to convince it, and after a minute, I sighed resignedly and got started anyway.

First, I took out my special car-stealing toolkit, which I had bought from the Chinese marketplace in Cuinnuicheec. They have all kinds of gadgets there and many of them are supposedly illegal but they sell them in open carts right on the street despite that. Maybe the authorities didn’t know about the fact or maybe they didn’t care. Very soon, I thought of a possible reason why that was. The toolkit turned out to be a shitty thing of no use for anything. It looked like a toy and it worked just as much.

I silently cursed the Chinese bastard that sold it to me and tried my other gadgets—the de-locker, the lock-breaker, and the intruder—in turn. The de-locker promisingly flashed a couple of times in my hand indicating that it was ready for use but when I put it closer to the lock, it shrilled loudly, which made me turn around in alarm. It was quite weird for a car-stealing device to do so! Afterwards, the light stayed on and the display said “unlocked”. I pursed my lips, amazed.

“Is it so easy these days?” I asked myself in disbelief, while cautiously trying the door.

Alas! My enthusiasm was a little premature and nothing had changed. The door wouldn’t move a millimeter even though I “locked” and “unlocked” it a couple of times more. Eventually, the display started showing weird Chinese symbols and I totally lost count of my attempts and the actual status of the lock as well.

I threw the de-locker on the ground in disappointment and moved on to the lock-breaker. The name of the gadget clearly implied how it worked. In the manual—thank God, it was in English—I had read that the device was going to block the locking mechanism, but I wondered how it was supposed to make my life easier if it blocked the mechanism while the door was still locked. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try and all my worries turned out to be in vain. Instead of breaking the door, the thing simply broke itself. After less than a minute, the sticking needle jammed inside the lock-breaker, and then the case just burst open.

I threw it away angrily and moved to the intruder. By that point, I was already so frustrated that I didn’t even wait for my next magical car-opener to fail. I fiddled it in my hands for a while, I pushed a couple of buttons to no avail, and when I assured myself I had wasted my money again, I ditched this one too. Eventually, I ended up with the classic—the slim jim. I had not much idea how to use it but I had no other options. I pulled the thing out, thrust it between the glass window and the rubber seal, twisted it, while trying to catch what was inside the door and that was actually all I did. In the next moment, I had to throw myself flat on the ground, forgetting about the Hondsu and everything else.

I heard a police siren suddenly howl and shortly after that, flashes of blue light tore through the darkness up the street. I looked up, desperate. The slim jim above my head was still sticking out from the car window, proclaiming, “Here! Come here, officer! Here’s the thief! Come and get him!” At the same time, all my useless gadgets lay scattered around me like ditched toys in a kindergarten.

There was no time for me to tidy up my playground so I quickly slipped under the vehicle, shivering. The howling siren came closer and then the squad car sharply stopped with a nerve-racking screech of tires. In my hiding place, I almost stopped breathing.

“Well, that’s it!” I thought, devastated. “I’m officially suited in orange now for the rest of my life! I’ll be pursuing a career in prison—maybe writing the memoirs of my ruined life!”

The situation that followed evolved rather unexpectedly, however, and as it seemed, it didn’t involve me. First, I heard the opening of car doors, then some trotting of feet on the asphalt, and a few “don’t move”, “stop” and “fuck me harder” cries—the last one not too relevant to the situation. Shortly after that, someone’s Chucks rushed by my face, almost stepping on my fingers and kicking the parts of the misfortunate lock-breaker all around the place. The sound of car doors shutting followed, a siren howled again, engine roared, and there were a few “fuck you”, “dirty pigs” and “cum on me” cries. The last one was not relevant again and I presumed it was coming from an open window on the upper floors. After all this, the street went back to its quiet and peaceful state and the change came so suddenly that it felt almost surreal. It became so quiet that I could hear the heart beat wildly in my chest!

After a minute, extremely cautious, I stuck my head out from under the car and listened tensely for a while. The street remained empty. I clumsily crawled out, still not believing my luck, and then I looked around for something solid and heavy. I knew that if I kept dawdling here, I was surely going to end up on the back seat of the next police cruiser inspecting the place so I wanted to finish with my task quickly. Soon I found what I needed. I grabbed a piece of brick from the sidewalk and went back to the car. I sharply pulled the slim jim out of the slit and threateningly raised my brick, intending to break the resistance of the damn door once and for all. Just then, I had to stop again—this time, because of the weird noise, which came from the car itself just an instant before I had hit the side window.

I looked at the vehicle, surprised, and dropped the slim jim, cautiously trying the door. I pulled it very lightly but to my surprise, it opened. The slim jim had obviously worked after all! I was so happy that I hardly stopped myself from dancing around and crying, “Yes, yes, yes!”, and I felt like a movie character. I felt like Alexander the Great of car stealing! Unfortunately, my sovereignty over the conquered turned out to be just as short-lived as his. Right in the next moment, the damn Hondsu started shrilling like hell. The fucking alarm went off!

I jumped up, startled for the zillionth time that night, and almost hopped onto the roof of the vehicle in a desperate attempt to kill the noise. I couldn’t imagine what kind of jerk would turn on the alarm of his own car before going to steal another one! I looked about stupidly and although the street was empty, I anticipated trouble very soon. The Hondsu kept howling hideously but I still didn’t want to give up on the idea of stealing it because I was so close. I had just initiated an attempt to persuade myself that stealing a car, which was honking, was actually an extremely good idea, when the situation changed again. It was quite expected and I suddenly realized that my time to make decisions had passed completely. I was not alone anymore!

A Chinese man stuck his head out of one of the windows above the restaurant and screamed something in his incomprehensible language. I looked at him but I didn’t have time to answer nor did I have an idea of what to say. I still had the piece of brick in my hand. The guy drew his head back in, and soon after, a few windows lit up on the second floor.

I immediately dropped the brick and threw myself into the car in a final attempt to fulfill my task. Once inside, I looked around in a panic because I realized I didn’t know what to do next. The display on the dashboard was dead and the steering wheel was locked because the car was fully automatic. Meanwhile, the Chin had appeared in front of the restaurant but since he was alone, it gave me a little bit of hope. The guy looked like one of the same kitchen “warriors” that had challenged the heavily armed thugs of Chavez the previous day. He held a knife in his hand but the more disturbing thing was that he was also talking on his phone. Right after finishing the conversation, he ran toward the car.

Now I became really nervous. It was already too late for retreat! My eyes suddenly fell on the useless intruder half a meter away from me on the ground, and I promptly kicked the door open in order to grab it, which happened just in time to hit the Chinese with the door. The bastard straightened up at first, but then he doubled up and fell backward, screaming and holding his groins. I feverishly took the intruder and closed the door and as I did so, I saw other Chinese running toward me from all sides.

Desperately and chaotically, I started pushing all the buttons on the gadget, and to my surprise, this time it did something. The indicator of the device blinked twice and then the car display abruptly lit up. Unfortunately, that was all it did; the engine still wouldn’t start no matter how wildly I was hitting the touchscreen. At least I managed to lock the doors, however. It was good because meanwhile, an entire horde of Chinese was already hanging outside and trying to break the windows in an attempt to get in.

Looking around feverishly, I wondered why they were so furious about a stupid car theft and the thought that they might have ambushed me flashed across my mind. Maybe they had seen the shooter coming in that car and they had turned the alarm on, waiting for some damn fool like me to come and fall into the trap! I was still cursing myself for being such an idiot, when I noticed that the off-system emergency brake was pulled. Hopeful, I released it almost sure it was the reason that the engine wouldn’t start, and in my mind, I was praying to every God on this planet to help me. I was swearing that if I survived, I was going to quit my “blooming” PI career; I was going to attend church twice a day for the rest of my life; and I was going to migrate to Romania and become a shepherd in the Carpathians! Sadly, no God was listening at that moment—the engine was still dead and the situation was getting ever more complicated.

And then, when I had already given up, the magic finally happened! The Hondsu shook up sluggishly, after which it started slowly moving down the street, following the gravity. My heart skipped a beat, hopeful again, but right at that moment, one of the Chins managed to break the rear window of the vehicle and my optimism instantly evaporated. At the same time, another one was working on the front windshield, but since the glass was laminated there, he was lagging behind the schedule. I frantically moved to the back seat and kicked the intruder out but my victory meant almost nothing. Very soon, the Kung Fu people were going to get in with me because the car was moving nerve-rackingly slowly.

I moved back to the front seat again and hastily went through my options without being able to concentrate much. Since I had no way out, it didn’t actually matter. In fact, I had one option and that was if I surrendered, but it didn’t seem a very promising move because the people outside didn’t seem keen on treating me as a war prisoner. They were rather going to break my bones with their metal rods and bars. Alternatively, I could kill myself so I didn’t fall into the hands of my enemies alive, which was kind of a way out too, but it was too heroic for me. I had just started thinking that the situation was the ultimate mess and it couldn’t get worse, when it actually proved me wrong. I saw a threatening blue light, flashing in the darkness down at the end of the street! I was moving toward it and it was probably coming from the same squad car from ten minutes ago.

“Oh, no! No, no, no, this is not happening!” I cried out, still not believing my eyes, and I angrily hit the dashboard. It was too much even for my notoriously bad luck! In that moment, I completely flipped out, and without thinking at all, I unlocked the doors, moved to the passenger’s seat, and jumped outside in a fury.

What happened next remained just an obscure dream in my head because of the adrenaline rush. I realized the details of it but that was later, when everything was over. I vaguely remember how I threw myself toward my closest enemy, neutralized him with a few highly effective jiu-jitsu movements, and captured his metal bar, which I used to gain control over the next group of Kung Fu people. The jerks were so shocked that they froze in the middle of their kicks and blocks, and held out their knives and choppers to me. With them, I slaughtered the poor bastards, cut their hands off, and scooped their eyes out. The cops at the end of the street, I pinned to the trees with cleavers, and then I removed their tongues so that they couldn’t call reinforcements. Finishing all the scum, I stormed into the Red Dragon and exterminated every living creature in there, after which I went back home satisfied to drop dead on my bed. I was so tired that slept soundly until noon the next day.

©2016 S.T. Fargo

Eurasian Gambit—Chapter 10 | a science-fiction crime novel by S.T. Fargo

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