‘The vengeance of Women’ is an absurd criminal story in which the main character, a brilliant inspector Franco Fog, a hedonist addicted to whiskey and women, albeit in heart always faithful to his only love – Veronica Blanca, has to investigate a mysterious disappearance of a few men. He wanders around ‘the most dangerous nooks and corners of the town’, gets help from fallen women, deals with pimps and gun-traders and disarms a group of Warsaw Nazis before he finally comes across ‘The vengeance of Women’ – the vengeance of our times…
A perfect read for people with taste for surrealism and humour.
Marcin Brzostowski (1969) – a contemporary Polish writer, who comments on current issues and affairs by absurd and grotesque.
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THE VENGEANCE OF WOMEN
© Copyright by Marcin Brzostowski & e-bookowo
Cover designed by Michał Olejarski
Translated by Nina Wagner
Wydawca: Wydawnictwo internetowe e-bookowo www.e-bookowo.pl
Wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone. Kopiowanie, rozpowszechnianie części lub całości bez zgody wydawcy zabronione.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Around three hours ago inspector Franco Fog lay down on the sofa in his living room and, without realising when, he fell asleep. He deserved it. For three days and nights, he had incessantly been chasing the assassin or assassins of Jean-Pierre, a famous drag queen. Despite the earnest efforts of the police, the body of the deceased was found just last night in the city zoo in the lion enclosure. It was not hard to think that Jean-Pierre did not look like this beautiful boy, about whom half the Cabinet, national male badminton team, or even a well-known breakfast television presenter Roman Beetle, known as the Kissing Roman, were mad, anymore. The citizens of Warsaw had long been paralyzed with fear. Those who remained cool kept their fingers crossed for the police investigation to be successful. Jean-Pierre wasn’t, however, the only victim of the nameless beast hunting in town. There were also Mr. Drabik, a Member of Parliament, Mr. Colorful, the stripper and Mr. Kushaty, the minister of medium heavy-light industry. To people’s wonder, their bodies hadn’t yet been found. The only proof that the beast devoured its victims were brief obituaries issued in women’s magazines informing of the death of those mentioned above signed with a mysterious signature ‘WCDE’.
Inspector Franco Fog, or to be more precise mounted police inspector Franco Fog, headed the pursuit group appointed by the Police Commanding Officer. According to the official statement issued by the press department of Police Headquarters, inspector Franco Fog hadn’t mounted his horse for years and now he worked in the homicide department. However, word had it that this forty-something-year-old cop did not accept his unexpected transfer a long time ago and still went round the most dangerous nooks and corners of the town. It was said that his partner was Veronica Blanca, a mare of uncommon beauty. They shacked up with each other before the baleful displacement. Only Franco Fog knew how much truth there was in these bits of gossip. He was now lost in sleep and uttered awkward noises resembling neighing. Between the irregular and uneven snorts, he heard the sound of a well-known voice. The inspector noticed, analysed the enemy and immediately opened his eyes. Still heavy with sleep, he did not recognise the person visiting him and uttered words he normally did after waking up:
- Where’s my coffee, darling?
- What coffee, you jerk?
- Jerk? - the man instinctively reached for the gun.
- All right, calm down and wake up!
Shaken from the Land of Nod, the cop put his gun in the holster, rubbed his eyes and asked, completely taken aback:
- Luigi, is that you?
- Who else?
- I’d bet my life that it was here I last saw the sweet Maria.
- You mean the telegraphist from the KGB?
- Shut up! The walls have ears!
- That was last week, Sherlock.
- Are you serious?
- Sure, I am. You should give up drinking, my friend.
Franco Fog sat down on the sofa dejected, rubbed his week’s worth of beard and said to Luigi:
- You’re quivering, Luigi, or is it just my imagination?
- It’s no good - the red Persian cat started shaking. - I guess I got mixed up in some real shit.
- I told you to settle down and start going out with some nice, decent girl.
- Look who’s talking! - the cat started turning red. Anyway, it is not about some unhappy love affair or a betrayed husband eager for revenge.
- What then?
- I have an impression that my greed has spiked someone’s guns. And most probably, they were aiming to destroy our town!
Surprised, the cop raised from the sofa and, with no hurry, moved towards a massive bar shaped like a globe. He realised that only a morning glass of whiskey could soothe his growing backache and get his mind to function properly. One second later, he decided to start the Asian part of the globe. He took out a brand new bottle of Johnny Walker Black, twisted the cap and poured the dark golden liquid into the glass. On his face appeared a roguish smile he could send to some spinster lost in the depths of virginity. When he felt the alcohol start to warm up his sore body, he said:
- Maybe you’d like something for a good start to the day?
- I can’t.
- What do you mean, you can’t?
- Don’t you remember anything any more?
- Frankly speaking, no, I don’t.
- I have the Code implanted, Sherlock. Besides, I swore to the Holy Virgin to be off alcohol for a year.
- I’m sorry, Luigi - Franco Fog took another sip of whiskey. - So what did you get into this time?
The frightened cat jumped onto the window sill, scrutinised the view behind the window and started telling his weird story. According to his testimony, it should be concluded that a few minutes before, he stuffed himself with some unknown, shiny substance he found inside some van in front of their house. When he jumped off the car, some bucks in black uniforms barred his way and they demanded the immediate return of the shining powder. Luigi gave up the idea of taking up a conversation with those gentlemen in a flash and resorted to flight. He also demonstrated a complete lack of common sense as instead of running towards some park or street, he decided to direct his paws home, thus showing his aggressors the appropriate way to trace him. As a result, he was sitting now by the window, cringed and shaking with fear and he did not resemble the typical self-assured cat he normally was.
Franco Fog listened to the story intently, then, approached the window and, stroking Luigi’s back, he uttered the judgement:
- I don’t know what you swallowed and who those people are, but I know one thing for sure. This is the apartment of a police officer and nothing bad can happen to you here. Understand?
- But these guys didn’t seem like schoolboys, believe me!
- It doesn’t matter. I know what I’m saying.
Convinced he was right, the inspector flicked the cat in the ear and rushed towards the trolley to fill his glass with another portion of whiskey. However, before he reached it, a couple of black-dressed men burst into the flat and pointed the barrels of their Kalashnikovs at the occupants. After a second the shortest man came close to Franco Fog and said:
- We know you from TV. Don’t even try to play those cheap tricks on us.
- What do you mean, amigo?
- Chiromancy, fortune telling and such stuff.
- All right. Then, with whom do I have a doubtful pleasure to greet a new day?
- I am Hans Kluge! - the rat-face man stamped his heels - Sturmbannfuhrer Kluge!
- How can I help you, Herr Kluge?
- Your cat swallowed our uranium and we insist on the immediate return of our property!
- Why do you need uranium, my friend?
- That’s quite simple. Our secret Nazi organisation decided to mark its presence in the conscience of the Aryan part of society through perfect preparation and completion of the plan code-named ‘Adolf in the Sky With Diamonds’. The aim of the foregoing venture is to detonate a nuclear bomb in a park in the centre of Warsaw.
- I see. Can’t you do it without uranium?
- Unfortunately not. The instructions on how to construct a cheap, home-made atomic bomb clearly indicates that the uranium is indispensable in this case. And at this very moment our uranium is inside your cat.
- No kidding!
- Don’t be
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