Thursday, June 8, 2017

#FreeDailyThriller - Lust, Money & Murder - Book 10, "Black Widow" - Part 59

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Elaine could feel the steady pounding of her heart as she watched the elderly tavern owner place the big scoop of homemade pistachio ice cream on Alex’s cone.
Unfortunately, the tavern was not completely empty today, like it had been last week. This made Elaine even more nervous. A family of four was sitting at a table out on the terrace. A middle-aged Greek man and woman, and two kids, a boy and a girl, maybe four and six years old, respectively. The father and son were eating ice cream. The little girl was holding a Yorkshire terrier in her lap, the mother clicking away on her phone.
As soon as Alex had his ice cream cone in his hand, he took a couple of licks and headed towards the front door.
The old man serving the ice cream looked at Elaine and smiled, waving the scooper, and speaking Greek, asking if she wanted any.
“Strawberry, please,” Elaine said, and guiltily touched her stomach, as if she was concerned about her figure. She turned around to see Alex pushing the front door open.
Costa followed him, casually glancing at the family with the kids and the dog.
Spyro was talking to the owner’s wife, both of them standing there with their arms crossed, looking relaxed.
The owner finally handed Elaine the ice cream cone. She quietly walked to the front door and went outside, licking the cone to make sure it didn’t drip on her. Not that a little dripped ice cream would matter in a few short minutes.
She glanced up the hill—the SUV was still there. She could not see inside, but she hoped it was Dmitry.
Alex crossed the road and walked slowly along the crumbling sidewalk that ran parallel to the sea, licking his ice cream cone and gazing out across the water.
Costa emerged from the souvenir shop with a fat cigar in his hand. He stopped, lit it up, then walked a little farther up the hill, glancing over at the water, then up at some seagulls that were cawing, riding the currents.
The setting was perfect—there wasn’t a soul around. And Costa was heading the other way.
Now! Elaine thought.
She turned slightly towards the SUV. Slowly, she reached up with her right hand and smoothed her hair over her ear, twice.
Even over the sound of the sea, she thought she could hear the SUV engine start up.
With her heart thudding even harder, Elaine moved towards Alex. He was now standing on his tiptoes, licking his ice cream cone, looking over the wall at something down on the rocks, out of Elaine’s view.
As she reached him and stepped up onto the sidewalk, she glanced up the hill again.
The SUV had come to a stop right in front of the little souvenir shop where Costa always bought his cigars, just as planned.
Dmitry climbed out of the SUV. He glanced down the hill, then stepped over to a cylindrical rack of hats and baseball caps, as if browsing. He spun the hat rack, then picked up a blue cap and tried it on.
The SUV slowly began to roll forward.
Since Dmitry had aimed the tires straight down the hill and directly at her and Alex, Elaine could barely sense it moving.
But it was moving.
“Look!” Alex said, pointing over the wall. “There’s a dead octopus down there.”
“Really?” Elaine said nervously.
She glanced back at the SUV, which was silently picking up speed, but still at least a hundred feet away. It would not come anywhere near Alex, but he wouldn’t know that.
“I don’t see any octopus,” Elaine said, keeping one eye on the moving car.
“It’s over there,” Alex said, pointing. “See? Right where those birds are!”
A cluster of seagulls was picking at something among the scattered boulders.
Now the car was perhaps one hundred feet away, picking up even more speed.
Elaine moved closer to Alex, ready to grab him.
Alex suddenly squatted, picked up a big rock, and hurled it over the walls at the birds.
They all scattered in a great flapping of wings, cawing resentfully.
Suddenly there was barking from inside the restaurant’s terrace.
Elaine turned just in time to see the Yorkshire terrier leaping from the little girl’s lap. It scampered off the patio and out into the middle of the street, barking and snapping at the gulls.
The girl jumped out of her chair and chased after it, running into the street as well, completely unaware of the fast-rolling car.
It was headed straight towards her.
“Watch out!” Elaine screamed.
She sprinted out into the street, losing both shoes in the process, and snatched the girl up, whisking her over to the sidewalk, the dog barking at her feet.
She set the girl down. To her horror, when she whirled around, she saw that Alex had wandered out into the path of the car, his ice cream cone still gripped in his hand.
The driverless car was hurtling towards him.
Elaine had no time to shout, or even to think—she dashed back across the street and knocked Alex down onto the pavement, the huge Chevy Suburban silently whizzing past an instant later.
It reached the bottom of the hill and rolled up the short incline, slowing, and then bounced across some boulders, rocking crazily back and forth. It banged against a tree, finally coming to a stop, with a hair-raising crunch of metal.
“Are you alright?” Elaine gasped, gently pulling Alex up from the pavement. He looked stunned, pistachio ice cream smeared across his face. His tongue stuck out and licked some of it from his lip as he looked in wonder at the crashed SUV.
The little girl’s parents were both hugging her, the dog still barking, the father scolding her in Greek.
Spyro came outside, the tavern owner on his heels, but Elaine was already charging up the hill in her stocking feet.
Dmitry was running down the street, his black jacket flapping.
“You goddam idiot!” Elaine yelled, just as she and Dmitry approached. “You could have killed those children!”
He raised his hands and said, “Izvanite, ya vinovat.”
“Mistake?” she screamed. “You stupid pridurak! Da ti mog ubit etih detei!”
Dmitry frowned at her. “Shut up, beech,” he muttered, in a thick Russian accent. “Nobody dead, no.”
Elaine slammed her right hand into his chest, palm out, and stopped him short, nearly knocking him down.
“Don’t you know how to drive a car?” she shouted.
“I say shut up, beech!”
Elaine whirled around, her right leg flying outward, and gave him a roundhouse kick, bringing him down on his back. Her foot actually just grazed his shoulder, but he made it look like it had knocked him flat. He rolled over as she lunged at him. He started kicking at her, trying to block her from jumping on top of him.
“Patricia!” she faintly heard Spyro yell from somewhere far off behind her.
Elaine let Dmitry get to his feet. Now he pretended to be scared of her, and he sprinted back up the hill towards the souvenir shop.
Elaine was right on his heels, cursing him in both English and Russian. Just as they reached the nearest side of the souvenir shop, he slowed, turning around as if he’d decided to try to fight her off.
She gave him two more impressive-looking kicks that appeared to knock him into a tall, rotating newspaper rack, and both he and the rack toppled to the concrete.
“Patricia, stop it!” Spyro yelled.
Dmitry was now trapped between her and an ice cream freezer, just as they had planned. Elaine began violently kicking him, her feet actually making contact with the freezer with loud thumps, while Dmitry bellowed. Elaine saw that he had bit into the capsules now—his mouth was blood red—and he spit out a great spray of the red stuff, splattering droplets all over her blouse and coat and the floor. When she heard the sound of footsteps behind her, she jumped on top of Dmitry’s chest and began repeatedly punching him “in” the face, actually missing it most of the time, her fist thudding loudly against the metal side of the freezer.
As she pulled her fist back, an arm grabbed her wrist.
“Get off that man!” Spyro said. He pulled her away, with her swinging viciously out at Dmitry with her other hand.
“He almost killed your son!” she yelled, as if half-crazy with rage.
Alex was just walking up to the scene, staring with his mouth agape.
“That beech break my nose!” Dmitry bellowed, slowly climbing to his feet again, holding his hand to his bloody face.
“I don’t give a damn!” Elaine snarled, yanking herself free from Spyro’s grip just long enough to punch him in the stomach. That blow was real, and he bent over, moaning.
“Patricia!” Spyro yelled, grabbing her arm again.
Costa finally caught up to them, panting, and took hold of her other arm—she pretended to be completely out of control, trying to break free and give the stupid Russian one more punch.
Spyro stared at Elaine, shocked by her behavior.
Dmitry shrunk back, gasping to catch his breath, and now looking deathly afraid of her.
“You should be more careful!” Spyro said to him. “What the hell is the matter with you?”
“I sorry,” Dmitry muttered. “I forget put on brake, stupid mistake.”
Spyro looked disgustedly at him. “Have you been drinking?”
“Drink? Nyet, nyet.”
 Spyro glanced around uneasily. The owner of the souvenir shop had come outside, and down the hill, he could see the family with the two kids and the terrier, along with the elderly tavern owner and his wife, all standing out in the street, gaping at them.
Elaine had guessed that Spyro would be more concerned about making a spectacle on his precious home island than punishing the offender, since it had simply been negligence.
“You should be more careful,” was all Spyro said. He put his arm around Alex. “Are you alright, son?”
He nodded, gazing at Elaine with an expression that could only be described as one of hero worship.
“Patricia saved my life,” he whispered in awe.

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