Monday, 26 March 2018


“You see,” said Yuri, while pointing to a cabinet over to the side of the warm room, “there is a price to pay here in Mother Russia for doing what you have done.” As the words stopped, the hate and sneering face literally inches away from Samuel, Yuri returned to the chair that was placed directly in front of Samuel.

Face to face, the room deathly quiet, Samuel could see that his time might just be limited to the next few seconds. To his side a man, dressed in a smart suit, returned with a small biscuit tin. In total he’d noticed six other people in the room so, no matter what happened, he wasn’t just walking out of here without permission from Yuri.

Samuel reminded himself of the man that he was dealing with, a ruthless, sadistic, nasty Russian that did not take kindly to anyone crossing him. He’d actually say something, if he could, but instead he just sat there with shaking hands. Yuri placed the small tin onto his lap, opening the lid with care, “This, Samuel, has been in my family for generations. It is priceless and this… ,” continued Yuri as he reached inside the tin to lift the gun, “…is a Nagant M1895 revolver. Seven glorious rounds!” Samuel’s eyes must have opened that bit wider but he didn’t notice as all he could hear was the thick Russian accent and his own heart beating against his chest.

“They were made in Belgium, until Russia bought in 1898.” Samuel watched as Yuri lifted a small lever, next to the gun barrel, to which he then lifted one single bullet, placing it into a chamber. “Would you like to play a game, Samuel?” Asked Yuri. Samuel said nothing, resisting the urge to finally say what he’d wanted to say for the longest time. While smiling, Yuri placed his hand onto the barrel, turned the gun slightly upside down, to the left, spinning the chamber with a quick flick of his fingers. He then returned the lever to its original place, handing the tin to the man still standing beside him. “We will play game, you and I, until we know where we are Samuel,” exclaimed Yuri with a finality that Samuel had not heard before.

Samuel’s mind started to gather control, accepting the situation, thinking of ways to escape. He knew what Yuri was capable of, which led to his disbelief of still being alive. Nothing he could say, as far as he could see, would change the circumstances he now found himself. Nothing. ‘The truth  then,’ thought Samuel, as that would probably be the best way forward.

“Tell me why I should let you walk out of here?” asked Yuri, with a calm and collective ease that didn’t betray any thoughts at all. As he watched the barrel move he blurted out his answer,
“You should let me walk out of here because I can give her a better life, a good life, away from all this!” 


As the room filled with silence Yuri calmed himself from literally rising a few millimetres from the chair. He was still here, no holes, no blood, but wanting to leave the room. “A good answer,” said Yuri, “but what is to say that you can leave the Bratva? I have given you food, shelter, warmth and this is how you repay me?”
“I meant no disrespect Brother Yuri, I could not help my heart do the things that they have done!”
Yuri, still contemplating his next decision, moved quickly forward from his chair, placing the gun’s barrel against Samuel’s head, as he gently squeezed the trigger, “Promise me something young Yuri, promise me and you can leave…” asked Yuri as he watched Samuel close his eyes, “Promise me that you will look after my Daughter, keep her safe and warm as I have done for you!”


Yuri, sitting back onto his chair, listened to the reply, “I promise, as a Bratva general, that I will honour my duties as I would to you!”

Yuri, finally convinced of Samuel’s resolve, ushered to one of the guards to open the door as another handed him a suitcase. As the casino noise echoed into the room, Yuri motioned to Samuel, “Take this, take all of this, it is the money you have earned over the years.”  Samuel, not expecting such a generous gift, stood from his chair, taking the case and walked towards the door. Before leaving he stopped, turning his head towards Yuri to say one last thing, “Thank you Yuri. Thank you!” Yuri, wondering if this was the right decision, pointed the gun in the air, pulling the trigger, sending a bullet into the ceiling. With the loud bang sending Samuel quickly out of the room.

Yuri, walking over to the various decanters, selected his favourite drink and poured a small amount into a glass while murmuring words, “You give them so much, they take even more, then one of them runs away with your daughter. Is a funny world. In Soviet Russia roulette spins you!” Taking a sip, feeling the warmth, Yuri finally smiled and nodded knowing that, for once, he had done a good thing.

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