Glass Curtain,
By Thaddeus Hutyra

Chapter 75 - MELISSA,OH,MELISSA,WHERE ARE YOU...  || All Chapters

Steven Mac Dantosch felt himself totally frustrated.It could not be different any other way.God,a year already passed since he arrived in Belgium and he still has not found his beloved Melissa.His mind was on a torture constantly,by long days and even longer,sleepless nights.How he feared for her! Was she still alive? She had to be alive! He would put a stone around his neck and would jump from a bridge to a river or a lake if it were otherwise.There was no life for him without her.How many sleepless nights he just sat on the edge of a bed and did not know what to do with the terrible pain within his head.Not even U2 songs could help.�With or without you� or �I still haven�t found what I�m looking for� had terribly personal meaning to him.Yes,he could not live without her and yes,he still has not found her�And the echo of the U2 songs went on till the moment the Sun�s rays beamed into his hotel flat,with a full display.Yes,the Sun was the emperor! And he was nothing,nothing at all! At least as long as he could not find her!
He crossed entire Belgium many times over.He looked into every town,from Antwerp and Brussels,the country�s capital,to Brugge,Kortrijk and Oostende.He looked into every village,even such a tiny one which was inhabited just by a few villagers,immensely rich.It was possible because the country was so little.Yet he still has not found her.What was happening with her? And even worse,to her? Who was her captor or captors? Why they,whoever they were,did not want to leave her in peace? God,she expierenced more evil in her lifetime than some communities might have ever expierenced.Was it Satan�s work? He dreaded when he thought about Melissa�s mother.Poor lady was already looking like a grandma,so old and destroyed by life.Despite that she was in her forties.How he desired to bring her daughter back to her! To see happiness returning to her dying eyes! How he prayed to God to find her! He promised to God,and himself,he would never again leave Melissa alone,even for a minute.She would have to stay with him forever! Of course if she chose so.God,she might have hated him! Because he left her and went away from her while going to the States.Because he was so long away from her.How could he explain to her he had to prove his innocence in order to make life possible for both of them?
It was an evening,he just returned from Breda,a town just across the border in the neighbouring Netherlands,got outside the railway station in Antwerp and walked slowly towards the Grote Markt,the most attractive tourist spot in Antwerp.There were many shoppers on the streets he walked through,the Keyserleistraat and Meirstraat,which were the most representative shopping areas of downtown Antwerp,something like Regent and Oxford streets in London.He felt exasperated,tired and terribly sad because he still was without any clue about Melissa�s wherebouts.People were happy around him,laughing,talking aloud,joking.Kids were carelless and noisy.Only he alone was a stranger in the crowd.An Australian in Antwerp! He smiled when he identified his situation with that of an Englishman in New York from one of the songs of Sting,a famous British singer.It was the only brief smile for months!He passed the tower of KBC,a Belgian banking and insurance group and then Groenplaats shopping centre.
He found himself on a large square called Rubens square,named so in tribute to the most famous Belgian painter,whose statue was placed at the centre of the square.He approached the statue and sat down at a nearby bench.
There were many people on the square,and especially at the side of the cathedral,towering over the square but he felt himself so much devastated he looked at no one,just took his head to both his hands and looked down to the ground.He was already contemplaiting seriously whether to buy a bottle of whisky.Some part of his being,however,demanded from him no to give up his fight for Melissa.Reaching for a bottle of whisky would be a de facto end to his efforts.He could not do it.Simply,because there might still be a chance to find her.Sheer despair penetrated his mind and he thought he will struck with his head at the ground.Perhaps the hell might open like an egg�s shell and he might be able to see her,and once it would happen he would enter the hell itself and go even to the core of the Satan�s nest.He would crash Satan himself with his fist!!! Oh,hatred got over his face like a flash of lightning for a moment.He smiled again because he realised he would really do it.He realised at that moment yet another thing: he was far from giving up.He will turn all of Belgium upside down in order to find her.He will even turn entire globe and change its orbital movement.The fate demanded from him to turn into a godlike figure.And yes,he took the challenge and turned himself into such a demon.There was no way he would not find her.It had to happen,sooner or later.His teeth hurt the flesh of his lips and a blood appeared on them.However determined he was there was still not a smallest clue.He did not care the blood ran away from his lips and droped onto the ground,sinking then into it.The forthcoming night was unwelcomed as every night since the time he found himself in Belgium.Unwelcomed because filled with mental tortures.
God,he was a dying man and yet he was a warrior at the same time.Contradictions sat on contradictions.Don Kichote was certainly in more favourable situation.At some moment some young people sat down on the bench he was sitting on.He did not care.He did not even look at them.
-�Hey,why are you so absent minded? Did you kill someone?�- He heard suddenly.If they knew who they were sitting next to they would certainly escape away from him instantly.He was in a position to turn them into a dust.Yet he felt he got curious somehow.Those people,whoever they were,were terribly rude,to the point simply of astonishment.He looked up at them and nearly shivered from a surprise.All of them,four guys and a woman,were young and hippis or punks looking alike.In colourful,dirty clothes,with tatoages on their arms and certainly even on their asses,and also with dope in their pockets.He thought instantly about Melissa.Perhaps he might be more lucky this time.It was this thought which stoped him from showing off some violent overture.Instead,he grinned to them.
-�Hi,pals,you the local ones?�- He just asked.
They began to laugh.
-�Hey Eric,you hear it? He wants to know whether we�re from here!�- One of them,unshaved guy of an age of about twenty five shot some words off his mouth,together with some foam which fell to the ground.It looked he was partially stoned.
-�Hey,don�t be so harsh! Have you some dope? I pay,don�t be afraid!�- Steven Mac Dantosch retorted brilliantly.He knew how to get over to them.He indeed surprised them to such a point they looked at themselves with mixed expressions on their faces.
-�Who are you? Where are you from?�- One of them asked him. Steven Mac Dantosch knew what did it mean.They opened themselves to him and he could enjoy their pack.
-�I�m an Australian.�- He replied.
-�Uff,it�s a long way away from here! Why are you here,in Belgium? What are you doing here?�- The girl,black haired and with definitely too many earings on her ears,asked.
-�People,don�t ask.I just came to enjoy life.Can we make friends?�
-�Wow! Of course!�
An hour later he was sure he managed to make them his friends.They answered every his question and what he liked the most had quite a good knowledge of the underground environment in and around Antwerp.They knew his name and he knew their names:Erik,Josh,Daniel,Andre and Elle.Because he wanted to have some dope they proposed him to go with them.They went to a car parked next to the police tower in Oudaan,got into it and directed the car alongside Bredestraat and Begijnenstraat towards Waalse and Vaalse Kaai.
-�There are many of our people in this jail.�- Josh said when they were passing a red bricked building in Begijnenstraat.
-�One day you�ll also find yourselves here.�- Steven Mac Dantosch thought but said nothing.
They got off the car in Vaalse Kaai and directed themselves towards a building,which as the only one had not any signs of running whatever enterprise.In all the other buildings there were some cafes,restaurants,shops or some offices.The building was perfectly camouflaged.It looked just as a private possession.They went not up the stairs but down the stairs and Steven Mac Dantosch was surprised they were stepping down to a cellar.But soon his surprise turned into astonishment when he realised they were still stepping down to something what certainly was not a cellar but something else.Finally they reached the bottom of the stairs and began to walk along a tunnel,about ten meters long,until they got to a wooden door.Josh opened the door and they entered something what was�a sort of a taverne.An underground taverne for all sort of criminals and mafia men.
One bodybuilder instantly approached them.From the expressions on the faces of the guys who brought him to that place,Steven Mac Dantosch concluded the guy was the chief there.He indeed felt himself confident and even overconfident in that nest of criminals as surely was the case.There was something brutal in him.
-�I told you never to bring a stranger here!�- He roared aloud.The punks shivered from fear.They looked panicked on their faces because they realised they made a mistake.
-�He is O.K.,boss.He�s Australian.�- One of them,Daniel,said.The courage cost him a tooth which sprang out his mouth the moment the fist of the bodybuilder landed on his face.He fell down to the floor.The other ones were speechless.
-�Leave them in peace,they�re my friends.�- Steven Mac Dantosch said coolly.He felt some fire in his belly.
-�What have you said,you shit,Aussie?!�- The bodybuilder roared at Steven Mac Dantosch and bursted with a laugh. A chorus of laugh spread across the underground taverne.There were perhaps thirty or forty criminals in it,some possibly even with guns.There was a real danger hanging in the air.Steven Mac Dantosch,however,was unconcerned.In fact,he needed some violent overture,in order to realease the bad blood in his body as well as all the rage he accumulated in himself for a long time.
He knew what was going to follow.The moment the guy wanted to hit him unexpectedly he made a vicious turn and hit the guy with one of his legs and with such a force the guy flew in the air and fell on the heads of his companions.Now Steven Mac Dantosch had all of them against him.They circled him and then jumped at him.He once again turned himself viciously and their bodies were the floor he could sweep through with a flash lightning speed alike.Some of them were already lying unconsciously on the floor.The speed of his hands was so great that simply invisible,his movements - that of a spiderman.None of them could reach him while he was constantly reducing them in numbers.When there were only ten of them facing him they just stoped fighting and asked him to forgive them.
-�Bring him to his office and don�t move away from this place.If I see anything suspicious I�ll kill you."- Steven Mac Dantosch announced to them.He followed them.He left the door opened in order to see what was happening around.He began to do a search,looking inside every drawer and shelve.He found nothing what might interest him.He noticed a safe at the corner of the room and felt relieved when saw the mafia guy recovered his consciousness.
-�Open the safe!�- He orderd.The guy did not move.Nevertheless,there was a fear in his eyes.
-�Open the safe right now or,otherwise,I shoot your brains out.�- Steven Mac Dantosch said through his teeth and reached for a gun which he saw on the desk.It was,naturally,too much for the guy.He moved to the safe and opened it.
-�Stay there!�- Steven Mac Dantosch ordered him to move to the other corner what the guy did.He approached the safe,took everything what was in it and placed the things on the desk.Then he sat down comfortably at the desk and began to check every single thing.What did not interest him he just threw on the floor.He looked at some notebooks in which there were many scribless and at photos,finally.He shivered at some point when he took yet another photo to his hand.
God,it was�Melissa! There was a number scribbled on the back side of the photo,he memorised the number and began to search in the notebooks again,this time for one only number.
He found it and his face turned totally pale when he read what was written down there.
Melissa was forced to prostitution.
She was kept imprisoned by them and treated like an animal.
Steven Mac Dantosch thought his heart and mind were going to explode from sheer despair.There was also information she was taken away.Only that and nothing more.It meant he still did not know where she might be and who was her captor.He jumped away from the desk,ran towards a can in which there was a petrol and poured it all over the mafia guy.Then he reached for matches and struck a match.
-�You tell me right now where is she or I turn you into a torch!�- He yelled at the guy who yet half an hour ago was an almighty godfather of the place and a powerful bodybuilder.Now he was reduced to a shivering scarecrow.
-�I tell you but don�t put me on fire,please!�- He begged.
-�Hurry! Before I really do it!.�- Steven Mac Dantosch yelled again.
-�Oh,no! Please! Her captor is a �policeman.He� de facto a sadist.He keeps her in his house�.�
-�What�s his name?!�- Steven Mac Dantosch yelled again. He felt deadly wounded.God,Melissa was in the hands of a�sadist! At the mercy of a�sadist!
-�His name is�Bert van Healens.�- The guy spelled the name in the end.
But Steven Mac Dantosch wanted to be sure.
-�Prove it!�- He yelled again.This time he was not sure whether the guy was going to be able to prove it.So he was somehow delighted when he saw the guy was showing him one of the many notbooks.
-�It�s there! Her discharge to the policeman is mentioned there.He was in fact one of us.�
Steven Mac Dantosch took the notebook to his hands and turned the pages feverishly.He found it.There was indeed mentioned she was discharged to the policeman and there was even his address scribbled down.Steven Mac Dantosch teared the page out and looked down at the guy with uttermost hatred.He would burn this guy and the place a thousand times but he had to keep to his word and dreams of turning himself into a huricain in order to find Melissa and bring her to safety.And that was absolutely of the only importance.
-�Get up and take the key! I need your car!�- He commanded to the guy who did as he was ordered and directed Steven Mac Dantosch to a secret lift.
They got off the building and the passerbyes looked curiously at the guy who was wet and smelled with petrol.They approached a Mercedes.
Steven Mac Dantosch put the engine on and sprinted away with the car,to the astonishment of the totally stupefied mafia guy as well as the people who looked at the scene with a bewilderment.The police sirens were heard and Steven Mac Dantosch had no doubt someone might have telephoned to the police on the mobile phone.It was doubtless to say,this time the police was going to find easily the mafia ring.Every finger was directed at the guy with petrol spread all over him and at the hellish building.
It was not on the Steven Mac Dantosch�s mind.He was already on the motorway,heading in a formula one alike speed towards Brussels. There was his Melissa at the hands of a policeman who in fact belonged to organised crime.God,she was at the hands of a sadist! At the hands of a beast!�It took less than half an hour to find himself in Brussels,the capital of Europe.Shiny scydrapers made incredible impression but he looked at none of them.Only Melissa was on his mind.
Fifteen minutes later he found himself in front of the villa which belonged to the policeman.There was light on in the entire house.He rushed to the front door and was immensely surprised when he saw the door was not locked.He opened the door and entered the house.There was no one on the grand floor.He took four and five steps at once when he climbed up the stairs.
There was something strange in the air.All rooms with lights on and no shadow of a human being.He rushed to a room,then a bathroom and toilet and then yet to another room which must have served as a sleeping room.
He saw there a man on the floor,in a pool of blood.He ran to him.The guy was completely undressed and had numerous wounds on his body.He shivered like an epileptic.He must have been tortured.
He was still alive but life was fast escaping him.
-�Are you agent Bert van Healens?�- Steven Mac Dantosch asked.
-�Yes.�- He heard.
-�Where,the hell,is Melissa?�- He yelled at the guy.
-�They took her.�- There was the answer.
-�Who have taken her?�- A despair appeared on Steven Mac Dantosch�s face.He suddenly realised a chance of having her back with him was slipping away from him.
-�Who have taken her?!�- He yelled again,without caring for the dying agent.
-�Russians. A �Russian mafia��
-�A Russian mafia? Can you,shit,tell me more?�
-�I heard some names�Sasha,Grisha,Andreyev Go��- The guy was unable to finish sentence
Steven Mac Dantosch shivered as much as the dying agent.
He suddenly knew what happened.His Melissa was kidnapped this time by Andreyev Golubin,the Russian spymaster and a mafia godfather.He thought he was going to kill himself,so great was his agony.But there was no time to loose.The guy was dying.
-�Was it Andreyev Golubin?�-He asked more gently,knowing the guy was slipping away to hell.
-�Yes.�- There was the answer which sounded like a death sentence.
They looked both into their eyes.
-�Kill me.�- The dying agent asked.
-�No,I can�t do it.You know it because you served on behalf of law which you put so much in disservice.Tell me,have they hurt her?�
-�No,they haven�t done it.But they threatened her with abusive words and treatment.�
-�Where have they taken her to?�
-�I don�t know.�