"Tobias" by Zayan Sechel, July 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: Saturday went fine. This was Jewish Passover day. The Jews were too busy with their feast to pay any attention to this dead man's grave. Saturday evening came. Sabian knew that his men would need rest for the night. He planned to have at least four men watching per 2 hour watch throughout the night. That started when the sun set.
Bored to death by living in prison, Brad Sherman made acquaintance with Gregoriy Radomsky. As they walked within the perimeter, other tattooed prisoners throwing occasional glances at them, Gregoriy started as if reading a book. Brad placed hands in his pockets and exhaled, looking towards the forest.
"In the night of July 16-17, … 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia's last emperor …", he smiled at Brad, "… Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra …", he looked at the shaved heads with rifles on the watchtowers, "… their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and … their four daughters." Brad realized it probably meant something to him since he paused and looked at Brad in some special way. "They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in … Ekaterinburg …", someone called Gregoriy and he waved back, ignoring mocking comments, "… a city in the Ural mountain region, … where they were being held … prisoner."
Someone told them about the possible escape tonight and they froze thinking it was some bad provocation.
"The daughters were finished off with … bayonets." Gregoriy scratched his shaved skin and looked at Brad. Brad was still analyzing that guy that informed them. "To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar …", they continued to pace, leaving some dust behind, "... the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave."
They kept quite for a while watching some bald, bearded six foot tall builder beat some skinny guy. Soon other separated them, skinny guy uttering threats to red neck.
"In recent years …", Gregoriy imagined juicy steak and mashed potatoes with gravy, "… Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union." Brad squinted due to the sun. "In this new and uncertain era …, we are told …", Gregoriy chuckled harshly, looking at Brad, "… suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are …", he missed his usual pace and one of the guards checked him visually as if he had something in his trousers, "… once again being expressed." Gregoriy swore at the raised hump on the ground. "According to one public opinion survey conducted in … I believe in 1991 …", he placed a finger at his chin, "… yes … 1991 … for example, … most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country."
"Luckily you escaped those bastards …", Brad grinned and Gregory tapped him on his shoulder.
"Yes. But … precisely why is anti-Jewish sentiment so widespread among the peoples of the former Soviet Union, ha?" He looked at Brad. Brad suddenly felt some chill although it was eleven o'clock in the morning. "Why do so many Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and others blame … 'the Jews' for so much misfortune? Ha? You tell me, my friend? …"
Brad shrugged with his shoulders, cursing a possible virus or a fever.
"I know that we have 50,000 Russian Jews in San Francisco Bay Area, and if that Rabbi Lintner will be successful in arranging 25 Brit-Milas …", Brad sneered at some skinheads watching them in secret like a hungry pack of wolves, "… he will face 25 years in Jail along with a fine of $25,000."
"Ha, ha, ha, ha!" Gregoriy stopped and laughed aloud. "A Jew in a … jail? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"Who said that Rabbi Lintner is a Jew?"
Gregoriy stared at Brad for a moment, trying to see that secret sign of joking. There were none and Gregoriy concluded that Brad perhaps went nuts due to the prison situation.
In a hospital nearby, Mark Weber and Lisa Kampner were discussing some matters during their coffee break.
"Nurses are already telling unsuspecting Jewish Parents not to circumcise their babies because …", Lisa paused since she heard some footsteps outside in the hallway, " according to the nurses from the top floor, … it is a cruel and uncalled for operation."
"I agree actually …" Mark puffed smoke of his cigarette in the air. He examined Lisa's face, then continued. "The truth of the matter is that most Jews today are very much like the average American non-Jew."
"Oh?" Lisa chuckled, realizing sun was already closing to the noon. "Why is that?" She felt cold suddenly and wondered if she caught a virus or something.
"That is because …", Mark took his last smoke and then extinguished his cigarette, "… while we might not realize it, 99 44/100 percent of our daily stimuli are … non-Jewish." Lisa giggled, hiding her mouth. "The average Jew in America knows who the mother of Jesus was, but has no clue as to who was the mother of Moses."
"Ha, ha, ha, ha! You are so clever Mark! …" Mark paused looking at her, then continued.
"No it wasn't Miriam … his sister …", if you were thinking of her. "It was Yocheved."
"Yocheved. Ancient Jewish name."
Mark spotted a cockroach in the corner and exhaled sadly.
"The average Jewish child in America can sing the words to 'Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly', but doesn't have an idea of what 'Maoz Tzur' is …"
"And … that would be …" Lisa smiled at Mark and he smiled pleasingly to her as well, watching Lisa's moist lips in secret.
"The Chanukah hymn." Lisa made a nod and then they burst into a spontaneous laughter. "In effect …", someone opened the door and announced there will be possible prison break tonight, "… the differences between Jew and gentile have really diminished to the point of them being … inconsequential."
Lisa stared at the door.
"What?" Mark grinned at her.
"I wonder why he said that? …"
That night Gregoriy continued to pester Brad with more facts about the Jews.
"It was Torah that introduced to the world the concept of not causing undue pain to animals …", they listened to guards' footsteps, "… and yes … even the concept of … conservation." He paused, listening to Brad's breathing. "It's Torah that says that a person must 'work' the land and … 'guard' the land, that the land must lay fallow one year in seven to …", someone moaned in a cell close by and they listened as the guards groaned back to him, "… regenerate itself." Guards burst into laughter, pacing away. "It's Torah that says that even in times of war …", Gregoriy knew that Brad felt like crying but could not since he was much too proud of being a male, "… one may not cut down a fruit-bearing tree …"
"Really?" Brad tried to hide his sniffing.
"Yes. Even when Jewish soldiers' lives are at stake, or divert the waterworks of the city under siege."
"My God!" brad laughed. "Luckily I am not a Jew!"
Gregoriy chuckled some more, then exhaled sadly.
"It's Torah that says that even in times of battle …", he listened to some inmates snoring already, "… soldiers must get rid of their bodily wastes properly." Brad buried his head into a pillow and probably sobbed silently, not wishing to let Gregoriy know about it. "In effect, … we were the first members of the Sierra club."
"Sierra club? Did you just mention 'Sierra club'?"
"Yes, why? …" Gregoriy listened.
"No reason …" Brad blew his nose into a handkerchief.
"We were the first movers and shakers to save the whales and preserve the Darter Snail."
"Darter … Snail? …" Brad began to laugh so loud that one of the guards personally came and tried to talk him out of it.
That night, as Mark and Lisa were lying on a bed, Mark continued, full of inspiration.
"We know that even when Jews marry Jews, it is very difficult to live the kind of committed life which will bring honor to the Jewish people and to God."
"Why are you so much onto Jews today? …" Lisa played with her finger on his hairy chest.
"There are plenty of in-married Jews who have no idea of what Jewish Divine mission is."
"And you do? …" Lisa's half-closed eyes stared at Mark for a while. He snorted.
"They might remain Jews, but …", he listened and almost swore he could hear prison sirens in the distance, "… their impact will be … negligible." He prompted himself to hear better. "Do you hear it?"
"Sirens?" Lisa waved with her hand, covering herself up. "It happens all the time here …"
Mark adjusted pillow underneath him and stared through the window out into the night.
"It is very likely that only a small number of Jews who devote their lives to preserving and transmitting this … Divine message are … going to continue to make a difference in this world."
Lisa giggled shortly, then tried to provoke Mark into some more foreplay.
"I think that there is some danger from the Jewish agents of foreign powers …"
"What do you mean?" Mark kissed her hand, accepting the foreplay.
"The middlemen for alien nations and cultures … those who were called in ancient times …", she looked at Mark, "… 'traitors to the Covenant' …"
"Traitors? …" Mark was kissing Lisa's neck and she closed her eyes, enjoying it.
"Yes." She bit her lower lip. "And are known in our days as the 'Yevsektzia' … or as the 'Fraction' in Israel …"
"Oh? …" Mark continued to caress and kiss Lisa all over her naked body.
"But their well-known dependence on foreign influence weakens their effectiveness." Lisa kissed him back. "The very fact that they serve unashamedly as foreign agents …", Mark squeezed her tit, staring at her into the eyes directly, "… curbs their influence within Israeli people ..." Lisa moaned with her eyes closed as Mark explored her private areas professionally. "The fate of the Jewish revolution …", she tilted her head back, enjoying Mark's tender kisses, "… will be determined by its own inner forces." She buried her fingers into Mark's hair, letting him fool with his tongue.
As Gregoriy was trying to catch some breath, Brad was constantly looking behind them trying to see dogs and guards chasing them, There were none.
"How … how did you know? …"
"I overheard their conversation by accident. That way I knew which way they were going to flee afterwards …"
"Clever guy …" Brad tapped him on his shoulder.
As they were walking through the woods, trying to regain some energy after running three hundred yards straight, Gregoriy continued.
"No parallel exists in the history of any nation to the unique fate of the Jews …" Brad tried to distinguish his eyes in darkness. "To Jewish career which has been sui generis not merely since the beginning of the exile but …", they stopped and listened to some dogs barking, "… but even before, … when Jews lived in their own land."
"And when was that? …" Brad could still not believe he was out from those depressing prison walls.
"Jewish was a tiny nation inhabiting a small country, and there have been many tiny nations and many small countries, but …" They stopped again and looked at some search lights in the distance. "But Jewish was a tiny nation possessed of a great spirit, … an inspired people that believed in its pioneering mission to all men …", Brad trumped and fell, Gregoriy helping him stand up, "… in the mission that had been preached by the prophets of Israel."
"Ah. Israel. I must go there one day."
They kept struggling through the woods for a while until they reached a clearing again.
"This people gave the world great and eternal moral truths and commandments." They ran over the clearing in one swift wave. "This … people …", they were panting again, "… rose to prophetic visions of the unity of the Creator with … with His … creation …", they listened to some dogs again and concluded they were not of the police. "Of … of the dignity and …", he saw Brad smiling in the darkness, despite the fact they felt exhausted, "… infinite worth of … of the individual …"
"And … why is that? …" Brad realized it was great to keep your mind occupied and not think about what could happen later.
"Oh … because every man is … created in … in the divine image, of course …" They laughed, feeling more and more free.
The following day, Lisa and Mark were taking another coffee break.
"The past 20 years have been marked by the single largest growth of new Jewish organizations …", Lisa checked him out visually as one of their colleagues entered, greeting them, "… well, … at least since 1880 …", mark hid his secret anger, "… when the first defining period of American Judaism began." Their colleague smiled at them, taking newspapers and drinking some tea.
"You can rightly call it a major American Jewish revolution that is now under way." Their colleague added and Lisa tested her stockings in secret.
Disguised as male nurses, Gregoriy Radomsky and Brad Sherman made acquaintance with German tourist that kept pestering them about some facts from Europe. Germany, in fact.
"Travelers and businesspeople pushing their way through the underground train station at Cologne Bonn Airport are intercepted at the escalators down to the tracks by security personnel from Deutsche Bahn …"
"Which is …?", Brad hated that accent and could hardly wait for their scheduled pick up. Other passengers waiting for the electric train paid no attention to them.
"Germany's national rail provider, of course!"
Brad winked at Gregoriy in secret and he watched two police officers examine those who were waiting.
"No, … these officers inform the passengers …"
"What about?" Brad thought German tourist was speaking about the local police officers, not of those in Germany.
"No trains are running at the moment."
"Really?" Gregoriy thought it as well.
"And no …", German tourist made a nod, "… they don't know when operations will start again."
"What … operation?" Brad was getting nervous now.
"Frustration and annoyance spread palpably through the crowd ...", German tourist scratched his goatee and Brad mimicked to Gregoriy to go to the washroom area.
As they were washing themselves up, Brad looked at Gregoriy who was talking to that tourist more than himself.
"What was that all about? …"
"During the night …", Gregoriy liked his new look as a male nurse, "… unknown individuals tampered with a cable shaft between the Cologne districts of … I believe he said Kalk and … Vingst, near a city forest called … the Gremberger Wäldchen …", Brad was now gaping at the Russian who apparently knew much about Germany's geography. He swore silently continuing to wash himself.
"And …?" Bra suddenly became suspicious of Gregoriy, wondering if all this was but some kind of well-prepared trap or even a test of a kind.
"They were destroying three signaling cables and a communications cable with an axe." Gregoriy looked at Brad, grinning viciously.
"What about the police though?" Brad noticed another man entered, glancing with disinterest in their direction, using a toilet seat.
"Oh … federal police, in their subsequent report …", Gregoriy suddenly remembered that German tourist's pimple, "… put the time of the attack at 1:25 a.m."
Brad washed his foul mouth smell by taking water couple of times.
"Investigators concluded that these were not vandals …"
"No?" Brad used some paper to clean himself better.
"No! But cable thieves!"
"Cable … thieves? …" Brad showed towards the door and they left.
As Mark was driving Lisa back, he stared at him.
"I just remembered that on 27th of May 2005 Syria test-fired three Scud missiles …"
"And …?" Lisa smiled in secret, remembering their previous night.
"The first such Syrian missile tests since 2001." He looked at Lisa for a moment. A truck full of groceries passed them by.
"The missiles included one Scud B, with a range of about 300 kilometers, and …", he watched some high altitude jet airplanes above them, "… a pair of Scud D's, with a range of about 700 kilometers."
Mark tapped on the wheel, waiting for the green light.
"And …?" Lisa continued to do her nails, still smiling in secret, monitoring Mark's reactions.
"The missiles were launched from Minakh, north of Aleppo in northern Syria." Mark lit a cigarette, opening window slightly. "It appears that the missile launchers would have been driven to this air base from their garrison at Al Safir south of Allepo."
Lisa ignored ridiculous topic all together.
Mark looked at her freshly painted fingernails.
"Oh … by the way …"
"Yes?" She threw one casual glance at him.
"Do you know where those two emergency suits are?"
"Those missing from the surgery room?"
"I have no idea …" Lisa watched some cows grazing peacefully on the green grass.