Barış Müstecaplıoğlu in translation: Brother's Blood

Brother's Blood

BROTHER’S BLOOD
- an extract

                                                            Prologue

He was in two minds about keeping his eyes open when he heard the sound of approaching footsteps; he was extremely curious to know what was about to happen to him. But on the other hand, he was frightened to death of what he might see.

            Not that fat beast... Please, God...

There hadn’t been any feeling in his arms which were tied to the wooden chair for some time now. They had gone numb; he wondered if he would be able to move them again. But he could feel the dampness around his wrists; they have been bleeding for several minutes where the wire cut into his flesh.

The footsteps stopped before coming too close. It was silent for a while. A man or a woman, whoever the hell it was, had to be watching him at this moment. He wondered how he might have looked. He wouldn’t have liked to see the state of his own face; a broken nose, a mouth with no front teeth, cheeks branded randomly with several cigarette burns, a forehead covered with bruises, bloodshot eyes probably swollen from crying and...

            He heard a voice say: “Are you conscious, son?” It was asked in a kind tone, but what made him feel better was that it was a voice he didn’t recognize. It wasn’t that fat dog, thank God. Three different people had knocked him about since he had been shut in here, but it was only that hippopotamus that had put his hand between his legs. Every time the guy touched him there, a feeling that was stronger and more disturbing than any pain had come over him.

            He seemed to be enjoying it, the son of a bitch...

            He lifted his head slowly and opened his eyes slightly. A tall man was standing in the semi-darkness. He was a large man. As the light was coming from behind him, his face could not be seen clearly. He seemed to be wearing a suit. The young man in the chair found the situation funny but was unable to smile; he felt as if thousands of needles were pricking his sore lips when he tried smiling.

            “So you’re conscious,” said the man with a calm and non-threatening voice “I’m happy about that, son. I have to tell you that you don’t look so great. You’d think a truck had run over you.”

            There was a silence.

            “Your name is Kemal, isn’t it? You can call me Hasan, if you like. Of course, that’s not my real name, but it would make things easier for you if I had a name for me when we speak. You’re not obliged to use it. Whatever makes you feel comfortable....?”

            It was all silent again.

            The man made a tour around Kemal, walking with small steps. When he returned to his previous position, his face looked serious.

            “Do you know why you’re here?” he asked softly. “Please talk to me. You can be sure that we are not playing any games. I can be just as bad as the others if necessary. But I’m a bit more intelligent, may be. You won’t be any use to me if you’re in no shape to talk. Nobody here enjoys inflicting pain on you, believe me. We’re just trying to do our job.”

            The man took a deep breath. He clasped one wrist with his other hand. “You must have realised that this business won’t be over unless you talk. Put an end to this, son. Whatever the reason for your silence is, it just isn’t worth it. Talk and get it over with.”

            Kemal was on the verge of tears. All the wounds on his body, all that pain he had been enduring for hours; Oh God! What were they for? He wished he knew it...

            “I don’t know, sir,” he said with an obedient and pleading voice. “I told them, too. I told them all. I don’t know anything.”

            “What if I said Arsenler Hotel?”

            Kemal squinted, trying to see the man better. If only he could see the expression in his face, if only he knew what they had in store for him...

            Arsenler Hotel, was it all because of that? No, that couldn’t be possible!

            “I only took a few pictures, sir. I swear. I know nothing. It was just some damn news story... Three or four prostitutes, only three or four sluts...”

            A couple of tear drops trickled down from the young man’s eyes, one joined the blotch of dried blood on his cheek, and the other descended all the way to his chin.  

            “There’s something more than that, isn’t there? I swear I don’t know.”

            “So, news story... So you’re only a little correspondent who hunts sluts.”

            There was a silence. Kemal sobbed.

            “You’re right, son. There is something bigger. It is so big that it is beyond your imagination.”

             At that moment, Kemal heard the faint sound of waves. At first he thought his ears were ringing, but no, it was really the sound of waves. Which direction were they coming from? Where was he? How far was he from home? He tried to close his eyes and focus on the sound. It was only himself and the waves existed in the whole universe at that moment.

            Oh God... I wish I could see the sea once more...

            The man stroked his chin thoughtfully. He carefully looked at the young man’s battered face.

            Only a child...

            He wondered what else one could do to make him talk as all their efforts have been unsuccessful until now.

            “I believe you, son,” he said decisively.

            He raised his gun and fired once at the young man’s forehead.

Brother’s Bloodis Baris Mustecaplioglu’s sixth novel and a police story taking place among organized crime organizations training street kids as professional hitmen or drug salers and a young woman searching for killers of his brother with help of an old crime lord. As all thrillers of Mustecaplioglu, Brother’s Blood has many surprising events, twists, breathless chases, unlimited action and it also questions who is really evil, the street kidsturned to monsters in  the crime world or the society paying no attention to what is done to them or the government officers in cooperation with the crime organizations. The story takes place in Istanbul and had been inspired by real events in Turkey in recent years. It had been officially reported that there was more than 40.000 street kids in Turkey in 2004, and 15.273 kids were involved in at least one crime event in 2005 only in Istanbul. Brother’s Bloodhas also been published in Poland in 2008 with the title Braterstwo.

www.barismustecaplioglu.com


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