Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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accepting everything exactly as it was. Nothing was off-

limits, just like in better times.

In the courtyard we got out the way of a car – bright

headlights, lumbering tanklike over the potholes in the


When we opened the door to the apartments, we saw a

motionless, doll-like figure lying upside down on the stairs,

and at that moment – like the shadow of a bird passing over

all our faces – we felt the presence of death, like a seagull

over a fish, but it was not us it took, it already had its prey,

and the guy at the wheel of the car that had dazzled us was

death’s get-away driver, carrying her with him, in him, like

a future hernia in his abdomen.

Alik called the police. He knew the man spread-eagled

there, an antique dealer, well established, with his own

shop. The blood from his mouth told us he had been shot

through the lung.

The investigating authorities failed to solve the murder,

although the name of the person who commissioned it can

hardly have been unknown to them. They just lacked

evidence, and no doubt the hitman had slipped out of the

city that same evening.