It looks like the news of the new chairman of the BFP has finally been announced on the BDF forum.
I decided not to stand for election to the EC a couple of weeks ago as I am presently involved in writing three novels that I have been working on for the last year or so.
I just dont have the time for front line politics anymore. It takes too much time away from my writing projects.
Here is the first chapter draft of one of the novels I am writing at the moment below.
Let me know what you think.
This is the first draft of the first chapter that I wrote today for novel number 3 and it will of course be re-edited in the future as the book develops, but I would be interested in your opinions on the flow of the chapter and whether it grips you as a story line in development.
Dont worry about the spelling or the grammar, I will fix that later in the editing phase.
This was written as a free flow form, so is a bit rough in form at the moment.
The other two novels are in development and I just dont have time to do both politics and write the novels.
It takes a lot of of time the research on novels like this, such as the meaning of the tattoos of the men in the story and how they relate to overall arc of the story itself, and I have three novels in development at the moment so I just dont have the time to undertake front line political work anymore.
20 th October 1971.
It was a dark and dreary winters night as yet another seasonal thunder storm broke over the city of Moscow and poured forth a torrential deluge of sheeting rain that soaked and drowned the streets beneath it.
Flickering filaments of forked lightning ripped through the tumultuous sky illuminating the wet rooftops beneath for a moment, whilst echoing cracks of thunder crashed and rumbled in the distance like the hammer blows of an angry god upon the earth.
A black four wheel drive and four door Gaz-72 motor car splashed along the sodden street and then pulled to a stop by the pavement directly in front of the Peoples Friendship University of Russia. Its four cylinder and four stroke engine idled as acrid grey exhaust smoke puffed from its rear pipe and out into the frigid night air.
Around five hundred yards away from where the car waited in the rain, a stream of students could be seen leaving the main entrance doors of the university building and heading out into the streets.
Founded in 1960 to provide an education for students from all around the world, and to encourage a benign and enlightened image of the Soviet Union in those nations from whence its students came, the university attracted thousands of students from all corners of the planet.
With courses in medicine, engineering, agriculture, economics, humanities and science it sought to give young people from Asia, Africa and Latin America, and especially those students from poor families who could not afford a university education in their own countries, an opportunity to be educated to university level and to become highly qualified specialists in their chosen fields in their own countries.
Apart from its public role as an educational establishment, it also had a far darker role and purpose in relation to its publically stated ideological altruism. This was because it also acted as a KGB recruiting centre for students sympathetic to the ideological aims of the Soviet Union itself. Those students who were then recruited into the ranks of the KGB or the GRU via the university were then designated as 'useful assets' who could be used to promote the political agenda of the Soviet Union within their own countries, as and when required by their spy masters and controllers in the bowels of the Kremlin.
The university building itself was an ugly, squat concrete box built in typical post-modernist architectural style with four columns lining its entrance whilst a series of lower offices adjacent to it formed an open sqare in front of the university complex.
The students leaving the campus buildings were now running to avoid the rain or walking across the open plaza with raised unbrellas. They slowly filtered out into the streets that surrounded the university itself heading towards their digs or the cafes and bars near to the university.
The right hand passenger side back window of the car slowly rolled down and a cloud of acrid blue makhorka cigarette smoke issued out into the street, then a pale hand appeared out of the window and flicked an embered stub which fell into a puddle and sizzled for a second.
Inside the car were three men, dressed in identical black suits, black shoes, long black woolen winter jackets and with identical black flat caps.
The driver was an elderly man in his late fifties who gripped the streering wheel with heavily tattooed hands. A tattoo of a black spider sitting in the centre of a web stretched across the skin on the top of of his right hand whilst on the left hand on each finger were inscribed a range of other tattoos. Drawn on the thumb of his left hand was a black ace of spades, on the index finger a cross, on the third finger were three skulls, the fourth two ss runes and on the little finger a tear drop.
His face bore the marks of a life spent in gulags, gangs and prisons. He had a flattened and repeatedly broken nose, fat swollen lips caused by punches to the mouth and thick cauliflower ears from bare knuckle boxing fights . A razor slash scar ran down the right hand side of his face from the top of his forehead, over his eyesbrow and down to his chin.
In the back right hand seat of the car one of the men, a tall well built blonde young man in his early twenties with refined features and thin delicate fingers, held a heavy black plastic police radio walkie talkie in his right hand. He was listening to the electrical crackle and static coming out from its speaker as the lighting and thunder passed overhead. With the demeanour and confidence only a senior member of the KGB could possess, he exerted a silent authority. Without even having to say a word it was obvious that he was the man in charge of the others in the car and that they were just there to obey his orders.
The other man who sat beside him in the back seat of the car was a thin man in his thirties with short dark hair protruding from beneath the rim of his cap. Both his front teeth were missing and a crude barbed wire tattoo ran across his forehead. He had the appearence of a rapist or a killer. With rat like feral features, deep set eyes and tight thin lips he looked like the classic prison predator, someone used to violence or murder with knives, a shiv or a gun. He sat cradling an Makarov automatic pistol with a silencer screwed into the barrel in his lap. On his right hand was a tattoo of a Russian orthodox church building with its onion shaped roof. On the fingers of each of his hands were two ink black tattoos of skulls. Twenty in total.
Suddenly a voice whispered from the speaker of the police radio ' Valentine on the move'.
The men in the car started to get ready.
The driver let down the handbrake and pulled away from the kerb, whilst the thin man lifted the pistol from his lap, pointed it into the air, pulled the chamber back and cocked the pistol.
The blonde man turned the police radio off, leant forward and put it on the front passenger seat. He then reached into his inner jacket pocket and pulled out a small wooden club filled with lead shot with a short leather handle affixed to the base of it. He put his right hand through the leather loop and then smacked it hard onto the palm of his left hand to test the impact strength.
The car had now moved away from the university building and trundled along one of the side streets next to the university, occasionally juddering harshly as its wheels hit a pot hole in the road or it splashed and surged through one of the deep puddles that now filled the street as the gushing drains struggled to deal with the surge of rainfall from the storm.
The black rubber blocks on the window wipers squeaked noisly as they swept from side to side across the thin glass slats of the window screens busily trying to wipe away the pouring rain.
None of the men in the car spoke. A tense silence filled the interior of the car.
The headlights glowed faintly forwards from the front of the car as their light struggled to penetrate the gloom in the street caused by the shadows from the high buildings on either side of the road and a drifting mist from heavy rain that was still falling in sheets.
Through the window screens on the left hand side of the street a figure could be seen walking with his head down, jacket collars upturned and a small black plastic umbrella held in his right hand above his head.
He was a handsome young man in his early twenties, with dark black hair, swarthy skin and an athletic build. Wearing a tan leather box jacket, black trousers and black boots he looked like any of the other hundreds of Latin American students attending courses at the university.
Beneath his left arm he carried a small collection of text books whilst a heavy satchel hung over his left shoulder. As he walked down the street he skipped from side seeking to avoid the deep puddles that pocked the pavement.
The car drove down the street slowly, then pulled to a stop about ten yards behind the man.
Then both the back doors swug open at the same time and both men stepped out into the street.
Each hurried forward and approached the man, one on either side of him.
The car was now alongside the young man and shielded what was happening from those people on the other side of the street.
The young blonde man raised the cosh in his right hand and cracked it down hard on to the top of the mans mans skull, and as the mans knees gave way, the other man grabbed the man by his arms from behind and dragged him into the back seat of the car.
It was all over in less than five seconds.
The blonde man jumped into the back of the car, pulled the mans legs that still protruded out into the street into the car and then slammed the back door shut behind him.
The driver pressed the accelerator and sped quickly down the street whilst the blonde man peered through the condensation smeared back window checking that they were not being followed.
With the figure unconscious on the floor, the thin man pulled some rope from his jacket pocket and tied the mans hands together.
Then he pulled a black hood from his left pocket and pulled it over the mans head.
Then he tied the mans feet together.
The blonde man pulled the satchel from the mans shoulder and opened it.
Inside were a pile of books on engineering, a notebook and a Brazilian passport.
He pulled the passport out and opened it and peered at the photograph of the passport holder.
He leant forward and lifted the hood and compared the photograph in the passport with his face of the unconscious man laying in the back of the car in the footwell.
He smiled and pulled the hood back down.
With his right hand he leant forwards and tapped the driver on the left shoulder.
Good job, he said and sat back.
Then he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes and lit one with a gold lighter. He did not offer the cigarrettes to the other men in the car.
The car drove just below the speed limit through the city until it finally left the outskirts of the city and headed out into the countryside outside Moscow.
It stayed on the main roads until it came to a sign saying 'Khimki Forest 2 Km' and then turned off the main road and took a side road towards the dark forest that could be seen spilling over the distant hills in the dull silvern moonlight.
The car entered the forest, drove on for a mile along the road that transected it and then turned off along a dirt track. It then drove forwards again for another mile or so before finally stopping where the track ended and the trees became impassable.
The rain had finally stopped and a low mist drifted through the trees.
The bound man in the hood laying on the floor of the car was finally beginning to stir and started to groan.
The car reversed about ten feet and then pulled sideways along the forest path, its wheels spinning in the mud as it sought purchase on the rain slicked grass.
Its headlights shone out into the dark depths of the forest.
The driver turned the engine off but left the main beams of the headlights on.
The thin man rat faced man then opened the right side of the car door and stepped out into the darkness.
Shit, he muttered to himself as his left foot sank down about five inches into the sodden yellow brown mud.
The blonde man and the driver remained in the car as he dragged the man out of the car by his tied feet and then dropped him into the mud and rain water filled divots with a splash.
He slammed the car door shut behind him and then dragged the struggling and groaning man about twenty yards into the forest where a shallow grave had already been pre-dug.
Beside the grave a shovel had been stuck in the top of the removed mud piled beside it.
The wan light from the car headlights illuminated the darkness in front of him and so allowed him to see what he was doing and avoid the snagging tree roots and broken branches that littered the ground around the grave.
He dragged the man into the hole dug into the ground, and carefully positioned him so that he lay directly in the centre.
The hooded figure on the ground began to writhe and struggle against the ropes that bound his limbs as he began to come round.
The rat faced man pulled out the Makarov pistol from his jacket pocket , pointed it at the man laying in the shallow grave and then shot the man twice in the head and twice in the heart.
Four flashes lit the woods for a moment and then faded away.
With the silencer on the pistol the only sound that could be heard was four short cracks from the shots that travelled barely twenty yards.
He put the hot smoking pistol back into his jacket and walked over to the shovel, withdrew it from the mud with a soft slurping sound and then proceeded to cover the body inside the shallow grave with the gluttinous muck.
After the grave was filled, he patted the mud down with the shovel and ensured that it could not be seen from the pathway.
He threw the shovel into the undergrowth surrounding the grave and walked back to the car.
As he approached the car the driver re-started the engine and he opened the back door and climbed back inside.
The car drove back along the trail and headed out of the forest.