Catch Me If I Fall
Provoking a maelstrom
Thanos walked to his home in a hurry and a visible portrait of worry incarnate. His life so far had been easy and to his liking. Sucking his father's money dry had afforded him a very comfortable life and the resources he had required to commit to his favourite hobby, that of isolating and raping boys. And he had been quite prolific so far in two different countries. Almost fifty years of constant training and "boypussy hunting" as he called it had made him quite skilled at committing his crimes and not getting caught.
All this had changed though the day his accountant had called him to tell him that his father's funds had almost completely dried up. It was with a heavy heart that he had sold his flat in east London and travel back to Greece and Ydra to live and hopefully sell that house as well and at least afford a flat in Athens and have lots of money to spare as resources for his favourite pastime.
It had not gone to plan from start. With the second phase of the Greek crisis unfolding there were little to no buyers interested in such huge plot of lands and buildings as his was and that infernal woman from the general store was always at his backside like a bad tumor that would not leave.
He could not understand from her behaviour if she knew what he had done or if she suspected. Either way he could not afford to kill her and her son this time. No this time, at least until the house was sold he could not kill anyone he had nowhere else to go and no one to blackmail to do it for him.
It was ever increasingly uneasy for him to be in the place of his greatest crime to date. He had raped and/or killed quite a few boys over the years as he fancied in each situation, taking all precautionary and anti-forensic measures he knew of to make sure he was at least a few steps ahead of the police but Ydra was the location of his birth as a rapist and a murderer. Here it had all begun.
From a very young age he had come to enjoy torturing and killing small animals. He would walk about the countryside, find rabbits and other such animals and take great care in making them suffer. As he grew older his desire to commit those acts on a human being, a child no less increased exponentially. He was well into adulthood when the opportunity came knocking. His friend had just returned from a long and arduous voyage. They had gone drinking and he got his friend drunk one night, very drunk and the guy started talking about how he would love to fuck a young boy and whatnot. Thanos of course was not nearly as drunk and so took out his mobile phone and recorded his friend talking. Next day he played the video to his friend who of course tried denying until he just confessed that he did not know if he could actually do it but that he at least wanted to watch someone do it before trying it himself.
It had taken them some time to formalise their plan and execute it so that the villagers would not know it was them that had raped the boy but at last they towered over the defenseless boy victors –in their minds-. Thanos had done the deed and his friend had watched.
The moment it was over Thanos could see his friend's disgust painted all over his face. This had not been as he had imagined it.
"What have we done? I…we must go turn…" Markos had begun to say when Thanos walked over the sobbing mess of the boy lying on the floor of the abandoned building and slapped him hard.
"NO, we fucking don't and won't. You will keep your mouth fucking shut and tomorrow you will bring him here again and you WILL fuck him or I will fucking gut you like a fucking fish, do you fucking understand me?" The look on his face left no room for misunderstanding whether he meant what he said.
It was at that moment when Marcos understood that his "friend" was a psychopath in the making.
"Y…yes. I will clean up here, you should go." Making a decision that would change the lives of almost five hundred people and thinking quick on his feet he offered to clean up the boy and coach him on not talking to his parents. Thanos grinned.
"You fucking well will. We'll talk tomorrow.
Marcos made sure Thanos had left before he kneeled down and using a bucket of cold water and some loincloth he cleaned up Pavlos before helping him put his clothes back on.
"Listen to me, Pavlo…You will never forgive me for what I helped this monster do to you…I know that but…this was not what I had in mind, I hoped…I wanted to make love to you, to have you enjoy this…" Marcos took a deep breath, "you must tell your parents what happened here or Thanos will have you do this, every single day…before killing you. Do you understand me?" He told the boy holding his face in his hands.
It took Pavlos a few seconds to register before nodding his head up and down in agreement.
"I…I will get you back in town and…" Marcos could not finish what he started saying. He just got up and taking Pavlos by his hand he walked them back to Ydra.
That night Pavlos took his mum by the hand and got them in his room. Romanos had chuckled thinking this the sort of secrets a boy shared with his mother before he got to the age where he started keeping secrets from her.
It had taken every fiber of her being not to storm out, go find Thanos and kill him for what he had done to her baby boy, it had been insurmountably harder having to keep this a secret from Romanos knowing that he would not restraint himself.
What she had to do next almost caused her, her sanity but she was not alone and with Vasilis' father's help she made the arrangements.
Thanos saw her last the day before her departure in the port. The way she hid Pavlos behind her even though she tried her best to smile at him betrayed her true emotions and that somehow she knew.
He smiled at her and pretended to leave. He followed her around for the rest of the day keeping a safe distance so as to not be seen. He saw her talking with Vasilis' father and overheard what they said and later at night he paid a visit to his friend.
"Wake up you fucking idiot!" He slapped Marco until the man woke up. "You are a weak willed son of a whore you know that? For all your sailing around the fucking world you are weak. You told the boy to tell his fucking parents didn't you?" Marco tried to fight him off in vain before nodding yes.
"Now, you listen to me and listen well you piece of shit." Thanos paused grabbing a knife he had with him and holding down Marcos' hand he stabbed his palm three times. "I am not going to prison you hear me? You will sabotage this ferry." He gave Marcos a piece of paper with a name on it. "Or so help me god I will torture you in so many creative ways you will BEG me to kill you. Do you understand me?" Marcos nodded.
Marcos had left Ydra the very next day after the wreck, he had told no one where he was going.
Starting from the day after the wreck Thanos worked his way through the old ladies of Ydra's island spreading rumours and gossip about Romanos and before long the whispers had become an avalanche.
His father confronted him a rainy night three weeks later after Romanos had exiled himself in Gaidouronisi.
Thanos entered the house from a night's out to find his father sitting in the dark in the living room.
Thanos ignored him and started climbing the stairs when his father spoke in a pained growl of a voice.
"You did this didn't you? It was you who raped Pavlos not his father." It was not a question but a statement.
Thanos froze on his steps. "And if I did? What do you intend to do about it if I did fuck that kid?" He was looking forward not at his father.
"…to do about it…you admit it?" His father's voice sounded almost surprised if not in suffering.
"Yes. Why not? I fucked that kid's brains out. Are you going to turn me in father?" There was no fear in Thanos' voice.
"My god…you really…? What happened to my son? Who are you? You are a monster. You raped Pavlos and then spread rumours about his father doing it?" His father shot up from the chair he was sitting in.
"Your son? Who am I? I am who I have always been father, you never had a son, I have always been like this I just learned at a very young age to disguise who and what I was and manipulate the feelings of others to serve my desires. It is all your fault you know." Thanos smirked in the darkness, his voice a sneering accusation.
"Me…? My fault…?" His father was at a complete loss for words. He had wanted his son to deny everything, to prove to him that what he had suspected for some time now was not true and it all came crashing down around him.
"Yes, yours, you kept me here when I repeatedly asked you that we leave, that we go to Athens or even better London where I could be amongst my peers, my people and not amongst these…peasant morons with no culture or value. I am worthy of higher things than rotting at an island in Greece but no holier than thou you a derelict family from a time when Greece had a king wanted to live in this cesspool and wouldn't' allow me to go abroad to get educated, would not allow me to go anywhere else to live…it is your fault because if you had I would have so many more options to rape than Pavlos, I would not even be here." Thanos laughed in cruelty and malice.
"I disown you! Get out of my house!" His father thundered in rage. Thanos covered the distance in a blink of an eye and grabbed his father by his collar and cross-slapped him hard.
"You?! Disown me!? Don't you fucking dare! It is MY money to spend you old fool!" Thanos yelled at him before bringing his mouth close to his father's ear.
"I had them all killed, the ferry sabotaged, as if I'd allow that bitch to get her bastard of a son to Piraeus to tell on me to the police. You won't disown me father, you will live here a frugal life so that I have more to spend in London. You won't turn me in because as much as you now hate me I am still and will always be your son, the child you thought you taught how to ride a bicycle and how to do math. I fucking hate you but you love me so you'll sit here in the knowledge of what I have done while I enjoy my life elsewhere. I am not above killing you so you will obey me. Do you understand me old fool?" He whispered in his father's ear.
That night his father had his first mild stroke but for now he just whimpered and nodded yes. Thanos pushed him back on the chair and left for his room.
The next day he left for Athens and three days later he was in London.
Now his thoughts plagued him. He had not fucked a boy in months which was a nightmare on its own for him after years of practice and to top it all there was gossip going around. Whispers in the dark and hushed voices when he approached people. He was sure something was going on that involved him. His fears proved themselves right when he received a phone call two weeks later. The voice, obviously digitally changed asked him if he liked raping young boys and then hung up. This continued for a week at least two to three times per day becoming increasingly more personal as the voice started asking questions like "Does anyone know how many boys you have raped?" or "The victims of the wreck call out to you, do you hear them?" The incorporeal voice would call him day and night, waking him up during the night or early in the morning until he had enough and started threatening and yelling at the voice. It infuriated him that the voice in the phone calls would only laugh at him.
He had to leave Ydra and fast but he could not. There was no more money in the bank, he had spent it all and the bank in the UK had foreclosed his house pending an auction for his debts to them so he could not hope selling it.
He had to sell this house and leave but with the accursed financial crisis in full bloom that was almost impossible for such a large house and Ydra was not a cheap place. Even now during the crisis a lot of tourists and rich Athenians made it their weekend and holiday location which kept prices expensive.
It was an early night. He was in full paranoia as the voice in the phone had just told him that tomorrow they would be giving their evidence of his crimes to the police when the doorbell rang.
He opened it in a rush expecting to find the police ready to arrest him to find young Andronicus.
"Yes…what do you want?" He asked the boy in a hurried tone.
"Oh…I was sent by my mum, we are out of sugar and no one else is answering their door bells." Andronicus smiled at him.
Thanos surveyed him up close for the first time, or rather he had seen the boy up close a few times before but always with other people in front or nearby. He had to admit that Andronicus looked absolutely fuckable and the insatiable monster inside him raged. He forgot all about his paranoia, his fears and his anxiety and focused on the boy, a growing lustful hunger inside him.
"Oh, yes most certainly, do come in." He told the boy and opened the door ajar closing it behind them both.
Andronicus stepped in and carefully placed his mobile phone in one of the tables under a large vase.
"So, sugar was it?"
"Yes, mum wanted some sugar –that was a lie, she had no idea he was there- and I wanted to ask you a question."
Andronicus turned to see Thanos who had already removed his tshirt, there was a glimmer in his eyes.
Andronicus gulped in fear and asked his question.
"Why did you rape Pavlos?" It stopped Thanos dead on his tracks.
An hour ago.
"YOU DID WHAT?!" Vasilis had told his mother everything, what they had been up to the last few months, shown her their evidence, and finally told her of the plan he and Andronicus had come up with. To say she was less than pleased would be the understatement of the century.
"Mum, listen I'm recording what they sa….'
"You think that Andronicus will ask Thanos why he raped Pavlos and Thanos will answer him? He is a rapist and a murderer, he won't answer he'll try to gather as much info as he can from Andronicus and then he'll kill him and leave again." She held her hand up to shut her son up and picked up her phone. It was ringing.
"Yes, what is it?" She asked sharply.
"Yes…yes? You're going now? Constable Kiriakos I know this is a very unorthodox thing to ask but…can you please wait? There's things you don't know about and there's not enough time to explain now I'll call you back later." She did not wait for an answer and terminated the phone call, she knew he would not say no to her.
"Listen to me Vasili and listen well. I don't know why kids think their parents don't know what they're up to? You really think that as a mother of a boy who likes to code I would not do my homework? I've known you were looking into things for months now but I thought that you wouldn't find anything and give up…tell me that you don't have anything illegally obtained in your google drive? –she did not wait for an answer- delete everything in there and prey that they don't ask for data from google for this. Then you are to wait here, it is raining leg chairs outside and the wind is picking up. No! Not a single word from you! You really thought that sending your fourteen-year-old boyfriend into the house of a serial rapist, and murderer to acquire information to put him away would be a good idea? ANYTHING you got from that phone call that you will be recording would not be admissible in court because there's not a police warrant to acquire it."
"Not if I sent it anonymously to the police like I did with his DNA."
"Yes, so you said but even then a very good criminal attorney could still get it tossed out. Don't argue with me now, just do as I tell you." She picked up a folder Vasilis had prepared for her and left the house in a hurry.
She found the constable outside Thanos' house. He had another three men and a woman with him, they looked to be foreigners.
"Vivi…these are from the…" She cut in.
"Yes, yes I know you told me on the phone. No time now, look I know this must all seem…strange to you but right now I have to get in there, I will explain later." Kiriakos knew better than to argue with her. He turned to his guests and started talking with them.
She knocked on the door and kept knocking until a half-naked from the waist up Thanos opened the door looking like murder. The look on her face made him take a step back. She pounced on him bursting through the door, grabbing him by his neck slapping him a good three, four times before she sat him down on a chair. She towered over him her hand ready to do more slapping.
"Where's the boy? Andronicus?!" Her eyes scanned the room.
"I…I'm here…" A timid, scared voice came from under the large sofa.
"Get out of here." She told him. Her voice was not gentle. She saw him come out from under the sofa with his tshirt torn and a large red hand imprint on his right cheek.
"She threw the folder on the table and sat opposite of Thanos. He did not move. Her hand shot in her jacket pocket for a second. She thanked god silently that touch screens did not make sounds when you pressed "call".
"One child was not enough? Pavlos was not enough?"
"Child? Pavlos? I have no idea what you're talking about, I caught that child trying to rob my house and…" He tried to lie himself out of the situation.
"Don't you fucking lie to me, I know everything." To his ignorance she dialed Kiriakos' phone, she gambled that for him and those that were with him to be coming to Thanos' house they had to have at least a search warrant.
Thanos' face remained unemotional but for a blink of his eyes. It did not go unnoticed.
Vivi kneaded her fingers, her elbows on the table and looked straight in his eyes. She knew that for this to work she had to not show any kind of weakness.
"I do not believe you know jackshit my dear." The sarcasm drooled like saliva from his sneer.
Vivi gave him a pleasant smile, it hid fury behind it. "Oh? I do not? Well then let us see if I can't piece it all together. Almost eight years ago you with the help of Marcos raped my nephew and then in order to avoid going to prison as you rightfully should you sabotaged and sank the ferry carrying them…how am I doing so far? Then because all of this was not enough you spread vile rumours and gossip and caused so much more trouble for me and my family…" The colour had begun to drain from Thanos' face.
"A…concerned citizen that I know discovered these…" She opened the folder and gave him some of the documents. "What are these? They don't…"
"Yes, they do, well maybe not for the police but we'll get to that in a bit. Now if you look at those documents really close and read them, you do know how to read yes? You were never the brightest kid in school, you'll see that they depict a very…horrid story of you after you left Greece, it connects you to at least twenty known rapes and three murders, then there's those documents here – she gave him two more pieces of paper- here it sort of…creatively connects you to the sinking of the Agios Theodoros and finally…we have this letter over here which IS admissible in court." She gave him Niki's letter to her and Romanos, or at least a copy of it. Vasilis had prepared the folder.
The colour drained completely from his face Thanos made one last offense.
"This will never stand in court, my attorney will…"
"Oh who said anything about a court of law my "dear"? And besides what attorney? You are almost flat broke, that's why you came here no? Because there was no more money to be had and you want to sell both this and London flats and live in Athens? The crisis really fucked up your plans didn't it? So tell me. Why did you do it?"
"Do what?" Thanos swallowed hard.
"Rape my nephew."
It was as if something snapped inside Thanos and with a bang of his hand on the table he raged.
"Why? Because that's what boys are fucking made for! To fucking fuck! They want it! And those that don't I must kill! Why did I rape your pathetic little nephew? Because I wanted! Because I could and because his arse fitted my damn cock so fucking well! But he had to go and fucking tell his fucking mother…so they all had to die! So that I could continue fucking boys as I must."
Vivi clenched her fist but she did not swallow or blink. She wanted to throw up but she held it down. "So you killed almost five hundred people…"
"DAMN RIGHT I DID! I AM NOT GOING TO JAIL OVER A FUCKING CUNT! I WAS NOT THEN I AM NOT NOW!" He shook his fists, she remained emotionless.
"Well then I think you have to decide on a very simple choice before you."
"Oh yeah? And what's that? Tell me before I kill you and leave this island."
"You won't be doing any more killing ever again, trust me. So the choice before you is this. – she removed a final stack of papers from the folder- you sign these which donate the house to the municipality of Ydra to be turned into a children's library, or I give all that I gave you to the people of Ydra and with the gossip that is already going around about you I don't think it'll end well for you."
"How…do you know about the gossip…what are they saying?"
Vivi replied looking completely calm, she wanted to strangle him with her own hands. "Well…you see a certain…concerned citizen traced back all the gossip to their original "mouth" and found out that you had told all those things about Romanos to Akakia Kiriakou, the admiral's widow which is very well known to be the worse of the lot when it comes to gossiping and with her late husband being an admiral it gives her a certain…influence over the others. So that citizen used her to spread oh such wonderfully malevolent gossip about you. So are you going to sign those?"
"Sign them? What are you crazy? I will be homeless after!" He protested.
"What the fuck do I care? You have a choice it's simple, sign or I tell the whole fucking island everything, they'll lynch you alive and you know it. Carrot or stick, decide. It is the same to me." She told him in a blank, empty, emotionless face.
He swallowed, his face changing from colourless to pitiful.
"I…I can't stay in the street it is not of my stature…" He whined, no longer a predator but a scared little kitten.
"Your stature? You are flat broke, you have nothing and you are a serial rapist and murderer, you have no stature and if you don't sign those you will have no life either. Now decide, or I leave you to your fate." She waited for four or five seconds and made to leave. She was in control now.
"No, I'll sign…but…where will I live?"
She sat back down, "I don't care, sign and I'll purchase you a ticket away from Ydra, you can live in a homeless shelter in Athens and eat from the church handouts, I really don't care." She gave him a pen.
It took him a moment but he lowered his head, a final submission, taking the pen from her hand he signed the papers. Vasilis had researched in the internet for the Greek law on donating to the state or municipality and had prepared those with the help of a lawyer he found in Athens from the internet and paid through bitcoins. Vivi had been astonished at first until he threw the grenade on Andronicus being in Thanos' house.
He signed the papers. She took them and placing them in the folder she placed the folder under her raincoat.
She removed the mobile phone from her pocket. "You heard all of that? Yes? Good, you recorded it? Good, you had a search warrant before that? Good, oh even better an arrest warrant. You may come and take him now. I'm done with this filth." She terminated the phone call and looked at Thanos who now was in full despair.
"Wha…what?" He had no idea what was going on. Vivi's smile was one of victory and complete disgust.
"My dear, you are not the only one who can lie. I lied. I just needed you to donate your house to the municipality and make sure that Andronicus was away from here before the police burst in to arrest you. So, you see a few months ago you were drinking your coffee in the sailing club's cafeteria and Vasilis saw you looking at Andronicus. He somehow recognised your look and after you left he picked up your mug, and with care not to contaminate anything, you can thank CSI TV series for his knowledge on that, he shipped it to the new Scotland yard, even if they did not have anything they could probably link you to a crime elsewhere through international databases. My "dear" you are completely fucked as the new Scotland yard linked you to quite a few rapes and murders and it looks like you just confessed to Pavlos' rape and the murder of what? Five hundred people?" Just as she finished talking the door opened and Kiriakos walked in, with him the other men and the woman.
"You are to arrest him? He is all yours, the extradition papers may be a problem now though in light of his new confession, but I let the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of justice take care of that." Kiriakos told the others in broken English with a Greek accent, they nodded.
"Thanos Zisiades you are under arrest for thirty counts of rape of a minor, two counts of assault and battery of a minor and five counts of premeditated murders of minors." The police officers from the New Scotland Yard handcuffed him and dragged him outside despite his protests and frantic yelling.
Vivi ran outside where she heaved vomiting, no longer able to hold the bile in. Andronicus stood under a shade with a blanket on him.
Kiriakos opened an umbrella over her. "Are you okay? This must not have been easy…" She nodded wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
"Yes, I will be. My god…they actually did it, Romanos' name is cleared out and the real perpetrator caught and arrested…"
"My son and Andronicus." She kept the involvement of the other boys out of it.
"You should go rest. Tomorrow you, Andronicus and Vasilis have to come and give a testimony in the precinct. Also as you may be aware, turning Agios Theodoros from accident to sabotage and murder will have a lot of news-channels and newspapers from Greece and abroad interested in this so expect phone calls for interviews once the details come out during the trial."
"Yes, I know. If you'll excuse me I have to get Andronicus home, you have to follow the gents from New Scotland Yard to the precinct yes?"
"Yes, although prot..."
"Kiriako…fuck protocol after the night we've had, I'll get him there." He nodded. She walked over to the sad looking Andronicus and looked over the bruise on his face. "You'll live, come with me."
"No, please, no we can't tell mum, she'll freak out!"
"You should have thought of this before, now we have no choice, if not from me and you she will when she gets subpoenas for you and her to testify in Thanos' trial. Better that it comes from you and me."
"Why her? She had nothing to do with it."
"Yes, but she is your mother and she should know about this to begin with, I guess she did not. Now, no more talking, come with me." They walked the short distance to his house in total silence, only the rain and the howling, ever increasing in speed wind could be heard in the dead of night.
Katerina answered the door. She looked at them as if they were aliens. "What are you doing here? I thought you were spending the night over at Vasilis? Oh Vivi, how are you? Everything okay?" Katerina was completely lost at what was going on.
"Can we please come in? There's a few things regarding our sons we must discuss and I don't mean that they are boyfriends." Vivi replied. Katerina opened the door and let them in.
They sat on the sofa with Katerina making them some hot tea. When she sat down Vivi told her in great detail all of what had happened earlier tonight and what the boys –Vasilis and Andronicus- had been up to.
By the end of the narration Katerina was shaking, anger practically emanating from her body.
"Thank you, Vivi, can you please leave us now?" She tried to remain calm and polite.
"Yes, of course. Goodnight." Vivi said and departed.
The moment the door was closed behind her, the rain and wind still raging outside with thunders sounding all around them Katerina started ranting before she had even turned around.
Only this time Andronicus did not stay silent or obedient countering her at every turn making her even more mad.
"Mum, if I may?" Christina cut in, she was looking very smug and happy.
"What is it Christina? I do not have time now for your usual antics." Katerina tried to fend off an incoming bitching assault from her daughter which did not come.
Christina opened her tablet and slid her finger across the screen to unlock it before giving it to her mother. "What am I looking at?" Katerina was impatient.
"That is a stranger, and Andronicus has been "seeing" him for at least four months now if not more." She turned her head over to Andronicus with a look of complete victory about her. "What are you two doing over at his house? All alone? Eh? Maybe he's…"
"No! Stop that! He's done nothing wrong!" Andronicus tried to stop her but his mother was sliding through the pictures Christina had taken and she looked even angrier than before.
"Who is that man?"
"Romanos, Vasilis' uncle. Look mum, he's not done anything bad I promise!" Andronicus was starting to panic now.
"Why are you seeing him? What has he done to you? Is he gay as well?" Katerina was charging up making Andronicus even more panicky.
"Mum! No, stop!!! He's not touched me in that way! He's…he's like a father to me, please hear me out…"
"No, I won't have this! This is it, first you go into a child rapist's house and now this? No, I won't have it! Pack your things, come tomorrow I am arranging our return to Athens and it's final!"
Christina actually jumped up screaming "YES!" Andronicus was tearing up.
"NO! You can't do this to me, I have a life here, I have friends who like me for who and what I am, I have a boyfriend and I actually have a person who is like a father to me, please, please, please don't take this away from me." He turned to his sister. "Why do you hate me so much? What have I done to you?"
"What…what have you done to me? Well this little thing was for slapping me, to think that a male can dare to hit me? ME? I hate your kind, what have you done to me? You are the reason dad left, you are the reason we left Athens, you are at fault for EVERYTHING!" Christina unloaded.
"Oh my child, do you really believe this? That your dad left us because of Andronicus? Because I forced him to have a second child?" Katerina's wrath had suddenly evaporated.
"Of course, it is the truth." Christina stated.
"Oh my child, no, that is not the truth, that son of a whore left us long before Andronicus…he never wanted children, he only married me because his parents practically forced him and the moment they died, you were only three to four years old, but the moment they died he left, not because I wanted a second child but because he wanted no kids or marriage. He has spent the last fourteen years in Thessaloniki fucking a different eighteen-year-old almost every month, he has never paid a single payment of child support knowing full well that I don't have the money to go into a prolonged legal fight over it…Andronicus is not at fault here. I should have told you this ages ago but…I didn't want you to stop loving your father even if he doesn't.
"LIES! MY FATHER LOVES ME!" Christina erupted, now crying.
"Why would I lie to you about this? When is the last time he called you? When is the last time you two talked?" Katerina was speaking in anger, she could feel and see her child's pain and she was at a complete loss as to how to ease that pain.
"No…no, my father loves me…my father loves me…no…why…why…?" Christina melted onto the couch. "Wh...all these years…I…what…no…"
As Christina turned into an incoherent mess, Andronicus looked at his mother.
"He is not my father is he?" The tone of his voice was not accusatory, or angry, he looked defeated.
"No…he is not. I am sorry I didn't tell you before, I just did not know how."
"Who is my father? Do you even know? I asked you when I learned about grandma and grandad real cause of death and you told me there was nothing else…you didn't think to mention this?"
"No, he is not, after…Giannis left I told Christina and my parents that I needed some time alone, a mini self-vacation so to speak and I went to Switzerland, I had heard that the laws on getting sperm from a sperm bank were easier there so I went and got pregnant there from an anonymous donour and in vitro fertilization. 9 months later…" She had tears in her eyes.
There was silence in the room before Katerina broke it. "In any case we are returning to Athens, let us go to sleep we have a big day…" She did not get to finish her sentence as Andronicus bolted out of the house.
"NO! I am not losing my life, my friends, boyfriend and Romanos!" She heard him say with the door slamming behind him.
"GET BACK HERE THIS INSTA…" Katerina started screaming, her voice getting lost to the sounds of the rain and howling wind when Andronicus opened the door.
Vasilis was in his room, his head in his hands worrying about what would happen now when he heard the door open and close. He ran out of his room and thundered down the stairs to his very wet mother.
"What happened? Is Andronicus okay?" He asked her taking her raincoat.
"I don't know. Katerina looked shocked and tomorrow we'll have to go give a testimony to the police precinct. I left everyone else out, mentioning only you and Andronicus, there's no reason to involve the others in this fucking mess. Do you understand me?" Vasilis nodded.
"Mum…I know I …I messed up but…Romanos, his name is cleared."
"Yes, at what cost? If you hadn't told me what would you have done? If you had heard Thanos slapping or raping your boyfriend, what would you have done? Gone in there? Confronted Thanos on your own? You may be a very strong sixteen-year-old boy but you are still a fucking sixteen-year-old boy Vasili, you would have gone in there and he would have had two boys to rape, only he would not have stopped there, he would have killed you in an effort to hide any evidence of his crimes. There is a reason you are a child and I am an adult, there is a reason you should go to your mother or an adult when you are dealing with a god damn child rapist and killer. We would have gone to the police and devised a plan that did not include you or Andronicus going in that horrid place. Do you think that Romanos would want you to endanger either of you to clear his name?" Vivi's tone of voice was not angry or accusatory, she was tired and looked exhausted. "I lost your cousin, your aunt and your father to that monster, and you would have had me lose you too?"
"I am sorry mama, I guess I did not think things through, you are correct to be mad at me but…mum we did a good thing didn't we?" She hugged him tight.
"Yes, for all your combined stupidity you guys did a good thing, your father would have ripped you a new one but would be proud of you." She whispered to his ear.
Vasilis heard it first, his young ears picking up the distant beeping alarm.
He raised his head from his mother's neck. "Mum…Andronicus is in danger." He said and ran to his room. He and Andronicus had installed an app in their smartphones that usually parents used to be able to find their kids based on their phone's GPS locators as well as get notifications for if and when their kids were in danger. Vasilis did not know yet exactly how the app knew someone was in danger, maybe it tapped into the smartphone's sensors or it had some other method but the point was that now that alarm was ringing.
Vasilis pressed on the touchscreen and it lit up. A bright red DANGER/ALARM text message sprawled all across the screen in big capital letters. He slid his finger across the screen to unlock it.
"MUM!" What he saw in the alarm message terrified him even more than Andronicus being alone in Thanos' house.
"Andronicus Papachroniou is at < 37.344181, 23.440308 > 415m from the shore. Conditions in the area: Gale force winds of 11 Beaufort scale, 10m waves, no visibility, heavy raining. Bioreadings: heartbeat at 160 bpm, stress level: heavy stress, light panic. Subject is at stage four danger." Stage four was the second worst level with five being mortal danger.
Vasilis knew instantly what had happened, he knew that his mother had told them that they were going back to Athens and that somehow she had found out about Andronicus visiting his uncle and like the emotional teenager that he was he did not assess the situation opting for the irrational way out. He must have bolted out of the house and remembering that the road to Molos had been blocked off for a week now since the last storm he must have gone to the sailing club, "borrowed" a dinghy sailing boat and went out into sea trying to reach Gaidouronisi by sea, completely underestimating how dangerous it was out there right now.
"Vasili? What is it?" His mum asked him, he gave her the smartphone while he picked up the landline phone and called Romanos.
"Come on, come on, for the love of god answer the fucking phone already. Come o…UNCLE!"
"Yes, what is it? Vasili?" Romanos sounded weary.
"Andronicus, fight with his mother, told him they'd be going back to Athens, he's coming to you…" Vasilis spoke almost incoherently from his haste.
"How...? The road to Mo…." Romanos did not even finish what he was saying when he hung-up and scrammed for his fishing boat. "No, I will not lose a second one." He thought. He turned on the engine, search and flood lights he set out in search of Andronicus. He knew the boy would not go for open sea and the direction of the wind and current thankfully pushed things towards Ydra. This made things slightly easier as it narrowed the stretch of sea he'd have to search, only at maximum four to five hundred meters from the shore.
"This was a bad idea!" Andronicus battled to keep the small boat afloat and prevent it from capsizing. He was using every single thing their instructor had taught them but the ferocity of the wind and waves was proving a far, far greater challenge than he had thought it would be.
A wave as big as a house came at him. He only managed to side it at the last second and that only made things worse as the wave capsized him. His head came out of the water as he struggled to breathe, the air spraying foam and water onto him.
He had no idea how long it took him or how far off course he was, or even if he had been on course to begin with since he let the port of Ydra. A haunting realization as he could not see the shore, the visibility was so bad that he could barely see two meters away from him. It had been a close call avoiding the small islands of Agios Ioanis and Agios Nikolaos (St. John and St. Nickolas) some time ago with his boat almost impacting the rocks there.
He managed to get up on his boat. It was nigh almost impossible to decide which "direction" to take, these small sailing boats had no instruments on them, they were never meant for open sea travel.
He set on a direction randomly hoping he was going the right way and not further out to sea or closer to the shore.
He continued to battle the waves and wind, his clothes were wet, he was wet to the bone and he could feel his strength being sapped away fast.
A lightning hit the sea a few dozen meters to his left illuminating the surrounding area. Andronicus could feel his hair frizzing out from the electricity, another lightning hit the sea to his front blinding him and then unable to see he hit something hard. He felt the boat cracking and smashing to bits as he was launched into the air before hitting the surface of the sea and something solid beneath it. His clothes, heavy from all the water they had soaked up, weighted him down.
"I'll just rest for a second, then I'll swim up to the surface…yes, that's a good idea…" He thought, feeling dizzy from whatever he hit with his head he felt oblivion take him and his eyelids heavy.
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