Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Facilitator (Fiction)

Organized crime is just like every other organization, some small scale and some large scale. Business is business.

She smiled as she parked her car; if this had been anywhere other than Sudan, she would have had to take precautions against being recognized or photographed. Home, sweet home; no worries.

She walked up the stairs to an office, noting that the building was identical to dozens of others in downtown Khartoum. Nondescript can be a good thing, she thought. She pushed open the partially opened door and found herself in a miniature lobby. The kind that should act as a reception but oftentimes didn’t, an administrative wasteland.
A man got up from his desk in an inner office, indicating the direction she should take.
She walked in and without further ado, she said, “Her name is Arwa Ahmed, she lives in Al Manshia”, as she sat down in front of the desk.
“I’ll find her”, he replied.
“How much?” she asked, clutching her purse.
“No charge, a little treat for the boys, they won't want any money”, he smirked.
“And you?” she asked, “What's your charge?”
He looked at her and she could see him lick his lips for a moment, as he pretended to wipe his brow.
“This heat!” He exclaimed, deciding against making any remarks that would get him in trouble with the Doc. “You come from the Doc and you want to pay me? I am honored to be of service.” His intense stare indicated that this quote was to be conveyed verbatim.
Back to business, he asked, “Any special requests, a video perhaps?”
“You know what to do,” she said, “I won't tell you how to do your job.”
She stood up and stuck her hand out matter-of-factly, not flinching as he gave her a firm yet gentle handshake, gauging her reaction. She looked him in the eye, “I'll know when it's done, you don't have to call me. Good bye.”

She allowed herself to sweat as she walked back to her car. She turned on the air conditioning and locked the doors, then pulled out an antiseptic wipe and disinfected her hands, then her face, neck and arms for good measure. As she wiped off the encounter, she couldn't help wondering if she would have found the Facilitator attractive in another setting. Dark, big, burly but she quickly dismissed the notion. His round shoulders were a turn off.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and in no way refers to real characters in Sudan, Khartoum or Manshia. Get over yourself.