The Stuff of Nightmares

This is my recurring nightmare of late. Any poor man’s psychologists among you can have some fun analyzing it.

For hours and hours across great swaths of the Ukraine, TV channels screened Swan Lake. Meanwhile CNN and the BBC reported unconfirmed reports of an assassination attempt at the historic Robin Square in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Poker faced reporters broadcasted from bushy coats about rumors from the social media that the newly reelected Prime Minister Ropeadilski had been shot and rushed to hospital. The CNN reporter buried behind profuse gloves shared a secret with subversive connotations on-air with the anchor that, “Ropeadilski may at this very moment be being airlifted to Moscow.”

When the Swan Lake loop was interrupted in the second act the camera caught a vaguely Korean looking woman, the Minister of Culture, sweeping a bolt of black hair over her clavicle, her dark eyes shimmering. This was the confirmation. Her sentences were brief and to the point, dry as a military communication. As she spoke she somehow took on the look of an eagle. The Prime Minister had been leaving the victory rally celebrating another surprise reelection despite his corruption trials when the felonious assailant approached the Prime Minister from behind and shot him at pointblank range as he got into his car. “The Prime Minister’s body will be flown back for a state funeral.” Then she said “Over to our police reporter at SBU headquarters.”

A baby-faced newscaster stared at the viewers out of sunken eyes set in corpulent cheekbones. “The suspected assassin,” he informed the public in an imposing baritone pulse, “was arrested at the scene of the crime.” He halts just long enough as if to pant a sigh of satisfaction. “What we can report right now is that the suspect is a 60 year old Ukrainian Jewish male from Kiev named Bogdan Fryszman. His neighbors describe him as a quiet, unassuming family man and a retired soldier; apparently from the military Prosecutions Department. His neighbors say they are in shock and had no idea that Fryszman was politically motivated. We believe that his son saw active duty in the last security operation in Crimea just before the elections. “

Then it was back to the right honorable anchor in the studio. “The repugnant criminal’s motivation is still unclear but the police spokesperson has disclosed that the assailant had posted photos on social media from demonstrations outside the Attorney General’s home.” Her eyes abandoned the tele printer and she paused between phrases; “We’re going back to SBU headquarters,” as the fleshy police reporter swung around to stick his microphone under the suspect’s chin.

“Why did you do it Fryszman?”

“I did not commit a political murder. This is about accountability and revenge.” Then Fryszman was swamped by plain clothed policemen but not too effectively. “My son was murdered, no less than Uriah the Hittite” he yelled.

As the TV cameras caught the action, the police reporter commented, “Stranger than fiction.”

Fryszman ducked and weaved and broke through again.

“Do you want to know Ropeadilski’s last words were?” a disheveled Fryszman bawled searching for the microphone.


“Mr. President, we’ve done it bigtime. We didn’t have to send our soldiers as far away as the Falklands, but this election turn around was bigger than Thatcher in ‘83.”

About the Author
Aged in oak and astringent, I was born and raised in Australia and made Aliya in 1984. Due to "divine intervention" I was gainfully employed as a lawyer within the security forces; accounting for more than 20 years of tectonic shift. Raised in the 60's of the anti-war moratoriums and maturing in post Rabin Israel I have developed an eye for detail and capacity for romantic dilettantism.
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