He dreamed, and the screams rushed to meet him. The cold Balkan air, thick with the coppery scent of blood and Armenian suffering… it sparked something within him that he hadn’t felt in decades, not since he was chased out of the homeland, great Macedonia. Those UN pigs. Forcing him out of the country he helped build – no, the country he built – over something as trivial as “serious violations of international humanitarian law”. Was it really a violation of humanitarian law if Armenians were subhuman at best? He thought not. And in this dream, this beautiful dream, it didn’t matter. He was back in the homeland. He was bathing in Armenian tears. He was finally, truly, hap–
“Awh, fuck, Grandpa, mate, you wanna tinnie?”
And just like that, he was awake. Back in the blistering heat of this shithole called a “country”, this glorified desert, with his idiot grandson-in-law asking if he wanted a “tinnie”. The fuck even was a tinnie? This place was a goddamn nightmare. They didn’t speak Macedonian, and they didn’t speak English. They spoke some kind of halfway language, some kind of made up gibberish that was harsh on the ears and sandpaper on his soul. Grandpa Jace was convinced – nay, he knew – that this was Hell. Melbourne, Australia? No. This was the Ninth Circle, and he… he was Dante.
“No, thank you, Darryl. You are good boy.”
Darryl would die first, when the time came.
“No worries mate. Hey, listen, Sister Jace and I were hoping to get a new car. There’s this fuckin mint one, state of the art, they call it the Holden Commodore. Mind if we borrow some cash to get us that bad boy?” asked the idiot.
“Fine,” said Grandpa, handing Darryl several wads of crisp, golden, one hundred dollar bills from beneath his pillow. He smiled to himself, knowing that this was Armenian blood money, and that if the Australian Taxation Office found out, they would have Darryl arrested and placed on Easter Island, a government black site. That would be good. Yes… that would be very good indeed.
“You’re a good cunt, mate,” said Darryl, taking the cash with the enthusiasm of an idiot with a beer gut. “Fair dinkum, mate. Fair dinkum.”
Yes. Whatever that meant.
Darryl walked out of the room, leaving Grandpa Jace alone. Blissfully alone. He was awake now, and there was no point in going back to sleep. He had no hope of recapturing the magic of that wonderful dream. No, it was time to get up now. Time to do something. He might visit his son, Jerry, or his grandson, Jace Jace, the pride of the family. But no. Those were terrible ideas. Grandpa Jace knew what he was going to do.
He was going to find a beautiful woman… and he was going to respect the fuck out of her.