Friday, November 14, 2014


Katinka returned with two mugs and a pot of coffee. She put the mugs on the table and poured the hot brew into them. The men thanked her. Then she went back to the kitchen before reappearing moments later, sitting down on a stool behind the bar, and picking up a book that she had evidently left there for moments like this, with little or nothing to do.

There was something relaxing and pleasant about her person, almost serene, and Bjorn could not help thinking that Roger might actually have been right about himself and Katinka. The age separating the two was great, indecent even, but Katinka looked content, as if fully confident in Roger's ability to protect her from any kind of harm, and her initial worry, and subsequent interrogation by Ante, had left no lasting impression on her. She looked happy.

"So, they got their gun store over there, and their drug store over here," Ante said, breaking Bjorn's train of thought, and moving his attention from Katinka to the street outside.
"Yeah?" Bjorn asked, resting his eyes on a car moving slowly past in the direction of Gus' gun store.
"Well, what do you think about that?" Ante continued, sipping his coffee. "You get your gun over there, and then stack up on some psychedelic drugs over there, and you're all set for a shooting spree."
"But you're the one thinking that's cool," Bjorn noted coldly. "You know what I think about it."
"Yeah. You find it a little crazy, don't you?"
"A little? Well, I think it's insane. That's what I think of it."
"You wouldn't last long if you tried something like that here in Lundby, though," Ante continued. "Everybody has a gun, and you'd quickly find yourself dead if you started shooting wildly around you."
"Still. It's just not a very good idea to combine these things, is it?"
"But you know Anders..."
"The mass murderer?"
"Yeah," Ante said with a thoughtful look across the street where a young man entered the drug store. "He had no trouble getting the guns and the drugs that he took just before going on his murderous rampage. And that was in Oslo where they got rules against that kind of thing."
"Still... There wouldn't have been anything at all stopping him up here."
"Except for pretty much the entire village shooting back at him," Ante noted with a cheeky smile.

Bjorn couldn't help thinking that Ante had a point. Yet, the tragedy in Oslo was different, and a rather extreme example, he felt. He wasn't buying Ante's argument, but had no ready counter argument either.

"You know, he just started his own party," Ante continued.
"Yeah. Didn't you hear about that?"
"Well... yeah. But are anyone taking it seriously. I mean, the man is mad, right?"
"He got a few thousand followers on Facebook."
"He does?"
"Yep. A few thousand. I think that's saying quite a lot, don't you?"
"Like what?"
"About people and politics."
"And the foreign minister is as popular as ever," Ante continued. "You know... far more people were killed in Libya on his orders than Anders managed to kill out on that island."
"Yeah, but come on... You're not comparing the foreign minister with Anders, are you?"
"Sure, why not? They both illustrate the same point."
"They do?"
"Killing people will actually make you more popular, not less."
"It's a stupid comparison."
"Well, the foreign minister and Anders? Come on! Anders killed those kids in cold blood."
"And the kids in Libya?"
"Kids in Libya?" Bjorn protested. "We were bombing military targets. If we killed any kids, it was by accident. That's a huge difference right there."
"But killing people does make you more popular," Ante continued undeterred. "That's all I'm saying."
"Well... okay... you're probably right about that."
"And that's kind of sad, sin't it."

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