Chapter 33: You've Got To Grind Your Love Away

Author: Andrew Keaton
Date: 28th January 1998

Several thousand kilometres away Lauri eased his eyes open, flexed his shoulders and, leaning forward, came away from the layer of frost holding him inside the deep freeze. For the first time in months he stood under his own power; the long night was over.

"Yes, that is to be exactly how the Ripley was in the Alien," he muttered vaguely.

Lauri lurched into the kitchen, a string of sausages still frozen to his buttocks like a fifth grade joke, and lifted the phone handset out of its cradle.

Erica, a long and lecherous day at Santa's Workshop finally over, relaxed in the Laaksonen's sauna building. "Now I know why they make me wear those fur lined knee high boots, fuckin' bastards," she said to Flikka, who, pouring another ladle of water on the heater, predictably replied: "So let's us turn up the heat – that will help you to forget, no?"

Ever since they'd shagged in the car Flikka had been at her non-stop. Taxis, airport lounges, several mile high clubs, beds, streets, and just last night, under the stage at the Royal Opera. And obviously she'd been at it non-stop, too, justifying it to herself by saying that (a) he was a good root, and (b) she might be able to get to the bottom of all the shit she'd thought she'd left behind in Australia.

Discovering that the Australian Psycho site had been updated had disturbed her, but she'd been distracted from her mission when Santa had grabbed her round the waist exclaiming in a thick Finnish accent that he had a present he needed to deliver. Erica, no fairweather sailor when it came to dissuading unwanted suitors, delivered a surgical strike with one of her go-go boots.

This was satisfying, but still left her with the likelihood that someone had followed her to Finland and was probably trying to track her down at that very minute.

"Uhh, Flikka, lover, [Flikka loved being called lover] …" Flikka looked up briefly, grunted, and got back to business. She was having trouble concentrating, and Flikka was not helping at all.

"Uhh, Flikka…"

"FLIIIIKKKKKAAAAA!" A shrewish squeal tore through the door, and Flikka's amour, like a shotgun. "FLIIIKKKKAAAAA. TELEPHONE CALL FROM OVERSEEEAAAAS." It was Flikka's mother.

Flikka got up and walked out of the sauna building. Erica wilted and lay back on the cedar benches, her eyes shut.

Several minutes later the door clicked. "Mmm, Flikka, come here and finish me off," she moaned, asking herself how much longer she could keep it up inside a sauna. Flikka, unfortunately, did not suffer from this problem. Cold steel ran its way up her thigh, and Erica knew that all was not well.

"Now is the time," said Anttilanien.

"You're always saying this fuckin' bullshit, ya coward." Erica had been nude with enough people to not let this instance faze her. Instead, she recalled her days at Bankstown Girls High. "Why don't ya fuckin' tell me what ya want and then piss off outta my life?"

"But, that is all I want," Anttilanien said. He wisely brushed the bench with a handkerchief, looked closely, and then sat down.

"It's as easy as this . . . "