Chapter 34: Take My Breath Away

Author: Jennifer Keaton
Date: 3rd February 1998

"The Eye of the Tigress," said Anttilanien.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" asked Erica, tired of stupid boys with stupid games.

"The rarest diamond of them all, named because it's the colour of a beautiful tiger's eye," he replied, staring wistfully into the distance.

"Why didn't they call it the Eye of the Tiger, then?" Erica asked scornfully.

"Because a tigress is more beautiful and besides, it would breach copyright," replied Anttilanien turning back to look into her eyes. "Flikka has it and I want it."

For the first time in her life Erica actually snorted in derision. "You mean to tell me that this is some sort of half-baked copy of the Pink Panther crossed with Diamonds are Forever? I bet it even once belonged to some king or something. Fuck you, dickhead."

Erica actually hooted with laughter.

"Just get me the diamond," said Anttilanien, getting angry.

The sauna door started to open and Anttilanien disappeared to wherever he had sprung from

"Erica," said Flikka. "I don't want to rush you but we'll be late for dinner."

Inwardly, Erica groaned. Flikka had been so excited at the prospect of dinner at Planet Hollywood Helsinki, she could hardly refuse.

As they entered the building, Erica and Flikka were blasted with the soundtrack to Top Gun. The walls around them were surrounded with movie memorabilia: the Sambuca milkshake from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, the pager Bruce Willis used in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Freddy Krueger's glove from Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and the jacket Geena Davis wore in The Long Kiss Goodnight.

The waitress approached them, and shouting to be heard over the music which had changed to the Blues Brothers, showed them to their table which was situated beneath a pirate costume from Cutthroat Island.

Quickly perusing the menu, Erica ordered a Fajhita and a coke and Flikka ordered a cheeseburger and an Oreo chocolate milkshake.

After the waitress left them, Erica's thoughts automatically turned to the visit from Anttilanien. She didn't believe it for a second, but what would he have to gain by telling her such a ridiculous story? She was so bewildered by this, she almost didn't grasp the significance of Flikka's next statement.

"How come all the props are from such shit films?" he asked.

Erica started; she had noticed the minute they'd walked in that all the memorabilia was from the films of Finland's greatest export, Renny Harlin. Flikka's hero. It was Harlin that Flikka had always dreamed of directing his film on the Finnish mafia. In fact, Flikka had pitched the idea to Renny when he worked as a research assistant on Born American Harlin's last film Finnish film.

Anyway, what was Flikka doing ordering cheeseburgers and milkshakes when he was lactose intolerant?

Her thoughts were interrupted by a man with long blonde hair who approached the table.

"Flikka, I haven't seen you in years," said the man.

Flikka looked blankly at the man.

"It's me, Renny," said the man, "How could you forget that night when we finished filming and we got drunk on Finlandia vodka and killed a deer with our bare hands? That inspired a scene in The Long Kiss Goodnight, you know."

Needing to be alone, Erica excused herself to go the bathroom. Not in a mood to deal with the Planet Hollywood toilet staff, she stood for a moment in the vestibule to the toilets.

Renny approached her. "You dropped this," he said and left.

It was a Planet Hollywood napkin with the words "We need to talk" scrawled on it.