The day is so hot. Kiten, dressed in a tight sweater, is walking between the buildings. He is holding a big bag with vegetables and there is a cigarette hanging from his mouth.
‘’What freaking heat!” says Kiten.
He stops, spits out the cigarette butt and takes off his sweater. There are giant sweat stains on his armpits.
He is around 40-year-old, a big man, with a pockmarked face and thinning hair. He is wearing big glasses and has a slouched and hunched posture.
At home, he changes his clothes and throw the sweaty ones in the laundry basket. Then he makes a salad with the vegetables he has bought. He cuts the cucumbers very carefully, the requisite cigarette hanging from his lips, as always. A black kitten is rubbing against his legs. Kiten takes out the food and feeds it.
The phone is ringing. It’s Kiten’ s cousin calling.
”Hi, sweetie! It’s so hot today. I am calling so late because when I went to pick up the little guy from the kindergarten I chatted a little bit with a friend of mine.
“That’s alright. I got home from work just now.”
“What’s wrong? You sound so gloomy. Have you asked her out?”
“Yes. But gotta go, the game will begin any second.”
“Hang on a second. What’s the rush? Tell me what happened.”
“What could have happened – she turned me down.”
“Don’t be mad, you’ll find someone else.”
“There won’t be someone else” – he said in a desperate tone.
“I will come tomorrow evening and I will bring you your favorite cake. Ok, honey?”
“Yeah, that’s ok. There is also laundry that needs to be done.”
“I will do it. Don’t worry about it! I am here for you, you know that, right?” His cousin calms him down around five minutes and then hangs up.
Kiten turns on the TV to watch the match and takes out a bottle of schnapps, but it turns out that it will only be enough for one glass.
“No, no, no, no!”
He places the salad in front of him and takes a sip from the schnapps. There is a news ticker that appears on the bottom of the TV screen: “A DEAD BODY OF A WOMAN FOUND TODAY WITH A WHITE GLOVE AND A CUT-OFF FOREFINGER LEFT ON IT. A SERIOUS REASON FOR THE POLICE TO ASSUME THAT THERE IS A FEROCIOUS SERIAL KILLER OUT THERE.”
Kiten stands up, puts on his glasses and reads the title. Then he puts on his slippers and goes out of the apartment.
When Kiten leaves the building the weather has become cloudy. There is a little shop next to the entrance of the building – it was one of those shops, where you have to crouch in order to buy something. When Kiten reaches to buy a bottle of schnapps the guy from the shop says to him “Hey, Kiten, do you see what is happening? They have killed another one. I am telling you, this is just a part of the conspiracy. The communists are killing them in order to cause panic.”
Kiten is a bit confused “What communists?”
“Well, a white glove with a cut-off forefinger doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a trick.”
“Probably“ says Kiten coldly, takes the bottle that is wrapped in a black bag and stands up.
When he walks in the building, Kiten sees a man of his age, dressed in red shorts and a brown top, also wearing glasses, but gilded. The man just walks out of the basement, puts a carton on the floor, looks for his key in the shorts, and takes it out. A white glove falls form the man’s pocket and Kiten stares at it.
“Is that yours?”
The man immediately puts away the glove.
“Do you live here?”- asks Kiten and gives an evil look at the man.
“Yes, my mother and I moved in recently. About a month ago. My name is Ivan Dimitrov. It’s nice to meet you.”
Kiten shakes the man’s hand, but doesn’t say his name. Dimitrov takes the carton and goes up the stairs.
“You have lived here for a long time, I guess?”
Kiten walks beside him, looks down at his feet, and doesn’t say a word.
“Do you like football?”- Ivan asks surprisingly.
“I watch from time to time”- says Kiten and smiles in an unpleasant way and then pushes the elevator’s button.
“Let’s watch the second half at my apartment. Only my mother is at home. I don’t know anyone else here so it will be very nice of you to come. I have schnapps, salad…”
“No, no, thank you. I am busy.”
The two men walk in the elevator. They push the buttons – Kiten for the third floor and Ivan for the thirteenth. The silence is uncomfortable. Kiten walks out of the elevator on his floor.
“If you change your mind you are welcome – my name is on the doorbell, the floor is thirteenth.”
Kiten thanks politely then goes home and locks the door. He takes the phone book and start looking for Ivan Dimitrov. It turns out there are many people with that name. He lights up a cigarette and sits down in front of the television. The second half of the match starts. Kiten harks – he hears several muffled blows against the front door. He runs to the kitchen and takes a knife with a lettuce leftover on it. Looks through the window and sees that a strong wind came out. He leaves the knife on the table and slowly heads for the kitchen. Stares at the door – it raps under the pressure of the wind. He decides to look through the spy – there is no one out there. All of a sudden, the phone start ringing and Kiten jumps. It’s his cousin.
“Honey, did you hear about the white glove?”
“I’m watching TV right now.”
“Do you know that the victim lived two blocks away from you?”
Someone is ringing at the doorbell. Silently, Kiten says to his cousin that he will call her later. He walks slowly and quietly towards the door. Looks through the spy and sees it’s Dimitrov out there. Kiten makes no sound. Decides to stay silent. The kitten is rubbing against his legs. He tries to chase it away. Dimitrov makes two more tries with the doorbell and walks away.
Kiten sits back on the sofa and sighs heavily. There is a sweat on his forehead. He gets up, puts on his shoes and goes out.
A strong wind on the street throws dust on his face. The sky is full of clouds, there is no sign of the good weather. Kiten walks past the yard before the building and on to a bustling boulevard. He takes out a coin out of his pocket and heads on to a payphone. A police car slowly passes by him. Kiten is looking at the police officer`s faces with hesitation. However, the car passes away. Kiten puts the coin in the phone and dials the police number. When they pick up the phone, he changes his voice.
“Hello, it`s an anonymous citizen calling. I want to give you information about the “white glove”. You should check Ivan Dimitrov, living in Lyulin, building 322, entrance G, fl. 13.”.
Right after that he hangs up.
When he goes home he sees that there is a note under his front door. He takes the note and reads it.
“You probably found out about the “White glove” and you don`t want to open the door. I am not the killer. Call me so we can talk. Ivan Dimitrov.”
The phone is ringing and Kiten answers with reluctance. He hears his cousin`s worried voice.
“Do you know how worried I was when you hang up the phone. What`s going on?”
“Where were you? I called you a few minutes ago?”
“I was visiting my neighbor.”
“Which neighbor?”- she asks joyfully – “You have a friend from the building?”
“Not exactly”- he replies obliviously.
“Who is he, what`s his name?”
“Why do you have to know?”- he snaps.
“People can`t talk with you, that`s why everyone is avoiding you. You can`t even tell your cousin who does everything for you. “
“Stop it. Ok, I will tell you. His name is Ivan, Ivan Dimitrov.”
“Why do you have to act like that? – his cousin asks joyfully – “Ok, I will call you later, because the little guy has done something naughty.”
After he hangs up the phone, Kiten goes in the kitchen and looks through the window – there is no sign of the police car. The cat is rubbing against his legs but he sends it away.
Kiten walks through a dark corridor. Water is leaking from the wall. There is a storm rumble in the distance. While Kiten walks ahead, he is trying not to stumble over. When he reaches a door, he hesitates whether to open it or not. He opens it and sees Ivan Dimitrov holding a knife. He turns against Kiten and attacks him. There is a struggle between them. Ivan Dimitrov cuts Kiten`s forefinger on his right hand.
Kiten wakes up in sweat. He gets up, looks through the window, and sees that there has been a storm. It`s pouring. Kiten removes the cat that is sleeping in his bed. Someone is ringing at the door. A lightning, followed by a thunder that triggers the cars` alarms, lights up the room. Kiten gets up and walks out of the room groping around the wall. He goes to the front door and carefully looks through the spy. There is no one out there. Then he returns to the living room and opens the cigarette pack, but there is nothing left in there. He takes out another pack from the drawer, but it turns out to be empty too. He start swearing and sits on the sofa. After that, he gets up, changes his clothes, puts on his jacket, takes an umbrella and goes out. He pushes the elevator`s button and waits. When he finally opens the door, Ivan Dimitrov`s hand reaches out and grabs Kiten by the shoulder.
“Thank God I met you. I called you a few minutes ago, I probably woke you up.”
“No, no.”- murmurs Kiten.
“I need you help urgently. My mother has been bedridden for half a year now. She had a stroke and now she can`t get up nor speak. I don`t know if it was because of the storm, but she fell off the bed. I can`t pick her up by myself, because she is too heavy. Can you help me?”
Kiten can`t believe it.
“But I am going to the bus stop for cigarettes.”
“It will only take us five minutes”- pleads Dimitrov. – “After that I will come with you. Otherwise, I would have to look for a taxi driver to help me. Please!”
“Only for five minutes” – Kiten agrees reluctantly.
The two of them get on the elevator. Kiten is looking at the passing doors. They get off on the last floor. Dimitrov opens the door and turns on the lights.
“Don`t take off your shoes. It`s not clean. We can speak informal, can we?”
A terrible crash of thunder silence Kiten`s answer. The power cuts off and Dimitrov starts swearing. Kiten`s rapid breathing could be heard. After a while, he snaps with his lighter. Dimitrov goes in the living room to look for a candle.
“Come to light me up.”- Dimitrov shouts. Kiten slowly walks in the dark, holding the weak flame of the lighter. He could hear an elderly cough and snoring. There are large drops of sweat on Kiten`s face. When he enters the living room, he sees the elderly woman lying on the floor next to the bed. There is no sign of Dimitrov. The spark wheel melts from the heat and the light goes out. He tries to light it up but it`s not possible. Kiten`s rapid breathing could be heard. Then there are Dimitrov`s silent footsteps. Kiten makes a move and brakes a glass.
“I am sorry”- his voice could be heard in the dark.
A lightning strikes and he sees a big knife on the table and a photo in a frame on a drawer. There`s a thunder. Dimitrov lights up a match and after that a candle. He places it on the table right next to an orange peel and the big knife. Kiten stares at the knife. Dimitrov urges him to help pick up the elderly woman. There`s a lightning. The woman is constantly moving and she slips away.
“She is really heavy.”
They grab her under the shoulder first and place her on the bed. After that they pick her legs up.
“She is in real pain. My poor mother” – says Dimitrov. – “Thank God I met you.”
Kiten sees that there is a white piece of fabric hanging from Dimitrov`s pocket. Ivan takes out the glove.
“You know what? The only thing that comes to my mind is that the killer has troubles with women” – Dimitrov shows the cut-off forefinger to Kiten. – “If the killer is a man he had self-castrated and accepted his state as a desperate hermit. I think he is quite a lonely person. Don`t you think?”
“I don`t know”- Kiten looks at the photo. – “Is that your wife?”
“A lover. Unfortunately, she is married. We have to meet tomorrow.”
The elderly woman starts making unclear noises.
“Don`t pay attention to her. This is something she does”- smiles Dimitrov. – “Mom, you scare the people. We have company. Don`t bother us.”
Kiten watches how Dimitrov is pointing a finger at his mother. He is getting closer to the knife and is gazing with the “white on his eyes”. Ivan sees how Kiten is looking at the knife.
“Come on, for Christ`s sake! It`s not me!” – he shouts and tries to take the knife. But Kiten is faster and takes the knife. Dimitrov doesn`t lose his self-control and starts pointing his finger at Kiten.
“I am warning you, you are making a mistake!”
Kiten is looking at the finger like hypnotized. Ivan is saying something but he can`t hear him. He stabs him in the abdomen. Dimitrov falls on his knees and groans “Mom!” before he die. Kiten grabs the candle and passes by the corridor in order to go out. The power is on and so do the lights. He walks by a mirror and sees that he is covered in blood. Then he goes in the apartment to wash himself. After that takes a rag and wipes everywhere, he might have left any fingerprints. Then places the white glove on Ivan`s body. The elderly woman is lying still. There is a thunder.
“Has she seen anything?”
On the next day, the weather is very gloomy. Kiten is smoking a cigarette and is looking through the window. They are taking Ivan`s body in one ambulance, wrapped in a sheet, and his mother`s body in another. Her body is not covered with a sheet. There are also two police cars. Ivan`s girlfriend also shows up for a little while.
“She must have found him.”
The cat is rubbing against Kiten`s legs.
He lays down on the sofa and recalls a memory from his childhood.
The young Kiten is walking in the hospital with his mother. She is a nurse, a large and powerful woman, with an eerie look. They go in her office.
“You will sit here until I come back!” – she says and walks out. Little Kiten doesn`t want to be in the room. There are several test tubes with blood on a table. He goes in the hall and in another room – where men donate sperm. Kiten finds an erotic magazine and looks through it. At that moment, unexpectedly, his mother comes in. He wants to run away, but his mother grabs him by the ear and makes him sit down. She slaps him several times and screams:
“You animal! You filthy animal! Want to be a wanker? You pig! All your grades are low! If you don`t get better I will cut your junk off! Do you understand me?”
The little Kiten can`t answer because he is hypnotized by the finger that his mother is pointing at him.
Someone is ringing at the door. Kiten looks through the spy and sees a woman around 40 years old. It`s his cousin. He invites her to come inside.
“Hi, honey! I brought you a cake. How are you? Are you ok?”
“Yes, I am.”
“But you look bad. What`s wrong?”- she takes her shoes off. – “It`s so dirty in here. I will clean up later…”
“I thought about my mother”- says Kiten and lights up a cigarette.
“Don`t think about her. When you do, you become bad and I am scared of you!”
“I won`t, I won`t.”
The two of them goes in the kitchen.
“Do you want tea? I have also schnapps.”
Kiten warms water for the tea. His hands are shaking. The black kitten comes in the kitchen and jumps in the woman`s lap. She pets it.
“The victim…Ivan DImitrov…He was a profiler on the case for the “White glove”. Did you know that?” – his cousin asks.
“No. I barely knew the guy.”
“Why did he call you yesterday?”
Kiten`s face freezes.
“For nothing. He wanted to watch the game together.”
“Did the police question you?”
“Did you tell them you knew him?”
“Not yet. I am scared of the “white glove.”
Kiten takes a knife and start cutting a lemon.
“Did you tell anyone I knew him?”
“No, honey. Whom would I tell? I think you should tell the police he called you.”
Kiten leaves the knife and sits down next to his cousin.
“Don`t tell anyone.”
“What are you hiding, honey?”
“Nothing”- he sighs.- “You have been so good to me.”
“Of course. Ok, I should go, because the little one is waiting for me.”
She moves the kitten from her lap and goes in the bathroom.
“I will take the laundry.”
But she sees that there is none. The clothes are drying on a clothesline in the bathroom.
“Honey, what is happening with you? I thought you hated laundry!”
She notices a rusty stain of blood on the pants.
“Oh, my God, what have you done?”
Behind her Kiten stays with a knife in his hand.
“I didn`t want to happen this way.”