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I've Been Waiting For This Fright

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I’ve Been Waiting For This Fright

Donny Montell rarely has reason to feel scared. He has a good job working the pits at Jüri’s casino, and he eats all the ice cream he wants to, because it never seems to run out in The Eurovision Part Of Town. The only time Donny Montell has ever been truly frightened was the time when he thought he had gone blind as a result of being in love. However, after Kaliopi (who found him on the floor outside the bakery) took him to the hospital, it turned out that he’d just slipped and the icing from the donuts he was carrying had smeared across his face, sticking his eyelids together. Kaliopi sometimes still reminds Donny about this, if he tries to get too many discounts from her bakery. It’s all in good fun though, they’re all friends in The Eurovision Part Of Town.

However, now Donny is sat in the dark, watching the lights around him fill the night. He should be working, it’s busy at the casino tonight. But he can’t focus at all. Somewhere out there, Jüri will be welcoming guests and Justs will be running the slot machines as rhythmically as a heartbeat. And Donny should be at the pits, there’s a lot of money to be made tonight. Douwe Bob’s in, and with him are Sergey, Nicky and Amir. These are all men with money to be spent. Money for Donny to earn. But he’s scared and panicked, lost in time.
The reason for Donny’s fear is the fact that tomorrow, the tax returns are issued. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, they’re something everyone has to fill in, part of the fabric of Christer Björkman’s establishment. But Donny swears that he didn’t fill his in properly this year. He was meant to get Jüri to check it but then Minus One called Donny about a news segment they were running on the pits, and he completely forgot and posted it off. Now, he’s scared. If you don’t follow the rules in The Eurovision Part Of Town, the jail can be the only place for you. Minus One claim is was awful, and they’re clean now, running the talent agency. The jail isn’t huge, in fact, there’s rarely anyone in it, because so little crime happens and the police force are so lazy (Eduard likes IVAN’s club a little too much). And so, for Donny, his worst nightmare is being alone in a cell, under the watchful eye of Lisa Angell. Lisa isn’t especially scary as far as prison guards go, but she never forgets anything, so you’re there for the length of your sentence, or longer if you try anything shady while you’re in there. She’s good friends with Jamala, and knows lots about history. When there’s nobody locked up (which is pretty often), she sits in the library, reading and pondering. She has a special relationship with the Soldiers Of Love, does Lisa. They all respect her enormously, and would help her at the drop of a hat.

And so Donny sits, waiting. First thing in the morning, his tax return will come back, stamped with red writing and Donny will feel like nothing. Nul points for him for organisational skills. There’s no point going out to earn money tonight, not when he’ll be in prison as soon as daybreak happens. Both Jüri and Justs have tried to calm him down, buying him ice cream and donuts, but it hasn’t worked. Donny is scared. There’s nothing he can do. The night feels like it is a thousand years long, and Donny feels like he’s cried a million tears of despair. Morning is creeping in, and he decides to go out into the main body of the casino, at least so he can see how well Justs and Jüri have done all night.
He’s on tenterhooks. The early morning post should come soon. And, sure enough, it does. Strangely, the man in the white hat brings it. They’re not quite sure how he entered the building, since they closed the casino a couple of hours previously, and are now cleaning up. He hands Jüri and Justs their envelopes, then makes his way over to Donny. As his shaking hands tear open the envelope, he can feel all eyes upon him. He slips the piece of paper out, and stares at it. It’s fine. Approved, official and no legal action needed. Donny looks at the details he filled in, scanning to find the part where he knew he had messed up. It’s been changed so that it makes legal sense. Donny gasps, and looks up, just in time to see the man tip his white hat and wink as he leaves.