Once, in the countryside, his mother told him the land fed them. It was nonsense. The land inherited from his father was a shallow hole, which turned into one big mud after the spring melt. The other part of the field was located on a hill, which they would plough with a horse, because none of URSUS tractors could get there. They were poor, because the land that fed them was extremely hard to farm.
It was a pity he could not show his mum she was right. He lived off the land as it hid priceless treasures. He used to say money does not grow on trees but in the sand of dunes, a drift of a former mine, or the forest in Wrzeszcz. He was a mole man.
For what he had found in the ground in the famous Wałbrzych region, he bought a huge plot in the forest section of Jaśkowa Dolina Street, with a house that seemed perfect for his goal. It was his base. He called it a molehill; he once saw such a commercial on TV – it fitted the picture perfectly. Outside the house, he kept the car he used every day. It was bold, a bit like him – a mole man. He stuck with that make for years. Once, after Maleńczuk’s concert, where he went for the song Synu as usual, where Maciej sings about life in luxury, Lexus, he went to the Lexus showroom in Gdańsk Oliwa because he believed the story in the song reminded him of his life.
He remembered when he entered the Lexus showroom right after work. He was wearing high tactical boots, used by Mossad special forces, covered with mud and dog poop and a T-shirt, which was white only once, when he bought it somewhere in Milan, in a vulgarly expensive boutique. He was wearing Instagram-like make-up – the foundation from the pre-war brick dust and cheeks highlighted with his own sweat.
The unabashed staff presented him several models. Upstairs, in the office part of the showroom, the staff wondered whether the client would be able to use the phone with so much residue on his hands. The answer came quickly. After a while, the boss proudly said, look, our client made a transfer with his phone; well, he had to wash off the mud from his fingers first, because the screen did not respond, but our Kasia showed him where the restroom was. ‘600 000 drawn for the raspberry LC in the convertible version,’ announced the accountant’s intercom. ‘Oh,’ Kasia joined in again. ‘I think I’m in love. He’s a 100% man, without skinny jeans and beard, without a latte in an eco-friendly cup. I’m wondering for what mission he’s buying such an original car. It’s a man of mystery,’ she whispered dreamily.
He shook off good memories. He was preoccupied with something else. A high, green military STAR lorry, like an army surplus, drove into his garden, in the back of Jaśkowa Dolina Street.
He was waiting. Nothing was happening. All of a sudden, in the back of the lorry, a special lift, which can often be seen on delivery vehicles transporting heavy containers with beverages, started to open delicately. The platform smoothly came to the ground, hiding something under the camo netting. Two guys went out of the shadows. Slant-eyed, short, unusually broad-shouldered. Their eyes were practically glowing, or perhaps it was his extreme excitement.
‘Вот ваш пакет. Там нет никакого воздействия. Надо просто следить за температурой, она 25 градусов и не более.’ Seeing his confusion, the other Asian translated it into broken English. ‘He has what you wanted. Does not emit. Temperature important. Very much.’
The other stranger switched on a small forklift and took the parcel to the huge garage. They did not even say goodbye but coolly got into the lorry and drove away. In the mirror, he saw them take off professional silicone masks.
He hung the parcel on a special arm anchored in the high garage ceiling. He lowered it; it perfectly fitted the mounting holes. The mole engine was in place. He ran a detector through it once again; nothing, silence, no sizzling. Secured better than in the cave where he was supposed to wait for the end of the world. It gave him a new life.
It was a nuclear reactor powering the ventilation, formerly used on a submarine. Small but efficient. With an expiration date of 2090. Sufficient.
Facing the precisely cut hole in the concrete garage wall, there IT was. The mole. The tube made of aerospace aluminium, with a huge drill bit. The cabin glass was from an F16 fighter plane and was resistant to high temperatures that were to come. Under the ground, naturally. His machine for digging up buried treasures.
It was the same as 35 years ago when he saw it on the cover of Papcio Chmiel’s ‘Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek’ comic book. Except that now it was real.
Everything happened so fast. In less than 10 seconds, the drill bit reached its speed to carry out its task like the machine boring a tunnel under the Dead Vistula River in Gdańsk. He dug into the ground, boring a few metres under the roots of trees in Wrzeszcz. He came to the surface on the hill of Podleśna Polana, near High School No 3, aka Topolówka. The alarm went off. Why now? The red diode was beeping mercilessly. Someone trespassed into the house and garden zone.
He apologised to the earthworms silently for disturbing their peace and headed towards a small pond, recently turned into a small green area at the corner of Jaśkowa Dolina and Na Wzgórzu Streets. He left the mole in the pond. The cold water refreshed him. Using a special app – binoculars in his smartphone – he saw the two ‘delivery guys’ taking away his priceless box, namely an aerospace container, once used for CASA bomber parts.
Their rented car destroyed his beautiful lawn. He jumped swiftly into his Lexus, instantly locating the box equipped with a double GPS. It started to rain, so he instinctively turned one of the designer levers, sticking out of the clock cover. They were driving along Migowska Street towards Morena District, jumping on its speed bumps. Now, he thought, crashing into the left side of the bumper of the chased car. He heard a dry crack, then the thieves’ car rolled over to cover with open curtains and airbags. He parked his Lexus on the road, glistening colourfully with liquids coming out of the crashed vehicle of the slant-eyed thieves. ‘O, zhivyye vory, nikogda ne delayte etogo snova, potomu chto ya peredam vashemu bossu yego gruz s otkrytym reaktorom,’ he remembered something in that beautiful language.*
***Two days later in Lexus Tricity Showroom***
– Hello. I’m looking for Ms Kasia, I need bodywork. It’s a… a little dent to fix.
*Oh, living thieves, never do that again, because I will give your boss his cargo with an open reactor.
All characters and events depicted in this story are entirely fictitious.
As opposed to Perfect Smile Clinic Wrzeszcz, which is absolutely real.