A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Haluk had come to his fathers homeland. Now he wished he never had.
His father's last wish was to have his ashes buried in Turkey, the land of his birth. Haluk, having lived in the United States all his life had never even considered a trip to Turkey, but he felt the need to honor the last wish of his dying father.
Having never traveled out of the country. Haluk was excited to be on his way to Istanbul.
Once there, he booked a room along the bustling Istiklal Avenue. His eyes were opened to many new and exciting things like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Galata Tower and the Spice Bazaar. In time he sprinkled his fathers ashes among the flowers in Gulhane Park.
Before leaving for home he took one last drive around the city. As he drove, he didn't pay close attention to the road. A bicycle rider pulled in front of him and Haluk hit him.
He stopped and got out to see if the rider was OK. A police officer pulled up behind him and got out to investigate.
“It was an accident. He seems to be OK,” Haluk reported.
“May I see your drivers license,” asked the officer.
“I don't have one. I'm from the United States. The car is rented.”
“Then may I see your papers.”
Haluk suddenly realized he didn't have them. “I'm afraid I've left my passport in my hotel room,” he replied.
“I see, replied the officer. “Did you know it is against the law to be without your papers while visiting this country. For hitting this poor man and damaging his property and for not having your passport with you, I'm going to have to arrest you.”
Haluk didn't want to be arrested. He would miss his flight. He had heard that most policemen in Turkey would accept a cash payment to keep from having to arrest someone. He asked the officer to step over to his car. He then pulled a one hundred dollar bill from his pocket and held it out to the officer. “This is the only paper I have on me,” he sheepishly stated.
“What is this? Are you trying to bribe me? Now you are under arrest.”
Haluk protested. “No, I wasn't trying to bribe you, really. I only, I only...No you can't arrest me. I need to go home. I can't miss my flight.”
The officer grabbed Haluk and placed the cuffs on him. “Hitting a man on his bike, not carrying your papers, offering a police officer a bribe and now resisting arrest. You are digging yourself into a deep hole young man.”
Haluk was taken to a police station and thrown into a cell with several seedy looking men. They smiled and looked him over carefully.
One of the men said something to the others and they all laughed. Haluk didn't understand the language.
Translation: “Look Kuzey, a young one.” The man advanced and Haluk screamed.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.