The Girl Next Door [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Michael Riles
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Marty Landis, the child of a mob princes who abandons him to a Christian family living in a Russian, Jewish neighborhood in Chicago in 1951, just wanted to take the CIA covert operation later handed to him and bust "the girl next door" he grew up with (Rossina Riasnovsky - whom he had a crush on) out of a Soviet holding facility in 1976. She is a covert CIA Op in country. He is in a dead-end job after Vietnam, college and the 73-74' recession. Marty and the girl's brother, his best friend growing up, are trained by the best in the UK (MI-6) in order to sneak in to the then USSR disguised as Soviet Security personnel and bust her out before she "talks". He just wanted to rescue her and return home with the $250,000 reward in time for the 1976 Chicago Cubs baseball home opener. But, the old passions are inflamed when they meet. Also, he wanted to repay a debt to the girl's family who took him in as a child due to his adopted parent's alcoholism. Marty and his best friend Gregory, Rossina's brother, take the mission but there is a fatal snafu in Moscow. At home his ex-con mob boss father, who later learns of Marty's existence after three years in prison and scattered attempts to bond with the boy after chasing off a gang that tried to kill him at age 10, meet and eventually bond as friends. Those who impacted Marty's younger life, his two dad's and that surrogate family, come together hoping to see their children alive. But fate has something else in store after a major snafu that results in a horrific gun battle in Moscow and another chance opportunity to escape death.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/solsticepublishing
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2010
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"The enemy says that Americans are good at a long shot, but cannot stand the cold iron. I call upon you instantly to give a lie to the slander. Charge!"
General Winfield Scott to the 11th Infantry Regiment, US Army, Chippewa, Canada. June 5, 1814.
The "Big Three" met on February 11, 1945 in Yalta, in the Russian Crimea, the most unlikely spot for a kid from Chicago abandoned at birth by a mafia princess six years later. It was a time when men could pull off the impossible through brunt force, forbearance, that "blood, toil, tears and sweat" Churchill promised. It was supposed to be a Thousand Year Reich but it lasted only thirteen years -- lucky thirteen -- as common people with uncommon valor stepped forward to win something and go back to being normal -- to being common again; common and normal. Marty Landis was a common person, but one with a secret -- a secret he would learn later, much later, after he could have single-handedly caused Word War Three between two powers bent on self-preservation -- and self destruction, each fearful of the other and each willing to implode the planet before relenting to the others will. They would never know, even when events propelled him to becoming the most un-common of people, the President of the United States.
Socialism gave the world a power hungry cur that became a killing machine. History does give us saints and sinners, but with Stalin the phrase "anti-Christ" was actually mild, almost complimentary. Sadism lusted after the innocent, the duped. It festered like puss as countless millions were murdered or starved. That's what happens, according to Dostoyevsky, when people forget that "without God, anything is permitted". The man who planted Marty Landis in the womb knew that but sinned anyway. He never killed, but would do so at the drop of a hat, a wink of the eye if ordered. Anthony Scallini was a good soldier, a potential killer, a killing machine like the boy who grew from his seed within the loins of a woman who bore his namesake, hers and Anthony's, who married within their faiths, the fathers of their fathers from the land of Garibaldi and, later, Mussolini. It was a fated land that wanted an empire back, an empire that had nurtured a "west" that would falter and rise when least expected.
Marty Landis burst onto the scene in that drab, lack-luster public hospital in Chicago's downtown. The woman who bore him was aloof and alone, the wife of a mobster serving time in Joliet prison, a man who took the proverbial "rap" as Chicago's mobsters called it. Two years prior to the birth he was sentenced to five years. Outside two worlds faced off at one another and threatened to annihilate one another while an eight pound boy emerged cold, frightened and alone to the obdurate and impersonal neon and stale paint that started to crack on the walls of the maternity ward.
In 1951 Marty Landis burst in to the world from a woman named Stephanie Scallini, her first and only child. He arrived during the dog days of summer, the tepid, steamy summer that bore down on a people not used to brutal heat, but willing to persevere regardless: a stoic and resilient people used to extremes -- especially the winters. They, like their Russian counterparts, kept going regardless. And so would Marty Landis.
Outside those walls lived the appeasers seeking to buy time, to hold off the inevitable. The Bolshevik Bear had been appeased by Hitler and then attacked, something Stalin refused to believe until the Nazi's could see Moscow through their binoculars. Stalin, not unlike Chamberlain, the former Prime Minister of England and the man who held up a piece of paper with Hitler's signature of assurance that his appetite had been satiated, had been duped along with the rest of the world. Others would be duped, then and later. Steffani Scallini was a dupe, as she vowed to love, honor and, then, obey. She was a child of the world depression, a time when eyes were large, and appetites larger than what could be satisfied, an austere world that was "tapped out". The war came when she just eight. Like everybody else in her apartment building she didn't know where Pearl Harbor was. But war somehow brought a prosperity no one saw coming, In five years money was in the bank, all the banks, by so many since so little could be bought due to rationing. But in 1945 the nightmare for so many others was slowly coming to end only to reappear quickly once the guns fell silent on May 8th, 1945. Before dropping dead America's Lord Protector died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Roosevelt was a don, a political don who confided to his aids that he knew how to "deal with that old buzzard" referring to Stalin and his ambitions in Eastern Europe. But in April, only weeks before the May 8th armistice, nobody knew if his promulgation was nothing more than bravado. The "buzzard" was loose, but not for long.
As the armies of the east and west raced across Germany they stumbled upon what looked like internment camps. One was near the German town of a Buchanwald. Expecting to find British and American POW's, the American liberators gazed in shock at the emaciated bodies of people later identified as the intelligentsia and leadership personnel from all over occupied Europe, the wretched refuse arrested by the Gestapo. The Russians came across another such camp, in Poland, near the city of Auschwitz. What they witnessed would forever haunt those who survived the vicious street fighting that took place from Vienna to Berlin as Americans and Russians linked up at the Elbe River on April 27, 1945. The US 1st Army under General Hodges and the 1st Ukrainian Army under Marshall Koneff shook hands as the two split Hitler's Reich into two lifeless parts. A year later Winston Churchill addressed a crowd of Americans in their heartland. The erudite Englishman knew what Stalin was all about.
"From Stretin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the continent of Europe."
Critics of Churchill both in Britain and the United States took exception to the former PM's statement claiming Russia and the West "had a lot to learn from each other".
As was the usual case, many would have to learn "the hard way". And they did, and would have, were it not for the birth of a baby boy named Marty Landis and the "girl next door" named Rossina Riasnovsky.
They were two souls destined to meet, flee, and come together later, later at a pivotal point in the history of the girl's native land. Though she was not born there, her heart and soul remained. The heart was American. The DNA and the soul were Russian.
Like the fissionable atom itself, she and that boy were destined to collide.
They would collide at the worst possible time, in the worst possible place.
They would collide in one of many man made Hells on earth.