One of the real challenges with writing ficion (however well researched, you're still just making stuff up) is that you need to make sure it is still believable on some level. And I know people often trot out that old "truth is stranger than fiction line" but still Sam Alladyce. Really? And I mean Really? (was almost tempted to put that one in capitals). And then there's Trump. It's not that Donald still thinks he should be president - most of us accepted he genuinely believed that one long ago. What's more incredible is that lots of other people seem to believe it too. Both of these events would struggle to make it as a plot line in even the most far fetch piece of fiction. Speaking of which I've included another character profile from The Meal of Fortune below. Enjoy...
It was hard enough being a single parent without having to watch his back for the forces of law and order or other gangsters. But then nobody forced Oleg Bukin to make his living in the putrid world of illegal arms dealing. It’s just that, well... after the break-up of the Soviet Union it was like the wild west; all sorts of former red army weapons floating about and not all of them rusting or obsolete either. Just too hard to resist. And yes, on occasion Bukin had to resort to extreme levels of ruthlessness (on pretty much every occasion in fact). But it was dog eat dog back then and he was never one to lose sleep over little things like that.
Of course that was all such a long time ago. These days Bukin’s quite the model little oligarch. Diversified business interests across oil, media and telecommunications, a shiny corporate website and a network of high-powered political connections have seen to that. That doesn’t stop him dabbling at the more exotic and profitable end of the arms business. You’ve got to keep your hand in after all.
Murdering, psychotic criminal he may be but Bukin loves his daughter Svetlana. He often thinks back fondly to their evenings in front of re-runs of classic British TV. Eighties Top Of The Pops was always their favourite. Svetlana freely admitted a soft spot for Duran Duran whereas Bukin was more a Kajagoogoo man. When it came to Wham, neither of them could resist.
Nowadays Svetlana is all grown up and his affection tends to show itself in his treatment of any man who displays any form of boyfriend potential. Bribery is the preferred option and usually does the trick. But he’s found that threats and maiming work just as well.
One day Svetlana will be married. It may even be to someone she loves, just as long as it edges her father closer to Putin’s inner circle. Until then Bukin reckons the girl needs a career to keep her occupied; not that he’s about to create a vacancy in the family business. Lucky all those nights on the sofa with Boy George and The Human League have rubbed off. Svetlana dreams of nothing but pop stardom.
Bukin’s not about to stand in the way of his daughter’s dreams. Besides having a real life pop star in the family would beat the super yachts and football clubs the other oligarch tend to favour.
He’s spending a pleasant afternoon with a box set of his favourite cookery based quiz show, The Meal of Fortune, when the idea hits to him. The man who helped the show’s host Richie Murray become a star is just the man to launch his daughter’s pop career in the West. A bit of cursory googling brings up the name of Dermot Jack, a man with his own links to the music business.
By lunch time next day Bukin and Svetlana are aboard his private jet, on the way to London.
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