Esther’s father decides to build a huge extension onto the house. Basically doubling the size of the already spacious house. New large rooms were added to the house but never used.
Ester confronts her father. Pointing out the unnecessary fixtures and fittings which cost a fortune. Ester and her brothers wonder where their father got the money to fund the pointless project.
Turns out he got mixed up with Anton from the Bolan Group, a notorious crime group. Now he owes the group a lot of money. To cover the debt, he has to put the newly renovated house up as collateral.
Ester’s father was naive, believing this would be the ideal forever home. It was a heartbreaking decision to put the house up for sale. But Ester wasn’t surprised at this outcome. However, they had no idea just how much trouble their father was in. They would soon find out their lives were in danger because of their fathers poor judgement.
With the house up for sale, the truth comes out. Their father was in debt after borrowing too much money for the house extension. Now the family was on the verge of bankruptcy. Esther’s father made a run for it. Leaving his family to pick up the pieces and face Anton.
With their father gone, Anton basically owns the house and all the family possessions. As if to taunt the family further, Anton never came to claim what he was owed.
She knew Anton would come for them eventually. She couldn’t rely on her idiotic brothers or her mother, in shock from her husband’s betrayal. So, Ester began preparing for the inevitable.
She gathered things from around the house, things that wouldn’t be missed and sold them to a pawn shop nearby. She kept the money safe away from the house and didn’t tell anyone about it. Not even her mother.
Ester was an up-and-coming photographer. She had spent many years collecting antique cameras.
As well as selling trinkets, Ester also gathered her best photographs to sell later on. She hid them in a backpack with her journal and a few other valuables. Ester plans to sell her photography on the streets. She will need all the money she can get her hands on. If she and her family were to have any chance of escaping Anton successfully.
Exactly one year later Anton shows up on their doorstep. He and struts into the house knowing he owns the place. However he shows no interest in the family valuables that Ester left untouched. Anton and his “pals” spread out and search the house as if looking for something in particular. They ignore Esters antique camera collection, her brothers games room full of the latest state of the art gaming equipment. Ester had a bad feeling about this.
Anton was a lot smarter than Ester predicted. What he really wanted was manuscript drafts belonging to Ester’s older sister. (A famous fiction writer who no longer lives at home).
Unfortunately, Ester’s family didn’t have anything like that. When Anton discovered this things got violent. Anton bound Esters hands and feet while his pals started beating the living daylights out of her brothers. Ester’s mother wouldn’t stand by and watch her boys be killed. Overcome by a wave of rage she chases Antons pals and beats them to death.
Ester managed to pick up a katana that had been knocked over in the struggle. She holds the blade between her teeth. What used to be a decoration slices through Antons torso. He didn’t see the attack coming. (Probably because it’s likely impossible to hold a katana in your mouth and have enough force to slice through a human torso. Especially when your hands and feet are bound)
Now Ester, her mother and brothers are fugitives. The fact they acted out of self-defence means nothing to the Bolan group. They have enormous influence in the region. With a bounty on their heads Ester and her family have no choice but to run.
Ester wishes to keep her older sister out of this mess. So they search for their aunt (mother’s sister). After 3 failed marriages her aunt had built up a small fortune in divorce settlements. She soon discovers her aunt is on a cruise in the Baltics. With the Bolan Group closing in on them Ester and her family are left with no other choice but to head to the Baltic Islands.
There is no way they could afford a luxury cruise. Instead they find work on a cargo ship heading to the Islands. The journey was full of hardships. Ester and her mother had to work on the ship from dawn to dusk. Neither of them were built for the intense manual labour. But they had no choice. It was a long way to the Baltic Islands and the ship’s crew were not going to feed them without earning their keep. Ester’s brothers were still recovering from their beatings. So Ester and her mother were working for four people.
Several weeks later…
At a moment of rest Ester stands on the ships top deck. She feels at ease looking through the lens of her camera. She captures the endless sea surrounding the ship.
Covered in bruises and her body aching Ester wonders where her father is.
How could he do this to his family? Her thoughts are interrupted by the ships load horn. Ester covers her ears in a futile attempt to drown out the noise. Then she remembers what the horn signals.
Ester looks off into the distance. Squinting she could see something rising on the horizon. The Baltic Islands were within sight.