It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Week
March 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
For those who don’t know, I moved today and things have been exceptionally busy, not only today, but for a few days before as well. So, I have something for you, but it’s short and yes, a little rushed.
But it’s here, so pbbthbt. Enjoy while I return to packing boxes and stealing furniture from the garbage!
The Fourth Interlude
It was barely a whisper. The voice came to him across the line between life and death and was diminished as it made the journey into something barely louder than the wind in his ear. He recognized it, wanted to groan at the memories it brought back. Some good; most bad.
It was firmer now, energized by the contact it made with him. He tried to move, impelled to action by memories he wanted no part of. Memories of shining boots until his hands were black and shaking. Memories of running until he vomited and then running more. Memories of the horrible things they did to cadets who couldn’t keep up and how they laughed at them when they broke.
It’s in the past. He’s dead and gone and can’t touch you anymore. Don’t listen. You don’t have to anymore.
“Get up. Please.”
Now a voice he did not recognize. Despite that, it was familiar, and the memories, though more distant, were pleasant. A woman’s voice. It brought to mind sunshine, or at least the memory of being held. He felt strength begin to flow into fingers nearly frozen solid.
“You have to get up, Vasily. You can’t die here. I won’t allow it.”
The first voice. It tore into him again, pushing back at the will that he had been summoning. It was so cold now. There was so much pain. It would be easier not to listen. He didn’t want to.
“Look up, Vasily. Look at us.”
He could not raise his head. It hurt too much, thudding through his body like his blood had been replaced by liquid hurt. His eyelids fluttered and what little light came through sent electric shocks through his head. He did manage to moan this time. Why were they calling him Vasily? That was not his name. He had no name. Pain did not have a name, it only had a scream.
“Look up, Vasily. We are all here. All of us.”
It was her voice again. Pain subsided and an eye opened. He wanted to cry out but breathing constricted his damaged ribs and sent new shocks through his brain. What little light there was was hidden in a grey fog. He could not see anything, only fog. He thought that this must be what dying looked like, as all that was good and coloured drained away. Only fog and pain at the end, after a life of fog and pain. It seemed like the Russian way.
“Please, look. Look at us.”
Another voice, unfamiliar. Male, like the first, but softer. It brought back better memories, ones that didn’t add to Pain. They were soft. A song, one that he had almost forgotten.
The song warmed him, and the woman spoke again.
“kupim synu valenki,”
“Please, son. Please look at us.”
“nadenem na nozhenki”
His eyes were already open but now he saw.
“pustim po dorozhenke”
He was still in a forest but he was no longer alone. A vast group of people, thousands upon millions, stood in the dim light and looked to him.
“budet nash synok khodit,”
Three stood before him, and a two-headed eagle perched in a branch above them. His lips, destroyed by the cold and the rain (what rain? The forest was dry as bone), cracked open in a smile.
“novy valenki nosit!”