There is six years old boy Denis living in ordinary russian village. He is special child with great gift - he faultlessly foretells the future. What village people will feel when boy predicts that tomorrow all of them are going to die an awful death…
It was an ordinary morning. But only at the beginning…
The cocks began to crow as soon as first sun streams came up, and then trucks work was heard – village was waking up.
I thought it will never change– what may happen in ordinary russian village?
But I was wrong.
In that morning Denis told me that tomorrow all of us will die. And it was terrifying, because this six years old boy never makes mistakes. Never…
He was weird since his birth. In our village he was nicknamed as Little raven, as well as that bird he often brings bad news.
Denis reached the talking stage very soon- before he turned one year. His first words were not “mummy” or “daddy” as normally… Looking to the front with empty green eyes, he monotonously pronounced: “Uncle Tolia will be drowned soon.”
This news was soon spread around the village, but most people thought this story was made up by child. As well as Uncle Tolia – best swimmer in village. And they all were wrong. In less than one week, Uncle Tolia was found in lake, completely blue and bloated.
Since that, everybody considered Denis`s words. “Aunt Nadia will give a birth to triples” “Uncle Arkhip will be paralysed,” Denis predicted, and terrible disease was not late in arriving…
It is impossible to run away from predictions. One day Denis told: “This week uncle Arkashka will fall and broke his arm”. Whole week Arkashka was at home, but anyway found a way to fall – quiet cat, without any reason rushed under his feet…
I was a witness of Denis`s predictions, since interacted with him more than anyone. His mother died giving a birth to him, his father could not underwear sorrow and ended up becoming a terrible alcoholic.
When Denis turned two, chairman Ivan Vladimirovich Panin told me: “Juriy, the boy grows up, nobody takes care of him. It is wrong. When you are not busy please come over and teach him – you are a teacher.”
It was not easy. Sometimes he grasped in a single flash but sometimes totally ignored me for an hour. He did not like to play with other children , they stood him away too.
Each time, when Denis predicts, his eyes change– they glazed, apples were totally empty. I could not get used to that horrible scene for a long time. His voice changed also- lost the tone, got still and monotone.
After each prediction there was a need to get all the people together at the square and announce Denis`s words. I hated it much, as prophecy often became a verdict for someone.
Today it will be a verdict for the whole village.
“ Juriy Valerievich what happened with you?”
I shivered, and taking my eyes off teacher desk looked around the classroom. Guys looked anxious “You were going to say something”, said son of the chairman Sasha Panin and raised his hand.
Today at the lesson I was not myself; all thoughts were about horrible prediction. And now instead of giving homework, I said short bye and just left the room.
In the morning Denis did not talk much and did that unwillingly. I need to visit him again and try to learn something more. I can not just say to people – we all are going to die…
Many people gathered by Denis`s house- about forty. I was surprised because I did not tell anyone about prediction!
“Little Raven told some crazy things again”, said troublemaker Petka Strukhov.
“We should put him on stake long time ago, small bastard!”
Efimovna granny immediately began to defend the boy:
“In fact, we should put you on stake, you herod, but not this poor child!”
By clambering noisy crowd, I got the porch. Coming upstairs turned back and said aloud:
“Friends! Why are you here?!”
Crowd began to strike, questions about predictions were heard.
And then Petka Strukhov raised the hand, and shouted aloud:
“Shut up!” Crowd calmed down, nobody would like to mess with Petka, if only crazy granny or chairman. … “Look, professor, do not keep people in suspense. Efimovna saw you walked out Little Raven house, your face looked extremely upset, hands were shivered by fear. I guess like this boy predicted something bad again?”
I rubbed the face with palms, looked over all people. I was trying to control myself, and said as hard as I could:
“I still know nothing!”
People got angry at once. I did not pay attention and carried on:
“Don`t you worry, I am going to talk to Denis now and find out what we should expect! Again, there is nothing we know!”
“So then go, why are you still here!” Said truck-driver Mishka. People approved his words by making noise. Not saying a one word I came into the house. Took off my shoes in the entrance hall and walked to the kitchen. Denis`s father Ignat, as usual, was sitting over there, and in a state of drunk delirium mumbled something.
“Hey, teacher,” revived a heavy drinker noticing me. “What is that row about? Although, who cares! Let`s drink! You do not want? So then go, boy is waiting for you…”
He was sitting at the corner in the poor furnished room, back to the door and sang something in a low voice.
“Hi,” I said quietly, and when child turned I asked: “How are you?”
He shrugged skinny shoulders with indifference and turned his back, like showing – he did not want to speak.
“I really need to talk to you”, - I insisted. “It will not take much time, just few questions.”
Child dropped a sigh and unwillingly standing up sat down on the seat. Swinging his legs he began to examined me with huge green eyes.
Not to make him look at me from the bottom up I took small seat and sat in front of him.
“Why are you so nervous?” – Denis asked suddenly. “Why to be upset, if everything will be over soon? The death will visit our village.”
I was in a real thrill, when I saw his look and heard his careless voice, predicting horrible things. But I need to focus and find out as much as possible, as there is a crowd outside; these people rely on me, I am the one, who can tell them about tomorrow.
“Denis, I am begging you, explain properly, what will happen tomorrow? What does it mean “the death will visit”? Maybe you know how we can save ourselves?”
Boy twinkled his eyes, like something got in there.
“It seems like death got very strong. She wants to take almost all people. I do not know how to help them. Even if they run away she will take them sooner or later.”
He stopped speaking and dropped the head.
And mystery again, what kind of death is that, and why it is impossible to run away from her. I did not want to torture myself with empty guesses. It was obvious he did not want to speak, and that is why I decided to try by different way.
“What are you thinking about?”
“I do not belong here.” Boy said indifferently.
“I was born in a wrong time. I am useless now. You see, it is not my time.”
“And when is your time?” I spoke continuously, not to allow him to be distracted and shrunk into himself.
“I don`t know, not soon” Denis said.
“Tell me, do you like our village? People, houses, streets, our lake?”
The boy gave a nod, but it was obvious – he did that, just to get rid of me.
“Denis, you told that tomorrow all the people will die…”
“I did not say “all””, he interrupted. “ I said “almost all”’’
“Do you know exactly who that will be?” I asked.
The boy unceremoniously dabbed his pointer finger to me.
I got a lump in my throat, and cold passed through my spine. I wanted to ask him repeatedly but my lips did not move. The child was going on:
“And uncle Peter, aunt Natasha, Sashka Panin, and his father…”
When Denis named about twenty people, I interrupted him:
“No, I am not. Not tomorrow.”
“Why someone will die and someone not?”
“Cause the death can not take all people`s life at once.”
In fact, I did not know how to react on all these horrible metamorphoses. This child never made mistakes in predictions so far, and I was sure- tomorrow our village will be scattered with dead bodies. But anyway, I did not want to believe that we have no chance to survive. I needed to change the subject again, and learn some new details.
“Denis, do you love your father?” I asked. Ignat is not the best parent, but child still should have some tender feelings to him. And if I go to the subject about tomorrow, maybe he will be scared about his father death. Probably, he will tell how we can avoid this terrible future.
But Denis`s answer made me confused.
“What does it mean “love”?”
“Well… How to explain…” I just made a helpless gesture. “It means, for example, if he is with you, you feel good, peaceful. But when he is far away from you, you miss him, and feel like you need him.”
The boy snuffled, jumped down from seat and went up to window. Without turning, he coldly said:
“You are just sad now. But tomorrow everything will be over.”