Меня зовут Ольга. Мне 21 год. Окончила Ивановский колледж культуры по специальности менеджер социально-культурной деятельности (режиссёр-постановщик театрализованных представлений). Творчеством занимаюсь с двенадцати лет. Это первый мой рассказ, который переведён на английский язык. Я раньше не принимала участия в литературных конкурсах. Это мой первый подобный опыт. Кроме фантастики пишу детективы и стихи.
Between Heaven and Earth
He didn’t know where he was and where he walked. His clothing consisted of camouflage pants, tarpaulin boots and army number, hanging on his neck. An autumn forest surrounded him. The foliage had fallen from the trees and was rotting, slopping beneath his feet. Black skeletons of naked trees stood immovably despite ongoing wind. The sky was dark, though no single cloudlet could be seen on it.
All the while he kept on walking without particular destination. The mud slopped beneath his feet, the branches crackled, and he kept walking somewhere with his head dropped. Having lifted his head he saw a cemetery nearby. On the ground, leaning her back against one of gravestones there sat a maiden, twenty three years old, and smoked. She was dressed in a red velvet girdle, black lacy mini-skirt, open work stockings and high leather spiked boots.
-Hey!-he called out.-Hey! Where am I? What`s that graveyard?
The maiden slowly turned her head towards him, expelled the smoke out of her mouth, threw away the cigarette and came up to him. The closer she came the better he saw that her dark thick hair were snatched back by a bandlet, elegant glasses concealed dark-grey eyes and her thin lips were rouged in blazing scarlet. She approached and said:
-Hi. What`s that graveyard? Where am I?
-Nowhere. And who are you?
-What do you mean nowhere? What kind of place is it?
-It is a place for those who has not yet been buried or would never be buried at all. Who are you actually?
-I don’t get it. Who are you indeed?
-My name is Ksiusha.
She stretched her hand for shaking. He did the same in return. But at the instant when their hands considered touching his hand just went through.
-What the hell…
He moved back in dismay.
-Are you a ghost?
-You intended to see a living human here? You are damn weird. Of course, the newcomers after getting here do not understand where they are at first, but at least they know that they are dead.
-Am I dead? What nonsense are you talking about?
-Your hand went through me, did it…- the maiden pursued her reflections paying no regard to his comments. He pulled back while she tended to approach with every new step.
-What is your name then?
At that moment the boy stumbled over a stone and fell.
-What is your name?
He wanted to shout his name out to make this strange maiden leave him alone.
He failed to recall the name.
-I don’t remember – he murmured stunningly.
-Don`t you? Do you remember anything at all? How did you die? Where did you learn? Worked?
He shook his head in refusal.
– Neglected case.
A woman stood and waited the doctor to finish examining her son. He motionlessly lay on the bed with his eyes closed. Oleg Mikhailovich, heavily sighing, pulled off his hand from carotid artery of the boy and said:
-I am deeply sorry, Inna Georgievna, but your son is dead. – He started collecting his instruments.
The woman broke into tears in utter disbelief.
They were sitting on somebody`s grave. A maiden was smoking and a guy vainly tried to recall his name. To recall what had happened to him all in all.
-Can I ask you a question? – he asked all of a sudden.
-How did you die?
-I junked up the weed and leapt through the window. – She said calmly. -I had even got a lump. You want to see?
Without expecting his answer she took off the bandlet, and, parting her hair, showed a little lump. The guy didn’t seem to be deeply impressed by it.
-Did you fell from the first floor?
-From the tenth, to be honest! – She turned nasty.
-Consider yourself forgiven. In fact, physical wounds do not matter here. The soul matters here. I can show it.
With this word she unbuttoned the girdle and stripped the breast. The sight petrified a guy. Her left breast had totally rotted. The rot only slightly touched the right breast, but the maiden seemed to be absolutely indifferent.
– And there.-She said pointing at her perineum. – There you got the rot overall.
All of a sudden the maiden burst out laughing.
-Just look at your face! Quiet distorted! I simply cracked a joke! Take it easy! – She said doing up the girdle.
-What caused your breast to rot completely? – He asked regaining his senses.
-You said completely?-she sighed. – I might have kept an improper mode of life, may be? Or setting off for private dances in the club instead of university classes? The deuce knows. Each one has his own set of mistakes you can never single out the major one from. That mistake that changed your life drastically. As for me, I believe there exists no single mistake of a life or a wrong choice. It is about the fact that a man, every year or some, depends on him, undergoes transformation and makes a certain, even tiny, moral misstep. For instance, he gets coarse to his grandma, although being a goody boy- dishrag. He goes against himself and permits himself to tower above the rest, in actual fact having hit the rock bottom. It seems like you have permitted yourself so little, but doing it once you’ll never stop…He would shout at everybody indiscriminately. It wouldn’t matter whether a man was guilty or not any more. It would matter that he assertedly had grown older and superior towards the rest. At the final result a human dies, and all that remains behind in that world is the pain, caused by him or his screaming self-esteem.