Перевод произведения “Стальной Змей и Васька”
The Steel Serpent and VaskaIn a tiny flat on the fifth floor there lived a Writer. One day he began writing a story and it had been the first time, as he thought, when he was happy doing that. He had never been happy like that before, and he had never experienced such beautiful feelings. It seemed nothing and nobody could bother him, even annoying traffic sounds of the widest Avenue outside. Suddenly, the balcony door was thrown wide open, hit the wall, and the cold winter Wind rushed into the room. The Wind caught a sheet covered with writing, orbited it near the ceiling for a while, and then, having taken the sheet, went otside again. The Author ran after it, but his desperate attempts to save the sheet, which was trembling with fear, failed. However, hardly had he touched the railings of the balcony, when he forgot the reason why he was standing there. He also forgot what had been written. He looked around himself distractedly, stood for a while on the ceramic floor covered with snow, shivered, shifted from one bare foot to another, and went into the room. He had to go to work soon. The alarm clock ringed at the same time next early morning. The Writer woke up in the same cheerful mood as the day before, and his first thought was about writing a new story. He was looking forward to something wonderful, miraculous and new (of course, this was the most important “something”) in his life. He forgot what had happened the day before, two and three days before... Even though it was the same every day. He woke up, had breakfast and brushed the teeth with haste, sat at his desk and began writing a story. His imagination was captured by it, it drew one bright picture after another, and his hand hardly followed his thoughts. But the moment he crossed the magic line in the middle of a sheet, this crazy Wind always caught it and took away. The Writer ran after it, but forgot everything as soon as he found himself on the balcony. He was gazing at steel rows of cars dashing through the cold snow storm for several minutes, then returned home, sat at desk and froze. He came to himself soon, but his memory was blank. A black spot had appeared in his memory long ago, and it grew wider day by day, and today wasn’t an exeption. Still, the Writer remembered the rest of the day clearly. He had spent it with his family. He could describe in detail events of previous days, months and even years. These events were always the same. He went to work at eight o’clock: left his house, got into his car, threw his briefcase on the backseat, warmed up the engine before driving. He began his daily route at nine-thirty, rushing in the fast river of wheels and steel. He started his work at ten o’clock. He went home after work, had dinner with his family, watched some fresh talk-show devoted to the most hot topics and discussed it with his wife and then fell asleep really fast. He dreamed a dream about the wide Avenue every night. He saw it from the window of his flat, he watched the fast traffic flow. The flow looked like a magnificent giant Serpent, made of shining silver. The Writer usually looked at it with interest and admiration, but then began to look into it attentively. He saw all kinds of parts and details going out of the tight metal-like skin: tubes, screws, springs of different length and diameter, cables, different mechanical constructions made of iron, valves and even blades and knives. The Steel Serpent grew wider and longer. Its enourmous elongated body devoured the whole Avenue. The Monster crawled into the flat, entered the body of the Writer through his mouth and eyes, encircled him with its serpent rings and his screaming iron flesh split him up. Then the Writer fell into deep darkness and didn’t see a single dream until the very morning. Waking up, he felt only a sour metal taste in his mouth. The morning was always the same: alarm clock, inspiration and new story, breakfast, a sheet of paper covered with writing, Wind the intruder, amnesia, work at ten, talk show, goodnight kiss, sleep at ten p.m., nightmare. One day an autumn fly flew through the window and woke up the Writer earlier than usually. At first he tried to shoo it, but then opened his eyes just to slap it. He felt something going wrong but couldn’t understand what exactly. Then he noticed that very fly sitting on the mirror, took a newspaper and rolled it, getting ready for a stroke. But having noticed a tiny belly shimmering with steel shining and reflecting in the looking glass, he suddenly remembered everything and whispered: ‘The Steel Serpent! The Wind! The story!’ Something crossed his mind, and he remembered everything lost in his memory: inspiration, written sheets of paper, flying under the Flow of rushing cars, and even endings of all his unwritten stories, which he had been making up every day for many years, but which had been taken by the Wind and eventually forgotten. The Writer looked at the fly and decided that the poor creature had at least deserved his mercy for the returned memory. Then he went to the bathroom, but quickly ran out with a scream, as a sharp pain of thousands knives pierced his body and skin from the inside. He felt the sweetish insidious odour of rusty iron and blood. The pain was so strong the Writer couldn’t think about anything but he could move. Fighting this torture, he went out on the balcony, clutched the railings and, hardly breathing, whispered the continuation of one of his stories. The pain disappeared at once. He thought nobody would hear him because of engine noise, screaming brakes and honking horns. Inspired with the result, he finished the story without noticing anything around himself. When he opened his mouth, cars stopped. But he didn’t see that. The flow grew wider, then reared and rushed upwards. New cars continued to flow into the giant steel loop in the sky. There were more and more of them, they crawled on each other and looked like steel scales. This metal ribbon transformed into an iron monster, shifting from one side to the other. The giant Serpent was ready to attack the city and to bury it under itself.