Рассказ "Keep losing"
ОтрывокThat spring was awesome, especially in the end of May, closer to the border dividing it from summer. Soft gales gladdened the heart, and bright sunrays gave the warmth to the soul… This is an example how my story could begin if it were merry and joyful, but it is not. However, it is not entirely sorrowful either. Person who is reading it right now, I am giving you a chance to define the degree of sorrow in it by yourself. I A little sparrow was sitting on the grass under yellow cherry-tree in silent loneliness. All the living creatures habituating in the wild tend to avoid contact with humans, since people rather bring pain than joy to them. In spite of that, the bird did not fly away when I came closer. Surely, the sparrow would be far from me right now, if it had an opportunity, but, unfortunately, there was no single one for it. Scrutinizing fluffy brown birdy, with its sparkling eyes watching me in response, I had noticed the bloody wound on the belly, extremely huge for its body, tiny and feeble as it was. The observation made clear that the sparrow could barely move. It seemed to me it was trembling… The most awful in all this was that I did not know how to help, what remedy should I use to deliver the bird from its sufferings. I fetched some water in the bottle lid and placed it near the sparrow. However, it ignored the water, what made me feel even more useless. Maybe, my presence caused its anxiety or was just annoying to it, but soon it began to walk, although in this case it would be more appropriate to say creep, away from me. Then it tried to move his wings. I fervently wished they could gather enough strength to fly. However, it was not able to flush… The sparrow increased its attempts, with the wings flapping vehemently and beating the ground. Everything was in vain. Exhausted, the bird ended up motionless, stretched out on the grass… It was still alive, but, undoubtedly, not for long… I went away in order to forget the sight as fast as possible, but I could not. Next morning place where the sparrow had accepted untimely death was empty. Nothing pointed on yesterday’s tragedy. There was no reason to be surprised: diminutive corpse might be taken away by a cat or dog. Death by itself is usual for nature. That is how it works, some species die, while stronger ones survive. I guess, sparrows from the dead one’s flock would laugh at me, sentimental girl worrying about their gone relative, until they cry, if mother-nature bestowed them with abilities to laugh and to cry correspondingly. Who knows, maybe it even was one of the flock that had inflicted damage on this poor fellow. II Death would never be so negative for people if a fact you are dead would not mean you are not alive anymore. Although, in this case death would not be death and we would not spend seconds, minutes and hours reflecting on it. It is ambiguous, both phenomenon and normal natural event which happens every day. Indeed, we are attracted by blurred and obscure contours, by mysteries hiding under ours very noses but always managing to sneak out from our fingers no matter how nimble they are. In spite of being interested to disclose the enigmas of death, at the same time we feel trembling and quivering during the period of time when we realize it is inescapable, and will definitely visit us. Maybe the reason why we are all afraid of death consists in fear of eternity. Infinity always frightens to some extent, even in case it is not an infinity at all. Anyone who denies this scare can be steady and adamant in his opinion while standing near the edge of an ocean or a dessert but apparently change his mind if finds himself at the center. Life is like unrenewable resource, it is measurable and limited, possessing the points of start and finish and interval ones as well. What about death, it is a finish line itself, together with everything that lies behind it. Stream of death begins to flow when mineral spring of vitality dries up, begins in order to never stop, to never face unforeseeable obstacles. We only know a little bit about its mouth, all the rest is covered by dense mist. We tend to cherish kindly feelings to what can be somehow examined, scrutinized and controlled by us. That is why we like and value our lives and lives of humans close to us. III Despite none of us knew her date of birth, the first point of her existence, I can say she was 16 years old when she left us. After returning home from my classes, I didn’t notice her absence at all due to being absorbed by thoughts about upcoming exams… Closer to the end of the day, when I had finally came out of my contemplations, I have noticed that Mum was silent and gloomy, what is rarely for her optimistic type of person. Answering my question, she told me that Lisa had been put to sleep that morning. Lisa was a small black tax. Originally, dogs of this breed were used in order to hunt for foxes, but Lisa had never seen one. However, as a kind of compensation, she was quite foxy little creature, using her slyness for sake of her laziness. Curiously, how quite expected occurrences turn to unexpected right at the moment when they finally take place. Maybe the key is you predicted it not taking seriously, just like majority of students accomplishing course works on the day of deadline. The problem with deadline in real life isn’t in presence of deadline itself. It is that you are not aware of the exact date, and it is usually earlier than you suppose. I had been certain that Lisa would die soon, as she had breast cancer: although its growth was stopped with the aid of pharmacy and pains didn’t disturb her, the lump itself still remained, sleeping inside old doggy’s body like a volcano. In addition, there was a big hump on her back, it appeared to be excess clot of adipose tissue: nothing dangerous, but ugly enough.In her last months, she walked little and with difficulty, with her stomach almost touching the ground. She could not even come down the stairs from our third floor, so that she was carried on hands. There was no more vivid sparks in her dark brown eyes – they extinguished, no more sneakiness and firm resolution in her movements – they became slow and clumsy, no more black velvet of her fur – it obtained streaks of gray and cast the coat a bit. All in all, she seemed to be indifferent to the world around, like someone who is waiting for phantasmal ship to take them away, to another world… Still, it was a kind of surprise to hear the news, which, however, was accepted by me calmly, without a shadow of regret. There was absolutely no link between me and Lisa, that unites people with their pets. I didn’t love her, she didn’t love me either. Living in the same flat was the only commonness we had. To be honest, what I felt that moment was a sense of liberation from the burden in shape of decrepit grumpy old dog. I did not share Mum’s grief at all, just keeping silence for some time, pretending to be sad. Next few days passed as ever. Indeed, what changes could Lisa’s absence bring into my life? IV Sometime later, I realized strange power of habit. It rushes out when every time, returning home and clanking the keys, I expect to hear loud bark, and, opening the door, I am holding it back a bit in order not to give Lisa a chance to run out into the doorway and to create uproar there. It rushes out when every time at night I am up to get myself a drink of water, I find the kitchen door ajar, although I know that it should be closed, or Lisa will come out into the hall and start scratching door to dining room. Or, when I occasionally drop some piece of paper on the floor, I pick it up with flash-like speed, because Lisa used to take into her mouth all the small junk scattered around the flat and never to give it on a voluntary basis. Then she carried it away to her lair, which was dislocated in a slit between sofa and armchair. By the way, I am still careful when taking a seat nearby: she did not stand when someone shattered peace of hers, and that resulted in dreadful growl. It is weird, acting like she is still here, still taking unnecessary precautions to prevent her mischiefs.