Сергей Криворотов

SERGEI KRIVOROTOVРодился и проживаю на границе Европы и Азии в городе Астрахань. Высшее медицинское образование. Пишу прозу, изредка стихи. Автор двух романов, из которых пока только один вышел в журнальном варианте, и сотни рассказов и повестей, опубликованных в различных изданиях России, Украины, Белоруссии, Молодовы, Казахстана, Германии, США, Канады, Финляндии, австралии, Новой Зеландии, Чехии, Израиля. Общий тираж бумажных публикаций около 4.000.000 экземпляров.

Born and been living in Astrakhan, a city on the border of Europe and Asia. I have medical education. I write prose, sometimes poetry. Author of two novels, hundred stories published in different magazines of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Germany, United States, Canada, Finland, Australia, New Zeland, Czech Republic, Israel. Сumulative circulation was about 4.000.000 copies in print.


IT NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE 

DAY ONE

Yesterday I got a new gas mask as a birthday gift. Dad said it was a very, very expensive mask of the latest model made especially for kids. The front piece of the last one got broken and I had to stay at home for three days. But now I can go out with a new gas mask on!

Today at school during biology class we were shown a dog with electrodes implanted in her brain. The teacher irritated her “fear center”. Many kids laughed when they saw how the dog started shaking from terror and her hair bristled without any reason. I felt so sorry for her, she looked at me with such haunted eyes...

I think a dog is a very nice animal. I asked my dad to buy me a dog, maybe even the tiniest little-little puppy, but a real live dog, not an ordinary toy robot. He sighed heavily and said that all live dogs cost way too much, not like before. And he explained that there are very few of them left these days. Before, when the sky was high and blue, there were enough dogs for everybody. But then people had to put on gas masks and go underground and nobody cared about them, so almost all animals died. It’s weird because nobody ever told us these things at school. How is it even possible that the sky can be such a pretty color like blue?  As long as I remember it has always been low and grey at daytime and black at night. Everybody knows that if there were no massive clouds on the sky, the sun would have burnt out everything that’s alive...

But I decided not to ask my dad again, as he becomes angry when I start asking all kinds of questions. He probably thinks that I’m still a little child, and he can tell me all these silly stories. As if I don’t know that in reality it never was and never will be.

DAY TWO

Today it’s – 4o Fahrenheit. At school we studied mercury and alcohol thermometers - there are also electric ones - preserved from the old times, but they are extremely rare. We were allowed to go outside with a teacher under the open sky. It seems every day there is more and more snow, and it’s of some dirty yellowish color. The teacher taught us how to crawl right in the snow. It was so cold. Over our smocks we had to put some snow-colored loose clothes which didn’t really keep us warm, not even a little bit. We were told it was for camouflage in case of the attack of a possible aggressor.

But is it even possible to hide a person from thermovision cameras? I asked my dad about it when he came back, but he all of a sudden got very agitated and started to yell that black uniforms haven’t learned anything and are chomping at the bit to play their ludicrous games. I understood nothing from his cries but it was useless to ask him further. It’s ok, I’ll ask my mom later...

DAY THREE

Today is my birthday. Yesterday we all gathered in our little bunker: my dad, my mom, my little sister Kathy, and me. Kathy is still very little and doesn’t speak very well. Everything was great. For dinner we had a plate full of synthetic bananas and a soy cake with eleven skinny candles – that’s how old I’m now. My dad made them himself and was very happy that I liked them.

I blew them out in two times. They congratulated me, sang “Happy Birthday,” and then we were drinking very tasty protein concentrate.

It’s too bad we very rarely have such wonderful days.  They seem to end so quickly...

DAY FOUR

When I came home, my mom was crying. I was trying to comfort her for a long time and was asking her again and again what had happened. She made me promise not to tell anybody. She told me that dad again had blurted out something he was not supposed to say.  That is just how he is, hot-tempered. It’s not for the first time and now he will be “fixed” with some horrible “brain washing”. I don’t know what it is, but I didn’t want to learn about it, because it’s all clear as day that nothing good will come out of it. Before I thought that only little kids can feel bad, now I know that grown-ups also can be very unhappy. I am so sorry for my mom, and for my dad as well, though it’s totally his own fault...

DAY FIVE

Dad hasn’t come home yet. The teacher was asking about him, but I said I knew nothing, and he let me go. I learned a long time ago I should keep all to myself. Good thing nobody can read my thoughts. What if there is already such a device? Anyway, I’ll keep my mouth shut.

I still need to learn so many things before I grow up and find out how to make the sky blue again. But for now I’ll keep studying, helping my mom, and waiting with her and Kathy for my dad to return home.

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