By using the site, you agree to the personal data processing policy.
Дом Гончарова Литературный троллейбус Литературный трамай
ЛОготип СЕти креативных городов  и Ульяновска
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Тhe work of the translation center of the program "Ulyanovsk - UNESCO Literary City"



A group of 2nd-year graduate students of the Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Linguistics, Intercultural Relations and Professional Communication of Ulyanovsk State University (Mohammad Temple, Ksenia Skvortsova, Diana Aliyeva, Maria Parfenova) completed their work on the translation into English the story  "Three Sisters", written by Boris Ulendeev.

About the author:

Boris Alexandrovich Ulendeev was born in 1945. His early years were spent in Ivanovo, and until the end of the 50s he lived in China, in Beijing (where his father was appointed an adviser on agriculture). Then the family moved to Ulyanovsk. He studied at schools No. 3 and No. 2. Since the late 60s, he was part of a group of "cast-iron workers", fans of unofficial music, who gathered on Goncharov Street in a square with cast-iron grilles (hence the name). He wrote a cycle of poems about this period. He studied at the Pedagogical Institute, studied languages, literature (even worked as a translator in France). Engaged in entrepreneurship. Lives in Ulyanovsk.

Now the work of a local author has received its embodiment in English! We invite everyone to read it, as well as readers from other countries.


B.Ulendeev "Three sisters"

Simbirsk – Ulyanovsk

By Vladimir

It was like that, it wasn’t there, or it was just a dream....

Light winter evening. Quiet. White snow crunches underfoot. What is there under the snow, what kind of sidewalk is there, boards or earth, he does not know, but it is convenient to walk, and it does not matter. And the important thing is that it was Simbirsk and he was some kind of official in the county government, and now he was walking with a box of sweets after work to his acquaintances, marriageable girls Ivanov, three sisters, to a house on Moskovskaya Street. He slowly walked past the German church and went down the street. The weather was great. From time to time carriages passed, and steam rose from the backs of the horses. At the crossroads on a tree sat a large crow with a white feather on its wing and looked at him point-blank with small black eyes. “There are such!” - He thought and shuddered, and suddenly remembered that he had seen her near the store on Moskovskaya during the day. She flew straight at him, her black bulging eyes shone, Vladimir almost crouched in surprise, and the crow rushed under his feet, grabbed something with a dull gleam with its beak, and, flapping its wings heavily, flew away somewhere down the street.

There was no wind, so usual in Simbirsk. Vladimir breathed in the cold December air with pleasure. It was good and comfortable at heart, things were going great at work - a promotion was expected, and one could already think about marriage and a quiet cozy nest somewhere here, on the same Moskovskaya street. He imagined how happily they would live with Lisa and smiled. They will have two children - a boy and a girl. Yes, of course, two. Liza is a beauty, everything about her was to his liking. And so homely, she does something all the time.

Here the house is already visible, the familiar windows turn yellow and the curtains are embroidered. And he quite liked this house, and he would live here with Lisa. Only here are the sisters ... Of course, her sister, Maria, is also extremely good and he immediately liked it, in truth, he was going to have an affair with her, but somehow everything turned out like that... In general, their mother Margarita Ivanovna, the kingdom of heaven to her, died unexpectedly last year, and so, she was carried away by all kinds of mysticism, sacraments. She read different books and she began to turn the table and call the spirits.

He did not know about them, but his friend, Dmitry - who works with him in the council - heard about the seances and spiritualism and asked for it to Ivanovs, through acquaintances, and called him. On August 20, the meteor shower was then strong. Well, in the evening they went to the Ivanovs. Terrible, of course, but interesting. Dark, almost night. The cook led them into the living room. There was already a teacher from the gymnasium, Fedorov, was. And a woman in a hat, from a local newspaper, Nevzorova, a well-known feminist, with a pen and a notebook. And later another man came - a visitor like. A semi-dark room and a round table in the middle. On the wall is a portrait - a man in a frock coat, aged, bearded and with a mustache - Lizin's father, who died a long time ago. Margarita Ivanovna seated them at the table, they look at each other, scared... She herself is all in black, in lace, strict, she wipes herself with a scarf, it's hot.

“I am,” he says, “a medium – an intermediary between our world and the spirits. She froze and raised her eyes. And then in some unearthly, hoarse voice: - Put your hands on the table!

   There is a sheet with letters on the table and a tape measure with an arrow in the middle. And she continues:

    “I ask the almighty God to allow the good spirit to communicate with me for the sake of knowing the truth… I summon the spirit…” he did not remember whom, out of fear.

The silence is complete, only the light of the candles crackles. They sit like this, and suddenly the arrow trembled and points to the letters! But Margarita Ivanovna asks different questions. And the answers are made up of letters. Miracles! It was terrible, beyond description.

It was then that Mary fell in love with him. She was as if enchanted, like a statue, she did not move, only the black curl on her temple sometimes trembled. But it so happened that they sat next to Liza, and then they held the handle, and walked in the Vladimir Garden, and on the Crown they danced a waltz to the orchestra. And he began to like everything about her - black arched eyebrows, and a mole on her wrist. Everything…

And Vera, their elder sister, was very pious. She almost crossed herself, and she didn’t like table-turning, it was a sin - she said, and went into another room, or even to church. And she was going to leave for the monastery. Well, okay.

...Here are the windows, behind the curtains there is some movement in the middle room. "They are going to drink tea!" he thought with pleasure. Tea is the most right now, it’s still winter. A familiar porch, a tall wooden door. He pulled on the black cord. Trin-trin, the bell in the hallway answered.

- I'm coming!  I came a long, melodious voice.

Door opened. Daria, the Ivanovs' cook, flushed, in a gray apron, stood smiling in front of him.

Hello, Vladimir Petrovich! Come quickly, get cold! And you are already waiting, come on in. Lizaveta looked through all her eyes! And I made pies!

     - Shut up, Daria, you always talk nonsense! Bed tablecloth! Come in, Vladimir Petrovich! Vera's voice was heard.

- Hello, hello everyone! Are you busy, Daria? He replied.

    Vladimir took off his coat, dusted it off, and carefully handed it to Darya. He had recently made a gray coat of real English wool, just before winter, and it cost him dearly and he liked it very much. His appearance in him was solid and significant.

He entered the living room. Vera sat at the table in a small armchair with a book and wrote something in a notebook. By the window, next to a palm tree in a tub, Liza was sitting in a dark dress with lace and embroidering.

- And I'm visiting you! He said, looking around the room. – Where is Masha?

     - Here am I! Maria called cheerfully from the kitchen. - Sit down at the table, Vladimir Petrovich, we will drink tea.

“How good Masha is after all!” – He thought and went up to Lisa.

    - Liza, what are you sewing? He asked smiling.

    “So, a trifle for yourself,” Liza answered with a sidelong glance at him.

    - Yes, she embroiders a scarf for you! Darya said loudly and put the hot samovar on the table.

- Darya! Be silent when you are not asked! Vera said menacingly, looking up from her book.

    Daria looked, smiling, at Vladimir, and went out, saying: “What is there to hide, it’s a common thing!”

- Sit down, sit down! Vera ordered.

    "Here's some sweets for you," he carefully placed the box on the table, next to the tea set.

    - Candies! Masha exclaimed happily. - Hooray! Georg Landrin! Chur, I will open! - And, lightly touching his arm, sat down to his left.

     - Open it, of course! Vladimir smiled.

     Lisa, sit down! Vera almost commanded.

     “Yes, now she is here instead of mother, the eldest,” he thought.

Liza put her sewing on the windowsill and sat down to Vladimir's right.

     - What's new with you, Vladimir Petrovich? Vera put the book down and looked at him carefully.

     - How you look like your mother, Vera! Only, of course, younger, - he said in surprise. - The look is exactly the same! - And he continued somehow mechanically: - We are preparing a report for the year, everything seems to be normal. And you are just as good, without changes.

“There are always changes, Vladimir Petrovich,” Vera said instructively, looking at him, and he suddenly felt uncomfortable. “They hung mama’s portrait next to papa’s, but you didn’t notice.

On the wall, next to the portrait of his father, hung a portrait of his mother, and in just the same dress with lace that he had seen her at the session in August.

    - Exactly. Sorry - didn't notice! - He was embarrassed and suddenly added: - Yes, there is enough space for all of us!

"What am I weaving?" - flashed through my head. “Sorry, something got out. Work, you know! He vaguely waved his hand in the air and suddenly felt uncomfortable.

    “Nothing just says it and doesn’t happen. Everything has its reasons, and everything is connected, - Vera noticed with meaning, picking up a book.

    - Well, Vera, that's enough! How about we drink tea? The samovar is cold! And Vladimir Petrovich froze, probably. Dasha, put firewood in the Dutch woman! Masha said, looking at him.

“Here, well done! He thought with relief. - Were going to rest. And Lisa something is silent. Well, here Vera is now the boss. Instead of mother."

He glanced at her portrait and saw with amazement that Margarita Ivanovna's face seemed to revive, the colors became brighter. “No, it can’t be, what am I?”

His hand reached out to cross himself, but it was uncomfortable - they would ask what he was, and what would he answer? “The light must be like this,” he thought. And sure enough, the candles suddenly shuddered and tanned brighter.

- Daria, bring the pies! Vera commanded again.

     - I'm taking it, I'm taking it! - Daria almost sang out immediately and put a large dish of hot ruddy pies on a small table at the entrance, next to a plate of tea crackers and vases of jam.

    - Well, let's hurry! And the sweets are so pretty! Candy, candy, I love you for it! - Masha also sang and looked, smiling, at him.

     - Oh, have fun! Vera said reproachfully. - But mother is gone - not even a year has passed! Okay, spill it!

- Now! I'll pour you, Vladimir! Masha put a cup of tea in front of him. Lisa frowned at Masha, was about to say something, but changed her mind. They drank tea in silence for a while.

    He again glanced apprehensively at the portrait of his mother. Margarita Ivanovna looked at him attentively, moreover, papa also seemed to be interested in what was happening.

     “What is it with me? Is it just me? Visions? Flashed through his head. – What kind of nonsense? I must have caught a cold, some kind of trembling, I need to pull myself together.

He started up, as if shaking off his fears, and said in some artificially calm voice: “And your tea is wonderful!”

     - Khan's tea, it's always good! Vera replied.

     - What about pies? - Displeased, and suddenly in rhyme, Daria asked from the door.

     - And pies - I have never tasted tastier! He answered almost cheerfully, and everyone laughed, as if a weight had been shaken off. - What about sweets? Georg Landrin!

      – Georg Landrin! Georg Landren! I would like these - every day! - Laughing, picked up Masha.

- Yes, you are a poetess, Masha! He laughed too, and again, as if by chance, glanced at the portraits. The colors seemed to have faded, the portraits as portraits.

   "Damn, some!" The hand reached out to cross itself again. But it was already fun and easy, and he looked at those around him with interest. Everyone cheered up. Moreover, Vera got mother's cherry tincture from the cabinet.

   They drank tea with sweets and tincture, and Vladimir talked about his service, that he expects an increase at the end of the year, and how the state needs its work, and what it is necessary to think about the future.

He felt hot, and, throwing on some kind of zipper given by Daria, he went out into the yard. It got warmer. Through the dark gloomy clouds, suddenly, with a gust of wind, the moon appeared - large, bright and unnaturally yellow-red. Against the backdrop of a cloud illuminated by the moon, he saw a barn in the corner of the yard and some kind of bird on the roof. The wind became stronger, and the bird started, turned sideways, and Vladimir clearly and with some kind of chill in his heart, suddenly saw a white feather on the wing.

"Crow! Again the same crow! Third time!" His heart sank and went cold.

    - Vladimir Petrovich! Are you here? And they sent me for you! - in front of him, wrapped in a boa, stood Lisa. Vladimir shuddered: “Lisa! You scared me!”

     “Why did I frighten you, Vladimir Petrovich?” What, I'm scary, or what, like that? That's why you're all looking at Masha!

- No, what are you, Lisa! You are my only beauty,” he replied in a dull voice.

   “You are a deceiver, Vladimir Petrovich,” Liza said somehow sadly.

   No, Lisa, no! Look, a crow with a white feather is sitting on the roof!

   - Yes. So what? Crow like a crow! Only the feather is white, that's all.

   “Well, actually, I didn’t know that there were such things. I've already seen her. The first time I went to see you in the summer. Mother was still alive. And the second - when today she was sitting on a tree near the German church.

    - Yes, she is sleeping somewhere, I saw her. Let's go into the house, it's cold, - Liza beautifully shrugged her shoulders in a boa.

    - And when did she appear here, Liza?

    - Who?

- This crow!

     “Well, I don’t know,” Lisa drawled ... “but no, for sure: my mother was buried and she appeared. Let's go, Vladimir Petrovich, it's cold! And she moved her shoulders under her boa again.

    When was your mother buried? - He almost shouted in astonishment, looked again at the ruffled crow, the crow looked at him, and they returned to the house...

     “What am I? It was possible to kiss her, but I was still a crow, a crow ... I caught up with fear. Maybe it's time for me to go to the doctor, to swallow bromine.

- How long have you been walking? Vera put down the book.

   “Nothing is long,” Liza answered displeasedly and continued: “The crow scared Vladimir Petrovich!”

    - Crow? What crow? Vera looked at him attentively, crumpling the handkerchief in her hand.

   “Well, just a mother with a white scarf!” – flashed through my head again.

   - Yes, it’s an ordinary crow, only a white feather on the wing, I haven’t seen such.

   “And Vera’s scarf is white, like her mother had! It suddenly occurred to him. “What is the matter with me today?”

   - Vladimir Petrovich, more tea? - Masha stood in front of him with a colorful teapot, smiling.

- Yes, thank you, Mashenka! He replied and smiled too. Liza, frowning, went to the window. He sat down at the table and absentmindedly began to drink tea.

   “What kind of evening is this? And Lisa was offended by me. Well, he called his sister Masha, so what? She is actually very funny and pleasant. And anyway, I was going to meet her, well, and start a romance there. It was mother who judged so and Lisa gave him a lift ... Mother! - And he suddenly realized that he was afraid of his mother, even now, when she is not alive. - How is it not alive! Here she is, here in the room!” He glanced at the portrait. The colors became brighter again - mother looked at him point-blank with round black eyes. “And the crow looked at me like that, God save me!” A tremor seized his body, and he quickly crossed himself.

- Why are you baptized, Vladimir Petrovich? Vera looked at him carefully.

    “Yes, everything gets into my head, damn it ...” he answered reluctantly.

    - Why do you have it? You go to church more often - and your soul will be clear!

    Vladimir opened his mouth, about to say that he goes to church, but then strange things happen - the pictures are alive and this crow with a white feather ... Suddenly, from the hallway, a persistent ringing of a bell was heard - trin, trin, trin.

    Everyone started.

Whom did it bring to us? Vera said unhappily. Daria, open up!

      - I'm going! Daria responded hastily.

     The door opened with difficulty, the wind with snow flew into the corridor.

     - Well, the wind! Just a storm! - On the threshold, brushing off some fashionable, gray striped hoodie, stood the journalist Nevzorova.

     - Owners of the house?

     - At home, at home! Come in, Nadezhda! Vera called back.

- Hello everyone! And I'm going home from my aunt. It was quiet, and then the wind swooped in, a blizzard. I saw the light at your place, so I called - to wait a bit.

      - Daria, pour some tea for Nadezhda! Vera ordered.

      Daria, discontentedly looking up from her cup of tea in the kitchen and muttering to herself: “Here's another gossip brought! Nevzorova! She is unnamed! Not good!” She walked into the living room and poured a cup of tea.

- ABOUT! You have Crimea here! And on the street there is a hurricane with snow! - And, quickly looking around the living room and seeing Vladimir Petrovich, she smiled: - And you are here, Vladimir Petrovich. And what are you reading, Verochka?

     - Yes, all sorts of books remained from my mother: Theosophy, The Secret Doctrine - Blavatsky writes everything.

- Oh, I read it! Reincarnations are different, transmigration of souls. And what? Maybe in my next life I'll be some kind of princess?

    - Won what? Princess! You will turn into a kikimora, so! Gossip! Daria muttered in the kitchen.

    Vladimir Petrovich suddenly perked up. Some, yet unclear, thoughts appeared in his head, and he unexpectedly said to himself, as if in jest: “Where are we going to move to? Isn't it too early for us to think about it?"

- It's too late to think! Vera announced again like a teacher. We don't have to choose! And she pointed upwards.

   - How so? He suddenly got excited. “And it also depends on us what happens next. Here, for example, I live for myself, I don’t interfere with anyone, I give to the poor, I don’t break laws, well, although sometimes I can break them, I confess. But I restrain myself, restrain the beast in me.

   - Well then, you will be rewarded for your deeds! Lisa suddenly spoke up.

   Yes, Lisa is right! Vera picked it up. - So you do not do it from the heart something, but because you are afraid of punishment for the inappropriate. So right?

   "Yes, yes," he admitted sheepishly.

   - Eh, you have suffered in philosophy. Why don't you pour some tinctures for me, or what? - looking around the table, said Nevzorova. - I'm freezing cold!

- Oh, I'm sorry, it's over, we finished our drink. Wait, now I’ll look in my mother’s room, there was some kind, in the table.

   Vera got up and left, passing by the portraits.

   "Pure mother!" he thought again.

   Vera soon returned with a bottle and a notebook.

    - Well, mother’s blackcurrant liquor, she didn’t give it to us, but what to do, now we’ll try. Pour it, Vladimir Petrovich!

    - Yes, you hung her portrait! Next to the priest, well done, honor the memory! Nevzorova said. - I approve! Well, let's go to your mother, the woman had a great mind, bright memory to her! And they all drank.

   And what an interesting liqueur! I tried this one, but yours has a special taste,” she added.

“Mother was fond of herbs – that’s what she seems to have added,” Vera replied.

    And the herbs didn't help her. She left us,” Nevzorova continued. - As she said that she would soar into the world of spirits, it happened. And what did the doctors say? It's all so unexpected!

     - Yes, no one expected! A blow, what to do, you won’t save yourself,”Vera said gloomily.

     Yes, hit! - Pointedly confirmed Nevzorova. - Well, now it has become warmer, almost warmed up.

     - Well, let's now for our health! Vera raised her glass.

Vladimir also felt warm, and then he felt that everything suddenly seemed to clear up. The tremor has passed. The voices got louder. His gaze seemed to become all-seeing, and everything around seemed bright and alive. He glanced at the portraits—mother and father looked at him with kind, attentive eyes. Everything became close, understandable and familiar. “Indeed, there are some herbs in the liquor,” he thought relaxed, but it didn’t matter anymore.

   “But how did she take it and die like that?” - Nevzorova did not let up. - And the editor ordered an article for me. I already came up with a name - "Mysterious Nearby", no, better - "World of Secrets".

Suddenly the wind naturally howled and immediately died. A loud crack and a thud of something big falling was heard from the yard. The house shuddered.

Everyone was quiet for a moment. Vladimir dug his fingers into the arms of the chair. A shudder ran through him.

‘What’s there, Darya?’ asked Vera in a hoarse voice.

‘The barrel has fallen again, as with my mother!’ replied Daria in annoyance.

‘Darya!’ shouted Vera angrily.

‘As with mother?’ jumped up Nevzorova. ‘So, was mother hit by a barrel? That's why the policeman told me about the bruises. And what kind of barrel?

‘There’s a barrel in the outdoor shower in the shed. It was poorly fixed – that's why it falls. My mother fell and felt bad, that's all,’ Vera replied with displeasure.

‘The barrel? Well, of course, it happens too...’ drawled Nevzorova meaningfully and added, glancing out the window. ‘What a weather! How will I go home?

But she clearly didn't want to go home. The lines of a future article for the newspaper Simbiryanin were already running through her mind: ‘It’s not that simple’ or, as Vera says, ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and something about reincarnation.

‘Sit down Nadia! We all grieve for our mother, we miss her,’ Vera looked at the portraits. ‘And of course, we grieve for dad, too. So let's keep a good memory of them! A good memory!’ she repeated meaningfully, looking at Nevzorova.

Wine spread sweetly through his body. He felt light and calm again.

‘My God, how right Vera is! A good memory! We must live in peace with everyone without demanding anything and deceiving. Life moves fast, there’s no need to spoil it with tricks, you must always tell the truth, no matter how unpleasant it is,’ he thought and looked at Lisa. Lisa turned away and looked out the window.

‘So, Vera, reincarnation, is it true Do you really believe that?’  he asked unexpectedly for himself.

‘I don't know if it’s really true,’ replied Vera. ‘My mother believed in it,’ and she picked up a notebook in a gray cloth cover. ‘And so, Vladimir Petrovich, what’s interesting is that she writes that someone named P. asks to hold a session with V.P. and ask him, but not immediately, but after entering the state, what unusual did he see? Isn't that V.P. you?’

‘Yes, I guess I'm that V.P.,’ he replied, puzzled. ‘And who is P. then?’

‘This is probably Pyotr Ivanovich - a visitor from St. Petersburg. Yes, he was with you, Vladimir, at the session in the summer when you first came to us. Do you remember?  Masha looked at him, smiling.

‘Do you remember, Lisa?’ Masha turned to her sister.

‘I do,’ Lisa muttered sullenly and turned away.

‘Lisa, Lisa, my beloved sister! Why are you sad? I love you with all my heart! I love you all!’  Masha hugged and kissed Lisa, and then added staring at Vladimir. ‘And Vladimir Petrovich,’ she paused and continued with an effort, ‘... I like you. I really like you.’

"What’s with her? That’s not right!’ Vladimir thought confusedly, but at the same time joy and freedom suddenly filled his heart.

Lisa silently looked at Maria, then at Vladimir Petrovich and said softly, looking at Masha, ‘I love you too,’ and turned to the window.

‘Pyotr Ivanovich, Pyotr Ivanovich… So,’ Vera began happily, looking up from her mother's notebook, ‘I read it here and remembered that my mother was calculating the numbers then, before the session, and she needed a female figure, an even one, I went to church then, and seven of you attended the session. Daria! What did she tell you?’

- Oh, my God!  Daria responded, getting up from the couch in the kitchen. ‘Margarita Ivanovna told me to go outside and invite the first decent-looking person I could come across to the session. Well, so I called, a man who called himself Pyotr Ivanovich was walking near the house. Then you became eight. He came back later. They played cards.

‘Yes, yes! Tarot cards! Divination of the past, present and future!’ Vera picked up and added, ‘And he wasn't at the funeral, it's strange.

‘He came later!’  Daria responded from the kitchen.

‘Eight is the number of infinity. And when I was eight, my dad gave me a doll. With a porcelain head...’ Nevzorova said thoughtfully, cutting a piece of cake. ‘Yes, we live, we work, although they do not appreciate us, but everything is ashes. So we lived, rejoiced, worried, hoped – and there’s no us anymore. And there is only infinity. And there’s an end for us, ashes.

‘That’s how you talk now!’ Daria was listening in the kitchen. ‘But she's telling the truth, even though she's Nezvanova! What happened to them all! Consider that Masha confessed her love to Vladimir Petrovich! Oh, I feel sorry for Lisa! Have you lost your mind?’  And she crossed herself at the icon in the corner.

‘Yes, Nadezhda, you are right. You are definitely right. We make some plans, we think about the future, we acquire, we cheat, and life goes away,’ Vladimir suddenly spoke up, ‘but we need to rejoice in what is in the soul, what is on the heart.

‘So what's on your heart, Vladimir Petrovich?’  asked Maria, smiling.

‘What?’  he thought for a second. ‘You are, Masha!’ he answered unexpectedly, and he felt easy and joyful, as it used to be in childhood.

The wind hit the window sharply, the walls shuddered and trembled.  Nevzorova dropped the knife on the table out of surprise, the candles flickered, time suddenly slowed down, everyone froze and, with their mouths slightly open, watched as the knife is slowly falling with a dull sound on the table and jumps up just as slowly: One! Two! Three! The window opened, scattering shards of glass, and biting snow flew into the living room, blowing out the candles. Startled screams could be heard in the darkness.

‘Daria, come here! Close the window!’  Vera shouted.

- Oh, my God! What a darkness! What will I close it with?’  Daria grabbed a blanket and stepped into the dark living room. ‘Vladimir Petrovich, help me... please, help me!’

Somehow Daria plugged the window with a blanket and, bumping into the table, she lit the candles with shaking hands, the candles weakly lit, then she turned to the table, gasped and froze. Vladimir Petrovich was half-lying on a chair, as if he had drunk too much. His head was hanging to one side, and scarlet rivulets of blood were slowly flowing down his snow-white shirt. Vera and Nevzorova stared at him without moving, their eyes were round with horror. Masha rushed to Vladimir and froze, holding on to the table. Lisa stood like a statue in the doorway, blood was dripping from her palm. A table knife laid on the floor nearby. Vladimir Petrovich wanted to say something, something very important, he opened his mouth – and suddenly fell into a soft nothingness. Everything disappeared.



They were having fun. You bet, finally something started to emerge, to feel good. Something is, of course, a strong word. But the fly, the poor fly, disappeared for a little while, for a second or two, but disappeared. Where was it? They could only guess. For five minutes, for ten - it is unknown. But it wasn't in that glass, which was turned upside down. It disappeared for a few seconds. And then the fly reappeared in the glass and it seemed to be looking at them with displeasure.

They were sitting in the institute laboratory and drinking champagne. The reason was his birthday and an experiment, a successful experiment. They drank a lot… Young, enthusiastic people who are going to make their voices heard in science. What a word! A coup! It will be a coup! No one at the institute believed that they would succeed, and after work, in the evenings, they were engaged in their project. Two years of hard work, failures, missed dates, guesses – and now there’s a result. And then everyone, including Lena, left. He was all alone and was laying on a cot in the  empty laboratory, and tried to think over a plan for tomorrow's tests, or experiments, as they wrote in the magazine. Peter picked up the magazine.

‘May 22, 2050.’ Well, well… He began to read the entire course of the past experiment again. Everything is correct.

‘Wait, wait!’ Peter started talking to himself.  ‘The last point. The resonance curve is not balanced and immediately falls off. And the fly appears immediately. And if you turn on the counter resonance at the same time? Now I was rocked forward and... and the counter movement turns on automatically, my back and legs are tensed. And I'm in balance. Yes! I should give it a try! I'll try it now.’

He got up awkwardly from the cot – he rocked again – and went to the device standing against the wall, turned it on and began to install sensors, looking at the magazine.

‘So, we will change it here!’  of course, he imagined that everything will work out and tomorrow everyone will be delighted. ‘Done! Control,’ Peter picked up a dimly glittering bracelet. ‘2 – 2 – 1. So, once again 2 – 2 – 1. And I press... no, another check… Okay, the glass is here. The fly!  Where's the fly? Did it fly away?’

‘Buzz!’ - it buzzed on the left.

'Come here! For the last time! Well, please! And I'll feed you – the sausage is left - and I'll let you go, really!’

‘Ah, there you are!’ he reached for the fly, waved his hand awkwardly and fell on the cot, pinning the bracelet. The bracelet glowed with a bluish light, the buzzing of the station against the wall became louder, and Peter felt as if he has been abruptly pulled out and thrown somewhere.

... In the morning he woke up because of cold, but did not open his eyes, he was laying and thinking that he should bring a blanket to the laboratory. And, of course, he shouldn't have drunk so much champagne. Yes, they drank too much last night. But it was worth it – the fly disappeared! And he was left alone in the laboratory. Ah, experiment! He implemented a counter resonance! And then he passed out!  No, it’s not right to drink like that... It's cold, it's really cold. I need to close the window.

‘What are you doing here, sweet man?’ suddenly he heard an unfamiliar voice. Peter muttered without opening his eyes:

‘Stop kidding around, better close the window!’

‘Actually, this is my office!’ someone also muttered.

Pyotr reluctantly opened his eyes. He got the bright sun in his eyes. A man of medium height, with a beard, dressed in an old-fashioned shabby frock coat was staggering in front of him. He had a bracelet in his hands. Peter jumped up, he already realized that something impossible had happened, and snatched the bracelet from the man's hands. And the man, taken aback, staggered and muttered:

‘Please, please, I didn’t mean anything, sir. I'm interested in the material of your bracelet, technically, you know. Somehow it seems to be shaking and shows some numbers… I've never seen such a thing! And your bed is interesting.’

He was looking admiringly at the cot and smacking his lips.

‘It’s made to last! Let me introduce myself. I’m Semyon Yuryevich Petrov, the owner of this workshop, at the entrance to which I had the honor to find you!’ he finished his witty speech and swayed.

Pyotr was standing in one sneaker, with his mouth open. ‘Laboratory, guys, Lena... We drank yesterday... a fly. Yes, yes! The fly disappeared! That's why we got drunk! What's next?’  he stared dumbfounded at the man in the rumpled frock coat, who looked at him very benevolently. There was a street behind the man, a bearded man in a peasant’s coat drove by them on a cart, looking at them. Behind the man and on his sides were low old-looking houses, in the distance there was a church like in old movies. ‘What’s going on here? What a bunch of clowns you are, guys!’

‘Ah, I see, sir, you also drank too much yesterday! And I am a sinner too! But it was worth it! I’ve repaired Father Bartholomew's watch, now  it’s like new! And he rewarded me properly, well,’ the man hiccupped. ‘Well, let’s go to my workshop, sir. I see you drank more than me yesterday and lost a shoe. Come on, come on! And we'll bring your bed in, because people are already gathering.

That’s true: to the side, ten meters away, there was a boy in a faded Russian shirt, looking at them intently and chewing a bread ring. Semyon Yuryevich pulled a long, dark metal key from his pocket and opened the door.

‘Come in, sir! Welcome!’ he picked up a cot and tried to bring it into the workshop. The cot suddenly folded up, and Semyon Yuryevich enthusiastically clucked: ‘Wow! What a design! And it’s so lightweight!

He drew a stool nearer the table, which was filled with all sorts of gears: ‘Sit down, sir!’ then he looked at Pyotr standing in a state of prostration and, said carefully: ‘Eh, we need some cure!’ he took out a bottle from somewhere below, a couple of pickles, put them on the table, pulled out a rag cork and poured something into small glasses on the table, carefully wiping them before that.

‘Let’s drink to our meeting, sir. I feel that you are an interesting person. I'm sorry, I don't know your name.

Pyotr looked at Semyon Yuryevich, stunned, then looked longingly at the unfamiliar landscape behind the murky, window, which was washed a long time ago, took a glass and, as if he was talking to himself, said: ‘Everything will pass now, everything will pass!’ he closed his eyes and drank a glass at once.

‘Exactly, everything will pass,’ said Semyon Yuryevich and downed the shot, delicately ate a cucumber and looked questioningly at Pyotr.

The oily, strong liquid burned his throat and sank into his stomach. He opened his eyes and ... saw the same thing – a murky window, old houses, the workshop and the inquiringly friendly face of Semyon Yuryevich.

‘I'm Pyotr, Pyotr Ivanovich,’ he said in a hoarse voice, looked around again in a daze and added: ‘But I don’t know how, how I got here, I don't know – I'm probably asleep.

‘Eh, sweet man, it's absolutely true that our whole life is a dream!’  Semyon Yuryevich eagerly picked up, carefully pouring the moonshine into the glasses. ‘Come on, Pyotr Ivanovich, another round.

They drank.

‘Isn't this all a dream? No, a dream can't be that specific. It's not a prank, is it? And why not? Well, guys! The props are the cat’s whiskers! And also moonshine.’ he was looking around the workshop trying to find something modern and understandable. ‘And that's how I’ll understand! Now Semyon Yuryevich will slip up!’

‘Semyon Yuryevich, do you have any fresh newspaper?’

‘Newspapers? Of course! Here’s the newspaper Simbiryanin.’  and he handed over a newspaper from the shelf above the table.

Pyotr Ivanovich carefully took the sheets smelling of printing ink. Simbiryanin… it looks pretty authentic... Date, what’s the date? May 18, 1915?’ His eyes widened, he opened his mouth and dropped the newspaper.

‘Yes, yes, the newspaper is fresh, I bought it last week,’ Semyon Yuryevich carefully picked up the newspaper, shook it and added: ‘There's a good article here. Afanasyev Leonid Ivanovich, our head, he’s called an American, writes about our roads, about impassable mud. He’s a smart guy, he paved the city centre with cobblestones, and now water is pumped with electricity… And here's about the German war.’

‘Is it Simbirsk?’  Pyotr asked in amazement.

‘Exactly, sir. Simbirsk, Cheboksary street. Don't you remember anything?

‘Cheboksary street? Isn't that Bebelya street?! We have a laboratory there!’  He looked around. ‘So Simbirsk is here, isn’t it?’

There was a noise and a shout outside:

‘Semyon, where should I unload the barrel? Margarita Ivanovna sent it - it leaks.’

‘Excuse me, Pyotr Ivanovich, I’ve got work to do!’ Semyon Yuryevich got up and opened the door. In front of the workshop there was a cart with an oak barrel in it.

‘Come on, roll it to the barn!’ Semyon opened the door next to the workshop, and a man in a peasant’s coat, grunting, rolled a rather bulky barrel smelling of sauerkraut to the shed.

That’s when Pyotr realized that he is really trapped. He got to Simbirsk of 1915. Of course, it's great! Did it really work out? Counter resonance – that's what the fly needed to disappear! How hadn’t the guys figured out? After all, he figured out and disappeared. He disappeared... really disappeared? He was scared. Pyotr felt for the bracelet in his pocket. He will come back, he will definitely come back. He will return in the evening, everything will work out, of course. But he needs to take something with him, at least this newspaper Simbiryanin, otherwise the guys won't believe it.

‘Pyotr Ivanovich, dear, help me, uphold the barrel. Put on my galoshes, they’re over there.

Semyon Yuryevich was standing in front of him, smiling, with a chisel and a hammer. Pyotr sighed, put on the galoshes, and they began to knock hoops at the barrel. Then they carried water, filled the barrel, knocked again, wheted scythes, glued wobbly legs of the chair. A uniformed policeman galloped past the workshop at noon and, as it seemed to Peter, looked at him attentively. Peter had no desire to go anywhere, he was afraid of getting into some kind of trouble, everything was unfamiliar, although he knew it in general terms from school. Well, that’s okay, he'll be back in the evening.

In the evening they were tired, they sat at the same table in the workshop and drank tea with buns. The buns were unexpectedly delicious, and Peter relaxed a little and listened to Semyon Yuryevich. He was telling something about what he had to repair, and looked expectantly at the silent Peter. It was finally dark outside, and Peter realized that it was time to return.

Semyon Yuryevich went on saying something about why he lives alone, about his relatives in the village. Peter raised his hand, and he fell silent.

‘Semyon Yuryevich, I know you want to know who I am and where I came from. I wonder if you need to know this.’

Semyon Yurievich pouted a little and said resentfully:

‘Well, yes, yes, I guess it’s above my rank. It's clear, you're a special person, and you have a different kind of accent.’

‘No, Semyon, it’s not like that.’ and then Pyotr remembered that he and the guys, believing and not believing in their time machine, had developed a code of conduct for a time traveler and the first point was to never admit that you are from another time. This point stemmed from the fear of disrupting the naturally occurring connection of times by some act or action – in general, the maximum non-participation in anything that has already happened before. It was hard to imagine what could happen during the violation, but history cannot be rewritten. But then it all seemed like an abstraction, some distant impossible thing – and here we are, everything is concrete.

‘Semyon Yuryevich, thank you for receiving me in such a friendly way. I see you're a good man,’ he hesitated, choosing the word. ‘A craftsman. And I…’ he paused again. Well, okay, I'll tell him, because now I'm going to disappear anyway, I'll return to my time in front of an astonished audience... No, the code says ‘no witnesses’... but no one will believe Semyon – they’ll say that he drank too much. And I'll go home to the lab to the guys. There's probably a stir, they must be looking for me. What does Lena think? I'll be right back, of course I will. ‘But I...’ continued Pyotr, ‘don't think now that I'm a madman, I'm actually from another time.  He looked at Semyon.

Semyon Yuryevich looked at Pyotr Ivanovich with his eyes wide open, some kind of childish amazement, and his mouth slightly open. Then he spoke, hurrying:

‘I understood… I understood that something is wrong with you, Pyotr Ivanovich. Your bed and your shoes are not from here. But how’s that? Truly, your miracles are many-sided, Lord!’  and he hastily crossed himself at the icon in the corner. ‘Is it possible? In human form? Pyotr Ivanovich are you some kind of angel? And you are tonsured somehow in a special way, short!  Semyon was worried.

‘No, no, Semyon, I'm just as human as you, with arms and legs,’ Pyotr Ivanovich shook his foot in a sneaker.

‘So what time are you from, sir? And why are you here? Why did you come to me?’ somehow Semyon Yuryevich suddenly calmed down.

‘I don't know, Semyon, I don't know why came to you!’ said Pyotr, puzzled. ‘We've just invented this time station.’ We invented it in the laboratory, in Ulyanovsk, that is Simbirsk. It turns out that it is exactly here, where we are sitting, on Cheboksary Street. But we are here now, and the laboratory is also here, but there,’ Peter waved his hand somewhere to the side and up. And at first with omissions, and then suddenly he told Semyon everything in detail, and he started to feel better. Semyon Yuryevich, as if hypnotized, sat with his eyes wide open and listened, sometimes shaking his head and saying: ‘No way!’ or ‘Wow!’

‘So, Ulyanovsk instead of Simbirsk. And what is your last name?’

Petrov Pyotr Ivanovich.

‘Petrov? Really? Well, aren’t you my relative? You and I are kind of similar, look at me, I just need to shave off my beard.

‘I don’t think we are relatives, although... all people are brothers,’ said Pyotr Ivanovich and remembered that the code strictly forbade time travelers to look for relatives in order not to disrupt the natural flow of time. ‘I don’t think so,’ he repeated. ‘There are thousands and thousands of people with the surname Petrov.

“Well, Semyon, I told you everything, but now I have to go back!”

“Go back?” Simon got upset. “We have just made friends! Well, yes, yes, I understand!”

“Semyon, give me your newspaper - I'll show it to guys!”

“Yes, please, Peter, take it. Take what you want!” He looked around the workshop. “Take the hooch, treat the guys.”

“No, I can't - the code!”

“Peter, leave me something: you won’t be here – I’ll take a look and remember you!” Semyon Yuryevich looked at the sneaker on Peter's leg.

“No, Semyon, the code prohibits leaving things, especially unpaired ones. Imagine - one sneaker is there, in the laboratory, in 2050, and the other is here. In general, the whole course of history will be disrupted, the shoe industry is there, something else,” Peter said uncertainly.

“Well, then leave the bed,” Peter asked plaintively.

“The folding one? Perhaps, it is possible,” Peter answered uncertainly again. “What is there - iron and tarpaulin, you already have this and that. I'll just take the tag off.”  And he tore off the tag and put it in his pocket.

“Thanks! Simon rejoiced”.

“Now I, perhaps, will go into the barn, otherwise you never know - you see, I got to you and the folding bed flew in with me, but it’s empty there.”

“There is a barrel, Margarita Ivanovna!” Simon remembered. “Well, to hell with her. Peter Ivanovich, you can take me, at least for a little while! Simon's eyes lit up.”

“No no! The code, Simon! I’m off!”

“What a miracle! It's impossible! You just move away from the barrel, otherwise you will suddenly be crushed by it in the laboratory. And the guys can suffer,” Semyon said with care. “Oh, that’s what you are, Peter Petrov, and already we have to say goodbye!”

“All right, Semyon, I’ll try to come back,” Peter promised uncertainly. They entered the barn, and Semyon rolled the barrel aside, saying: “Better safe than sorry”.

“Get away from the shed just in case. I myself do not know what can happen - for the first time it is. Farewell, buddy!”

They embraced, Semyon crossed Peter, shook his head and left the barn. Peter straightened his sneaker on his leg, sighed, brushed the dust off his clothes and, taking out a bracelet from his pocket, stood in the middle of the barn.

“One, two, three ... Farewell, 1915!” He typed in the code, shrunk, closed his eyes, and pressed the bracelet. The bracelet flashed with a cold blue light and... went out.

Semyon Yurievich stood for a while in front of the barn, it was quiet. He crossed himself and cautiously opened the door.

“Peter! Peter Ivanovich! Where are you?”

In the middle of the shed, stretched out to attention, in front of him was Peter Ivanovich with a newspaper in one hand and a bracelet in the other. He stood like that for a while, then sighed, sat down on the floor, looked at the bracelet and began to clutch it in his hands. The bracelet did not respond.

“Now, now, Semyon, do not come near, it will turn on!” Peter repeated feverishly. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

“ Peter Ivanovich, well, it didn’t work out, come on, it will work tomorrow! Let's see - maybe something stuck! You are like a little child indeed!” Semyon suddenly said in a contented and soothing voice. “Let's go!” And he, embracing Peter, led him to the workshop.

They sat at the table for a long time, drinking hooch, and Peter kept repeating: “Am I stuck here? Stuck forever!” And he cried, and Semyon Yuryevich calmed him and poured, and said: “But I couldn’t believe that you would disappear like that. How it is? It's impossible, against nature!”

Peter replied indignantly: “But how did I get here?” And he showed a tag from a folding bed with the inscription "LifeFurniture, 2nd shift, 09/18/2041".

Peter told how the bracelet is arranged, that it is actually a remote control, that he should send a command to turn on the main apparatus in the laboratory, but for some reason it died out. And then they got completely drunk and fell asleep.

In the morning they ate yesterday's pies with cabbage, with samovar tea. Semyon Yuryevich took out a set of watch tools from the closet, and Peter carefully began to disassemble the bracelet. Everything looked quite normal, he carefully closed the switch contacts, the bracelet blinked blue - and that's it! There was no red light - a response from the station from the laboratory - there was no single one. Maybe there is no one there now. They do not know that everything worked out and that he is now here, in the past, in the same place. What do they think now - went on a spree? and drank the folding bed away? Lena, Lena, what do you think? It's gone, there's no bracelet, there's no clamshell, only the sneaker is lying around.

“The battery is dead? Or the station is not turned on?” Peter whispered softly. “That’s all, we’re done.” Why didn’t he charge it before the experiment? Where will he take the charge here in 1915?

“And here, Peter, they opened a power plant, two years have passed,” Semyon said, “so we’ll find electricity, we don’t live in a village. There is an electricity and technology store on Moskovskaya. I saw batteries there.”

“Expensive? I don't have any money, you know!” Peter perked up.

“No more than money, don't worry! You’ll live here for a while, you’ll see, we’re relatives after all,” Semyon answered contentedly, brewing glue. And they took up repairing of chairs.

So a week passed. Peter gradually got used to it, a small beard appeared, his hair grew back, and he and Semyon became even more alike. Semyon told those who were interested that this was his brother from St. Petersburg. Then, through some secret channels of his own, he issued him a passport for Peter Ivanovich Petrov. Everything seemed to be in order with the bracelet, the battery was still holding a charge, but the red light did not light up. Probably, they are waiting for him, they think that he left for a short time.

And he and Semyon walked around Simbirsk in the evenings, drank soft drinks in wooden pavilions on Venets, and he was surprised to find the familiar features of Ulyanovsk in old Simbirsk. The Volga with the islands, of course, was smaller, but more beautiful. The whole coast was buried in blooming gardens, and a pleasant intoxicating aroma hung over Venets. Semyon asked about life in the future, but Peter, referring to the code, told him rather vaguely.

Winter came, the battery in the bracelet barely turned on the blue light, the vibrations were barely felt, and one afternoon Peter went to the electricity store on Moskovskaya Street to buy batteries. The bracelet habitually lay in his pocket, so he was calm, but the red light did not light up, the call did not come. He bought batteries (the clerk packed them in a strong paper bag with the inscription "Yurgens Store") and went out into the street. The wind threw prickly snowflakes in his face, and Peter, shivering, turned up his collar and pulled his gloves out of his pocket.

 “In the evening I will charge the bracelet and everything will work out, they will call me ...” he thought. “And then goodbye, Simbirsk, goodbye, Semyon. Hello Lena, hello Ulyanovsk! And I'll explain everything to the guys.”

He was carrying a bag of batteries, and everything was fine. Here is Goncharovskaya, not far from home.

Suddenly Peter stopped dead. Bracelet? Bracelet! There was no usual heaviness of the bracelet in his pocket! The package fell out of his hands, he feverishly rummaged through his pockets - there was no bracelet. He picked up the package, looked - there was no bracelet, looked around, then turned around and quickly, almost running, carefully looking at his feet, returned to the store. A young man of medium height in a gray woolen coat and a black mouton hat hastily walked towards him. The bracelet was not on the sidewalk or in the store. Peter jumped out into the street, the man in front crossed the road and stood in front of the confectionery window.

“Sir, wait!” Peter shouted and ran up to him. “Excuse me, I lost my bracelet here, have you seen it?” He asked breathlessly. That man was Vladimir Petrovich, he looked at Peter in surprise and, also apologizing, replied that he had not seen him, and went into the confectionery. Peter, in a panic, crossed to the other side of the street and for several hours, hiding, followed him around the city and by evening he knew that the man was an official in the council and lived on Pokrovskaya Street, in an apartment building.

The bracelet was gone. Peter and Semyon were sitting for a long time at the table in the workshop. Semyon sympathized in every possible way, spilled hooch and promised to talk with useful people, and in the morning, he added on the signboard of the workshop “Repair of all kinds of mechanisms” - in case someone brings something incomprehensible. And they set to work again... So the winter and spring passed, there was a war with Germany, nothing was heard about the bracelet. Vladimir Petrovich behaved quite normally, like an ordinary official. Life went on, and the past, or rather the past-future, began to seem to Peter like some kind of dream.

Then one day Vladimir Petrovich Grigoriev and his friend Dimka Zelenov went to Margarita Ivanovna for a psychic hotline.

Peter imperceptibly followed them, on the other side of the street. The men entered the house on Moskovskaya, Peter approached the closed door and suddenly felt a barely perceptible, but familiar to him vibration. It went on for a while and disappeared. Bracelet! The bracelet was around here somewhere. Peter stood stunned at the house and did not know what to do next. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman in a green apron looked at him and invited him in, saying that the hostess, Margarita Ivanovna, was kindly inviting him to a session.

“Session? What session?” He asked and entered the house. Vladimir Petrovich was sitting at the table, next to Liza but the vibrations are gone...

Peter Ivanovich asked Margarita Ivanovna about the séances, about summoning spirits, about the mysterious, and they became friends. He came again, and together they did Taro reading and foreshadowed fate. There were no vibrations.

Since then, every evening, Peter, sometimes with Semyon, walked along the route Venets - the house of Vladimir Petrovich - the house of Margarita Ivanovna. Vibrations did not return. And it gradually began to seem to him that he imagined them, and they seemed to be real because he was waiting for them, that this was a deception of perception.

Then he found out that Margarita Ivanovna died suddenly. She died on his birthday, May 22.

“An attack,” Vera said simply, “a heart attack. Daria muttered something about the barrel as she walked into the kitchen. Peter felt pain - he actually became friends with this slightly theatrical, spectacular woman, the mistress of the house, the family. A vague anxiety appeared in his soul, something didn’t fit, and it seemed to him that it was somehow connected with vibrations, a remote control, and, in general, with interference in the course of time, in events that had already happened for his two thousand and fifties. He is responsible for what happened; he is the cause of it.

The code prohibited the participation in what had already happened, and he, not only arrived from the future at random, but also lost the remote control. Most importantly, there, at home, no one knows that he is here, in the past. Lena, Lenochka! How he misses her!

How strange this all is. He remembered how Margarita Ivanovna was thinking about her future. To her delight, the cards said that she would go to the spirit world. Sometimes she wondered when the German war would end, and Peter, with careful hints, suggested the near future. Events were confirmed, and Margarita Ivanovna's confidence in him grew. Once she said that Peter is a born medium and feels well the essence of things and the fluctuations of subtle spheres, this is rare. Peter replied that he felt some kind of secret in Vladimir Petrovich, and asked her, on occasion, to question him about the mysterious incidents with him that he did not understand during the session and entering a trance. Margarita Ivanovna gladly agreed. But she ... did not have time.

Vladimir Petrovich continued to come to the Ivanovs, and once Peter met them with Lisa at Venets. Peter and Semyon still did repairs. The Simbirians brought them broken furniture, watches and “Singer” sewing machines, but no one brought the remote control. The city became restless, shots were heard in the evenings, soldiers were walking everywhere.

December 17 came; it’s Lena's birthday in that other life, either the future or the past. He felt the weight on his soul all day, and in the evening, he and Semyon went for a walk. It was quiet, the bright moon turned yellow in the sky, the snow crunched racy underfoot. Ahead, the windows of Margarita Ivanovna's house glowed pleasantly. Suddenly, Peter again felt a barely perceptible familiar vibration, then the wind blew sharply and threw a handful of prickly snow in his face, intensified, howled and a storm began. Remote control, there was a remote control somewhere! Peter was called, called in emergency mode, without confirmation! But he could not press the confirmation button and was sure that Vladimir had the remote control. “Oh, Vladimir Petrovich, why didn’t you give the remote control!”

Something thumped and fell in the yard, the house shuddered, the window slammed sharply, and the sharp sound of broken glass was heard somewhere. The lights went out, and scattered screams were heard from the house. Then someone fussed at the broken window. The lights came on again, and there were more screams. It suddenly became quiet. Peter ran to the door, pulled the cord. After a while, Daria opened the door with a frightened face.

“What's happened?” Peter cried.

“There! There!” Darya repeated in a choked voice, pointing to the living room. He ran into the living room and saw Vladimir Petrovich in an armchair, in a white shirt covered in blood, Lisa lying unconscious near the armchair, and a knife on the floor. Nevzorova stood nearby, her eyes wide with horror, theatrically clasping her hands to her chest, and Vera prayed earnestly and loudly in the corner by the icon.

Semyon was immediately sent to a doctor who lived nearby. Peter carefully lifted Lisa and laid her on the couch; she opened her eyes and immediately shielded them with her palm, blood was trickling down her fingers. The doctor came, looked around, saw a broken window, said that it was cold, and got to work. Vladimir was alive, breathing heavily and looking around with an expressionless look. The wounds were not deep; the doctor brushed glass fragments from his chest, looked at the knife lying on the floor, bandaged it, made an injection and said that everything would probably work out, only he had to come to the hospital, to the surgeon - for consultation and dressing. Vladimir Petrovich did not answer questions.

“Shock,” the doctor explained. “It happens, it will pass.” He examined Lisa, smeared something and bandaged her hand, gave her a sedative and asked something. She was silent. “Shock,” the doctor repeated once more, took the money, wished him well, and left.

Vladimir was placed in his mother's room, and he immediately fell asleep. Peter took off his coat and imperceptibly felt his pockets. There was no board. Masha did not take her eyes off Vladimir and sat all night on a chair without sleep. Lisa locked herself in her room and did not open it. Vera and Daria prayed.

In the morning, Peter and Semyon drove with a coachman to the Ivanovs. Semyon quickly inserted the glass in the living room, and the janitor Darya knew put the barrel in its place. "Tight, it's not going anywhere!" he said, took the money and left. Bandaged Vladimir Petrovich sat silently on a chair and drank tea. He didn't answer questions and didn't seem to recognize anyone. Tear-stained Masha stood nearby. Peter and Masha dressed him, put him in a wheelchair and took him to a local hospital.

Grigoriev was quickly accepted - just a place in the infirmary for wounded soldiers was vacated. Maria stayed for a while in the hospital, and Peter went to the workshop. There were no more vibrations. This is how the day went.

The next day, Vladimir Petrovich disappeared. Early in the morning a group of wounded was brought from the front, and a group of the cured was sent to the station. Maria was at home with Vladimir Petrovich, and at the station - no one knew anything. The war was in full swing. The soldiers went to the front, and no one could help.

In the evening, Peter sat silently in the workshop. Everything was scary and incomprehensible. Semyon was also silent. He looked at Peter and he was about to say something, but hesitated. Finally, he crossed himself and said: “Something is wrong, Peter.” Then he rubbed his forehead, face with his palm, stood in front of the icon, and quietly began a prayer: “Father our thou art in Heaven, be Thy name hallowed…”

Peter was sitting and listening, then also got up and began to cross himself after Semyon. It seems to have become easier, and Semyon opened the locker.

“Science, of course, is science, but it cannot explain everything. Something is off, Peter,” Semyon repeated, pouring out a glass. “After all, Margarita Ivanovna… God rest her soul, rest in peace! She was a sinner. You cannot disturb the spirits and call, as you please, as if they were servants. And you, Peter, I'm sorry, like a little child, you went there out of ignorance ... Here in the village our house burned down with the owners together, but the whole bathhouse remained. And before that, the dog barked, not like they bark at everyone, but at the house - it smelled something. The cat is gone, too. No wonder it was evil spirits. The priest prayed for this burnt house, but the bathhouse was in the garden and he didn’t come up - maybe he was in a hurry or something. And no one even came close there, and then, just at the Annunciation, the peasants came from the city to work - so they stopped in the yard in the evening and lighted the stove, and at night there was noise, screams. In the morning, they look - and they are all dead and there are no traces. The demons moved from the house to the bathhouse, so they had fun.”

“And what about the bathhouse?”

“With a bathhouse? It stood still, and then someone burned it.”

Peter listened to Semyon, and then said:

“I feel guilty, Petya. It was me who appeared here like an evil spirit and everything began. It is no coincidence.

Semyon looked at the drooping Peter.

“Come on, brother, why is it your fault?” Daria said that the barrel hit her “The barrel fell! You didn’t come here of your own free will, you didn’t expect it yourself. It's just the evil spirit that brought you here. You need to pray for salvation.”

“Why, Simon? What for?” Peter repeated in a drunken voice, sitting down on the folding bed. His eyes closed and he fell asleep.

He woke up early, lay and went over everything that had happened in his mind. “Yes, it seems, random only seems random, but in fact everything has its own reasons. The fact that he fell here, into the past, was predetermined, necessary for something that he does not know and probably will never know. Who decides all this? Who can know and foresee all this mass of events, who operates with it? Not a man - it is not in his power. A computer? Supercomputer? But people do it too. No. No! This is someone supreme! Creator. The God?

He, Peter, is just a participant, a figure in the game. He had to fall into the past, lose the bracelet, meet Vladimir Petrovich, and come to Margarita Ivanovna. Everything was predetermined, and Liza was supposed to almost kill her fiancé, and then Vladimir Petrovich was supposed to disappear without a trace. As well as he himself disappeared for Lena and the guys against his will. Everything is in the hands of secret forces, good or bad. This is probably a purely human definition - good or evil forces. Resonance and counter-resonance, balance of power. For every pros there is a cons. Equilibrium. In some completely incomprehensible or absolutely confusing way, he intuitively violated this balance and fell here, into the past. The world did not explode, did not crumble, but simply let him in for some of its own - unknown to him - goals.

He felt sorry for himself, Margarita Ivanovna, Vladimir Petrovich, and for some reason especially Liza, the fragile Liza, to whom someone had assigned such a cruel role. Very sorry.

He wiped away his tears and stood up.

The next day, Vera invited the priest to the house. Father came, looked around, looked condemningly at the portrait of Margarita Ivanovna, said nothing and walked around the rooms for a long time with the incense, and the soothing smell of olibanum trailed behind him. Lisa was trembling and crying; the priest talked to her and appointed her to come to the temple in a week.

Life went on. On Sundays, Peter and Semyon began to go to Sunday services, and he somehow unexpectedly calmed down. Maria soon left without saying where she was going. Vera took up sewing. Lizaveta came to her senses and helped her.

The German war ended, the civil war began, and he and Semyon continued to do repairs.

Vladimir Petrovich

The sun flooded his room with warm yellow light. There was no hurry, and he lay looking at the light white clouds in the bright blue sky. Everything was fine. Everything seemed to be good. But dreams have been disturbing ... a city somewhere on the Volga, and he is some kind of official in the council before the revolution, a German church, and three sisters ... He did not remember anything else. He only remembered Tver and that he worked at the church. Here, in Kalinin - then the city was called Tver. Dreams, dreams... Deceptions of consciousness, everything is in a fog.

   There always was a certain meticulousness in his character. He had a desire to know, to understand, he liked figures and calculations. He even graduated from accounting courses and worked at the Trinity Church. And here's the dream again. Who is he actually? Whom was he? Kalyazin Vladimir Petrovich — as it is written in his passport. Why doesn't he remember what happened before? What are those scars on his chest? He still doesn't know even forty years after.           Forty years ago, Father Gabriel looked at him carefully, talked to him, told him to pray and not to bring up the past, and helped him get a passport. If he doesn't remember, it only means that it is God’s will. Pray! You never know what could happen: war or revolution. And dreams...

   That's how he lived these years. Just before passing away, Father Gabriel asked him to come to his cell and told him that he, Vladimir Petrovich Kalyazin, was like a son to him. Every day he prays for him and always wishes him peace of mind. He told him that six months after Vladimir Petrovich appeared in the church, a young woman came and asked Father Gabriel if Mr. Grigoriev Vladimir Petrovich was here. She looked sick and suffering, so she put a candle in front of the icon and began to pray fervently, as if she were out of her mind.

    “You just started coming back to life, was helping us in the church, and then this woman appeared. Remember when I showed you her while she was praying. You said you didn't know her. And I was afraid for you, for your health, and let you continue working for us. And I took a sin on my soul. I did not show you to her, I said that you went out, went somewhere unknown.

    “What was her name, Father?”

    “Maria. Maria Ivanova. Did you know her?”

    “I don't remember, Father!” exclaimed he.

    “Where was she from?”

    “She said she was from Simbirsk.”

   And now Father Gabriel is gone. And he, Vladimir Petrovich Kalyazin, is now a pensioner and still lives, as if he is in a dream, and no one turns him away from the search for the past version of himself. He should visit this city. Only take a look just like that. Perhaps, it is just a coincidence, it is a dream. What kind of person is he, if he doesn't even remember himself? Just dreams, dreams from the past.  He has no power over them.

   Simbirsk then.

  Two days later, in the morning, he went to a small station square in Ulyanovsk. The new railway station with its spire and the square, bathed in the May sun, were unfamiliar to him. A smiling taxi driver in a blue car drove him through the green streets to a hotel in the center. He liked this city.

   He walked along the main streets for a long time and suddenly found himself thinking that it was easy and familiar for him. Some of the old buildings seemed familiar yet different. It was embarrassing that there were no churches, as it was in dreams. But churches and monasteries were demolished all over the country. He remembered that.

   Vladimir Petrovich would go into old buildings and ask what had been there before.

   “Earlier?” people asked again.

   “Yes. Before the revolution,” answered him.

People looked at him with surprise and sent him to the museum. He walked along the streets for a long time, looking at old houses, nothing echoed in the heart, and suddenly, behind the monument to Karamzin, behind the bushes of blooming lilacs, he saw the familiar outline of a building. Vladimir Petrovich walked through the square and...  It was the city council from his dream, where he worked as an official. From the open windows came the sound of a piano. Music school. And on the left there is a commemorative plaque: “City Council...”

   On the third day, in the Museum of Local Lore on the Venets St., he saw a certain photo in the exposition dedicated to old Simbirsk. In the old, faded photograph, the officials of the city council were standing looking at him, and it seemed that many of them were familiar. Most importantly he recognized Dimka, Dmitry, his friend. Then where is he? And he suddenly remembered that he had been late and had been placed in the last row. This unkempt guy looks exactly like him!

    In the late afternoon, he was walking down Lenin Street, past the green lawn at the Nemetskaya Church. There was a pay phone booth on the corner. A tram passed, clanking as it turned. He saw an old, darkened tree. A crow crouched on a green-leafed branch. His heart was suddenly racing. The crow looked at him and then turned away. The black crow from his dreams. The wind shook the branch. The bird spread its wings, rose heavily and flew down the street, and Vladimir Petrovich clearly saw the white feather on the right wing. The same crow, only the white feather of the previous one from the dream was on the left.

   The wind pushed him from the back. Sudden warm wave swept over his entire body, and he felt, that he was not a retired accountant at all, but a government official going to his fiancée. There were old wooden houses painted with faded brown paint around them. He walked slowly, as if he was being led, and stopped in front of an old wooden house with a high, peeling door and a string hanging from the top. The wind stopped. Vladimir Petrovich raised his suddenly heavy hand and pulled at the string.

     “Ding, Ding!” the bell rang.

There were slow shuffling footsteps and a soft female voice.

    “Who's there?”

   “Excuse me, please, the Petrovs lived here, how can I find them?” he asked.

   The door opened. An elderly, plump woman in a lilac dressing gown stared at him from the dark hallway.

     “Well, I'm Petrova. And you are?”

     “Petrova?” he asked with a suddenly hoarsed voice.

     “Yes, Petrova. Lizaveta Vasilyevna”.

     “Lizaveta? Are you Lizaveta?”

     “Yes, but what's the matter?”

     “How long have been living here?”

     “Since I was born! So, what's the matter?” she sounded annoyed.

     “Do you have any sisters?”

     “Yes. And who are you?”

     “Oh, I am sorry! I am Kalyazin Vladimir Petrovich.” he hesitated.

     “Kalyazin? I don't recall this name!” she stared at him, her gaze suddenly widens and freeze, as she said softly, “Come in! It’s windy today.”

    He went into the corridor, looking back. A bicycle, some boxes, but the corridor is familiar to him.

    “There was a kitchen at the right. And then the living room”.

    “Yes, and how do you know?”

    “I'm also surprised, I don't remember anything, but I went in and the thoughts came... In the living room you also have portraits on the wall”.

   “Well, yes, they all hang in the living rooms”.

   “Your Mother’s name, wait a bit, I will remember... I remembered! Margarita Ivanovna! Right?”

   “Yes, Margarita Ivanovna. How do you know that?” the woman stared into his eyes.

   “You won't believe it, I've seen her in my dreams, and more than once. It's like an obsession-. My father told me to forget, but I still had dreams...”

   “So, you are Vladimir Petrovich? Grigoriev?”  Lizaveta suddenly said in a hoarse voice and quickly crossed herself.

   “Yes, Vladimir Petrovich, but not Grigoriev. Kalyazin.”

   “Come into the drawing-room and I'll put a kettle on.”

   Portraits hung on the wall. Vladimir Petrovich came closer, and Margarita Ivanovna, a little slumped, looked indifferently ahead of her. Beside him, his father stared blankly at him. Photos hung on the sides.

   “Here's the tea!”  Lizaveta Vasilyevna put the teapot on the table. “Wait a minute, I'll call my husband, today is his birthday. I made some pies, so help yourself... He wanted to see you, often wondered about you, you were acquaintances for a long time. Don't you remember? Nothing at all?”

   She frantically looked at him and hurried into the next room. Vladimir Petrovich sat numbly at the table and stared at the portrait of their Mother. The colors of the portrait, seemed to grow brighter.

    “Here I am again!”  Lizaveta Vasilyevna said unexpectedly cheerfully as she came in. “Why are you not drinking? This is Khan's tea!”

 “Khan's? I've heard that somewhere... Khan's? So, this is Chinese!”

 “Well, yes! But now it’s much worse. You were sitting here drinking tea and eating pies.” 

 “Daria was cooking, right? Is that what it was? When? When was that?” Vladimir Petrovich began to speak somehow in a hurry.

  “Yes, forty years have passed. You wanted to marry me! It's better not to go into the memories any further, I'm still shaking,” Lizaveta Vasilyevna said, wiping her eyes with her hand.

 And Vladimir Petrovich saw a mole on his wrist.

   “Really? I don't remember anything.”

   “Why don't you remember?”  Lizaveta Vasilyevna suddenly began to speak nervously.  You remember where the kitchen was, remember Mother. You even brought candys. And say, что you don't remember! But look at the photo on the wall! Who's that over there?”

 Indeed, on the wall to the right of the Mother's portrait hung an old, faded photograph, and with mixed surprise and horror Vladimir Petrovich saw a young man who looked very much like him, in the same dark frock coat as in the photograph in the museum. At the bottom of it in neat calligraphic letters was written “Vladimir Petrovich Grigoriev”.

    “And here's another one. Look!” Lizaveta Vasilyevna opened a drawer by the table and took a neatly folded handkerchief out of it. “Take it! I did embroider it for you!”

  He carefully unfolded the handkerchief and saw the embroidered blue flowers and the initials “V. P.” in the corner.

   “And why didn't you give it to me then?”  Vladimir asked quietly.

   “You don't remember anything?! And I loved you! And even the Mother supported me. She called on the Spirits and asked. Vera was right when she confronted the Mother's hobbies. One should not do that. That's why this horror happened! I'm not defending myself, who am I to do it? I was girl in love, and you still confessed your love to Masha in front of everyone! Do you know what I felt after hearing that? Why was this happening to me? When the storm came, I thought it is the end of the world. The spirits take revenge for what they were disturbed!..So you actually remember nothing?” – Lizaveta Vasilyevna began to cry.

   Something flickered in his mind. Some conversations, Mother's bright eyes, the table… and nothing else.

 “Sorry, I don't remember.”

  There were hurried footsteps from the street, and the door opened. A strong gray-haired man about his own age in a beige zip-up jacket came in.

    “What a windfall today! It's like a storm! And in the morning, sky was clear! Hello,Vladimir Petrovich!” The аman spoke up with a smile. “Do you recognize me? I'm Pyotr Ivanovich, from St. Petersburg!”

   “I don't remember...” said Vladimir Petrovich, puzzled. “Happy birthday though!”

   “Thank you. Oh, yes! I was younger then, and so were you! Now let's remember together!” Pyotr Ivanovich said cheerfully.

 “It's been a while since I've seen you. When was that? August 1915...”. He sighed and shook his head. “It's been so many years... almost a lifetime. And I was looking for you... Where have you been? Ah, wait! Let's have a welcoming drink! I have some liqueur, by the Mother's recipe.”

He moved his eyes in the direction of the portrait.

 Vladimir Petrovich glanced at the portrait, and it seemed to him that the colors had become even darker. Mother's eyes also brighten as they were intently searching the living room. He quickly sained himself.

   “Vladimir Petrovich, you sained yourself just like before. Do you remember?”  Lizaveta Vasilyevna said.

   “Now, wait. Here is the liqueur! I'm so glad you came! Liza, do we have a cake in the fridge?!” Pyotr Ivanovich was already filling the glasses. “I toast to our meeting!”

  They clinked glasses, and the taste of the liqueur in it was pleasant and unexpectedly strange.

   “Liza! Show our guest old photos!”

 Lizaveta Vasilyevna heavily got up and went into the next room.

   “Everything is somehow amazing, Pyotr Ivanovich, but I know, what kind of room is this!”

    “So what is it?” Pyotr Ivanovich asked with interest.

    “It is the Mother’s room” he glanced quickly at the portrait. Margarita Ivanovna looked at him attentively, and Father, seemed to have woken up from a dream too.

   “Good for you, Vladimir Petrovich! Here is your memory coming back to you. Let’s have another drink!”

   “I want one too!” Liza held out her empty glass.

   “Liza, maybe, you shouldn't? You will feel bad again!” Pyotr Ivanovich was worried.

    “No, I want to have a drink with Vladimir Petrovich. Such an opportunity!” She filled her glass.

  They had another drink. Vladimir sat wrapped in a pleasant warmth, looking at old photos and waiting. It seemed that soon everything would be clarified, everything would be revealed, and he would find out who he was.

    “Vladimir Petrovich, let's remember how we met!” Pyotr Ivanovich's voice sounded distant, as if he was far away.

 “How did we meet?” Vladimir repeated in confusion and looked at the portraits. Everything suddenly went dark, and a dark, almost black cloud hung outside the window.

 “What happened with the weather today?  Lizaveta Vasilyevna said irritably and turned on the light.

 “What's wrong with me? I seem to be remembering! And for some reason I don't want to! I don't need to drink anymore!” suddenly worried Vladimir. “I have some kind of tremor! Everything is strange... There's a mole on your wrist, I remember.”

    “Do you remember? And do you remember that you wanted to marry me? That I was the only one you have according to your words! Here I am in the photo with you!”  almost shouted Lizaveta.

    “Liza, calm down, everything is already in the past!” Pyotr Ivanovich half rose from his chair. “Enough! Don't drink anymore! You can't drink! Calm down ... today, is my birthday after all!”

   “And we, Vladimir Petrovich, let us remember together. Tell us, how you came here for the first time.”

   “How? Dimka from the next department called me, and we came to the session with Mother”.

   “Yes, yes! Dmitry Yurievich Zelenov, from the accounting department”.

   “Right! I remembered! He worked next to me. How do you know that?”

   “I was looking for you! Where were you?”

  And Vladimir Petrovich stammered out, that he had suddenly woken up in a monastery in Tver, and what had happened afterwards.

 Liza sat with her back turned, wiping her eyes with a handkerchief. Pyotr Ivanovich kindly smiled and listened.

  “Well, that's understandable,” he said, “and you can tell me how you came here in winter.”

 “In winter?” Vladimir Petrovich asked in surprise.

  “Yes! December 11, 1915. Do you remember?”

  “I remember!”  Surprised at himself, he said Vladimir Petrovich.

  “Go on, keep talking! You left the city council, then what? Tell me everything in detail!”

  “I went out, but I had candies for Liza”.

 “Georg Landrin,” Liza said in a hollow voice.

  “Liza! Wait!” Pyotr Ivanovich stopped her with frustrated voice.

 Liza got up from the table and went to the window where stood a potted ficus tree.

  “Next, Vladimir Petrovich, what was next? You came out with candies...”

  “Yes. The weather was warm, and there was snow all around. And the sidewalk was covered in snow and slippery, I remember...”

   “I know that. And then what?”

   “A big crow... flew at me, I crouched down, and she took out some kind of bracelet from the snow and...” Vladimir suddenly saw everything vividly and fell silent.

   “And what?” Pyotr Ivanovich asked tensely.

   “And it flew away”.

   “Flew away?!” Pyotr Ivanovich cried out in disappointment.


 Vladimir raised his head and looked at Pyotr Ivanovich. The man sat in front of him with a miserable face, huddled up, gazing on the floor, repeating to himself: “All in vain, it was all in vain!”

  “Ah... that's the crow you told me about!”  Liza turned to Vladimir Petrovich.

  “Yes,” he said, surprised.

   “Wait!”  Pyotr Ivanovich suddenly brightened again; his eyes were glittering. “Come on to the table! Liza! Cut the cake, please! Vladimir Petrovich, another drink? Come on, come on! Let's remember everything now!”

   “And who are you, Pyotr Ivanovich? You were from St. Petersburg then, weren't you?”

   “Who? But it doesn't matter at all. It is important to restore your memory and help you remember.”

   “But you are very interested somehow, it's strange...” mumbled Vladimir Petrovich.

   “Liza, what did he say about the crow?”

   “He saw her in our yard on the barn for the second time. Why do you care so much?”

   “Yes, I saw it, with a white feather on the wing, I remember now!”  Vladimir suddenly said excitedly.

   “The crow! Crow on the barn! How could I not have guessed!”  Pyotr Ivanovich exclaimed joyfully. “I'll be quick!”

 He ran out into the yard.

   “Where is he going?” Vladimir Petrovich was surprised.

  “Oh, does it matter? Tell me, did you love me then?”  Lizaveta turned her tear-stained face to Vladimir.

  “You?”  he looked again at Lizaveta Vasilyevna and suddenly remembered the old Maria. Masha with the quivering black curl on her temple, with the bright eyes looking at him with love, her laughter. Everything suddenly began to take shape, and it seemed that everything would be clarified, and barely breathing, he asked a question.

  “And where is Masha?”

   “You liked Masha, you loved her!”  She said, her voice was thick and fierce.

Lizaveta, looked away and raised her hand with the handkerchief to her face. He saw the mole on his wrist again.

   “Found it! I found it!”  Pyotr Ivanovich shouted joyfully. Then there was a crash and a loud sound of something heavy falling in the courtyard. The house shuddered. The window in the kitchen slammed sharply, and there was a sharp ringing of broken glass. The wind blew into the house. The light flickered and went out.

   Vladimir Petrovich and Liza froze at the table. It was as if time frozen, and then it fell down... a dim room, candles, blurred figures at the table... His eyes darted to the portrait of the Mother. The colors shone, the Mother's eyes shuddered, it seemed that they suddenly grew round with horror, her face moved to one side along with the falling portrait, which hit the portrait of the Father, and they fell together on the floor. After that, the photos flew down, turning in the air. He saw himself in a frock coat, signed in calligraphy “Vladimir Petrovich Grigoriev” and remembered everything: Masha, smiling at him, with a curl on her temple, Vera with a book in her chair, Liza by the window, herself... the photo seemed to hang in the air, then smoothly turned over and slowly fell to the floor...

   But Pyotr Ivanovich got up from the ground, grunting. Broken ladder and an old barrel stuck against the side of the house were lying nearby.

  “I wanted to fix the stairs, why didn't I do it? A master indeed! I would just buy a new one, that's all! The bracelet! Where's the bracelet?”

   He searched frantically with his scratched hands in the grass.

   “Oh no, where is he?” the bracelet was in his hands, and suddenly it's gone! Forty years! He had been looking for it for forty years! 

“Oh! Here it is thank God! Here it is!” With trembling hands, Pyotr Ivanovich picked up a dully shiny bracelet with some numbers, notches and bumps, carefully wiped it, and suddenly heard the sound of something falling in the house.

  “What was that? Liza! What happened? Again?” He limped into the house. Everything was quiet. Vladimir Petrovich was reclining in a chair. His eyes were closed.

  “Liza! Where are you? What's wrong with you?” Pyotr Ivanovich shouted and saw Liza lying on the floor next to a tub of ficus tree with the table knife that had fallen out of her hand. His breathing was barely noticeable.

   “Alive, she is alive! Thank God! It was just a barrel!”

   Vladimir Petrovich stirred in the chair beside him.

   “It repeats itself... repeats itself,” he whispered, and fell silent again.

   Pyotr Ivanovich carefully laid Liza on the sofa. Her eyelids fluttered open and she asked, “What's wrong?”

   “Thank God! Everything is fine! Everyone is alive. What a wind! The barrel just fell, and I fell down the stairs... just a barrel”, Pyotr Ivanovich repeated happily. “How are you, Vladimir Petrovich?”

    “You know, I remember everything! Liza, how are you Where's Masha?”

    “Your Masha is in the monastery in Yaroslavl. She couldn't find you. Vera is also there.”

    And tut Pyotr Ivanovich felt a vibration, a familiar increasing vibration in the remote control.  

    “Just a minute!” 

And with a trembling remote in his hand, hurrying and limping, he opened the door with difficulty and went out into the courtyard. Bushes and trees were bent by gusts of wind. The remote control was turned on from there, probably, from the laboratory, there will be a call! A sudden joy came over him. That's what happened! They haven't forgotten him. Lena, the guys. On his birthday! Forty years of waiting for a challenge, a lifetime away from home. Home! Going home! What's in there? Whom will he see? Would he recognize them? Would they recognize him?... Thoughts raced through his mind. Are there any of these guys, or are they dead? But Lena? Maybe, it was all a dream. Not a dream, probably it can't be a dream... He'll be back soon... Where to? Where will he go back to? Home? Is there a home? Did he stay? And who will he be there? An exhibit that fell behind its time and violated the code. His whole life has been spent here! Semyon... yes, Semyon! I forgot to buy him some medicine! And Liza – she will be lost without him, who will take care of her... And the glass in the window must be repaired.

   He looked down at the barrel that was stuck in the house, rolled it away, and sat down heavily on the bench. The remote glowed red. The call! Pyotr Ivanovich sighed, looked at the overgrown cherry trees and the flowers Liza had planted, and slowly hung up. The vibrations stopped, and the red light disappeared. The wind died down.


                                       Ulendeyev Boris

                                 Ulyanovsk 1, 12. 2018