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 On the Road to Aniva

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Maria Mikhailovna

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PostSubject: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:02 pm

Masha sat outside the church doors on the steps with her face in her hands. Her cheeks were blotted and tinted red; it was apparent she had been crying. The church was tall and dome-shaped with golden ribbon lacing around the edges and up the tops. For such a small room, it was so extravagant. She knew the word for this place. They called it ‘церковь1.’  

She was only thirteen years old, but she had a grip on the ways of the people in the strange country. Masha had no idea where she had come from, but she remembered growing up in an even stranger land. Later, Mama explained to her that they had lived further out in Siberia in a native town, where the people that others called ‘eskimos’ or ‘indians’ lived. But it was true that she had been speaking Russian since she was little, because her mother had been preparing her for the moves they would make later in life.

A little boy, Ivan, from the schoolhouse walked up. “Маша, что ты делаешь?2” he asked, waving her over from the other side of the road.

Masha didn’t want him to see her crying, so she folded her hands quickly. “Я молюсь!3” she shouted back, trying to sound annoyed.

Ivan wouldn’t dare bother her once she announced that she was praying, so she felt safe and looked closer towards the ground. When she glanced back up again, Ivan was gone.

Masha realized that she would’ve rather talked to him, but there was no point talking with him, because she would have to make up a lie.


Last edited by Maria Mikhailovna on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Maria Mikhailovna

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:05 pm


Masha fiddled with her hands nervously. She didn’t want to ask her mother, but she didn’t want to be a bad person though, so she had decided that she must find out if she was a bad person first. “Мама! Сегодня священник сказал нас, что это грех, сказать ли неправду. Мы врём каждый день. А почему—4

“Машка! Мы врём, потому что мы должны врать. Мы не хотим врать. Если пойдёт правда, то мы бы не семья.5

Her mother sounded firm in her answer, not annoyed, so Masha trusted her. Her mother continued to beat the dough in the kitchen and offered a slight curl of the lips, a smile, towards Masha, saying, “And next time, practice your English.” Surely she knew what she was talking about. Masha turned away and walked out of the kitchen.
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Maria Mikhailovna

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:05 pm

“Masha!” Her mother ran up to her, panting. “Mashka, you must run, go get your things, we’re leaving tonight.”

“Why? Is Viktor Ivanovich…” she let her voice break off; she didn’t want to say it.

“He’s not dead. He’s…recovering…but, I think it’s best we leave before people begin to ask questions.”


“Questions about me? Because of the…” she stopped and dropped her head low, “because of the magic?”

Her mother nodded frantically. “Go!”
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:06 pm

They reached the next town by nightfall the next day. This was usual of them, hopping from one Muggle town to the next when people become suspicious of magic or their stories. But this last time was a disaster, and Masha knew it. This time, it was all her fault.

“Я вас знаю!6” the man had cried. “Полицейские ищут вас!7

Masha’s mother looked at the man curiously. “Нет - не я. Я Надежда Львовна. Кому полицейские ищут?8” She remained completely calm, nothing strange about her, like she had lived in the town for years and years before.

The man was a visitor in the town from Kiev. Nice man, but he must’ve known there was a reward out there for anyone who caught Nadezhda, because he kept persisting that she was the woman the police were looking for.

Usually, at about this time, Masha would present herself and then the accuser would calm down and leave. Then they would run away from the town at night. But this was not the case. The man kept persisting, and he was even disgusted with Masha’s appearance. A child? Oh, no, he decided that a woman like Nadezhda should never have a child in her care.

Masha was so angry and so frightened. She stood behind the kitchen doorway, clenching her fists until they were white and trying to fight back tears. The man was going to the police now, and despite all of Nadezhda’s attempts, it seemed as though they were going to lose.

Then, out of nowhere, right as the visitor was leaving the house, an electric bulb went out while his hand was on the switch, just touching it for a moment before exiting. He fell down — presumably dead.
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Maria Mikhailovna

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:07 pm

“Mama, what are we going to do now in this new town?” Masha asked. Nadezhda looked down at the car floorboards, swallowed, and turned off the ignition.

“We’re not staying here. Just for tonight. We’re going to Aniva.”

“…Aniva?” Masha knew what was there. “No, Mama, please! I’ll act very good, I promise! Nothing bad will ever happen again! I’ll study my English, and you can teach me how to not use my magic…”

“Mashka, I just don’t know how to train you. I won’t ever be a good enough teacher. You need a school, a good school, to help you.”

“No! I can’t leave you! I can’t! What if they discover us? What if they take me away?”

“Shhh, shh, they won’t. They’ll never know, Mashka. Listen to me, it’s a good school. Go to it. You must. There’s no other option now.”

Masha grabbed up a fistful of her skirt, nervously moving it around in her hand. She didn’t dare ask, but she must. “Is Viktor Ivanovich—?”

“Viktor Ivanovich is fine.”
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Maria Mikhailovna

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road to Aniva   Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:09 pm

1 Church
2 Masha, what are you doing?
3 I’m praying.
4 Mama, today the priest told us that it is a sin to not tell the truth. We lie every day. But why—
5 Mashka! We lie, because we must lie. We don’t want to lie. If the truth comes, then we wouldn’t be a family.
6 I know you!
7 The police are looking for you!
8 No, not me. I am Nadezhda Lvovna. Who are the police searching for?
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