THE SWASTIKA — АВТ. ПТАХА, ПЕРЕВОД ВИКТОР РАХНЯНСКИЙ
Февраль 15th, 2014
перевод Виктор Рахнянский,The story: The ancestral root
Forgotten by God, in the fog of the road,
With healing spring of water dead,
Heart falls apart in the crying world
So that’s how we live from bad to bad.
Steeped in blood, in evil hidden,
The ancestral sign destroyed by the liars.
“So why don’t you brothers, remember the Swati,
Bring back your belief” – required the fathers.The Swastika
The child kept his curious eyes on the blind old man. A mysterious oldster, who was called the Witcher,appeared on the bank again, when the emerald glow was rising above the waters of the Wolf River. This time Grishka managed to get closer to him. Boy’s keen ears caught the scrapes of the voice that resembled a roaring beast. The shadows were sprawling in four directions with every word from the sinister’s silhouette. Suddenly following the whoop «Swati, show yourself!» they slightly turned down forming a swastika cross and a lightning split the clear sky, striking the secret emerald place. The sorcerer’s baleful laugh and the rolling thunder have run into one another.
Frightened, Grisha cried too. The Witcher turned back to the child’s shout and a terrible grimace distorted his face.The black chasm of his senile mouth seemed to have fangs of the beast. The boy made off at once. Grisha fell to the ground not having recovered yet and choke with exhaustion. He did not even notice that the bow of an old boat appeared right in front of him, caught in the delicate verdure of the soft, velvet bank.
-What’s on your mind, Cossack?
The stripling looked up. A dark-haired strange woman smiled at him stepping over the side of a frail shiplet.
-Who are you? — asked Grishka the stranger unfriendly.
-Boy, don’t be angry. Show me better where I can lodge.
The beauty’s quiet voice pacified the boy and what is more the girl seemed to be good-natured.
He agreed to help her and they went together to the Letychiv castle who’s wooden fence was looming far away.
-What’s up? Why you were so gloomy?
The boy trustfully told the girl of what he had seen, trying to take out of his memory the picture that has frightened him so much. Nastya (the fellow traveler) listened attentively. Her beautiful eyes reflected both determination and anger. At last they came to the miserable dugouts, which straw heads were bowed to the ground of the castle’s wooden fence.
It was a restless time. Gregory’s mother Juliana welcomed the girl hoping to hear something new of what is going on in the world.
The candle was trembling
The candle was trembling in the cellarer’s hand, when he performed Cossack Fesko’s burial rites. Even after his death the enormous magic power of this man continued to frighten people. The irony of this situation was that the man lying in front of the monk has once saved his life with the help of the spell over the black radish. Was it only the monk? How many brothers has saved Fesko? It took him only to cut the radish and let the juice. When it turned black, the sick Cossack recovered. The monk has seen a great deal in his life, but even being dead the werewolf man named Fesko horrified. Tatar’s silver arrow who was catching the poor wolf soul brought Cossack’s life to an end… Before his death, the old Cossack has revealed a secret of the Kin to his daughter pointing the way to the wolf stone.
That’s why she is here. This sacred place kept the power of their native land. This was the entrance to the vault. Whenever evil was approaching, people hid themselves here from the enemies. It was called the wolf’s place. Many times, when a wolf came to the stone, the citizens of Letychiv had seen an emerald glow. Greed, malice and the silver arrow have killed the wolf. But at that very moment a stream of water has bursted from the vault and flooded the area. And that was how the Wolf River appeared. Her warm waters have kept away the entrance to the Cossack’s treasury. The only thing left of this mystery is a trace on the city’s coat of arms in the form of the wolf walking on the silver shield.The Horde follows the Kychmanz
Nastya’s heart was troubled and uneasy. A poor window wrapped up in an ox bladder trembled under a strong wind. The only wet-nurse howled mournfully without giving the darkness, which was spreading across the earth floor and the corners of the mud hut, a moment of rest. The harsh scent of the strawflower stuffed all-over the ceiling with Ulyana’s care couldn’t save her from hard thoughts. The girl pressed the ancestral stone to her breast …
As soon as Nastya has opened the door a stream of fresh air rushed into the house. Stepping over a high threshold, the Cossack’s daughter put her bare foot on a narrow path overgrown with thick grass and tall weeds. The day was breaking.
The stars in the morning sky were getting dim. The rising sun has just shown its first scarlet rays and now reveals the crimson edge playing with grey clouds. The path turned to the west going down to the Wolf river.
Nastya focused. She imagined the family stone as a sphere forming invisible shell around her. And these thoughts turned into images.
She saw an ancient Clan’s symbol and felt its attraction. Sky revealed to the earth horrible news predicting bloody reprisal, slavery and revival of obligations to devshirme that turn Slavic sons into janissaries with a new Clan’s symbol — the chelengk seal… There was only one solution – to take people away from this disaster, to take them far beyond the swamps.Dark eyebrows and hazel eyes
The old oak in Letichiv has already passed out of sight. Uliana who was going at the head of all the refugees suddenly stopped and began to shout calling her son.
And where did this perisher go? What should I do? Oh goodness, woe is me!
This little stinker definitely stayed in the fortress. He would like to fight! – grieved his mother.
You better go, aunt Uliana! I will bring back your son.
No, no, my little girl, you just will die and won’t bring him back. Oh, what a sorrow!
The refugees started to hurry the woman up. Nastya kissed a warm crystal. And no one had even noticed when the girl disappeared. There was no time for that in a sputter.
Grisha, who has run away from his mother, shivered from the noise that was suddenly approaching. A little boy hugged a thin birch and soundlessly whispered:
Help me, save me, native soul…
A gray crowd was coming closer and closer. Some horsemen noticed a boy and surrounded him. One of them picked a boy up like a feather and threw him on a saddle. And that’s how Grigory came to be in the Great Horde of the Ottoman Empire.
A little boy was trembling like an aspen leaf. The iron hand lying on his back felt to be a heavy stone. Suddenly a horse stumbled and stopped dead. The hand let him go and little boy plopped from the horse down to the ground. Grishka lifted his head and saw Nastya. In a moment her magic look made the janissary stop. Trying to overcome the magic and almost falling out of his saddle he screamed “Satan!”
Nastya crashed a small stick and at the very moment the warrior was paralyzed but he repeated his words again to break a spell. A girl lifted a crystal to the sky and glaring from the sun it revealed the warriors memory. All of a sudden this iron man remembered his childhood and his family.
He remembered everything. He remembered that twenty years ago he saw a violent death of his mother and that he was torn off still warm loving body, he also remembered trampled faith. His iron hand squeezed the horse’s mane and he closely peered at the native sky.
Grisha turned his eyes from Nastya and he saw a thin invisible sphere around them all, and through its blurry walls he could see that a gray crowd that scared him before was still approaching. This crowd was flocking and flocking and it seemed having no end at all. A boy decided that all this is just a dream so he reached out his hand into the blurry sphere — and it passed through his hand as a phantom.A death
Horde invasion caused hunger, destruction and death. Tears broke millions of hearts. Some in troubles blamed Christ and condemned ancestors for building churches and teaching children to pray, others cursed all the sacred they had praying to Mahomet like insane… Refugees’ lives in the wild forest surrounded by a lake were getting harder and harder each day.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Andrey remembered his origin and joined the refugees. He was the stateliest and had the darkest eyes. To cut a long story short, a horde is a horde, and youth is youth. This was the reason why everybody looked at Nastya and Andrey… They were standing under the head of an old fir to hide from the rain…
Maryna’s got soaked to the bone. She couldn’t feel anything; she “passed away” with the first kiss. Her body became numb with cold. Tears… They came out of the sky-blue eyes. But why, why? She’s the most beautiful girl in the district – even rich men were looking at her, but here she’s alien… She went to the Witcher like an arrow.
A blind man was standing with his back to her. He didn’t turn just croaked:
At last, at last…
Maryna was so mad at herself for her weakness. She didn’t need that love anymore. She wanted so much to run away from this accursed place. But it was too late. Invisible chains shackled her. The girl couldn’t make a move, couldn’t say even a word.
-I’ll dispatch her to the next world. Andrew will be yours, just as you want. Does she really think her power is stronger than dark power? I’ll clear my way to get Swati. I’ll have the power of the generation.
Go to her. Pour this at her threshold.Don’t touch the powder, then burn the parchment the same night at the graves of the ancestors.
The Blind finally turned to Marina, so that she could see his deadly yellow face with hollow cheeks, and held out the rolled parchment.
The rain was over. Everything around was shining under the sun, glittering with gilt. But for some reason not like it used to giltbefore. All this beauty seemed to despise her.Her inner voice told her that Nastya was looking at her from every leaf, every blade of grass, every flower.
It was getting dark. Marina came closer to Nastya’s dugout and did everything what the Wizard told her to do.
One step to the disaster
Nothing predictedtrouble in a peaceful dream, when a dark silhouette of the Old man leaned over the sleeping girl.
-Why do you need your prays? You tempt me with them. Your faith will not protect you against your fate. You’re funny to think you control your fate. No, your fate is in my hands! Your pride is for your strength? But I’ve already cut the root of the generation… A pray of Jesus is with you? But what is left in it without any roots? Who will understand it now? To separate the souls is my aim! There are a lot of paths in the spiritual world! A-ha-ha! I’ll confuse everybody!!! Sleep, sleep! Andrew is sleeping, too! A-ha-ha! Andrew is sleeping with Marina!
The emerald light of the talisman gleamed like spark on the girl’s neck, warming her with its heat. A withered old hand was reaching for the warmth, and the talisman started to change itscolor. Being already in the Wizard’s hands, the stone flashed with blue fire. The fire was getting stronger and the Old man found himself in the center of the sphere. The image of Andrew and Marina appeared in his consciousness. His brain clearly understood everything that happened with the couple.
Suddenly, Andrew pushed Marina away when she touched the cross on his chest, and pronounced “Nasten’ka”. At the same moment Nastya opened her eyes and woke up. Just before her eyes the sphere turned into a bright red fiery ball, and disappeared after glittering the last time. Nastya saw the darkened crystal on the ground in the handful of grey ash.The fight
Come round, the Christian hearts! How long will we bear such a shame! We are afraid of janissaries. Janissaries are our poor blood! It’s Christian blood that gives strength to our enemies for evil deeds! Brothers, go on the holy battle. Sound, beat the bells! We’ll not spare either life or blood for the Russian land!
The brave hearts repeated solemnly after the Father Ataman. They prayed. And started easily. They went closely to the enemy’s camp. One could clearly see and hear the signal symbols and sounds of the enemy camp. Suddenly tartars poured from behind the graves. Mortally wounded life flowed from both sides just into the dense grass. Wild cry echoed entreaty to Allah. Heads fell with turbans. Those enemies, who survived, were falling into the water without asking where the ford was.
Then, a sudden “Allah” to the sky blew up the expanses with new forceof infidels. Clouds of arrows flew, mixing up people’s souls with the dust of steppes. The fortune served both sides equally, cutting the lives evenly. The brave and the strong met on this battlefield the treacherous fate. The end appeared to be so miserable, and the glory so bitter. Cossacks held out with the greatest of effort. The sky was feeling the ground with crow’s eyes.
Nastja looked into the sphere.
Andrew, black with enemy’s blood, was standing one against ten enemies. Suddenly, the hand of death was raised over his head. Everything happened with lightning speed. A small bird, which appeared who knows from where, flashed past the janissary and the blade misfired. Stab in response didn’t keep waiting. Red blood gushed forth from the body.
The mist lay on the grass, washed by blood…So it will be
A new dawn smiled at a new day.
Nastya came out from birch grove towards Andrew. Two counter winds merged into one single kiss. The sky and the earth consecrated the new union. It was their day and their night… The generation symbol Swati drew fateful circles of this couple, the one that will continue the sacred cause of ancestral roots preservers.