Wednesday, April 15, 2009


A few days ago, he had saved the man's life. Or he thinks he may have. He's not sure. They haven't spoken since that moment. The man – Peter – his own mad fury may have been enough to pummel that bloated, white beast back to Hell, but something had gripped Alexandr too in that moment.

Slamming the lamp into the monster's soft body like a battle ax. Coming back into the dry cell of his own apartment, falling face first on the bed, sleeping, his chest heaving. Remembering the Games and the War.

Did they have to kill it? Yes, absolutely yes, God's Yes. It was there only to be destroyed. Doing so, Alexandr had awakened in himself a righteousness, a vigor he hadn't felt since . . .

War Hero. He leaned against the window sill with one arm, sneaking the other up the leg of his short pants to scratch the scar on his empty sack. Peter also had been gripped by the urge, like a command borne in the creature's mockery of a face, to dismiss it, to repel that – Alexandr had to stop and think. ". . . that stalking pus-bag from the world."

It was the eighteenth, Peter had a friend arriving from London. He watched the two Engländerin embrace on the sidewalk. The foreign nurse was there too, bowing to the Englishwoman, pressing her palms together. And then there was Katya, dressed in lady's field khakis, very pleased to make the woman archaeologist's acquaintance.

This house was forever a burlesque. Peter, Bhakti, that metal hunk, that thing – all connected, of course. He heard them stamp their ways up the stairs to the third floor flat. Alexandr thought that the Englishwoman and Peter might be close. Possibly they were brother and sister, or betrothed.

There was a moment of happy babbling, barely audible, trickling through the ceiling. Footsteps, a vague conversation in the hallway. Alexandr pieced together some of it. Katya, in English: "We have much to talk about at dinner." Peter: "Roddle boddle coddle. Ha, ha-haa!" Steps down the stairs, a knock at the door to his cell. "I'll be there," Alexandr replied without getting up from his window.