There's Always Another Day

There's Always Another Day

A Story by Dominique D'Arcy
"

Ivan knew he had to prepare for winter, but there was always time, it's not like it was tomorrow. Do it another day. There's always another day.

"

In Russia, north to the city of Norilsk and beyond Lake Labaz there is a small village isolated from the rest of society. Few dare venture this far north, as it is infamous for its nefarious winters. Even the locals are wary of the rampant blizzards and turbulent gales. So every year, without fail, before the most brutal weathers engulfed their village, they would stock food, water and firewood to outlast the winter.

About a 20 minutes’ walk from the village was a small hut. And in the small hut lived a man by the name of Ivan Lev Chekhov. At 5”9’ with short curly black hair, piercing ice-blue eyes, a missing index finger on his left hand and a slight limp in his walk, Ivan Lev Chekhov was an funny man indeed.

He was well popular amongst the villagers. Children would swarm around him like bees to honey, women would laugh at his lame jokes and men would often chat over drinks with him. With the children, he would narrate stories of how he lost his finger, or how he got the limp in his leg. When he laughed, he had this strange ring to it that made it addictive. People would stop in mid step just to hear his quaint laughter. But Ivan was undoubtedly the most entertaining when he was drunk. Yes, he was enthralling. Often hopping on tables imitating random villagers, or singing horribly off-tune, yet it was never harsh to the ears. Ivan Lev Chekhov was an interesting man indeed.

However, Ivan was also very flawed. He was a lazy man. While other men were actively herding the livestock he would be sleeping in the shade of a tree. When other women were occupied, doing the housework, he would be lying on his back cloud-watching. And when other children were eagerly helping around, here and there, Ivan would be watching the world go by. And whilst he was very helpful in many things, if there was any work to be done, he would be the last person you’d ask; always concocting excuses or putting it off to the absolute last millisecond. Ivan Lev Chekhov was a very, very lazy man indeed.

Three weeks from winter, the entire village was busy stocking up food, chopping firewood, piling warm clothes in anticipation for winter. Ivan Lev Chekhov was busy too. Busy inventing excuses for him to avoid work. Every morning he would wake up, determined to gather food, chop firewood and purchase clothing, only to be distracted the minute he set foot on village grounds. He would look up at the sky and sight clouds too interesting to ignore. Or he would decide to have a short nap only to wake up and find he slept through half the day before deciding he might as well sleep through the other half. He did this for days and days. Three weeks became two. Two weeks became one. And one week became a mere few days.

However, winter seemed to be running late. The harsh winters should have already settled in a couple of days ago. Sure it cold, colder than usual, but nowhere near the typical gnawing chills of winter. So everyone decided they would continue mustering provisions until the real winter hit. Everyone that is, except Ivan.

Ivan concluded, since winter was delayed, he could spend it observing the others. He watched
horse-drawn sledges glide over the ice, he watched men, women and children trudge through the snow, and he watched as black puffs of smoke escape from the gaping mouths of chimneys. Villagers warned him of the imminent savage storms but he shrugged it off. If winter was already a week belated, surely it could be postponed a few more?

One day, Ivan woke up to a morning colder than the others. His breath condensed into a misty haze. He proceeded to change into his snuggest clothing and advanced towards the door. Latching onto the handle and with a firm twist…he couldn’t open it. Why couldn’t he open the door? Did the hinge need oiling? Did he get a new door stopper he forgot about? No, so why wouldn’t it open? Ivan pushed and pulled. He heaved and hoed. He jostled and he jolted. But nothing seemed to work. The door wouldn’t budge. He didn’t want stay locked up in here, so he went for the next best thing. He strode towards his window.

Ivan was about to open it, when he ceased to gawk at the view through the glass pane. He was snowed in! It must have happened through the night during his sleep. But this can’t be happening. He had yet to collect the firewood, accumulate food and obtain warmer clothing. Goodness, he had yet to repair his chimney! He would freeze to death! And if that didn’t happen, he would starve to death! Either way he would die. Why couldn’t winter be late another day? Ivan shivered. Whether it was from the cold or the fear of death he did not know, but all he could do now was try and wait the winter out.

He stared at the walls - these four walls that kept him entombed. He suddenly felt a lot colder. His stomach was pitted with fear. His hands were trembling from despair. These four walls…these four walls that trapped him in his icy prison grew taller by the second. Those menacing walls shot higher and further from reach " more claustrophobic. Quiet. Everything was quiet. No sound, no life, no movement " no hope.

This winter was more ruthless than any other experienced by the village. It was long and cold. And when it was finally over, it was of a great relief to the entire village. Copious amounts of infrastructure were ruined, many more buried. But by this time Ivan was already dead. Ivan Lev Chekhov was a very, very dead man indeed.

© 2010 Dominique D'Arcy


Author's Note

Dominique D'Arcy
Is my grammar correct? Is the storyline fine? Did I capture his emotions when he realised he was going to die? Please review and tell me anything I can improve. Thank you very much.

My Review

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Featured Review

I think you captured the mood, emotions and story very well. It's a bit historical though, it does tell the short story but there isn't much direct action, just descriptions. But that's still fine if you intended to make it sound like this.

As for grammar i didn't find anything, the story line too is good.
The only two things:
“Ah, winter must be close by. Today is the day I will begin to collect necessities for winter,” is this a dialogue line cus it it is it sound artificial.

And his name. Did you intend to make it a Russian name because if that's the case "Leo" sounds out of place.

Anyways nice piece of writing i see you have good style and story telling i think you should keep on writing and posting.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

the grammer is really good. and i couldnt catch anything out of place. your vocabulary was very extensive though because you were writing about russia; i would've liked to see a few native words and meanings in the story to make it sound more historic.not as much action as i would've hoped for but it had a moral to it. well that it if you wanted one. you indeed captured the mood when you ivan thought he was going to die. but maybe you could've wrote a little bit more desription about the view through his window. also perhaps you would want to put ivans thoughts in italics so that readers know that its his thoughts.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think you captured the mood, emotions and story very well. It's a bit historical though, it does tell the short story but there isn't much direct action, just descriptions. But that's still fine if you intended to make it sound like this.

As for grammar i didn't find anything, the story line too is good.
The only two things:
“Ah, winter must be close by. Today is the day I will begin to collect necessities for winter,” is this a dialogue line cus it it is it sound artificial.

And his name. Did you intend to make it a Russian name because if that's the case "Leo" sounds out of place.

Anyways nice piece of writing i see you have good style and story telling i think you should keep on writing and posting.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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374 Views
2 Reviews
Added on June 19, 2010
Last Updated on June 23, 2010
Tags: procrastinate, winter, Ivan, Russia

Author

Dominique D'Arcy
Dominique D'Arcy

United Kingdom



About
I am very boring person who constantly questions my mentality. Not only am I lazy and stupid but I procrastinate as well. I have no idea whether I like writing, or hate it. I loathe the mental block.. more..

Writing