Part 2

Part 2

A Chapter by Eli

Outlaying village of Leningrad, USSR - November 21, 1937


            Aleksey awoke with a jolt the following morning as there was a knocking on the door. Quickly throwing off the blankets that had been tightly wrapped around him, he ran towards a window that allowed him to see who was at the door. Taking a second to wipe clear of the condensed air on the window, Aleksey recognized the person. It was his uncle, Nikolai Pavlov. Nikolai is only ten years older than Aleksey, and therefore the two are really close.

            Wondering if his grandmother may be with Nikolai, Aleksey ran to the door and opened it.

            “Aleksey? Why are you here?” asked Nikolai, noticing Aleksey looking around for something.

            “Do you know where grandmother is?” Aleksey responded, not looking anymore.

            “No, that is why I came here,” Nikolai responded with growing confusion.

            “Well she is not here! I thought she would be with you.”

            “What? Why would she not be here? She is always home. And why are you here in the first place?”

            “The secret police took my parents! I don’t know why. I heard them talking strange after dinner, and then suddenly the truck came and just took them!”

            “Slow down Aleksey. Let me in.”

            As Aleksey moved out of the doorway so he can enter the house, Nikolai’s mind began to race. What is happening? The secret police? Why do they want my brother and his wife?

            Once they were inside, Aleksey sat back down on the floor and tightly wrapped himself in the blankets. He had a distant look on his face, as if in deep thought. Ignoring this, Nikolai began moving about the room, looking for any sign of his mother’s disappearance. Shuffling papers, food baskets, and other items throughout the room, he moved as fast as he could. Aleksey grew out of his trance within a few moments, and after seeing Nikolai’s behavior, began to do the same.

            Several minutes passed, and they began to feel hopeless over the fact that something may give them a clue. Aleksey sat back down again, contemplating what they will do next. Nikolai continued to search in a few more spaces, doubting the likeliness that something may be there.

            But to his surprise, Nikolai found a strange, gray box that he had never seen before. While he pulled it out of the small space, Aleksey saw the find and hurried over to see what it was. Nikolai placed it on the floor, and they both sat to begin studying it. Nikolai lifted a lid, and inside the box laid a stack of paper. Quickly they both started grabbing multiple sheets of paper, scanning them as they did so. Neither of them found anything of interest until Aleksey suddenly stopped.

            “Aleksey, what is it?” Nikolai quickly asked.

            “It says it's an arrest form, look,” Aleksey handed the paper over to Nikolai. Nikolai began to read it out loud, his voice growing quieter with realization as he went on.

“...Ilya Vassilovich Pavlov, member of the Novaya Rossiya [New Russia], has been arrested by the NKVD for illegal activities against the State on March 7, 1937...

            “That's grandfather!” noted Aleksey with surprise. “I thought that he had-”

            “Died, I know.” replied Nikolai, interrupting Aleksey. Aleksey's grandfather " Nikolai's father " was thought to have been murdered after visiting Nikolai. They had been told he was walking on a sidewalk on the edge of the city when it happened. They had also been told that the murderer was found and arrested. But now it seems that it was never true.

            “Why wouldn't they tell us that he was arrested?” Aleksey asked, now very confused.

            “It probably has something do with this Novaya Rossiya group.

            “What are they?”

            “Perhaps a revolutionary group? I don't know, Aleksey. Maybe there is more information in this box.”

            They both started quickly searching back through the stack papers, frantically looking for clues about the group. Only a few moments went by when something was found. This time it was Nikolai who found it, holding the sheet of paper in front of his face while reading what was written out loud.

            “It says, 'Novaya Rossiya - Down with Stalin!. Never before has such tragedy befallen upon our great Motherland! For the past twenty years, this man has taken our once rich, beautiful vast landscapes and turned them into seas of bitterness and agony. We must come together, every last one of us, to turn the tide of this hideous destruction!'”

            “Why would they say that about Comrade Stalin?” Aleksey almost screamed, bewildered at the nonsense written on the document. He never knew that such things existed.

            “I don't know, but they must be mad.”

            “So grandfather was never killed; he was arrested. But again, why would they not tell us?”

            “They probably didn't want the group to know that their organization had been uncovered. Otherwise, the group would have shut down so no one else was caught.”

            “Do you think-”

            “That your parents were in this group? By the looks of this, most likely.”

            “But what about grandmother? Have they taken her too?”

            “I don't know, Aleksey. I would assume they have.”

            “So, are they going to take us too? They didn't take me because I had run away before the officer saw me. Perhaps they are looking for us now,” said Aleksey with fear growing apparent in his voice.

            “You are right. We cannot stay here much longer, and-”

            “But where will we go?”

            “I know some people who are here from Finland. They come down for business several times a year. Perhaps they can take us back with them.”

            “What if they turn us in? How can we trust them?”

            “That is a good point, Aleksey. But there is no other way, unless we cross over on foot.”

            The two of them sat quietly, contemplating Nikolai's suggestion. They knew that if they chose to stay here, they will most likely be arrested for having family who is in this Novaya Rossiya, despite whether they are part of it or not. But if they tried to flee with the Finnish businessmen, they would risk being turned in or caught at a border checkpoint. Or if they chose to go on foot across the border, they risk dying in the bitterly freezing weather that rakes the Soviet Union at this time of year.

            “What do you say we do, Uncle?” asked Aleksey after several minutes of silence.

            “Can you survive in this weather for a few days?”

            “I think so,” Aleksey replied while looking out of the window at the falling snow. It looked as though it would start falling harder soon.

            “Okay, we must get some rest. We will start out tonight.”



            Aleksey quickly came out of his unfortunately light sleep as Nikolai began shaking him.

            “Aleksey, get up. Now we must go.”

            As Aleksey adjusted to his surroundings, Nikolai began preparing for their journey into the frozen wasteland to their North. First he grabbed a large sack to place all their supplies in. Next, he started to bundle up bread and any other foodstuff he could find to put in the sack. By the time he finished with that, Aleksey had fully woken up and started to help. They both started wrapping themselves in as many clothes and blankets as possible, followed by extra blankets to go in the sack. Finally, Nikolai grabbed a couple of containers of matches so they could light an occasional fire when needed. After almost half an hour, they were ready.

            “Okay Aleksey, stay as close to me as possible. If you ever lose me, stay where you are and call my name. Are you ready?”

            “Yes, let's go.” 

            And with that they were off. The snow outside had slowed down some before they left, and therefore the visibility became much clearer and allowed them to see farther. And as they went, they could only hope that it would stay that way.


© 2011 Eli

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You are just perfect in controlling the words in such a mind-boggling way that would keep any reader in an agony of doubt and make them long for more.
Nikolai and Aleksey seem too much dauntless, certain and especially fearless compared to their age. I think you need to add a hesitation for both, their speech and features/physiological state like to show the reader that they are little bit afraid and not that plucky. Otherwise, I ADORE IT. well-done

Posted 8 Years Ago

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Another amazing chapter to read. This one gave out the information I was wondering about, and met us with a journey that will go on further through the book. Nicely written :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on May 11, 2011
Last Updated on May 11, 2011



Charleston, SC

I'm a 17 year old kid who loves writing, photography, reading, mathematics, science, and music! *IF you review any of my work, please don't just say how good it was. I want strict reviews that can.. more..

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