Autumn day in a pinery of
attracted a pinery the aroma and a soft laying from pine needles in the Warm autumn afternoon. Through kroner of pines was seen izumrudno - the blue sky. October pleased with the last heat, and the nature called on walk. Deciduous trees already managed to put on autumn dresses, and wind quietly played with the remained leaflets, publishing a pleasant rustle. Pines echoed a quiet rumble. And everything together turned into a forest melody. The nature prepared for a winter dream, and we said goodbye to summer and the warm sun for long half a year of winter cold weather and snow.
We arrived to the remote settlement for only several days to have a rest from city bustle and to inhale fresh air in dusty lungs. The housing was as if by itself, and the hostess was the nice elderly woman with the smiling eyes. The yard and all economic constructions were bleached and sparkled under beams of the autumn sun. The internal furniture of the room chosen by us for a lodging for the night was modest. There was everything that was necessary for temporary housing.
Snow-white walls, a small window of a rural lodge and the starched curtains invited to have a rest and relax, but I and my beloved husband could not wait to leave on walk that we immediately also made. Days off promised to be silent. We went on the way to the river, I very much wanted to greet the huge and strong river which bore the waters in a foggy distance. Vysoky Bridge over a water smooth surface opened to a look a water smooth surface darkly - green color with the seaweed and separate yellow leaflets floating on water curling on a current. Lonely birds turned over the river and continually flew by directly at us over the heads. Having overcome the small serpentine, we rose by cretaceous mountains and began to admire beauty of a landscape which opened from an observation deck. Before us the next villages, high-rise cases of sanatoria and boarding houses and the green ocean of a pinery clearly lay. Our further way lay back to the valley. Through the settlement we left to the wood. Footpaths, familiar since the childhood, opened to a look all charm of pine forest, all its aromas and sounds. We went on a footpath, inhaled phytoncides and listened to the wood. The footpath came to a clearing, and time smoothly approached a lunch. Talking about affairs essential and admiring the nature, we ate not the cunning lunch consisting of several sandwiches, sweet tea and vegetables with fruit. The lunch was replaced by slow conversation and an after-dinner somnolence that portended trouble.
Suddenly pines were inclined from a strong and cold flaw. Wind penetrated to bones, and it seemed that the winter icy cold came. Everything also unexpectedly abated. But opposite to us in trees something began to move. This being had no outlines of any living being who could live in these regions. It was shapeless and gray, and through it trees were illuminated. We froze with horror. There passed several moments, but this essence stiffened before us. I decided to ask it by the voice shaking with fear:
- Who you are?
To our surprise essence answered.
- the Private Ivanov.
For some reason it seemed to me for a moment that gray weight saluted as it is done by soldiers before the administration. Having consulted, we decided to talk to the ordinary soldier and to find out why his soul cannot calm down, than it can be helped. There is a set of stories how live helped the dead to restore justice and the wandering souls found rest. Further conversation is given below.
- What is your name?
- Why you here?
- I have to keep the promise made by the beloved, and then my soul will go to a better world.
- Than we can help you?
- Find Antonina in the settlement, she knows everything … here the essence of the soldier was dissolved by
I in air, and the sun began to shine over our heads again. We sat on a clearing and argued that it was - a dream or a reality. The family council lasted long, there were many disputes, but the decision was made unanimously.
Next day we began to ask our good-natured hostess on Antonina. She long could not remember the woman with such name, but then told us very interesting story. Really in the settlement there lives a local long-liver Antonina, but the grandmother is so old that sees nothing and does not hear and speaks already badly. Contrary to everything we were faced by a task to find this mysterious Antonina. Having found out where she lives, we went to the specified address.
The morning cool and the river fog which went down on the valley gave to mystery to our campaign and installed small nervousness. According to stories of our hostess in our minds Antonina appeared in the form of the ancient old woman bent from time with a crutch. To our amazement to the specified address the accurate one-storeyed samanny lodge with small windows around which the manual list in the form of a national ornament flaunted appeared. The front garden was set with multi-colored fragrant asters and oaklets, and on apple-trees scarlet brilliant apples flaunted. To us to a meeting there was a woman of years of seventy and asked why we here. We explained that we look for a certain Antonina at the request of her friend. The woman long doubted, but all - to us was succeeded to finish it, and it let us to the mother.
Antonina Egorovna was really very old and weak. She endured a lot of grief on the century - hunger, war and again hunger. From the moment of renunciation of the tsar of a throne before fall of the USSR she saw all history personally. Understanding it, involuntarily you like respect for such people. Life mercilessly beat them and tested, and they survived contrary to everything.
On our happiness the old woman was in senses and light memory and she spoke coherently and logically except for defects which were shown in a type of lack of teeth. Having got acquainted closer, we began to tell a yesterday`s adventure, and in my soul the feeling arose that we can be exposed as mentally ill people. The story was kept by the husband Andrey as the head of family, and I prompted and corrected. At the end of our story Antonina Egorovna rose on a heap of pillows and told us of the one whom we saw and that we need to make.
- I know … - Antonina Egorovna told, - Ilya came to me in a dream. I the daughter asked to put candles doleful for his soul, but see - did not help. Long ago it was, children, long ago. I then was young and beautiful, with a wide smile and brown eyes and long braids, and he was a prominent guy in the village. We fell in love with each other and wanted to celebrate a wedding, and here war burst. It was taken away on the front. As usual, was letters much, and then everything broke … I waited for it long and tears spilled much and prayers read, and its everything was not. Washing mother began to say that you should not wait, he died … I married another, but loved the Ilyushenka and secretly waited for him. Went to a substation and met trains, went to the river and came to a meeting to lorries. A lot of time passed since then, and it returned …
Here she became silent, it was visible to remember difficult to it events of those of years, time did not heal wounds warm. On wrinkled eyelids tears welled up, but forces which are concealed in an ailing body constrained a stream. When everything settled Antonina Egorovna continued the story and told us that Ilya understood all current situation and stepped aside. Lodged in the neighbourhood and began to conduct economy, and soon and itself married. Unfortunately it was died at Ilya, at Antonina. Ilya`s wife gave birth to him to the son and soon died of an illness heavy, the second time Ilya did not marry any more. Antonina`s husband washed down and soon went to a better world. Here, apparently, and to reunite hearts of lovers, but is not present. Ilya lived with the son, worked in collective farm and was in charge of housekeeping. Over time life was adjusted also at Antonina, children grew up and went to the city. In calm of rural life they continued to love each other, but in own way. Ilya helped the beauty Tonja about the house. In the evenings they drank tea and were whispered until late at night or just looked each other in the face. There they saw the whole world and all Universe, there was a boundless scope and ease.
Having returned back a little in the story, having as if forgotten something Antonina Egorovna continued the story. One fine day before leaving Ilya came to the front to Tonja with a gift. It was the chain with a kulonchik in which it enclosed their photo. At that moment Ilya asked about that after his death she threw a pendent into the river, then it will be free. Also added that in this pendent all his heart and all its feelings to it. Tonja then gave the consent and promised what all will make as he asks. Ilya calmed down, and life began to flow the turn. After war the pendent got lost, but then as though appeared from there is no place. Tonja accurately put it in a wooden shkatulochka where crosses worn on the neck of her and her children were stored. Years went, also Ilya died, his son went to the city, and Antonina remained to look after the house and a mogilka, often cried and grieved. Over the years it was left by forces, and it could not go to the river and keep the promise. Ilya came to it in a dream and talked to it.
Such we heard a story about eternal and strong love to which we are not subject time, distances and death. Now remained things are easy, to help to keep the promise and to calm to Ilya`s shower. Antonina Egorovna asked the daughter to give her the small wooden box which darkened from time. From it she took a chain with a medallion and transferred to us with words:
- All this that remained at me from it. There is any more no bagatelle which would remind of those fine moments.
We went outside with a heavy heart as though we took away all her soul from this woman, but memory spoke about this promise and a debt. We approached the middle of the bridge through the river, I took a chain with a pendent and having closed eyes threw it into water. In the temple of the settlement we put candles about rest of soul of Ilya and about Antonina`s health and went home.