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Скрипаль Сергей Владимирович
Simphonie valhalla (перевод Trasher)

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    Перевод Trasher.

  - Wa-a-a-a-a-a-w!
  With whistling, gaily whooping and reckless laughter, the loathsome devils built up a wild fire. Having no merci neither on Vadim"s badly jagged visceral flesh nor on a single cell of his body, hoofing upon the wet mess of his guts, stomach and liver covered with bloody dew, devils started their mad whirl, full of deadly pain. They raised the hell fire higher and higher, now scratching and stabbing with their horns his helplessly quivering shreds of lungs. The pain caused by these inhuman tortures was so acute that Vadim, being not able to bear it anymore, began to shake his head and tried to unstuck the fritted lips. He attempted to cry out, but no strength left... He was hardly able to utter an inhuman groan.
  He was not able to see, his eyelashes were stuck together with blood crust but he clearly heard that the invisible crowd having caught his groan exploded with gloating laughter, whistles, hooting and triumphant yells... Stones thrown by the crowd began to hit his helplessly open, unreciprocated (unrequited) body.
  The devils had straddled sharp-edged circular saw (disk) and then, on wheeling it round up to a dead speed, they mingled the hart and throat on their way up and began to hack his exhausted brain to pieces now screaming with wild ecstasy.
  He regained consciousness suddenly, at once
  There was no pain. But not only pain disappeared, with it disappeared the ropes that had been tying his hands and legs. His body was filling up with sensation of strength, health and a new feeling of unfamiliar felicity
  Vadim, with caution, half-opened his eyelids and the next moment he thrust opened his eyes, full of admiration and began to look around.
  Human language is too rude, awkward and poor to describe what Vadim was watching. This scenery can be imagined only in the very middle of the northern lights radiation. Never-ending and majestic kaleidoscope of shimmering colours. A placid, solemn and leisurely-going kaleidoscope. Tell me, where should The Eternity itself be hurrying up to?
  The shimmering and soundless current was setting one"s mind at rest, now pacifying and captivating it.
  The very same way as ever-changing flames or running waterflow would charm a human being.
  Since the beginning of time, when our ancestor, a semi-animal, not a human still, but no longer an animal, had been sitting motionlessly for hours staring on and on upon the hypnotizing iridescence. It had been this way... It is going to be this way...
  Harmony of the changing colors stopped the flow of time, soothing, lulling. Vadim"s attention had lost its focus and he missed the moment when a strong, tall (almost six feet and a half) soldier with blond hair came into view.
  He did not come out, there was no approaching or any sort of movement. The soldier just appeared nearby.
  Vadim flinched, when he felt a soft touch in his shoulder, he looked around and saw him, in a sun-beaten, white-faded but still clean and nice-fit uniform. The same sort of uniform as Vadim and all who served in Afganistan had been wearing
  Vadim gladly addressed (hailed) the soldier:
  - Bacha!1 My dear! See, Bro, what is all that..., - perplexedly he waved his hand all around
  There was no neither smile nor answer. The soldier only waved his hand in answer as an invitation to follow him. The soldier...But why "soldier"? There was a uniform but there was not any badge of rank.
  He took a view of Vadim. The glance of colorless and nearly transparent eyes with thick and white lashes was calm and sad. Once again he nodded invitingly. Then he turned round and moved slowly to a big mirror-like pattern which stayed motionlessly upon shimmering wall of colourful flow.
  Vadim shrugged his shoulders and followed him
  -Bacha! - he called to his guide indecisively.
  The guy turned his head and replied in a sad and indifferent way:
  - Ei, oska...
  Vadim heard it as "Oscar" He shrugged his shoulders, the guy"s name, maybe. But if he did not want to talk, why to insist?
  Near the pattern the tow-haired invitingly showed at it with his hand, more precise not at the pattern, but somewhere inside it. Vadim got confused a bit. Then he peered into the spot-like pattern and suddenly realized that this was not a spot.
  Amidst the shimmering shining a giant funnel of mercury colour was twisting like a soft-moving vortex. Now Vadim, in his turn, nodded to the soldier, saying (meaning) , what are you waiting for? Let"s go. He shook his head negatively and moved his arms apart sorrowfully staying where he was.
  Vadim gave a farewell wave and stepped into (inside) this resilient and whirling circle. The next moment he saw the exit from the opal-shinning tunnel.
  Many peoples in uniform came into his view, as if appearing from darkness. They were sitting at the very long convivial table. The people together at the same moment put their goblets and turned to Vadim. Their faces were friendly smiling.
  A man, someone of those who were sitting nearby, stood up following the gesture of the Chief that was sitting at the head of the table. The man intended to come to Vadim. And at the very same time two splendid and thoroughbred shepherd dogs in one pretty trust jumped to meet a newcomer, their tails wagging... "To meet" is the right word, as if Vadim were their generous and long-expected master. Vadim had time to feel it that he was welcomed and expected here and... then the splash of flame in beautiful goblets that had illuminated this scenery suddenly began to whirl scattering into burning sparkles. The darkness came causing dizziness and nausea.
  ...Oh! It hurts me! Really hurts! What a pain!...
  He attempted to cry out, but no strength left. He was hardly able to utter an inhuman groan.
  He was not able to see, his eyelashes were stuck together with blood crust but he clearly heard that the invisible crowd having caught his groan exploded with gloating laughter, whistles, hooting and triumphant yells...
  A stone, pitched (darted) out of crowd, swept with its sharp edge across his eyelid cutting the eyelid off. The eyelid overhung like a blood-stained rag exposing the right eyeball.
  Terrible was his face swollen from beating and covered with wounds. The red and inflamed eyeball flooded with blood was turning on the solid purple bruise. Consistently viscous blood started to run down upon the cut eyelid.
  The parching darts of the sun pierced the unprotected pupil of the eye. The fierce wind "Afghan" hit the exposed eye with gritting grains of sand.
  -Allah! Allah!- the crowd let out cries of joy. These people from the god forsaken kishlak2 somewhere amidst the foothills of Ghindukush enjoyed and applauded the well-aimed pitch.
  This captive solder had vexed them really a lot! Damned Shuravi 3, intractable giaour 4! He had been fed and kept. They beat him, of course, like any slave. How could they do otherwise? He had refused to work, he had refused to accept belief in the one God, and he even had tried to run away. Death to the unruly Russian dog. Let the true believer enjoy! Inshallah5!
  Through the purple scales in his eyes Vadim saw the raving. He attempted to get rid of blood flooding over the wounded eye being aware that every his movement, every manifestation of life would cause new wave of humiliations from the joyful and blood thirsting crowd. But the Death was not in a hurry. He lowered his head and saw beneath him a curved Afghan axe, bark and shavings from the stake on which he had been impaled for several hours. Horrour and pain dimmed his conciseness, having switched off the bright light.
  ...Once again he was in front of the table at which many men dressed in uniform were sitting. The dogs having got nearby now were licking his hands, begging for caress.
  Nearly automatically, Vadim squatted then patted them on their backs, scratched behind the dog"s ears and stroking them
  Hi, there! - heard Vadim. He looked up and got struck dumb (perplexed).
  It was... Sashka who was standing in front of him! He had served together with Sashka in the same regiment who was so good storyteller about his Moscow. The very Sashka who neatly notched on the butt of his sniper rifle the last battle of more than
  a dozen of dushmans. That was Sashka whose body torn to shreds by a mine Vadim had carried in a zinc coffin to the very airplane, sending it to Sashka"s mother, Tamara Ivanovna, the teacher of the Russian language. This Sashka was standing in front of him, holding Vadim arms in his warm and alive hands, calling him to the table and asking him to sit down by his side at the special place that was reserved for Vadim.
  Sashka put his arm round Vadim"s shoulders and looked into his eyes.
  - Got confuse a bit? - he asked knowingly, - It"s OK, not so easy to explain but we"ll work it out!
  Vadim was really confused. Of course, you would get confused in such a situation Растеряешься тут...
  - And all this?...He waved his hand, - It means I am ...? - he got confused once again.
  It sounds so silly to ask whether he"s dead or not. What is this Hell? or Heaven? And anyway...
  - You know, I, myself, do not understand it completely - Sashka answered his silent question - You may call the place Valgalla, convenient and more or less comprehensive
  Valgalla? It is the place where the souls of heroes slain in battle are received! So it means that... - then he went on with his questions and the question was not about himself.
  - Sashka, and what about this tow-haired? About Oscar? - Vadim becked his hand somewhere backward.
  - Ah..That one...! He is not Oscar. In Estonian language "Ei oske" means "I don"t understand". But he understood everything OK. He was ordered to call for support over the radio, but he - ei oscke- and tried to hide away. All guys were killed and him either. But those guys are here - Sashka nodded to those who were sitting opposite to him, and the guys nodded merrily in answer - And he is punished for his meanness and for saving his bacon only. For a long time he will be prohibited to enter here, he"s going to be a guide. Nowadays he really understand nothing. And the punishment is the most terrible one - loneliness... Relax, Vadim! Everything will be OK from now on.
  Vadim was about to say - What does it mean OK? What can be OK if you are dead?. But there was no time to ask. The itching pain came back, his tongue failed him and terrible tortures thrust upon him arching his body. His sight grew dim and Valgalla began to drift away (somewhere). Instead of it only inhumane pain was left. And there was a loud moan, the moan of despair, pain and suffering. Vadim cried out the word that any other man would have uttered unconsciously when he is in pain:
  And somewhere in a small Siberian town Vadim"s mother had heard his cry. Noiselessly, trying not to disturb her sleeping husband, she stood up out of bed and went to Vadim"s room.
  Uncapable of quieting the nervous tremor of hands and drum-rolling heart, she seated herself on the very edge of the son"s neatly made bed and then she realized, felt that the great trouble had occurred to her son. This trouble forced her from the bed down to her knees. And ancient women, mothers of her kin started to whisper something with emotion. And the Mother began to whisper with them:
  -My Lord!...
  There was a blaze of flame in Valgalla torches, the dogs raised their ears, the dead silence came in upon the beck of the Chief
  - Oh, my son!...,- the uneasiness and feeling of a terrible disaster perplexed mother"s thoughts.
  - I beseech thou for help and protection. Save my child... Protect him with all your Power, shelter him from his enemies.
  Saint Virgin Maria! Your Son had been crucified and suffered for our salvation... I feel with my heart that my baby"s taking excruciating torments out there. The mother"s heart cannot lie, here on my knees I beg you - save him from suffering...
  In the shimmering unearthly light of purple waves, following the gesture of the Chief , the slain warriors standing at attention were listening to the Mother"s prayer. They waited for a command...
  - And if there is no other way, no chance... - cried the poor woman - I, his Mother, ask you to stop sufferings, take him with you. ( to where you belong) ( to your place)
  She lowered her head with hair that in a moment turned grey and fell to the floor, having no strength left, she had put all her strength into the prayer.
  The invincible warriors got the command, and as Spears of Saint George the Victorious they thrust from Heaven upon the sinful Earth, flourishing the Sky with fire thunderbolts.
  Piercing the black clouds with deep red strokes of lightning, they emerged unexpectedly and with full fighting force stormed upon the forsaken Afghan kishlak.
  Open-mouthed, full of surprise and paralyzed with superstitious fear the bearded dushmans6 raised their faces upward, when, coming out of blue, a pack of five helicopters, knowing no mercy, thrust the hurricane of fire upon their heads.
  In two minutes the clay kishlak was swept with a fire hand into the wide-open canyon.
  When dust and smoke cleared away, Vadim realized to his great surprise that he stood on amazingly crystal-clear mountain site. He was not longer impaled in the middle of the kishlak, there was no inhumane pain either, instead of it he was alive, healthy, in good spirits and even cheerful.
  A few men, those whom he had seen already in Valgalla, were coming to him. The first one was Sashka. He came up, embraced him and clapped Vadim on the back. In a moment the other men were nearby.
  - Well, Brother,- Sashka took a look into his eyes,- You are free now. From now on you belong to here. Come along with us.
  They hugged one another and went along the road merrily chatting
  - Sashka!...- Vadim asked gingerly, - Am I dead?
  - Of course,- Sashka roared with laughter, - But actually - no. And what do you think about this?.. You are coming along with us. We are dead but unsubdued. You did your soldier"s duty in full. Anyway, judge for yourself, is it necessary to be impaled for to feel yourself alive?
  - Mmmm.... No!......
  - Then Live a full life! As long as your are in this body. You would never understand it back on Earth, but now you will.
  - But what about my mother? She will be distraught with grief!
  - It is not we, who created this World (Universe),- Sashka significantly raised his eyes upward,- Let"s not split hair. Let it be the way it happens,- but Vadim saw that Sashka himself was not able to keep back a sad sigh.
  They were moving along the infinite road that led them higher and higher. Higher then the highest peak of the higest mountain. This road led them straight up to the sky, and the end of the road lay far beyond the snow-white clouds...
  ...Vadim"s mother awkwardly rose to her feet. Then she stood for a bit in the Vadim"s room. She looked over Vadim"s simple belongings, then she touched the wing of a plastic airplane model that stood on the piano.
  She recalled as Vadim was praised at the Music College (School), he was taught for entering conservatoire. But before he had time pass his first exam, call-up papers had come. And his music composition never have been submitted to a contest for entrance examination.
  Elenz Zakharovna picked up a music notebook covered with the son"s handwriting. She stroked it cautiously, with care - the way she did it to little Vadim. Having read once again the title on the notebook cover: Vadim Sergeevich Petrakov. SIMPHONIE VALHALLA.
  1) Bacha - friend, brother
  2) Kishlak - village
  3) Shuravi - soviet, from the USSR
  4) giaour - those who does not believe in Allah
  5) Inshallah - Glory to Allah
  6) Dushman - Enemy. The way Russian soldiers called Afghan warriors
  Перевод Trasher

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