Bullets whizzed past Natalya’s pale face. Her nose was bleeding and her stomach ached.
“Come out now and we won’t hurt you!” called a KGB agent to her.
“…Much!” added another.
Natalya brushed her long brown hair out of her face and looked up, she could see more black vans heading toward her position. She needed to escape from behind the old car skeleton where she was pinned down by oppressive fire. The Great Soviet Forest was only about fifty metres east of her position. If she could find something to use to shield her from the KGB she might have a chance, and she could loose them in the forest. Natalya looked around the snow filled landscape. Nothing.
She turned around again, still squatting, to face the car body. Her foot bumped something and she squinted at it. It was a reinforced tank plate. She examined it closely but the only thing she found was a Russian flag stamped onto it. She grabbed the sides and got behind it. Slowly revealing herself and immediately being showered with bullets and shells. The force of the bullets when they hit the plate was extraordinary, but Natalya hung on. She cringed at the thought of what the KGB might do to her if they broke through the plate. This made her slide with the plate at a faster pace. She was almost at the forest entrance when she saw the agents run away. Where were they going? Immediately a look of suspicion crossed her face.
She soon found out why they were retreating. A big grey tank rolled across the snow with ease, leaving large tracks as it went. It suddenly stopped and its nozzle turned to face Natalya. Suspicion surrendered and fright took over her face. She screamed and dropped the plate. Natalya bolted toward the forest and turned her head to look back, just in time to see the spot where she had been crouched down before, explode as the rocket from the tank hit the snow.
By the time the KGB agents had come out from their hiding places, Natalya was already half-way home to her father’s small cottage in Tunguska. It was a small town, yet very busy. Tunguska was a hotspot for KGB and Russian militant patrols. There wasn’t much more running involved for the rest of the trip home, so she took some time to clean herself up.
Natalya arrived at her father’s cottage soon enough and checked the time – 10:15pm. She sat down on her Grandmother’s vintage lounge and turned on the TV. She flicked through the channels and stopped on one. It was flashing images of what looked to be some sort of base or camp. The voice reporting said that it was a KGB base and that they had been taking more civilians to interrogate. She knew what the voice meant.
He father entered the room and the smell of aftershave and baby powder followed him closely.
“Where have you beenskis?!” He asked in his thick Russian accent.
“Ivan, Sergei and I were having that snow fight we had planned ages ago, remember?” She said quickly in response.
Her father nodded slowly.
“Well hop into bedskis and I will be in there soon” he ordered.
Natalya rose from the couch and skipped to her room. While waiting for her father, Natalya remembered what she had heard on the news earlier. She mumbled something rude to herself and her father came in. He made himself comfortable on her bed and started talking.
“I’m sorry Natalya,” he spoke softly and his voice trembled “It’s just I’ve never liked it when you stay out late ever since your mother…” there was a long pause.
“Goodnightskis Honey” he said as he got up and headed for the door,
“Goodnight Dad!” Natalya called out after him. For about 5 minutes she lay on her bed in thought and then sprung up. She grabbed her oversized parka and popped it on, and then opened up a hollow book and took out a small pistol. Natalya holstered it in her parka and clambered out the open window.
Natalya was naturally a master of stealth and she slid silently like a snake in a tube sock. Soon she came to an old container ship, docked on the edge of a frozen lake. She climbed aboard and went down into the hull of the ship. It was full of tired old men and women, most of them old convicts who gathered here every night to form a rebellion against Stalin and all those who follow him. As usual, the moment Natalya entered the room it fell silent. The crowd split into two sides, forming a path for her to walk down. The meeting had begun.
Natalya returned home late that night, avoiding Russian soldiers on patrol. She snuck into her room the same way she escaped and quickly fell asleep, hoping no one saw her, and no one did, except her father.
The next night was the same except for one thing. When she arrived at the container ship, it was deserted. There was definitely a struggle… or a brawl by the looks of what remained. Natalya was feeling sick. She wanted to hurl but she had to stay strong.
She ran back to her father’s house and saw a KGB van waiting outside with it’s engine chugging away, just as she was about to turn and run, a gloved hand stopped her.
A Russian soldier wearing a gas mask held her a gun point and led her inside. Her father would not look at her and his eyes brimmed with tears.
“Dad!” she screamed “What’s happening?!”
He didn’t answer. He just turned around, holding what looked to be a bundle of ruble.
There were two agents inside and the soldier. The men pushed Natalya outside and one of them thanked her father. She wondered what for until she was pushed into the back of the van.
“No!” she screamed, “No, no, no!”
The van started moving slowly and then it took off. Suddenly she heard the unmistakable sound of a rifle and glass shattering. The truck stopped.
Words in BOLD will have a meaning in this glossary.
KGB The Russian abbreviation for ‘Committee of State Security’.
Ruble Russian currency.
a new story by my son Ben who is 11 years of age :)