Story Pitch, Real Story by Etsuko N

I have this incredible idea for a short story. By reading “The Dairy of Ma Yan” and the notes from the interview of Miss Jenny Zhang. I was able to interview Miss Jenny, I found out that Miss Jenny’s story was kind of like Ma Yan story. For example they both live in a village. So let’s imagine this for the short story:

 

Miss Jenny is 29, she’s from Shandong and her family is still in Shandong. She came to Beijing in 2008 so that she can learn how to be a teacher, she went to Beijing Normal University. After university a boy needed a tutor and she found out that he studies in The International School of Beijing. That was her first time knowing that there was a school called ISB. When she got home she researched about ISB and she found out that ISB is different then the local schools that she taught. Then she decided to teach education of teleology in ISB. When it was her first day at ISB she didn’t have much friends and she couldn’t communicate well with the students and teachers because English is not her first language. She started practicing, practicing and practicing English, 3 months later she improved on her English

 

I think the theme is you should never give up and if you keep on trying you will achieve your goal. This story is a real and Miss Jenny is one of the staffs in ISB. I’m sure that English was everyone’s first languages was English, but imagine English wasn’t your first language and you have to learn because of your job. How would you feel?

 

Do you have any questions or can I give you a copy of my story next week?

 

 

If Someone Had Only A poem about Hitler By: Emma B

If someone had only given a chance to him,

Maybe world war two’s chances would be slim.

If someone had only told him he was awesome,

Maybe his wrath would not come.

If someone had only shared a smile,

Maybe he would laugh a while.

If someone had only told him his art was worth gold,

Maybe “War!” was not what he would’ve told.

If someone had only given him sweets,

Maybe he would send back treats.

If someone had only laughed with him,

Maybe his chances of evil would be slim.

If someone had only done something to change,

Maybe his future would not have been this strange.

Maybe.

If someone had only.

 

Fall in Spring by Emma B

Haseya shielded her head. Her long, black hair dangled next to her and little by little, dampened from her tears. The gunfire was too much and it frustrated her. She didn’t want to know who had died. Haseya did not want to see her village in the Four Corner Range, how broken it must be. Haseya imagined the turning-green forest near her home (which was really called Strong Wolf’s Forest because of a legendary Navajo leader, yet everyone in Haseya’s tribe just refered to it as the forest), the trees red from the blood of her friends and family. Haseya had known deep inside herself that it was silly for her to think that the forest was actually blood drenched, but her brain and heart were enemies at the moment. Another gunfire and Haseya winced. The gunshot ringed in her ears and it made her soft earlobes burn. The sound pushed to the sky. The bullet was so small, so why could it cause so much suffering and even death. Haseya heard the bullet’s path stop and a loud grunt of pain replaced it. Was that the death of a tribe member? I’m only twelve years old, she considered sadly, so why should I have to face this?

Earlier that exact same day, it had been perfect. Haseya had woken up to the first beautiful day the Navajo tribe had seen in months. Her mother had made a wonderful loaf of bread to celebrate the coming of spring. Her family had devoured the bread with her mother’s last bowl of strawberry jam. Even Haseya’s father came to join them to celebrate spring. This was rare, because most of the time, on regular days, Haseya’s father got up before dawn and went straight to work. Haseya considered herself lucky when she caught her father to give him a hug before he left out the door in the morning. Haseya felt a sense of mistreat when she didn’t see her father at breakfast most mornings, but usually she tried to be positive and cheerful. Haseya’s little sister, Awee, was noisily chewing her bread with Haseya’s wolf, Bear. No. Haseya thought, Its me and Awee’s wolf. Bear loves Awee almost as much as me. Besides, Mother let me keep Bear when I found him as a pup, because Father says it would be a great lesson on responsibility and how to care for another. So, why can’t Awee have that same lesson?

                  After breakfast and their prayer to Mother Nature, her father went off to his work, promising he’d be there for the spring coming party in the evening. There would be music, a huge fire, dancing, and a great feast to celebrate! There was even gifts going to be exchanged at the end of the feast. Haseya couldn’t wait.

                   Smiling, excited about the evening, Haseya set off to Johona’s hut, with Bear following loyally behind her. Haseya welcomed herself in as their culture allowed as long as the person who is coming in has met at least one person in the family. If they have not, they must either call into the hut or wait patiently outside until a family member notices them.

“Ya at ehh, Haseya!” Johona greeted her best friend. “I see you have brought Bear again?”

“Yes, Johona, I think Bear missed you…” Haseya started, but then her voice faded a little. “It’s been a while, but…” Haseya shook away the horrible, lonely feeling and chirped in her usual joyful tone, “I’m so very happy to see you, and Bear is too! Just look! It’s the beginning of spring and I heard that the tribe is throwing a party tonight to celebrate! Even the forest looks happy, with all the flowers trying to burst out their beauty!”

Yet, Johona was clever, and saw right through Haseya, “Something is on your mind. Come and sit down. You are welcomed to tell me everything.” Johona assured Haseya as they sat on the deer fur rug, Bear laying down in between them.

Johona stared with her milky brown eyes into Haseya’s lilac purple eyes. Johona was wearing boy’s clothes, because she hated wearing dresses or skirts like the rest of girls of the tribe. The only time Johona dared put herself in a girl outfit was during ceremonies and even then sometimes she couldn’t stand it. Now, though, she simple asked Haseya, “What’s troubling you?” The tiny sentence meant so much to Haseya and she couldn’t help but tell Johona everything.

“I have that feeling again, Johona. I feel like something bad it going to happen, like the time I felt this way when a tree fell over part of our village. I know it’s the first of spring and I should be thankful and joyful, but I have that nagging feeling, Johona. It’s just… there.”

Haseya blurted out, unable to control her thoughts any longer.

Johona was Haseya’s best friend and would not lie to her friend, “Hmm, I see. I am not sure what is going to happen, Haseya, but it is no use worrying about it. Let’s go make some moccasins for your father. He’d love that, especially since I’ve noticed his are getting a little worn out.”

Haseya at once regained her joyful mood and nodded. “That’d be very nice.” Haseya admitted and patted Bear to wake him from his slumber.

The two girls, along with the wolf known as Bear, went outside with the moccasin materials. They all sat down and began to work. Johona began working on one of the moccasins and Haseya worked on the other, stopping once and awhile to give her wolf a comforting pat.

Haseya was almost finished with the bottom of the moccasin when she felt something past her ear. It was much too fast and direct to be wind, so what could it be? Haseya looked at Johona and saw that she was trying to say something. Johona was waving her arms franticly, and screaming at Haseya. At once Haseya went out of her thoughts and into the reality.

“Watch out!” screamed Johona, still waving her arms, “Haseya… duck!”

Haseya knew Johona was truthful, so she ducked. With horror, Haseya looked up and saw a bullet streaming over her head, only missing her by a fraction of an inch. Haseya shouted at Johona, her hands over her head, “What’s happening?”

Johona screamed back, “I think some cowboys from Arizona are attacking! I think they may be trying to take our stuff! I hope… Haseya, move!”

Haseya rolled to the side as a bullet shot into the ground beside her. That’s two times Johona has saved my life. Haseya thought, almost smiling, even in the chaos around her. I’m going to owe her a lot! Maybe even Bear…

Haseya looked up. Where was her wolf? At the same time she looked up, she saw something even more horrifying then the disappearance of Bear. An Arizona cowboy was aiming one of their gun items at her father, the chief!

“Father, watch out!” Haseya screamed, terror, confusion, and rage on her face.

As soon as her father turned to find the source of the sound, the gunfire sounded.

Haseya dropped to her knees, crumpling, almost in the same way her now dead father fell, bleeding. Haseya couldn’t bare it anymore. She didn’t care if she was shot; she might have wanted to be.

Haseya’s long black hair tumbled next to her as she put her head in her knees. Her tears dampened the strands of hair near her eyes. Haseya had always been positive; she hardly ever got down in the dumps, as the Americans called it. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had cried (not because of pain, but because of sadness or anger) or felt outraged.

Haseya then smiled. She was thinking about all the happy times with her father. Her father swinging her around and then pretending Haseya was a little American metal bird (a plane), swinging her from side to side. Her father sometimes pretending the American metal bird crashed and they both went on the floor, laughing. Haseya remembered her father taking time out of his work to show her the forest and it’s beauty. She saw the image of her father telling Haseya about Mother Nature and how Mother Nature loves plants, animals, and of course, little Navajo girls.

Yet, for once, the negativity went into Haseya’s heart. No. She reminded herself, tears filling her eyes yet again. Those days are over. My father is dead, and others are probably dead too.

                  Haseya heard a wimper and saw a frightened Bear, hiding in a corner of Johona’s hut. Haseya crawled towards him, her face covered in dust and a little blood from some scratches. She wasn’t going to stand this a minute longer and neither was her wolf. Haseya had gotten up, knowing her loyal wolf would follow her, and headed toward the forest in a swift sprint.  The flower buds on the small, growing leaves on the trees seemed to welcome her, calling her so loudly to join they’re beautiful wonders, that Haseya didn’t even hear Johona’s call for her to stay.

The branches from the trees hit Haseya’s face as she ran deeper and deeper into the forest, her wolf on her heels (who was getting quite to a liking of getting to run with his master). When Haseya thought she had gotten deep enough into the forest that no one would find her, she stopped in a clearing of soft grass.

Haseya sat on the thin sheet of grass, that was trying to open into spring, and she cried. Not even the beautiful sun, glinting in the spaces in between the trees, shining most amazingly in the clearing, could make Haseya joyful. The sweet smell of the grass didn’t cheer her up. The breeze mixing with animal calls to make music did not make her feel like dancing. Even cuddling a fawn wouldn’t make her day any better.

Bear hated to see his master devastated and rested his head on Haseya’s knee, gently rubbing against her for comfort.

Haseya sniffled uneasily and stroked Bear. It wasn’t fair that he had to be sad, just because she was. Haseya saw the homesickness in Bear’s eyes and decided she’d go home. Maybe, she thought to herself, maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe father is just badly hurt and maybe he can get better. Even if he is dead, I still have the tribe to keep me going.

Haseya got up and began to make her way out of the forest. She passed by a little stream for a drink. Her relfection showed something she did not know of. Blood was on her face from scratches and she was unbelievably dirty. Usually she bathed in a pond near her village and kept clean. Now, she looked sorrowful and she felt that a little too. Haseya got up from the stream’s bank and saw Bear waiting for her.

Then, Haseya noticed something. On her way to the clearing, she had never seen a stream. Quite to the fact, she hadn’t remembered seeing anything from her way to the clearing she had been in a few… a few what? The trees loomed over the sun and Haseya didn’t even know how long she had been in the forest.

“Oh no, Bear!” Haseya whispered, tears once again flooding her eyes, “We strayed too far! We’re lost in the forest!”

Now, the forest didn’t look so beautiful to Haseya, as they were trapped inside its blooming trees.

Had she’d gone too deep into the forest? Was she ever going to see what was left of her family again?

 

 

. . .

 

 

 

Back in the Navajo camp, Awee was devastated. She knelt by her father, a circle of tribe members mourning around her, for the loss of their great chief.

“Father, why? Why aren’t you here? You promised we could go horse riding tomorrow. Now, we can’t…” Awee sobbed. This was rare, because usually Awee was the most joyful in the tribe, even though she was the youngest and there wasn’t a child younger than her (except for Bear, if you counted his age in our count of years). It was evening, but the celebration of spring was not to happen. Even Awee’s sister, Haseya had disappeared and the tribe feared the cowboys had taken Haseya hostage to force Haseya to tell them all of the Navajo secrets, after she ran into the forest.

Ahiga, who was second in command of the tribe, stepped forward. “I’d like to say a few words.” Ahiga announced, “We all grieve for our chief’s death. He was my best friend. Our chief was a brave leader. He has given his life for our sake. We also grieve for his eldest daughter, Haseya, who has been taken by the invaders. Haseya always boosted the tribe’s spirits and we all share our sorrows for Johona and Awee who loved dear Haseya very much. We also grieve for Bear, the best wolf this tribe could have.”

Then, Ahiga reached down and gave Awee and warm hug. Ahiga was like an uncle to Awee and she was glad that Ahiga cared for her.

Ahiga patted Awee’s little shoulder and stood up again, “Let’s all take 100 heart beats of silence for our lost members of our tribe.” Ahiga announced, not knowing what minutes and hours were, like the rest of the tribe didn’t.

Awee hugged her father; he was freezing, but there was that expression on his face. The proud, happy expression he made whenever he saw his daughters. Tears dripped from her small, freckled cheeks (she being the only one in the tribe with freckles, which was very odd, but made her rather special) and splattered on to her father’s stiff upper-body. Where are you, father? Awee thought, tears streaming from your eyes, Where is Haseya? Why did she run into the forest to let those bad men catch her? Doesn’t she love me, still? Did I do something wrong to make her run away? Did I play with Bear too much and that’s why he left me too?

The gears in her little brain turned. She was confused, depressed, and tired. Everyone else had gone back into his or her hogans, log huts covered in mud and grasses.

The chilly night made her father’s body seem even colder. Awee shivered. Now, she was confused, depressed, tired, and chilled. The night air set a peaceful look on the Navajo area. The far away stars glinted beautifully in the dark blue sky. Awee’s mother came out and knelt next to her daughter.

“I know it’s hard.” Awee’s mother whispered in her ear, “Your father and Haseya may be gone, for perhaps quite a long time, but don’t let this make you sad. They still love you, but they just can’t be with you right now. I love you very much too, and I’m still here. Awee, they’re will always be someone to guide you, remember that.

“Haseya and your father would want you to be joyful and celebrate good days to come like they would’ve. You can be like Haseya. You can be a happy little girl for the tribe, can’t you? Tomorrow we can go and look for a wolf pup or get a pup at the trading post. You can keep a pup, just like Haseya. You can feed him and take him for walks. See? Not everything has to be bad.” Her mother calmly spoke, stroking one of Awee’s braids.

Awee sniffled and nodded. Maybe mother was right. Maybe a pup would make it better. Maybe if she acted like Haseya it’d be better.

Her mother held out her hand for Awee to hold and got up. Together, they walked toward’s their hogan, in the peaceful night. Awee knew everything was going to be all right tomorrow. It was going to be different, having no sister and no father, a different chief, a new pup, yes. Yet, to Awee, she was happy. Awee knew that father was in a better place with Mother Nature and maybe Haseya was too. Even so, Haseya could come back. Holding hands, Awee and her mother walked into the beautiful night sky, their lives going to be different, but a new beginning. New beginnings, new starts, whatever anyone called them, were good. Maybe even better then before.

 

 

 

 

Holes a report by Etsuko N

Etsuko Ng                                                           

February 2, 2016

 

Holes, by Louis Sachar is a realistic fiction novel, in which a young teen boy Stanley Yelnats gets wrongly accused for stealing a pair of shoes, and is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp as his punishment. Camp Green Lake is a place where the boys that are sent to the camp dig holes everyday. Camp Green Lake is a desert. It used to be a clear, blue lake surrounded by lonely houses and lots of plants, but now it has all dried up. At Camp Green Lake, Stanley meets Zero. Zero is a friendly but illiterate boy. The warden is a cunning woman, who’s scary and punishes criminals by digging holes. She also has a mysterious ulterior motive. Zero ran away from Camp Green Lake, then Stanley decided to look for him because it had been days since he ran away. After hours of searching Stanley finally found Zero. Then they started to walk towards God’s thumb, a far away mountain that represents freedom and safety.  After a long, difficult, endless walk, the heat tired them out and dried them up. This is when they realized that they had no water, shelter or food. Will they survive this dangerous escape and make it back to survive and solve the mystery of Camp Green Lake?

 

Holes, holds intense secrets and has powerful themes, brilliant intertwining storylines, and interesting characters. One of the most powerful themes is to dig deep to find the truth. This is powerful because it encourages readers to continue reading, and find the hidden truths that drive the plot.  Holes’ intensity comes from brilliant intertwining storylines. By changing between a romantic tale from Camp Green Lake in the 1900s and the modern story of young criminals digging holes, it traps the reader inside the book because they want to discover the resolution to the plot. Lastly, Holes intense secrets come from the interesting characters. The characters are criminals, they have mysterious names (Armpit, Zigzag and Squid) and mysterious pasts. For example, when Zero was young, his mother went to work. When it was time for his mother to come home, Zero waited but he realized his mother was not coming back. Zero never knew why his mother left him or what happened to her.

Lastly, Holes is a fantastic realistic fiction novel, it’s for fans of crime, adventure and realistic fiction. Holes is also a book for any kind of gender because it has an exquisite plot, which is for boys and girls and also for any kind of age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meth by Daniel K

“Is this a dream…?” I asked my self, stretching out the soft, white blanket that were covering up my whole body.

“Where am I? A hospital?” I said, guaranteeing myself that the place was a hospital by observing the appearance of the room. An entirely white edifice with a million rooms filled with beds and pharmaceutical tools=A hospital. I searched around the room, finding ‘the thing’ until an enormous vortex opened behind me, from another dimension. I stared at the vortex, with my mouth gaped as a peculiar creature walked out of the vortex.

“Hello, Mr. Culkin.” The creature said, walking towards me. The creature had a body of a man, was wearing a suit and a tie. The creature had a halo floating, glowing on top of his head.

“Who are you, and how did you know my name?” I tried to commence an interrogation.

“I know your name because I was sent from the big guy to take you to the heaven” said the creature in the suit. Then there was an awkward silence. I was dead. I tried to think of why and how but I couldn’t remember anything. I finally opened my mouth after about a quarter of a minute of thinking.

“Am I really dead? Am I going to the underground?” I asked the creature, feeling timorous.

“Yes you are dead indeed. However I don’t know whether you are going to heaven or hell, its the big guy’s choice,” said the creature smiling.

“My name is Azrael, Azrael Grim Reaper, one of the angels of death,” the creature, Azrael continued.

“Can you tell me some big events or things that you remember the most?” Azrael said. When Azrael asked me the question, memories started to come back and I spoke

“I remember the time when I moved to a new house for the first time, being the new kid in the school. I also remember the time when I got my first girlfriend, Scarlett, who was extremely gorgeous. When my parents congratulated me for getting into college, although it wasn’t a college that I can boast about. I remember the time when I bought my first car, driving with my new girlfriend Amber. I also remember…”

“Its funny how you don’t remember why you are dead!” said Azrael, snickering.

“What…?” I said in a clueless voice.

“The thing that you found in the cupboards,” said Azrael, giving me a hint. Then I averted my eyes from Azrael and took a glance at the thing in my hands.

“This…?” I said with my voice trembling like a leaf about to fall off a tree.

“Yes,” said Azrael, “the thing that you spent most of your time on.”

“Meth…” Azrael and I said simultaneously, as I felt myself get sucked into the vortex.

Sofya’s Journey by Hannah J

Based on The Wolf Princess   By Cathryn Constable

 

Part I

When Russia got rid of the Tsar, it caused the downfall of the Russian Empire and led to civil war and the birth of the Soviet Union.  Vladimir, the last Volkonsky prince, and the bravest man in the Tsar’s army, had been targeted by the Soviet Union.  It was only a matter of time before they would come. 

We were expecting them when they came that night in 1917.  When we heard the hooves of the twenty revolutionaries on horseback pounding against cold stone floor, we knew it was time.  I was all dressed up in my elaborately designed shuba and valenki with a pack slung over my back, and my sleeping child tied around my waist with an assortment of thick furs.  I embraced my husband one last time as they began pounding on the door.

“Are you sure about this?” I whispered into his ear.

“Yes.  You must stay strong Sofya, for him.”  He gently laid his hand on Mikhail.  Tears blurred my vision.

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” He hesitated, “May the wolves guide you on your journey.”  I took one last look at him before racing down the corridor out to the gardens.  As I stepped outside, I was greeted by harsh winds buffeting against my body.  Violent, tumultuous snow fell around me, obstructing my vision—it was nothing like the soft wondrous flakes that fell like dandelions early in the year.  I trudged through the heavy snow, holding my child close to my chest.  The wind roared in my ears, deafening me.  I tried to crawl through the white torrent, hoping it would be easier that way.  Then I heard it.  The sharp rat-tat-tat of gunfire followed by silence; then, laughter, deep cruel laughter.  Moments later, the Volkonsky Winter palace went up in flames.  The sharp smell of burnt wood filled the air, staining the pure white snow an unholy black.  That was the end of my home.  The only place known to generations of Volkonsky princes and princess, queens and kings – and in it, laid my husband, Prince Vladimir; May he rest in peace.  There was no time to delay.  I had to hurry.  They’d be coming after me soon.  Shaking, I pulled my shuba around me more tightly and continued my way through the blizzard.

 

 

Part II

Food was scarce, and the journey was arduous.  The tips of my fingers were frozen stiff from the cold, and the fact that I had a crying infant swaddled on my waist didn’t make it any better.  At times, when Mikhail was silent, I would believe that he had succumbed to the cold and shook him awake, just to realize that he had been asleep.  The wolves assisted us on the journey, finding a small bird or squirrel to feast on when they could.

As night fell, I found shelter in an empty cave and curled up around a fire, trying to stay warm.  After devouring a brief meal of bread and cold borscht soup (for the baby), Mikhail finally fell silent in a deep slumber.  I glanced up at the beautiful night sky through the mouth of the tunnel.  So dark, so mysterious; a deep blue heaven peppered with glowing orbs.  Stars, Vladimir had called them, big balls of gas.  Between caring after the estate, and meeting with his colleagues, he would always find time to spend hours examining the dark night sky.  What would it feel like to live on a star? Far far away from all this war and anger.  I would be safe with my husband and child…  The last thing I heard was the howl of a wolf before I fell into a deep sleep.

The following day, I awoke to find that the snowstorm had stopped.  The sky was a clear, a piercing blue and the dazzling sun radiated sunlight, making it all so brighter.  For a second I forgot what I was doing out here on the cold stone floor instead of nestled in my warm bed.  Then, I remembered.  Yesterday the Soviets had broken into the palace to murder our family.  I had escaped into the Volkonsky forest with the baby, unscathed, but Vladimir was dead.  Suddenly, a strangled moan reverberated from somewhere in the forest.  Grabbing a rock from last night’s fire, I peered through the silver birch forest.  However, as I gazed more carefully at the distance, I saw a white furry creature camouflaged into the snow.  I squinted.  Volk!  It was one of the wolves!  There it was, the magnificent creature, lying in the snow at an awkward angle.  But what was it doing here lying on the snow like that?  I trod closer lightly, trying to make as little sound as possible.  Softly, I crouched by the wolf’s side, and touched its shoulder.  It recoiled, whining softly in pain.

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.”  I turned the wolf over to a more comfortable position to find that its arm was matted in blood, staining the snow beneath it a deep crimson.  I gasped.  Deeply embedded in the cut was a small silver bullet with a thinner protruding top.  It must have been the Soviets, up to their little games of “hunt the wolf”.  They had no respect for such creatures.  To them, wolves were merely beasts to be hunted.  From the wolf’s dulling eyes, to its faint breath, I knew that it wouldn’t last much longer.   Why was the world so cruel to such innocent creatures?  Softly, I kissed its head and left it to rest.

“I’m sorry.”  I whispered.

 

Part III

 

The blizzards continued, and at one point I caught a bad cough.  I felt faint at times, and frequently had to stop to rest.  Then, on the second day of my illness, I began seeing and hearing strange things.  It started simply as seeing a tree in the middle of an empty clearing or hearing a gunshot in the distant, but then I began seeing shadowed figures stalking me.  At one point, I heard my husband’s voice calling out to me.  But that was impossible; he had passed.  Or had he?

Then, on the third day, I began to shake violently, and would stumble on perfectly flat ground.  Each time I fell down, Mikhail would laugh out loud, believing that I was playing a game, which I did not quite understand.  I tried to tell him this, but had difficulty speaking clearly.

By the fourth day, we had finally reached the White Sea, but I was so cold.  It was as if Snegurochka had cast a curse over me.  Suddenly, my legs buckled beneath me.  I fell into the snow, and the world spun out of focus.   Mikhail began to cry, kicking his legs around violently.  I tried to get up, but my arms would not obey my command.  A dreadful pain shot through my chest.  I took shallow breaths and lay there for a while.  I was so tired…  I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep forever, forget about everything and just let go.  Then, it dawned on me.  I might not be able to complete this journey with my son.  I didn’t want to say it, but I was gravely ill, and was… dying.  It was obvious.  I wasn’t going to make it.  Despite the fact that I wanted to accompany my son on the journey oversea, it occurred to me that this might not be possible.  It would be wiser to leave him here in the snow in hopes that someone from the village would come by hunting and find him instead, then take him in with a new identity.  I hoped—no—I knew that he would be safe.

So this was it then.

I laid my child down on the snow and smiled softly, gazing down at his bright blue eyes, just like his father’s.  I mustered what remaining energy I had left and began to sing in a clear voice.

V glubinye vecherom, Snyeg bypadaet, kak almazy.  Volky poyut vlunnom svetye.”

In the depths of evening, snow falls like diamonds.  Wolves sing in the moonlight.  We part.

I unfastened a long chain with a small grey diamond and hung it around my child’s neck, careful to hide it under his shirt.  His large innocent eyes gazed up at me with wonder, unable to speak.

“I love you.”  I whispered.  “And may the wolves guide you on your journey.”  Finally, I laid a gentle kiss on his forehead before collapsing on the snow besides him.

The sky was painted crimson with blood, an illuminating round figure glowing in the distance.  What remained of the day’s light poured through the trees like the long petals of a blooming thistle flower.  Smiling softly, I sighed, closed my eyes, and let go.

 

 

Russian Glossary

Shuba – Fur coat

Valenki – Heavy felt boots

Borscht – Russian beet soup 

Volk – Wolf

Snegurochka – The Snow Maiden, a Rusian fairy-tale character