Story, part 8

Story, part 8 – I think I was someone else before and … I loved a man … And I wonder why we hate them now.   – Because they are evil! And this witch is trying to deceive you, she stinks of people. You are constantly trying to question the wisdom of our old traditions.   – I’m not questioning, I… I think people may be similar to us …   – Be silent! – mamuna roared with such power that the fire almost extinguished. The other mamunas and young rusalkas approached curiously to hear better.   – Recalcitrant, ungrateful – mamuna said slowly – I take care of you, protect you, and you slip away to ask the enemy for advice! You come back and turn against us!   – You didn’t want to help me when I asked.   – Help? You’re making fun of our principles. I say this and you do otherwise. You don’t need help, you need a whip over your head!   Nushka looked around. Glowing eyes staring at her everywhere. She felt an enormous space between herself and them, greater than ever before. It was her family, whose head kept saying that together they were strength, yet being with them she felt so fragile and weak. How is it possible that with this “bad” Baba Yaga, she felt safe? Her whole heart boiled in a split second.    She quickly reached for the ax lying nearby. It must have been left there by the man she had let escape. All relatives held their breath. Nushka looked furiously at the surprised mamuna, but the blow that she was about to receive was not aimed directly at her.   Nushka knelt beside a lying log, laid her long hair on it, and clumsily, with a few swings, she cut off most of it. With eyes full of tears, she faced her mother and screamed in fury:   – It’s all a lie! I don’t want to live here!   She threw the ax and the cut off hair, and ran deeper into the woods. With each step the enormous power her mother had bestowed on her in order to harm people, was slowly leaving her.  ...

Story, part 7

Story, part 7 Overwhelmed by what she had learned last night, Nushka without much hesitation headed for the habitat of her relatives. She had a fever. It was dark inside the great cavity made of vines and plant roots, and the space was illuminated by a small fire in the middle.  What is that rag you’re wearing? – a stern female voice rang out slowly from the darkness –  and why you’re so dazed?  The owner of the voice emerged from the darkness. It was a strange creature with caricatured signs of aging in a woman’s body – long, pendulous breasts and wrinkled, pale skin. Thin gray hairs covered her whole body.  Mamuna, I had to get dressed because I went to Baba Yaga  Ignoring the expression of anger on her mother’s face, Nushka slowly approached the place where one of her sisters was dancing with a lured man. He was sweating all over, panting as if he was about to die, and yet there was a mindless smile on his face and his eyes seemed to be obscured by mist. The boginka was holding his hands and laughing happily.  When he got closer to Nuszka in a dance leap, she grabbed him firmly by the shoulders, tearing him out of the boginka’s embrace, and slapped him in the face. The man came to his senses and his smile slowly turned into an expression of utter surprise.  Run –  she whispered to him  With the last of his strength, the man ran out of the cavity, and the speechless relatives of Nushka stared at her.  Well well well – the old woman’s voice took on a poisonous tone – share with us what you learned from her.   ...

Story, part 6

Story, part 6 – How did this happen? It wasn’t me, after all … – Nushka said, taking small sips of a sweet, soothing infusion with dried berries floating in it. Fresh morning air blew through the window – There is more than a pile of bones and flesh in you. – baba brought her face closer to the girl, as if revealing a secret – do you know how a new life is created? – Well, you have to have an intercourse with a man or sneak a child from a village woman. The girl’s clear-cut answer caught baba off guard for a moment. Her mind wandered back to a very distant past, when she spent many hours developing formulas for love potions. – At least you know that much. Listen to me – baba extended her hand to the raven sitting on the back of the chair, and it rested politely on her hand. She stroked its back with her fingers – as one dies, the spirit of that person flies away. She paused for a moment, concentrating on petting the raven. – The same spirit later returns as a bird to fly into someone who is being born. This person gets a spirit that has lived some experiences. Could have experienced abundance and happiness, but also completely different things … – So I saw myself – The same spirit is in you – baba confirmed – Can I see more? Have some more of this potion? – You saw as much as you were ready to see. I won’t help you any more neither will the potion. Baba is...

Story, part 5

Story, part 5 She opened her eyes. The first thing she noticed was that she was sitting on a bench next to some hut, surrounded by a forest and the sound of birds singing. Even though she couldn’t see her reflection, she felt that she was a young girl, but not herself. The surroundings were clear but in constant motion.  In a place of a tree, after a while appeared a cut trunk, and in the place where the soil had been dug, grain grew and then it turned into a stubble. A man sat down next to her, she loved him. He wiped the sweat from his forehead after a hard work and hugged her lovingly. They sat together listening to the sounds of each other’s breathing with the nature sounds in the background. Children began to appear. She looked down, where she had seen two golden braids on her breast earlier – they were gone. Her hair was tucked under a headscarf, and the man was still at her side. She was full of happiness. It was a strange feeling that, being Nushka, she had never experienced.  Unexpectedly, the picture broke off and soon she was inside the hut. She really wanted to go back to the previous situation, but it was not in her hands. Everything worked automatically.  She tossed a few dried plants into a pot of boiling water, then reached for the prepared cabbage leaves and turned around. There was an old man sitting on a stool in front of whom she crouched down and began to put leaves on his swollen knee. “It will be fine,” she said with a smile which was returned. The picture blurred.  Everything quickly became chaotic. For a long moment she saw the unsympathetic gaze of her beloved one. After a while, feeling all her body tied, she heard her scream and felt a terrifying fear. Under the rush of her own emotions and the emotions of people, whose presence she could not see but felt, she was less and less able to define what’s happening. Suddenly a coolness embraced her body. She looked hopefully at a bright spot in the distance, but it was becoming less and less clear …  ***  Several hours have passed since the last screams of Nushka, deep in a strange sleep. Baba sat next to her, eyes closed, the heavy smell of incense in the air.  -Baba – Nushka’s quiet voice was heard. Baba jumped up in her chair –...