Author Topic: Romanov story  (Read 7570 times)

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Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2018, 02:10:55 PM »
A small stream that isn't marked on your map?

Ann




You do have to keep in mind there wasn't pollution like now in those times... And this is life or death for them. Perhaps now we are very aware of the dangers of drinking water or bathing in water from a stream or pond, but back then, things were different.


Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 02:50:38 AM »
I'm thinking more in terms of the kind of stagnant scummy water that doesn't look very clean.

Offline TimM

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 08:06:45 AM »
Like a swamp.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 11:23:31 AM »
Yes. In England ponds tend to be isolated and often stagnant or nearly so. The word 'pond' is used of small bodies of fresh water. Anything more than about 100 yards across is usually called a lake (if I remember correctly, anything more than an acre in size is legally a lake).

For drinking, cooking or washing the advice is to go for a fast-flowing stream, with a rocky, gravel or sandy bottom, as far upstream as possible, and check for dead sheep further up! Incidentally, on Dartmoor, near where I live in Plymouth, dead sheep are often to be found in nice clear-looking streams.

Now our three heroines, plus Dimitri and Ivan,  are on the run and desperate, but the capable Tatiana will be aware that they need to avoid making things worse by drinking dirty water and catching bugs as a result. They have the peasant's kitchen, and so presumably some pots and means of making a fire, so if they have to rely on pond water I would suggest boiling it.

Offline Превед

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 02:50:58 PM »
You do have to keep in mind there wasn't pollution like now in those times...

Exactly. Things were very different in Russia, especially in Siberia, in contrast to England, where the population density already in 1918 was much, much higher than in Russia and Siberia. (English agriculture, with the manure it produces, was also much more intensive than Russian agriculture.) The problem was not so much industrial pollution of water (more of a direct problem for aquatic creatures and other parts of the environment than for humans). For humans the main direct health hazard was untreated sewage emptied directly into rivers, lakes and the sea. This is hardly an issue in a sparsely populated Siberian forest.

Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 05:37:37 PM »
Quote
Incidentally, on Dartmoor, near where I live in Plymouth, dead sheep are often to be found in nice clear-looking streams.

Ew!

No doubt that is why it's recommended to boil such water before drinking it.
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Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2018, 09:07:23 PM »
Here it goes another chapter. There's a part (that you'll find without problem) which is not detailed, and it's open to the reader's imagination. Enjoy!


In the morning I woke up to see Olga sitting, raising an eyebrow, probably because how close Dmitri was from me. Or most likely because his hand was around my waist. Rapidly I removed it and sat down.
-How are you feeling? -I asked trying to wipe away the guiltiness from my face.
-I’ve been better, thanks -she said in a sarcastic tone -first Maria, now you?
-It's not what you're thinking about.
-I don't know, you tell me.
It didn't take her long to get stubborn and sarcastic again. But after all I was glad she was awake and able to walk.
We had breakfast all together in the kitchen, while we were sitting eating I could see how Dmitri's eyes were sparkling. I couldn't help it but blushing. Maria could sense something was going on, so when we resumed our journey -not after grabbing soap,  food, and clothes from the cabin- she asked softly:
-What's going on?
-We're walking, Maria. -I played the innocent card.
-No, I mean with Dmitri. He seems happier, and so do you. You're radiant.
-It probably must've been because I didn't sleep surrounded by bugs, and mosquitoes.
-Oh seriously? -she looked at me raising her eyebrows.
-Yes, seriously, my dear. - I smiled.
We kept walking. The idea was to reach the Chusovaya river. And there see if the other man was there with Nastya.
Dmitri told us we were 2 days away from the river. In the evening we stopped again; we couldn't feel our legs. Again the fever made another visit to Olga, I changed her bandage and cleaned the wound. It seemed to be better but it was still infected. She drank some milk and fell asleep. The temperature outside was still high to be at night. The stars were shining in the sky, and the air smelled like fresh pine. Ivan and Dmitri armed the tent again. We placed again the blankets in the inside, now we also had some pillows we took from the cabin. Surprisingly we weren't hungry. But we definitely were tired. Maria was the first one to fall asleep, and of course, to snore. A couple minutes later, Ivan did the same. Only Dmitri and I were up. We hadn't exchanged many words since the kiss, and to be honest, I didn't know what to say.
I decided to go outside. I could feel the tension in the air. Of course he followed me.
-Are you alright?
-I am, thanks for asking.
-Look, I'm sorry about what happened last night. It was improper, and won't happen again -he apologized.
-It's fine, really. It was the moment, I get it -I replied.
He looked up, to the sky, like trying to find strength.
-Good Lord, there’s no moment in the day in which you don't appear on my mind -he whispered.
I smiled delicately. But still, I didn't know what to do. Or say. It was the first time in my life I didn't know what to do next. I couldn't decide, even though, people always said I was good at making decisions. He seemed to understand what kind of struggle I had.
-Nothing is stopping us from being happy, and I won't push you to do anything you don't want. I am here for you, I am here and I'm not going anywhere.
Of course I had the same feelings, but I didn't know how to react to them. Dmitri looked me in the eyes and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I felt how my heart stopped for a second. I didn't know what was going on with me, I felt so weak and pleased at the same time. His lips were warm and I felt butterflies in my stomach. Why was I so weak to surrender my pride for a kiss?
An awkward silence followed next but we kept talking and enjoying the breeze, then we decided to get in the tent for some sleep. For our surprise, my little sister had found solace in the arms of Ivan.
-For God's sake, Maria, behave a little- I said.
Nothing. They ignored us.
-We'll sleep outside Tatiana. C'mon- Dmitri said.
I was furious. Dmitri actually had to drag me out because the anger was preventing me from moving.
-How am I supposed to sleep? How? - I asked - Thank God Papa and Mama are not here to see this shaming.
I sat down on my blanket trying to calm myself down. But it was impossible.
-I wish I could give you an answer, Tatiana. Let's better try to get some sleep.
He was right. But I still couldn't get into a sleeping mood. I was too angry, too worried and too scared to do it.
On the other hand, sleeping -or trying- in the middle of the forest wasn't something I was eager to try. We were too exposed to being found by the wrong people.
I kept awake, trying to be alert.
-When I say trying, I don't mean keeping your eyes open, Tatiana. -Dmitri pointed out.
I looked at him.
-You know I actually can't.
-Are you going to give up your sleep for this? We have a long journey tomorrow. You need rest. And please, stop worrying or overthinking something you can't fix.
-For you it's not a problem, clearly - I responded mad.
I saw guilt in his eyes.
-I’m sorry,  honestly I think Maria will regret it when she's older, just like I regret things -his face showed deep grief.
I felt very guilty for my sharpen words. I put my hand on his chest. He held it and kissed it.
-I am truly sorry. It wasn't my intention, but sometimes when I'm angry I can't really watch what I say.
-It doesn't matter. Would you hug me, please?
Of course I gave him a hug. The warmth of his body made me forget about everything and calmed me down.
We fell asleep hugging each other.

Offline TimM

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2018, 07:22:04 AM »
Ah, another chapter.  Thanks for posting this.
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Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 02:02:14 PM »
Here is an update! Enjoy!


We were awoken by galloping noises.
-Oh no - I panicked- Dmitri, wake up - I gave him little slaps on his cheeks.
-What’s going on? -he said with a sleepy voice without opening his eyes.
-Listen to that- the gallops were louder now, the man riding the horse was getting close to us.
-We got to go- wake the people inside the tent. - he said standing up.
Of course they were still sleeping, unaware how the danger was close to us.
When I was about to get into the tent, I heard Dmitri yelling:
-Run, run Tatiana.
I looked back at him, he pointed to me the man on the horse that was 5 pines away from me.
I softly lifted my skirt and did what he said. I ran what seemed fast, still being able to hear the horse behind me. Suddenly I felt something hurting me on my left leg. I fell, the next thing I remembered hearing was a gunshot.
_______
I opened my eyes and saw Olga's worried face.
-Thank the Lord you woke up. We were very scared.
Next to her was Maria and Ivan.
-Where’s Dmitri? - I asked because I didn't see him around, and I remembered clearly the gunshot.
-I am here -the voice came from behind me.
I had my head resting on his chest. I looked behind to see his smile.
-My leg is still in pain, did you put a bandage or something, Olga?
-Um, about that…-she said nervous- You have an arrow.
-I have what? -me ears couldn't believe it. Neither could my brain -Did you try to remove it?
-No.
-Olga, are you serious? Do you want it to get infected and compromise my entire leg?
-I offered myself to help her -implied Dmitri- she didn't want to.
I was furious. Again. And that was sad. People got on my nerves easily, because I'm the one who is always making decisions and thinking about others before me. I couldn't believe my own sister had put her own fears before my wound.
-Alright, this is what you're going to do Olga -she was listening carefully- first you will get a piece of fabric from the clothes we got for the cabin. Second, you will get the fabric boiling in water. Third, you will get vodka. Fourth, you will grab a knife and sterilize it with vodka. Finally you will get the arrow out of my leg.
My sister was pale. She had terror to blood. Back in 1915 she was reassigned to do administrative work at the hospital because she couldn't tolerate seeing bleeding wounds.
-Are you deaf, dear sister? - I insisted.
 -No.
-And why if you heard what I said are you still paralyzed?
She knew I was right, so she went to do what I mentioned before. Once she had all ready to perform that “surgery” on my leg, I could swear she was going to have a panic attack.
-I will hold you- smiled Dmitri.
Everything was ready. But my sister was shaking. She grabbed the vodka and poured some around the wound. She held the knife with her shaking hands. “God in your Mercy- I thought- get me through this”.
-Don't doubt so much, you can do it- I encouraged her.
She looked at me as the knife was approaching my skin. Dmitri's arms were around me. He held me tighter when the knife cut my skin. I couldn't avoid screaming of pain. By the time I realized, Olga already had taken the arrow out of my leg. Then she poured some more vodka. Out of the silk of her blouse, she got a bit of thread, to give me a few stitches, which was really smart. When she finished, I thanked her. She did a good job beyond the nerves. Also, Dmitri whispered close to my ear:
-You were really brave -he kissed my hair.
I wished Mama would have been here to tell her everything. To confide her my worries and thoughts, but I couldn't, because she was gone. I kept thinking of her, as the pain in my leg increased. I remember letting some tears run down my face, and Dmitri drying them with his hand.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 02:03:56 PM by infanta »

Offline TimM

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 05:12:30 PM »
Nice to see that Tatiana has Dimitri here.
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Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2018, 05:45:45 PM »
Nice to see that Tatiana has Dimitri here.

I'm sure he would have been there if he had the chance... Let's not forget he voluntarily got into the battle he was killed in, fighting with bravery and seeking death after hearing what happened to her. He was only two weeks away from his 28th birthday....

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2018, 03:15:22 AM »
Good stuff! But a practical point, where did they get the vodka?

Ann

Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2018, 09:59:34 AM »
Good stuff! But a practical point, where did they get the vodka?

Ann

Men back then didn't drink coke as you can imagine. Vodka was like water for them, because back then drinking water could mean getting typhus if it was contaminated... So they had Vodka as when now we go for a hike and pack a bottle of water...

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2018, 11:10:42 AM »
I know perfectly well that coke was not widely available then - certainly not in Siberia.

But we are dealing here with a small group of young people on the run, with not much of anything, so my immediate thought is, inevitably, 'where do they get X?' Besides, the books I really like tend to explain how the characters do things or get hold of things. So, how about:

Tatiana: 'We really need some surgical spirit, but there isn't any.'
Dimitri: 'I've still got some vodka in my hip flask. Is that any good?'
Tatiana: 'Perfect!'

Ann

Offline infanta

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Re: Romanov story
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2018, 07:57:50 AM »
I know perfectly well that coke was not widely available then - certainly not in Siberia.

But we are dealing here with a small group of young people on the run, with not much of anything, so my immediate thought is, inevitably, 'where do they get X?' Besides, the books I really like tend to explain how the characters do things or get hold of things. So, how about:

Tatiana: 'We really need some surgical spirit, but there isn't any.'
Dimitri: 'I've still got some vodka in my hip flask. Is that any good?'
Tatiana: 'Perfect!'

Ann

Don't you think that if I stopped to write about such details the narration would be slow, and boring? Certainly the reader would be asking himself/herself "who cares where they got the vodka?" or the blankets, or anything. The main topic here is not the vodka. Besides, such detailed narrations are usually for kids, because they need to have everything explained and detailed as they're not capable of imagining things themselves. Another point, do you think writers like Ken Follett, Julio Cortázar, Roal Dahl, Charlotte Brontë, among others, waste their time narrating where the characters got "X"? Let me spoil you the answer: no. I understand that's your preference, but in this story, that kind of way of describing does not have place. I'm sorry if by any means I sound rude. It's not my intention. I am of those that aspire to make the reader think.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 07:59:56 AM by infanta »