Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ISOLATION ........... 12/31/13

The Russian steppes go on forever.... endless vistas of tussock and tundra... no trees... just horizon... a sea that doesn't move. Human structures and other artificial violations  are rare in these parts, but occasionally you'll come across isolated rotting structures. Some are small, though others seem like neolithic cities. Rooms open into rooms. And crumbling, linoleum passageways lead nowhere. 

They say Stalinist technicians tried to make monsters here, sad hominid mixes, part man, part ape. Officially they never succeeded.. But that was just officially. And when Moscow lost interest the technicians were recycled into something else. That's what they did. One day a big truck pulled up. Nameless, low level functionaries man-handled two or three heavyweight wood chippers out onto the permafrost.

That night at dinner (maybe 'evening  feeding would be more accurate), the soup had a certain tang and after the vodka and babkah, all were fast asleep. A bit later, silent minions commandeered from an up river gulag laid each technician down upon the floor of the recreation hall, a wide, unfinished space used for basketball and public canings. Both equally entertaining and well attended. The sleeping communists were trussed up like suckling pigs, carried to the wood chippers and unceremoniously lowered in. 'Bone meal' I think they called it and cattle all the way to the Urals were glad to get it.

Then cages housing curious half human creations were emptied. Everything else of value disappeared into the pockets of nomenclatura (Soviet nobles) in the capital, or perhaps Leningrad. The whole place was sloshed with a solution of water and carbolic acid, locked up and abandoned. 

For eighty years none but the rats and some screaming, disembodied souls knew its name.

Each window was sealed behind chipped green metal shutters, wielded into place. And the ghosts walked in darkness, for no light came within.

No road came this way. No troika passed in winter. Only the wind rushed by.... til one night something happened. A conveyance dropped from the stars. A helicopter came down all black and new and shiny, landing on the roof (that part, reinforced cement) like a huge, nocturnal dragonfly.

Two masked figures, obviously familiar with the place, or at least the blueprints of it, hurried to a skylight and via small, controlled explosions blasted off its metal lid. Then two others with drawn weapons led a third figure to the opening and lowered him in. Within minutes the skylight was resealed and they were gone.

All was as before..... except for the living figure locked within...

But he was not alone...

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