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Life Arts    H4'ed 3/2/22

The Ghost of Taras Bulba

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Taras Bulba
Taras Bulba
(Image by DBduo Photography from flickr)
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"They all left. She resisted. Her grandchildren tugged at her beautifully embroidered apron. She resisted.

Three explosions in rapid succession. The grind and crunch of tracked vehicles outside her window. She gets up from her couch and puts a cd of Ukrainian folk songs in her stereo player from the last century, opening a window. Turning up the volume.

Gunfire in the building. A scream. Not a woman's scream. The howl of a man recognizing devils. She puts a kettle on the stove. Remembering she had given all the cookies to the children.

Russian sounds come from the hallway, clicks and rubbing and shuffling, metallic. Her door opens slowly. More Russian sounds. She invites anyone in. A boy forcefully pushes the door open, terrified.

Realizing it is just an old woman with a plywood weapon. He nervously laughs, turns to leave. She asks if he would like some tea and cookies. He hesitates and turns. She gets up from the couch, motioning for him to sit down. He lowers his weapon. She walks toward him, smiling.

He turns to see where the music is coming from. She strikes him repeatedly in the face and head with her plywood rifle. Before he can recover, she hits him in the neck with all the strength left in her age worn body, striking the artery in the left side of his neck with the sharp edge of the plywood Kalashnikov, blood coming in a stream towards her couch, the boy falling to the carpet.

She drops down beside him, cradling his dying head, tears running, whispering her son and daughter and grandchildren's names. Smoothing the boy's hair with her bloody hand she begins singing along with the song filtering out to the street below..." From "The Ghost of Taras Bulba" By Franklin Cincinnatus

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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