24 November 1949
It’s another snowstorm outside—no surprise this time of year. A faint daylight was entering through the window blinds and falling on his incurred face. A long time has passed since those blood-draped days of war. It’s the study of Udrae Belicoff. It is here he has spent his last seven years of life to preserve his words—his feelings. Udrae is writer and poet. His only companions were his imaginations, words, verse and his young servant Noder. For Udrae, each day was the same as the other: no glare of hope, no euphoria of joy—only the grayish heavy-painted veil of the past hanging before his eyes.
The storm was taking up its pace. It was dark and cold, but the crackling sound of burning wood from the fireplace had some comfort left for him.
“Sir, it’s stormy outside,” Noder said. “Would you mind if I leave early?”
“Oh,” Udrae replied, “yes, have you kept the dinner ready?”
“Yes sir,” Noder said, “it’s right over the dine, sir.”
“Ok,” Udrae said, “you may go.”
The clock’s hour hand struck ten. Different memories came alive in his painful yet gifted mind. There was a time when there was life around Leningrad. The fresh green meadows were yet to be burned. The black smokes of war were still to cover the sky. Houses were yet to be burned. People were yet to die. There was a time before the war when the sun used to shine and the creeks used to flow. There was hope.
Then the war began. Sirens broke out, bombs exploded, bullets pierced young flesh, men bled and women and children were killed.
He remembered the face of his young son when he had left for the war and never returned. He remembered the pale face of his wife Linda. She was lying in a pool of blood, having shot herself upon convincing herself that their son had died. He remembered the day when some Nazi soldiers had barged in and burned most of his works and books. Only a handful of his creations remain. He stared at the photograph of his beautiful wife and his young son, smiling through the frosty frame on his desk. While the storm was growling, he picked up his pen; and then words flowed.
Here I am at this corner;
I know my words are weak.
My voice is drenched.
I have listened enough.
I have seen enough.
Now I shall cry:
I shall shout with what I have left.
Today, here I shout for those—
For those who fight for lust, for greed.
For those, millions die;
For those, a father loses his son
(A wife loses her husband).
For those, a port loses his words.
I know times will change;
But what is lost in the depths—
In the depths of agony, nothing shall
Return. Only shall return my weak voice.
He kept the paper in his desk and took his coat and went out. It was dark, and the cold wind was whipping against his face. He went to the bridge across the town hall, over the Neva River. He looked up at the dark, moonless sky. It was black as coal; only he could see snow dust floating in the air below the dim light of street lamps. He crossed the low railing and leaned over.
Here is no final grieving—only abiding hope.
Those were his last thoughts, and he left his grip.