The Nevsky Wall
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Chapter 2   -  Black Raven, I'm Not Dead

As midnight approached, a fight broke out near Viktor’s table. Insults flew, then fists, and what started with two men soon became four, then eight, as associates of the men joined in. “Estonians,” said Kirill above the shouts, “probably some kind of black market dispute. It’s best not to get involved.” One man was already face down, unconscious and bleeding on the floor. The guards who had been working the doors waded in, but they could not separate the men. One of the plank tables overturned with the shattering of glass. The fight went on and threatened to escalate, spilling over to adjoining tables, when the sound of a whistle – loud, long, and repeated – was heard in the hall.

The blue-capped NKVD officer with the whistle was accompanied by an armed police escort. They moved through the hall, which quickly fell silent. The bloodied fighters stopped mid-punch and shambled to either side of the clearing made by the overturned table. The officer never spoke. He stood and, without haste, surveyed the scene with the cold eyes of a judge. He pointed to several of the bloody men and they were taken away through one of the side doors. The unconscious man was pulled from the floor, put in a chair and carried away by the guards. When the police were gone, the fighters who had not been taken slipped away quietly into the night. The drinking resumed, and the trio once again took up their instruments.

The men of the 23rd Battalion, spurred on perhaps by the adrenaline of the fight, spontaneously broke into an old battlefield song passed down from soldier to soldier since the days of Napoleon’s invasion:

Oh black raven, why you flying?
Soaring high above my head
I’m not going yet to heaven
No, black raven I’m not dead.

Why you flying, oh black raven?
Why you aiming at my head?
Do you see your future prey here?
No, black raven, I’m not dead.

Better fly back to my homeland
Go to see my dearest one
Tell her, oh my darling raven
That you’ve seen her dying son.

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Chapter 2   -  Black Raven, I'm Not Dead

One Response to “Chapter 2”

  1. Subin says:

    pratix mnogo dalag sms,nadiavam se niakoi da go pro4ete.Edinstveno ne moga da rabreza za6to e nujdo da e v kletka,kato toi e paraliziran taka ili ina4e ne moje da se dviji ..choveshkata jestokost e bezkraina,no nie 6te se borim za tova .LETb4S ADOPT nie xorata obichasti jivotni sme s vas i hi4 ne sme malko!!!

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