The Nevsky Wall
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Chapter 6   -  Children of Lychkovo

August 10

From her perch at a neighbor’s window, Marina watched Vasha play in the enclosed space below. He ran through the yard pretending to be a fighter plane on a mission to hunt down the other boys. The older ones ignored him, but the younger ones, those who were in on the game, fell to the ground clutching their chests. The boys took turns being the attacker, but Vasha, with his vast flying experience, showed the most flair.

“Be careful, Vasha,” she yelled down from the window. Amazingly, given the distance and the general chaos in the yard, he turned his head and waved to her. She couldn’t explain it, but there had always been this strong connection between them.

Yard #5, like all the playgrounds and parks in the city, was more crowded than usual. Most summers, the children of Leningrad could be found in the countryside. Those who weren’t fortunate enough to have families with dachas could attend camps sponsored by the Young Pioneers or one of the sports clubs. For many children, it was their only chance to escape the gray city, to live among nature and swim in open water. That summer was supposed to be Vasha’s first trip away from home – a week’s stay at a music camp near Gatchina.

Now, he and the rest of the children were kept close to home. A precaution, their parents were told. Rumor held that the camps were already overrun by the enemy, and in truth many had been, especially those in the Luga region, where the lines of defense, so recently constructed and at so dear a cost, had been easily breached.

“I hear there’s a special plane flies out each night,” said Tatiana, the neighbor, in a low voice. “Party big shots and their children. That’s what I hear.” She stood at the kitchen table, working over a crease in a man’s shirt with a cold iron.

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Chapter 6   -  Children of Lychkovo

One Response to “Chapter 6”

  1. Jim Muller says:

    Mark,

    Congratulations on Chapter 6 which is all I have read. It kept me from going to bed for the evening.

    I look forward to reading the rest.

    Jim

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