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153 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1991
A dark man with a burning torch was running down the street on a bleak night in late autumn. The little girl saw him through a window of her home as she woke from a bleak dream. Then she heard a powerful shot from a rifle and a poor, sad cry – the man running with the torch had probably been killed. Soon afterwards came the sound of distant, repeated shots and of uproar from the nearby prison.
Story by a Girl with no Father or Mother about her Future Life: We are being taught to have minds, but minds are in heads, there is nothing on the outside. We must labour to live truthfully, I want to live the future life, I want there to be biscuits and jam and sweets and always to be able to walk by the trees in the fields. Otherwise I won’t live, I won’t feel like it. I want to live normally with happiness. There’s nothing to say in addition.
Later Moscow ran away. She was brought back after a year and was held up to shame at a meeting of the whole school: how could she, a daughter of the Revolution, behave in such an unethical and undisciplined manner?
‘I’m not a daughter, I’m an orphan!’ Moscow answered.
A dark man with a burning torch was running down the street into a boring night of late autumn. The little girl saw him through a window of her home as she awoke from a boring dream. Then she heard the powerful shot of a rifle and a poor, sad cry – the man running with the torch had probably been killed. Soon after this came many distant shots and a din of people in the neighbouring prison... The little girl went to sleep and forgot everything she saw later in other days: she was too small, and the memory and mind of early childhood were overgrown in her body forever by subsequent life. But until her late years a nameless man would unexpectedly and sadly rise up in her and run – in the pale light of memory – and perish once again in the dark of the past, in the heart of a grown-up child.
’”My skin always feels cold afterwards,” said Moscow. “Love cannot be communism. I’ve thought and I’ve realised it just can’t. One probably should love - and I will love. But it’s like eating food - it’s just a necessity, it’s not what matters in life.”’
‘Summer came to an end and the rains began, as long and as dismal as in early childhood in the days of capitalism.’
‘Sometimes Komyagin would think to himself: “In a month or two I shall begin a new life - I’ll finish the paintings and poems; I’ll thoroughly rethink my world outlook; I’ll get my documents in order; I’ll find a solid job and become an exemplary shock-worker; I’ll fall in love with some woman and she can be my wife and a friend to me.” It was his hope that in a month or two something special would happen to time, that it would stop for a moment and take him up in its movement, but the years passed by his window without any pause or fortunate event. And he would get up from his bed and go out, as a member of the volunteer militia, to exact fines from the general public at the sites where it most tended to accumulate.’