December 5. 6>
At walking, the backache aggravates, especially in the morning, more so when walking downhill...When at the Milk Factory I entered the Director's office, Valyo was yelling on the phone at the top of his lungs to share that the town had run out of flour, so the Bread Factory down here was stopped four days before. Then he rang off and, in a lower tone, told me that there was no milk either.
Fortunately, when I stepped out of the Milk Factory gate, Sashic was passing by his car and pulled up for me to hop in as he was heading uphill to the downtown. There I walked to the paper's 2-storied Editorial Building where Ms. Stella, the Responsible Secretary, handed me two articles to be translated into Russian.
Albeit authored by different names they were remarkably alike—Patriotic Jarring Rattle of an Empty Oil-Drum rolled along all bumps and pot-holes. I went at both articles hammer and tongs to render their double din to Russian.
Being (technically) a startup oddball, I occupied the vacant desk whose sitter was on her pregnancy leave. Wagrum, a reporter at the Russian Section, fluttered in, perched onto his desk, and shared his utmost surprise at all this crying shame of procrastination at my inauguration to the position of Renderer. Some stupid bureaucratic tricks, you know. A monkey business for kids!. And he took wing again.
A sudden close burst of a protracted salvo made me startle and started off my individual response caused by the like occurrences.
It feels like the combination of a sudden whop of heat upshooting through the abdomen to chest and of a piercing grip at the back of my neck—splashclutch!—and when the sensation reaches its peak, the grip slowly slackens and kinda dissolves together with the inaudible fizzle of receding heat-wave.
(...too many words, buddy. Put it straight, 'I got scared stiff and felt all funny, full of butterflies in my stomach.'...)
As it turned out, the salvo was to style up the funeral of the four youths killed by a single shell in their dugout in Krkjan, the Azeri part of the town on the commanding height in the the northwestern outskirts...
When I came home from the paper, Valyo's kids, Sego and Gaia, were on a visit to our place. Sahtik and I played cards with them, the childish game of 'believe-or-not'. Roozahna—still under punitive restrictions after the latest of her pranks—was not allowed to participate and bravely took her medicine, sticking around in the role of a scornful on-looker.
The game was put off and the little party cheered up by the arrival of Sashic's wife, Carina, with their boy and girl, and also with a present for our Ahshaut – some hand-me-down footwear from her son Tiggo. All went on as merrily as the marriage bells until an hour later Sashic pulled up and honked by the communicational window to pick up all of our guests.
At 10 pm, Sahtik
and the kids started for the Shelter, a former tailor's in the ground floor
of a dingy two-storied apartment block a little bit up this street.
The room enjoys swell popularity in the neighborhood because its only window is not facing the
heights from where they shoot
a missile contrivance for destroying hailstorm clouds which was easily converted into artillery weapon in the initial stages of the Karabakh war 1991-1994. missiles at the town. About dozen of women with two or three kids each spend nights in that 6 by 6 meter room.
In the darkness I saw my family over to the Shelter carrying Ahshaut in my arms. It was a talkless walk under the snappy din of shooting out in Krkjan, beneath the indifferently gleaming stars above. We proceeded slowly in time to the slumber breathing of the child wrapped in his blanket and pressed to my chest full of bitter mute butterflies in my heart.