My name is Nadia Zhdanov. All through my childhood I lived in Moscow, the capital of Russia. I had lived there ever since I entered the Octobrianks at age eight. For years I was a staunch Communist, fully indoctrinated by the government.
But, as I grew older, I started really thinking about what these people were telling me. I started wondering why Americans seemed so much happier that Russians. I started asking questions of my teachers and parents.
At first I got blank looks and mumbled explanations about how Lenin had already told us everything we need to know. But as I persisted, determined to answer my doubts, they started threatening me, telling me I had to stop. I didn’t understand. Once they sent me to the KGB and had them talk to me. I stopped asking questions.
But my doubts were still there. And as I wandered the grey streets of Moscow, I thought and I wondered.
And one day, as I was walking across the city, I came across a man. His hair was steel-grey and he walked with a stoop. He could have been any ordinary Russian. But as I passed him and nodded a brisk hello, he smiled at me, something ordinary Russians normally didn’t do. I walked on for two more steps, stopped, turned around and ran after him. Impulsively, I grabbed his arm. He turned and looked at me. I was stunned again. His eyes. I had never seen anyone with eyes like that before. They sparkled with life and joy.
“Who are you?” I breathed. Continue reading
The wind tore at my face, nearly ripping my scarf off. Struggling to keep my balance against the raging blizzard, I pushed it roughly back in place. As if trying to boycott my journey, the wind suddenly increased, forcing me to my knees.
Inwardly, I sighed. It was hard to think in a blizzard. I didn’t see any shelter for miles. This was truly a desolate place. But then again, the North Pole was hardly a pleasant place to live in.
My toes were starting to freeze up. And even a thick fur Eskimo suit couldn’t keep out the stinging, icy cold of the northern blizzard. Fighting against the wind, I rose to my feet slowly. My hands stung as I slapped them together in the whirling snow, trying to keep warm. I started walking, slowly, planting my staff in front of me, breasting the wind.
After wandering for what seemed like hours, I sank to my knees. An irrepresible, numbing cold overcame me. This cold was worse than the blizzard. It was the coldness of fear. I let the hard, awful truth sink in. I was lost. Miles from civilization in a region few but the foolhardy would dare to brave. My eyelashes were almost frozen closed. My hands and feet were so numb I couldn’t feel them.
I knew that if I stayed here I would die. If I walked I would also die. I decided to go on. I tried to get to my feet, only to be blown over by a fierce gust. Bowled over, my mouth and eyes full of snow, I felt like cursing. Somehow my mouth seemed thick, too thick for words. Though my senses were numbed, I knew I was freezing to death. Continue reading
The bustle and shouts of the market place in midday rivaled the menagerie of the sultan. One man pushed his way through the crowd. His name was Ralph Coster. He was an American, journeying to Arabia.
He was elbowing his way through the crowd when a herald rode up. The noise ceased. The herald announced that the princess was approaching. All people left the street. One man only did not leave. He hid behind one of the deserted stalls.
The quiet was shattered by the din of trumpets. An elephant was seen approaching, carrying on its back the most beautiful maiden between the seas. Ralph felt his heart leap. In his excitement he knocked against a basket. The princess noticed the sudden movement, and descried among the shadows the figure of a man. Suddenly, a shaft of sunlight fell upon his face. She gasped. For these two it was honest-to-goodness love at first sight.
Ralph knew that he had to carry her away or he would die of love for her. So that night, after sunset, he crept into her palace, and made his way into her apartments. He ran to her, and carried her away.
Ralph and Marjanah were married that night. They hid in the desert, riding their horses and enjoying every moment they had together. Then, after a month had passed, the sultan discovered that his daughter was missing. He sent out riders to find them. One rider came in sight of them and fired an arrow. Cruelly aimed, it struck Marjanah, tearing through her thin sari and wounding her. Ralph pulled her off her horse onto his, and then galloped away, and the rider lost sight of them. Continue reading
A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-o Silver’.
The Lone Ranger!
Two men ride through the hot, dusty plains dotted with cliffs. One is the Lone Ranger, the other his Indian companion, Tonto. The Lone Ranger wears a full body suit, light blue in color. Around his waist he wears a black, two gun belt with silver trimmings and packed with silver bullets… Continue reading
A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty ‘Hi-o Silver’. The Lone Ranger!
Two men ride through the hot, dusty plains dotted with cliffs. One is the Lone Ranger, the other his Indian companion, Tonto. The Lone Ranger wears a full body suit, light blue in color. Around his waist he wears a black, two gun belt with silver trimmings and packed with silver bullets Continue reading