The Red Tulips of October

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Chapter 3 (v.1) - Wailers of the White Nights

Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Wailers of the White Nights

Many best moons had gone by, and so had many worst moons, and yet the age of wisdom had dawned, and so had the age of foolishness, the era of belief, and of disbelief, it was the days of Light, it was the days of Darkness, it was the spring of reverie and resurrection, it was the winter of despair and death, yet the people of Peter's City had everything before them, they had nothing before themselves, they were all going direct to Heaven, they were all going direct to Hades ? in brief, their present times were so far like their past times, that some of this troubled-torn Peter’s City’s poor souls, already in the pangs of hunger, dwarfed by the ever presence of wailing working men and women, bereft of bread and butter, for good or for evil had now dared to cry out aloud, crowding in chilling lines in the snow-streaked streets in the face of their authoritarian Masters.

There were this Emperor with lively blue eyes that people always thought were the well of his soul, and with an unyielding conviction that his power to rule was inherited by Divine Right, and his Empress with a plain face that bore the stamp of predestination to sorrow, on the throne of Mother Russia. On the home-front, it was clearer than crystal to the Masters of the Winter Palace, the preservers of bread loaves and beef loaves, that things in general were seemingly settled for ever, whilst on the battle-fronts, against the Mighty Empires of Trio, the ferocious foes of the Great Land, it was as clearer as day to the men in the worn-out boots on the Eastern Front, languished and lamed, that they had hardly a glimmer of hope and dream of winning a losing war that had already bequeathed to the Great Land deaths and desertions. And yet, ear-to-ear whispers had it, as fast as wild fires of the war that swept the lands, that two million souls had already perished or seriously been wounded and a third of a million gone into captivity. Nevertheless, now under the yoke of their canny charlatans of the Imperial Duma, many a peasants poured in, from every nook and corner of the Great Land, disillusioned with the rules and the rulers, as their compatriots had been so before them for three hundred years. And yet, the shivering sounds of the glowing guns never fell silent for a moment.

Genuine grievances these wartime poor peasants had had for so long with them, for a good year earlier it was the stretched 'Second Patriotic War' that had already brought two titanic Empires face to face, eye to eye in the chilling cold of that winter, and men in the boots of all arms from both sides, many died or wounded and many not. This whole mass droned and jostled in confusion under the dismal influence of cannon balls flying from both warring sides; and these adventurous poor peasants with their acts of valour had changed the course of the campaign; all about the fields, like heaps of manure on well-kept plow-land, lay from hundreds to thousands dead and wounded to each couple of acres. The wounded crept together in twos and threes and one could hear their distressing screams and groans, sometimes feigned ? or so it seemed to so many. The feeble foe, greater in numbers that they were, who had ceased firing at this field strewn with dead and wounded where there was no one left to fire at, on seeing the many a dead, the menace of the Emperor’s many a man, returned in retreat and sheer shame ensued. The sensation of those terrible whistling sounds and of the corpses had too merged in many a man’s minds into a single feeling of terror and pity for themselves. In the end of the ends, the Sarikamish battle was won, with the Emperor’s many a man congratulating one another on their victory and escape from death, however short lived.

It was now the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixteen. Satanic signs had appeared in the Great Land at those troubled times, as at this: the Mad Monk, a man of mystic and a man of magic, had recently attained a royal command, of whom the Empress had encountered eleven years earlier, in particular, had now looked upon him with forbearance by proclaiming in the Imperial Court that this Monk was now named the faith healer of the weakling and ailing young of the Royals, the heir apparent. For even the rumours had it that not only could this demonic soul cast out demons from sickly souls but also spoke of past unseen letters the seduced Empress had written to the Mad Monk, who now stood at the centre of the ‘Dark Forces’; for these were the genuine reasons for the general public, in particular, to be hatred of this Monk. Yet, to the Royals, the tell-tales seemed somewhat different: under the guidance of this man’s spell, the Empress even entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as running the Royal affairs of the day.

And as it came to pass, after the days and months were expired, at the time when the Emperor went forth to the battlefronts, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection to justify much royal boasting. To Peter’s City came more lamed men from the battlefields and the homeless from the taken lands in the Great Retreat. By and large, nothing was by far so different in every corner of the Great Land: daring dissents by the poor populace and metal men and women, the wailing widows, and street arrests, took place every day and night; the unrestrained orgy of pillaging and swindling of every kind by shady men in the governance after which the whole land was robbed of peace; that magnificent Agrarian-Socialist potentate, a Lawyer of young age, was made to stand and deliver at the Palace of the Prince of Taurida, by Men and Women of bourgeois, these incompetent puppets, who stood for everything and yet stood for nothing but passion for power; Gendarmes of Okhrana, headquartered in Peter’s City, went into the city’s streets, to search for ‘the Anarchists’, and the more complaining crowds crowded the streets with banners and pamphlets and chanted louder against their Masters, and the more Gendarmes gathered, burnt the pamphlets and showed no more pity, and nobody thought any of these occurrences much out of the common way. In the midst of them, the fat-wealthy bourgeoisie, ever busy and ever worse than useless, were far too timid, far too indifferent to any cause for concern; yet ever dangerously divided the Privileged and ever carved out a much more radical revolutionary fortuity than almost any of other classes yearned for.

All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass in and close upon in the closing cursed old year one thousand nine hundred and sixteen. Environed by them, whilst the Mad Monk ? known for being a malevolent puppeteer ? and the Empress, known for possessing a strength that matched that of the ‘Peacemaker’, worked unheeded, and carried their un-divine rights with a high hand. Thus did the closing year one thousand nine hundred and sixteen conduct their courtship and myriads of demonic deeds ? the deeds of this chronicle among the rest ? along the darker days that lay before them.


© Copyright 2018 Cyrus G. Robati. All rights reserved.

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