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Æ Firestone's Crimea: Chapter 5

 

                                            Clock with Cyrillic numerals (very rare)



On July 25 in the afternoon,


Niko & Luka were on the edge of the deck looking at a coastal city.

"We're finally here, Sevastopol, Crimea.

A city-port and strategic area for the Empire."


"Why's it so strategic?"


"Because we can cover the whole black sea on our watch."


The Chesma anchored on the dock at the bay;

Niko, Luka, and the rest of the soldiers exit the ship.


As soon as they all got out, Luka said to Niko.

"Listen, I can't be with you forever,

but I know someone who can look after you."


"Do you trust this person?"


"Yes, he's a very good man and an old friend."


Luka gave something to Niko.


"Here, from the Captain..."


Luka gave him some change.


"...some Rubles for your work."


Suddenly, a couple of nurses approached the two boys.

One nurse came forward.


"Corporal Romanov?"


"Yes?" Niko replied.


"I'm Nurse Nikita; has our medical supplies arrived?"


"We just brought them in, but you can talk to the Captain about it."


They both stared at each other for a moment; 

Luka was staring at her black hair and directly to her amber eyes, a gold-ish color like cat eyes.


She smiled briefly and finally walked away with her fellow nurses to the Chesma.


"I think she likes you." Said Niko.


"That's just your imagination; let's go."



Niko & Luka arrived at an old church close to the harbor.

They opened the door and came inside.


"Hello? God, you here?"


"Niko, that's rude," Luka replied.


"What, It's God's house, isn't it?"


The church was warm and empty,

Luka was looking around 

and saw an old man lighting candles.


Luka knocked twice on the wall for attention;

the old man turned around and said.


"Salutations!" 


"Hello, Father Irenæus" Luka said back.


The old man was a priest, he had long hair,

a curly beard that was all white as snow

and he had grey eyes like a silver coin.

He was wearing a beautiful dark blue robe with

a Pectoral cross made out of gold 

that is worn on his chest from the neck by a chain.



                   ©2013 Shirley Leswick




"Welcome back, my dear boy!

It's been a while since we last saw each other.

Look at you; you're a soldier now."


"What brings here?"


"Him." Niko points at Luka.


"This child?"


"Yes, his name is Niko Dadiani. He's far away from his home

and needs a place to stay for a while until he can afford to travel."


"I understand; I'll find him something to do."


"I'm sorry to put you into this; it's that I have my duties."


"No, no. You're fine; I'll take him in just the same as I did for you when you were in need."


"Thank you, Father,"


Irenæus walks towards Niko.


"Hello, Niko my name is Father Irenæus,

I'm the priest of this temple.

I'll let you stay if you do some work for me."


"That's fine with me," Niko replied. 


"Good, my church is old, alot older than me.

I can't do things like I used to.

Many of the men here have gone to join the army.

You would be a great help."


After Irenæus agreed that Niko can stay in exchange for work,

then Luka finally returned to his comrades.



Niko has been helping the priest all day,

he helped him dust off the chambers and halls

and thought he couldn't get 'em all.


After Niko's work was finished for the day,

they both had supper at a dinner table.

Niko explained the priest who is was

and how he got there.


"How long have you been a priest here?"


Irenæus replied.


"It's been going on for 9 years now.

When my old church was burnt down to the ground,

a good friend of mine from this city heard the news

and offer me to take his place as priest of this church;

in which I did and I've been here ever since."


"Makes me wonder how long I'll have to be here in this rock?"


"Patience Niko, the Lord will watch over you.

Trust in him. What does your spirit tell you?"


Niko was thinking at the moment, deep down in his heart.


"That I should stay for a while 'til I'm ready when the time is right."


"And that you should do. You wouldn't have made it all by yourself.

You would have to pay for food and transport to get where you're going

because this world isn't free, nothing is free and never will be.

If you need something of value, it must be exchanged for something else of value in return.

Because if you didn't and had nothing, you would've starved or become a thief.

That's a path I don't want you to take."


Niko thought about what he said. He's so used to his aristocratic life.


"I understand", Niko replied. 



    ©2020 JD Hawk




When Irenæus was reading a letter while he was eating,

he heard the tea spot screaming with steam,

that it was ready and hot as it seems.


"Excuse me; I'll be back for the tea."


The priest went to the kitchen humming in a rhythm.


Niko was curious about him and said to himself.


"His accent sounds so strange; it's not Russian

or any Slavic speech that I ever heard."


Niko's brown eyes stared at Irenæus' private letter.

The priest just left it there causally

like he didn't care of its importance

or didn't care if Niko read it or not.


But Niko, being nosey, looked at it anyway.

However, he couldn't read it; it wasn't Cyrillic

but this time a completely different script that he has not seen before.



Αγαπητέ Εἰρηναῖος,


Πως ήσουν? Πέρασε πάνω από ένα χρόνο από την τελευταία μας γνωριμία.

Το Αλισταιρ τα πάει καλά, ακριβώς το τυπικό 2χρονο παιδί σας.

Νομίζω ότι θα είσαι ένας μεγάλος θείος για αυτόν μια μέρα.

Η αντίσταση αυξάνεται καθημερινά,

Η δίωξη και η δουλεία μας δεν θα διαρκέσουν για πάντα

και εμείς οι Χριστιανοί θα είμαστε ελεύθεροι από τη Μουσουλμανική κυριαρχία των Οθωμανών.

Επιστρέψτε στην Κρήτη. η οικογένειά σου σου λείπει, μου λείπεις.


Ο ανιψιός σου,

Πάνος.



Niko heard him coming back humming while bringing in the tea.

So he put the letter back like nothing ever happened.

The priest finally gave Niko and himself warm tea for the rest of the night.



To be Continued...


©2021 Æ Firestone

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