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Long Way down the hill

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  11:48:38  27 April 2006
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back with a vengeance


On forum: 07/31/2003
Messages: 1729
Long Way down the hill

Land below me plays in different colours. Rust to dust. Dead green to wet asphalt grey. I`m a bird high in the sky and thousand eyes within me don`t blink looking down.

"Come, land here, friend", I whisper to myself, but bird shudders and changes course, heading away from rusty symmetry.

Thousand tiny voices within me gasp sadly as I fall deep down. Bird is too far away now.

Too far away from Zone...

...wet road down the hill nurses me. Wind makes me jump high then fall back again. I`m a paper wisp now. Doomed to roll up and down. There is something written on me, but I cant read and so cant thousand eyes within me.

"Read"... what does it mean anyway?

I close my eyes and jump in the darkness...

...wood beneath me is rough and grainy. I am a gear on the table. Other gears do not look at me. They are numb and have not thousand eyes within them. Light rain outside the window brings rust and decomposition to everything in the yard. Except for the truck. Surrounded by corrosed metal jungle it looks out of time and space. New. Blue. Shiny.


How do I know that word?

How do I know any word?

Thousand voices within hush me and I jump again...

...its almost too far away from Zone. I can see but can not whisper. My fur is wet and cold. Dark figures throw bottles at me. Laugh. Whistle.

I am scared to death. Figures in uniforms make noises, outcrying distant thunder rolling.

"Uniforms..." word tastes familiar. How...

"Hush..." thousand voices within comfort me. "Hush..."

Darkness gets thicker, rain shapes into heavy mass. My docked tail gets colder.

I am dog trying to get past the soldiers. They won`t let me.

Panic deep in the chest. Strident whine breaks out of my lungs. They won`t let me pass.

Suddenly air shrills near my left ear. Dry crackles. Dim flashes. Dog knows it means death. I know it means guns.

How do I know?...

Me and the dog - we turn around and run. Run far away in the darkness. Far away from drunken soldiers. Closer to me.

I can whisper now...

"Don`t be afraid."

"Calm down."

"Come here."

Whispers are soft and warm and comforting. Rain is cold.

"Come here."

"Its warm here."

"Come here."

We cautiously sneak through the rusty jungle. I lead the way. We are friends.

"Come here."

We feel cozy now. We know that it is going to be warm and safe there. We will simply wait until the rain ends. And maybe tomorrow soldiers will be friendly. Maybe they will even give some food. Yes. They will feed us. Tomorrow.

"Come here."

Shiny truck scares us a bit, but we quickly sneak past it. It is close now. That door...


Light flash of panic surges from tale to chest but voice is so close and so warm now that we dont really care.

We enter darkness of the warehouse. Place is dry and welcoming. Something touches us, something moves in our fur. Our veins. It is good to be home...

Thousand voices thank me. Within. I feel light and ecstatic. I am wet paper wisp on the road again.

Thank you.

Morning arrives with metal monster. Paper wisp is so wet that can not fly anymore and jeep rolls over it. Over me. Voices.

"I`ll be back in the evening. Wait me here. Deal?"

"I don`t know if five grands are worth the risk. No one has even mapped this sector."

"Well, then you`ll be the first. Come on, no pain - no gain."

Words hit me hard. No pain no gain. Thousand voices within try to comfort me, but suddenly I feel...


"Yeah, it`s easy for you to say."

"We`re all gonna die. Live with it. Ok, gotta go now, Carl. Old Fart is coming out of Zone anytime soon. Gotta hurry, they say soldiers are patroling again."

"What was Fart after? Beetles?"

"You bet. Everybody seems lost their minds since Kuguar found them."

"What`s the big deal?"

"Who the hell cares. Bring some to me. Tool had seen them in this area."

"Yeah, Tool..."

"See ya."

Metal monster roars. Tires squeek and its silent again. Heavy boot treads paper wisp in the dirt. Treads me in the dirt.

Thousand voices urge me to jump. Thousand friends around me. Within me. But I feel unhappy and alone in the dirt and dont want to jump. No today. Never.


And I jump... eyes ache from plentitude of colors. Road leads down the hill, deep into morning mist. Hands keep gun. I whistle something. Everything is wrong. Road leads down the hill. What the hell. No pain no gain. Mary needs new cloth. Everybody needs jink. What the hell. We`re all going to die anyway.

Live with it.

Mist doesn`t back off as it should. Trees dissapear. Every time in the Zone is like fall into rabbit hole.


No! Not "zone"! Home! But foreign thoughts continue to surge through, ignoring my weakness and fear. And suddenly I realize that warm and cozy warehouse is not my home. But where is it then?

Thousand voices within try to comfort me.


But I do not listen to them. There is something I have to remember. Something important that slips away again and again.

I can not focus on it. Thousand eyes within watch me cautiously.

"Back off!" I scream suddenly.

We stop. Man stops. No more whistling, just a sense of danger.

Live with it.

Gun seeks enemy but there is only mist and tiny voice in the head.

"Go away."

My voice.

Man opens his mouth. Closes. Then opens again. It`s foolish. Talking to no one. But then again - there is no one around listening.

"Who are you?"

I don`t know.

"I don`t know."

Man looks around. Only mist and rusted vehicles. He has reached the old garage. Alexey used to work here until...until the Incident.

"Go away."

But man has regained his courage. Too much coffee probably. Most likely. Zone does not talk to you. It stalks you.

Man warily sneaks through mechanized jungle. Shiny truck. Better avoid these things. So many years and not even a slightest shadow of corrosion.


Man has reached the old warehouse. Sense of danger sleeps deep in the guts.

I see through his eyes but now I know that they`re not mine. They`re Carl`s eyes. Carl Zeiss.

I know his name.

I know his name.

Thousand voices within order me to calm down, pretend being friends, but they don`t know my name. Friends know each other`s names, isn`t it?

What is mine?

Carl carefully approaches door. Gun is ready.

What is mine?

Door squeks like whipped dog. Me and Carl - we try to adapt to darkness inside. And then something moves and gasps heavily in the corner.

Our gun doesn`t wait. Dim flash. Burst of bullets and suddenly...

I know. I don`t belong here. I just want to remember...

Carl has flashlight in his shaking hand. Piece of canned sun searches the corner until stumbles upon grotesque doll. Eyes wide open. Mouth wide open. Arms wide open. Shot wound in the chest wide open. And hundreds of bugs crawling all over the body, trying to escape the light. Metal blue bugs hiding beneath the jacket. Beneath the skin. Beneath the flesh.

I just want to remember...

"Sergey...", Carl whispers.

That`s it.

Sergey...Tool for friends. My blood filled eyes look at Carl with gratitude.

"Thank you...Carl."

Hundreds of tiny parasites leave my dying body. Fat stream of metal blue beetles runs to paralised dog lying near.

I feel light so light now. No pain.

Live with it.


That evening Carl returned from Zone with helluva load of beetles.
  16:29:45  30 April 2006
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On forum: 09/13/2004
Messages: 3
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Some truths are harder than others. Harder to find, harder to accept...harder to live with. But truth is always a good thing... when taken in moderate dosage. Too much truth and a man may shed his soft skin, loose interest in the easy comforts of apathy and double-talk, find himself looking out from a coarse husk and seeking the truth in every object.

Alexei had known the truth, of that much he was sure. Nothing else could explain the look of wry contentment on his face as his guts slowly squirmed out from the grasp he held on his lower abdomen. Visili tried to convince himself the mortar had misfired for the longest time. A freak accident due to corrosion of the oft-derided fuse mechanism. After all, the weather was fiercely invasive in the Khankali basin. The steady rains were seasoned by the Caucasus salt flats and sudden windstorms could fill your barrel with stony grit in no time. Of course they had been warned about these things. But, of course, no one was more dutiful than Alex when it came to maintaining the squads’ equipment.

To even call them a squad at that point was laughable. Evgeni and Ilya had been killed in the Grozny uprising and Arturs, the magnetic jokester was either A.W.O.L or on the longest cigarette break in the history of the Republic. All that remained were Alexei, the man-boy, Ruslan, and himself. After the incident, Visili had told Ruslan to take the rest of the food and go home. The young soldier had argued that there was still much work to be done to liberate the break-away republic.

“The only work left to do here is bury our comrade. If you stay you will lie beside him before too long. You have done a man’s job, Ruslan. It’s important you live long enough to do so again. I pray it is under peaceful circumstances. Head North until you reach the Terek. The river will lead you home. I will tend to Alexei. Go now. Leave your uniform and all identification behind.”

Visili’s tone had the vacant confidence of one speaking in absolute terms. There simply was no alternate point of view. The boy swallowed his reservations and gave his superior and friend a final salute. Visili watched the boy until he was just a fading dot on the horizon. He then retrieved his retractable trench shovel, footing his full weight on the tool’s edge to gain entry into the dusty hardpan.

“I would be…within my rights to shoot you right here. Promoting willful insurrection…is a capital crime…comrade. So is digging a man’s grave…before he is ready to fill it.” Alexei managed to smile as he spoke, a courtesy Visili managed to reciprocate, despite his friend’s gruesome condition.

“The boy was always too good for this place. Its surprising how few people are.” Alexei spoke as he always had, if not for the circumstances Visili would have thought himself in for another evening of philosophical discussion..

“I’ve got some…salted biscuits and deer meat in…my pack. I don‘t think I’ll be needing them. My vodka as well…won’t be needed. At least not in the distant future”, Alexei said with a labored wink.

Visili produced two slender but heavily leaded glasses from a bit of wound ragging inside the pack. He filled them both and helped lift Alexei’s to his cracked lips.

“Arturs… is dead. Died 5 days ago. If only good news…traveled so fast.”

Visili had no mind to speak, lest he steal time from his dying friend. “Before he left he told me to say goodbye…that’s right… I knew he was going… because...I sent him.”

The dying officer’s words seemed to be bolstered by the vodka

“The second meltdown is a fact, Visili. Arturs hails, hailed, from Narowlya. I sent him home to collect his family. Someone found his identification…my name was among his papers. They sent word to me of his death. From what I hear now, Arturs would have been safer had he stayed in this godforsaken hellhole. He would have wanted you to know why he left.”

Vasili stood at the entrance to the Zone. There was no sign announcing its presence, but a blind man would have known where it began. Would probably have known better actually, as the Zone was sensed more than seen. An instinctual, atavistic defense mechanism, long out of service, suddenly sprang to life and pleaded with you to turn around. ‘Go find a good woman’, it said, ‘lose yourself in her and forget about this place. You have no business here.’

But he did have business here. His squad was long gone, and the only way to bury a hard truth, is find a harder truth.

Homes, long abandoned, ringed the outskirts of the Zone. Mausoleums, Vasili thought, they should all have been razed out of decency. But then again, they were never supposed to have been seen. This notion further reinforced the feeling that he shouldn’t be here.

All the homes were the same; dusty relics, void of vitality, museums of dubious utility. The curators had left long ago, never to be replaced. Vasili didn’t like them one bit. He moved past them now without even a glance. Until he saw the stone-work house. It stood with dignity amid the rampant undergrowth, a mini Tudor-style affair betrayed by its brick chimney. It was tucked away in a cul-de-sac where children no-doubt once learned to ride bikes and kick soccer balls. Vasili walked up the front stoop, wiping he feet on the mat before opening the door…

He would forever ask himself what drew him to this particular house. What made him walk up those stairs and open the door. He could have simply kept walking. And given the choice again, he surely would have.

The door opened with a simple turn of the knob. Vasili strode inside, he felt the Tokarev dishonored the memory of place, and so holstered it accordingly. There was something still vibrant and compelling about this home. Not comforting, though. Definitely not that. Visili’s hand brushed the plastic grip of his pistol, just to make sure it was still there. His attention was grabbed by the neatly arranged photos displayed on the mantel, the black and white pictures were especially beautiful. Generation after generation enduring the trials of dictatorship only to end here, with one brutal miscalculation.

Perhaps there were stores in the cellar, tin cans kept underground were safe, or at least safe enough. Vasili’s beam showed the way down the creaky wooden stairs, his pistol was most assuredly in his hand for this trip. But the cellar was quite bare, so he went back upstairs . The ice-box suddenly drew Vasili’s attention. He wondered how he had missed seeing the red splotches, faded as they were, running along the handle and edge of the long-dead appliance. He looked closer at them and realized they were not as old as he had first thought.

With feigned nonchalance Vasili quickly opened the door to the ice-box, and the stench staggered him. So much so that it wasn’t until several seconds later that he saw what lay inside: He stumbled backward, knocking to its side the kitchen table, which he now realized had actually been set, the plate and silverware clattering to the floor.

“Honey, is that you?”

The voice came from upstairs. Or was it in his mind? Was it in his mind?

“It’s about time you came home, darling.”

A heavy thumping accompanied the voice. It was too heavy, and coming down the stairs. Vasili stood frozen…
  17:32:58  18 August 2006
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Do you think you're a good person? Does God see you that way?

Do you think that you’re a good person?

Do you think that God sees you as a good person?

If so, then answer these questions honestly and carefully:

1. Have you ever told a lie? Even if it was a little “white lie”.

2. Have you ever stolen anything? Regardless of the value of the item.

3. Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word or to express disgust?

4. Have you ever seen something that someone else had and thought, “I wish I had something like that. I wish I could afford the stuff they get.”

If you have done any of these things, then by your admissions, according to God’s standards, you are not a good person. And these are only 4 of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20 in the old testament of the Bible!

So, if on Judgement Day, God judges you based on the 10 commandments, do you think you’re going to be found innocent or guilty? What a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a Living God!

Well, you say, “I’ve done more good things than bad in my life”. That doesn’t matter. If you were in a trial of court for commiting a crime, would the Judge let you off just because you had done many good things before the trial? No. He would still punish you for commiting the crime. That’s what the law would require.

By the same token, God will still punish you for breaking his law.

However, what if during that trial, what if someone you didn’t even know came into the court room and took the punishment for you so that you could be set free from the penalty of the crime?

That’s what Jesus Christ did for you when he was crucified 2000 or so years ago for your sins and for your transgression of God’s law. He took the punishment for you so that you wouldn’t have to be punished for your sins. All you have to do is accept God’s forgiveness by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!

So, before you go to bed tonight, why not get right with God today? You might not have another chance. You don’t know when your time on Earth is going to be up. And if you die in your sins without accepting God’s mercy, you’ll have to face the Judgement of God, and with your sins still in the books, there will be no hope on that great and terrible day. But you don’t have to die in your sins, and God doesn’t want you to, either. He is not willing that any perish, but rather, he wants all to come to repentance. So, why not get right with God now while you still have a chance?

If you want to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as the atonement for your sins, then sincerely pray this prayer:

“God, I admit that I am a sinner and that I have broken your law. I realize that I am lost without God and that I’m headed towards a terrible judgement. However, God, today I confess my sins to you and I want to be right with you. I know that I alone cannot pay the debt that I owe for my sins. I believe with all my heart that your son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay my sin debt for me, and I ask today that Jesus Christ be the Lord and Savior of my life, and I turn from my sins. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” If you just prayed that prayer, and sincerely meant it, then you are now adopted into the Family of God, on your way to the splendor of heaven. To start out your Christian life, I would suggest that you pray to God, read your bible every day, and get into a good Bible-teaching Church.
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