World War II, Andrey a Russian soldier knows that he had ran away from the Nazi bullets and would never become a martyr .
It was snowing heavily from the dark sky.The woods were silent except the sound of weary boots crushing the snow.But, the only thought that reprised in the mind of Andrey was the colour of the blood on the snow he had seen hours ago, it was pale,the snow seeped the crimson blood and turned it grey.The Commander was dead now, the battalion was running aimlessly among the woods.Andrey's heart was restless for he knew that all his life he had to bear the burden of running away rather than dying the death of a martyr.He longed to go back to his village where his woman might be anxiuosly waiting by the window for his return, his heart was weak.Then he thought maybe it was better if he did not return and die a respectful death so that his widow would proudly tell his son "You are the son of a martyr".
"Got a cigarette aye ?" Azcovich groaned.
"Nay".Andrey answered briefly.
"What's with you aye?" Azcovich asked him.
"What do we get from the war?" Andrey asked looking at his wound.
"We get nothing but pain, we get to fight for our lives while back in Moscow they enjoy dinner parties, lovely wines and ladies, discussing about us but only without purpose maybe to remember it is war time. But the only cheerful thing about us is that we get to kill these Nazi pigs. It is so much fun.ha ha" Azcovich starts to laugh.
Suddenly, the birds above in the trees, violenty screech, it is a gunshot. "Run! Run! it is the Prussians!"
Everyone runs randomly in the woods scattering like water from a fountain.But, Andrey did not run he stood there with a wild calmness.
The Prussians emerge from the woods with rifles pointed at him. He still stood there. One of them asks him to get on his kness. He stood there without even dropping his eyelids. Before he could realise a rifle butt smashed his face and grounded him.He could feel the warm blood trickling from his forehead into the snow. The pain was blinding him. He still did not say a word.
"Kill this Russian swine and make the Furherr proud." one of the soldier said.
"Aye, Russian won't you fight us?" another said.
Andrey smiled at them, and before he can realise anything a boot kicked him in the groin. A pain rose violently through his nerves, his face was red he was gasping for air.He clenched the snow around him to quench the pain and shivered without shouting the pain that was throbbing in his throat. Then they fired rounds of bullet into his body and disappeared into the woods.
Andrey could feel the hot metals in his body, but he was calmer now, he could feel the sky above was getting dizzy but there was that smile on his face, blood from his body seeped into the earth and he was breathing slowly now. He spoke the words "I NAY A MARTYR" and left his final breath.
It still snowed heavily in the woods, the sun rose again amongst the veil of clouds and everything was as peaceful as if nothing had happened.Andrey lied there with his lifeless eyes looking at the heavens and that everlasting smile on his face which told that he knew it was a lie. He was not a Martyr.......
by Debojyoti Bar