The translation of my semi-autobiographical short story into English. "The Nightingale" took third prize at "Havaqatsu" writing contest on June 2, 2012. says the style of the short story is like L. Frank Baum; I believe that's because of my abuse of words "child" and "little one" in dialogues.

I hope you'll enjoy it; this is my first work translated into English and the style won't be as smooth as I would like and you might even find adverbs in the text.

2012, Yerevan, Arm

It was damp in the field; when he looked up, he couldn't find the sun and find out what time it was. The grass was deep green, almost a man's height, bushy, with tiny blue and purple flowers, and small dewdrops had gathered on the leaves. The fog was dense; he realized he was walking towards the swamps and directed his steps towards the forest.

The bitter smell of grass was pleasant. He knew that if he walked a bit more it would get mixed with the stench of standing swamp-water.

Then a sound attracted his attention: a brass bell. The sound was coming closer, so he decided to wait.

After a while he saw her: a small girl-child with a brass bell in her hand was running through the field. He waved her; the girl run to him. Her breath was heavy.

- Help me, please!

- What happened, child?- he asked.

- There are gakis there.

- Give me your bell. What is your name?

- Naichinge-ryu.

- Go home, Naichinge-Ryu.

He took the bell and shook it.

The burst of cold wind made him wrap into his coat. If the fog wasn't so dense, he thought, I'd see them already. He sat down on the damp grass.

When a transparent cloud of the fog took the form of a human hand, he could not decide whether that was for real.

He shook the bell once more. This time it wasn't an illusion for sure: he managed to see the angry, fretful face of a fat, ugly woman, her cap and apron. Two kids were hanging onto the woman's skirt, like they were crying without sound. The gakis stepped forward and seceded from the fog, becoming fragile visions.

But he could see the ghosts. He shook the ring and started a segaki prayer. He knew: the ghosts may be as hungry as they will, but they can't harm him.

They are just hungry ghosts from someone's past. Maybe your own.

This is a dream, isn't it? The ringing of the bell is my alarm, that tries to wake me up.

But I don't want to wake up. No matter how weird or terrible my dreams may be, no matter whose life I live there, I never want to wake up. But do I have a choice?

I opened my eyes and, as always, I saw the ceiling. I sat in my bed and stayed that way for a moment.

I had dressed and finished my breakfast when the phone rang.

- I'm near your house,- you said.

- I'll be in a moment.

He was walking through the damp grass until he caught up with her.

- You really made them go,- said the girl.

- Yes.

They walked together for a while.

The End

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