The Russian #Ukraine #atozchallenge #fiction

“You must come with me now.” The large man said with a deep accent.

I saw my husband consider his options then he put his hands up with resignation.

“Wise choice for you.” He ushered us toward a dark street and a car that was waiting.

I was considering if this guy was mafia, military, … none was a good option.

When we got in the car, he got behind the wheel and locked the doors.

“We have someone who needs to see you…”

My husband remained quiet and I followed his lead and squeezed his hand.

I know we drove out of Odessa, but I couldn’t tell you which direction. Then the car stopped at an old barn.

“Get out quickly we do not know what eyes are in the sky.”

I looked up at the sky and wondered if this was the last sky I would see.

It was dark inside until a single candle was lit. A man motioned us closer.

“This is important, but we must hurry.”

I could not see the man’s face clearly as his hat was pulled down and his collar up high. He had military rank that we could tell.

“I will give you this information to pass on to whoever you know that is close to Zelensky. No one can know I was the one to give this for my family’s safety in Russia.”

The man went on to give my husband as much information about locations and equipment as one man could keep in his head.

“The only way to fight this war,” he said in a whisper, ” is in the shadows.”

He then blew out the candle and was gone.

My husband wanted to call Dmitre immediately, but he knew this conversation could be a trap to find Dmitre.

We were driven back to Odessa and dropped off in another part of town.

“Passage is that way.” He pointed the direction for us.

“Let’s get to the church,” my husband grabbed my hand and we moved quickly. “I wish I could talk to Vlad.”

The church was so busy that we didn’t have time to think for hours. One of Vlad’s men had dropped off our supplies earlier that day so my husband stocked shelves while I dressed wounds and gave babies formula.

“I have to get this information out.” My husband said the next morning.

“You could go into any of the shops across the street. Have Olga’s husband Artem be your lookout.” I looked toward the street.

“Dmitre was pleased.” My husband caught me by surprise. “This is not the first Russian officer who has given vital information.”

“I wonder why?”

“Dmitre said most of the military were lied to. They do not want to see people die.”

I gave my husband a large bowl of Borscht and wheat bread. “Now is the time to rest before tonight and more refugees.”


Thank you so much for visiting.

This on-going story was originally written in 2007 in Odessa, Ukraine. I’ve tweeked it to arrive in 2022 but the elements of a multiaccess portal and a war (the original story had multiple wars) are original. The Passage that is central to this story is a real hotel built in 1880s. She’s seen alot of history stomp through her doors and I could feel the past while I lived there. I hope you see the tenacity of the Ukrainian people through this attempt to honor their bravery. Though this is fiction, what you read is based on facts being relayed from Ukrainian friends.

A great month of blogging with the A to Z Challenge

Links to the story in Order:


The Basics

Clearly Crazy


E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

I – Intensity

J- My Journal

K- Keep Moving

L- Cold Air Lunch

M- Medical needs

N- What Next

O-Out of Sight

P- Portal

Q – Questions


Cold Air Lunch #ukraine #fiction #atozchallenge

Okay so today is 2022. I have to keep reminding myself when I am and checking my currency to make sure it’s the right year.

As we left the portal and 1991, we knew we had to be ready for anything.

We moved casually to our room without running into anyone or seeing the man with the dark look.

“What should we do with the gun?” My husband sounded less assured than thirty minutes before.

“Grab the tech, stow the gun.” I remembered to whisper.

“Okay let’s grab a coffee and see what’s going on.”

The guests were no longer sitting in front of the television but it was showing footage of several Russian ships outside of the port. News casters were too quick so I couldn’t even get the gist of what was happening.

“My Ukrainian can’t keep up. What did the guys on the news say?” I asked a woman sipping her tea.

“They have no answers. Boats just sit there. No one gets off.” She waved at the picture.

“After two days?”


“Thank you for your help.” I smiled as I told my husband the good news. “No Russians today.”

We decided to take a drive to a cafe outside of Odessa in case it was our last time. They had some fresh cheese and bread.

“How is it?” My husband asked the owner.

“Families are fleeing from the east. Men and boys stay. We have a sister and a mother who are coming soon. Those people will not have food and water.”

My husband thanked him and gave extra money when he paid.


We waved goodbye.

Dmitre was able to fill us in. “Yes, we are hearing the sailors refuse to help. They are Crimeans they mutiny.”

“Ha, good for our Crimean brothers.”

“But there are plenty of problems. The East will be taken soon. We are not sure but there looks to be  a solid line. Its kilometers long of Russian tanks and trucks coming.”

“You are safe?”

“Yes, Zelensky and my brother have had several men take close shots. All bullets missed.

“Bravo.” My husband and I both chorused.

“My family how are they?” I heard Dmitre’s emotion.

“Adjusting. Your mama is an excellent babushka. There is always something for the children to learn, sweets for tea, and many walks to the park.”

“Then they are good. Nikita will be so happy.”

“Anything for the chief?”

“Stay at the ready.”

“Til next time.” My husband disconnected the call.

“They will appreciate the news about the Navy.” I tried to sound cheerful.

“Yes. I’m just wondering is there anything else…”

“No, we need to lay low. Other people…”

“You are right. Let’s enjoy this open air lunch.” We buttoned out coats.

Welcome to Penned in Moon Dust. If you are visiting via the A to Z challenge thanks for your visit. i pulled a story I wrote about a time portal in Odessa, Ukraine when I was staying there in 2007. I guess this would be a historical fiction (it’s just a history as it is happening.) The setting for this story is the Passage Hotel a charming hotel built in the 1890s. She’s seen many wars and many despots traipse through.

Please check out the A to Z challenge and the awesome bloggers there in April.