“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.
Links to the story in Order: