The Passage to the Portal #Ukraine #fiction #part2

We stood in front of the clock in the Passage Hotel. The hands seemed as if they didn’t want to move forward. I looked at my husband with open hands and pointed to the rifle.

“You are good, but you can’t shoot two guns at once.” I pointed at the Kalashnikov.

“Trigger finger, eh?” He held the strap against his shoulder tightly. “Mae, you can barely stand.”

“We are potentially entering a portal with a KGB operative. I need to man up.” I knew not to grab for the gun so I just pleaded with my eyes.

The hour hand finally clicked to the 3.

“Let’s go then.” Don handed me the rifle.

He showed me how to place my feet on the design on the carpet. We both clutched our guns in a fighting stance. His other hand was on my back so he could push me forward if necessary.

We walked into 1991 uncertain of what we would face and who would greet us.

“It’s so quiet.” I whispered.

We went down the hallway to the blue room. My husband put his ear against the door to check for any sounds. He shook his head.

“Let’s check our room.” He mouthed as he pointed across the hall.

Again, there were no sounds.

Now What? I looked at my husband with confusion. One misstep could be our last.

He turned the door knob and opened the door.

While he swept the room for signs of intruders, I noticed something out of place.

The lamp was on the wrong table. Then the question was: Would Valeria have done that to warn us?

Don picked up the lamp; there was a lipstick marking underneath. The V in the heart pointed to our secret room.

I rushed over.

“Careful.”

As I clicked the release, I heard the voice of a child.

Don locked the door, wedged a chair under the door and stood with his gun raised at the door. He motioned me inside the secret room.

“What genius,” I thought.

Valeria had put Dmitre’s family in the secret room that was part of our room. Our room was always unlocked so it seemed unlikely that you would hide someone in an unlocked room.

The children rushed into my arms.

Malika’s eyes were moist even Luda looked grateful.

“How long?” I whispered.

“Many days or is it weeks? We have not seen Valeria for 2 days.”

“And no food,” Sasha chimed in.

“We need to take care of that.” My husband peered in and handed me the gun. “What have you heard and what noises?”

“There was a bad man here. We do not know where he is now, but he hurt the professor.”

“You have been hiding – here.” The women nodded.

“Not at first.” Luda added. She pointed across the hall.

“Vlad and Valeria were here?”

“Yes, they moved us.”

“For now, let us put you back in the room. We will be back.” Hopefully, my husband said under his breath.

The first thing we did was check the blue room. It had been disturbed then tidied up by Valeria.

“What about the supply closet?” I knew there were medical supplies and food there.

“I don’t want to lead someone to so valuable a location. Let’s change clothes then go downstairs. The man knows what we look like in these clothes.”

While we changed, I wondered where Vlad and Valeria were. And another question – where was everyone else?

If you have just read this story there is a beginning broken into parts. You can find the links here.

This will link you to the next part of this story. “Where is everyone?”

The Passage is a hotel in Odessa, Ukraine. It was built in the 1890s. The Passage still stands and has housed many soldiers over many wars and incursions. There was also an underground passage used by resistance. This story was originally written in 2007 in Ukraine. The intention of this story is to applaud the bravery of the Ukrainian men and women who are holding on to each piece of their country.

Zelensky #atozchallenge #Ukraine #fiction

The Passage Hotel

 

“How did you know Zelensky?” I had asked Luda when I first met her at her home in Mariople.

“He grew up next door. When my nephews visit, they played. They became very good friends. Those boys have been together through many things and now war. Do you know his name means ‘famous leader?'”

No I didnt not know the meaning of his name, but it fit. These were the few things I knew about Volodymyr Zelensky who was elected President of Ukraine in 2019:

Volodymyr was born in 1978. Ukrainian was then part of the Soviet Union. After the fall of communism, Zelenskyy co-founded a successful comedy troupe and studied law.

Volodymyr Zelensky had been in the position of President of Ukraine for a few years when Russia attacked on Feb 24. Zelensky grew up under the iron fist of Mother Russia and had no desire to see his country torn apart. once again.

In his nightly address to the nation, we heard Zelenskyy say:

Thanks to the courage, wisdom of our defenders, thanks to the courage of all Ukrainian men, all Ukrainian women our state is a real symbol of struggle for freedom. Everyone in the world – and even those who do not openly support us – agree that it is in Ukraine that the fate of Europe, the fate of global security, the fate of the democratic system is being decided. And above all, it is being decided what life in the center and east of our continent will be like and whether there will be life at all.

(excerpt of speech on April 26)

“Zelensky is meeting with the UN and EU as we were having this conversation. We hope for help and weapons.” Dmitre relayed to us.

“We are glad that you, your brother and the President are safe.” My husband said. “What can we do now to help?”

“I know the President would tell you to get into safety. Your wife is still recovering. “

“You are asking us to go into hiding while there is …”

“Yes, You must. “

“But Dmitre what about????” I was near tears.

“There is still my family. They are in danger.”

“Yes, they are in need of protection.” My husband said soberly not knowing the situation on the other side of the Portal.

“You watch out for them and get well. Maybe in several weeks we will talk.”

We were both weary as we said “Goodbye” to everyone at the refugee center / church/ kitchen/ hospital. I couldn’t think about tomorrow for each of them.

Two of Yevhen’s men half carried me to The Passage. They had returned to tell us that Yevhen had positioned the men to defend Mariople’s people.

The men looked like tired boys to me at that moment.

As we got to the third floor, I knew we were on our own.

“Be careful. This Uri is your enemy.”

My husband checked his pistol for the twentieth time and checked the strap to the rifle on his shoulder.

“We will see you soon.” I gripped their hands not wanting to let go.  “Buvaite zdorovi”

They waved as they turned the corner of the hallway on the third floor of the Passage Hotel.

I have never hated goodbyes more than now…

So we say Buvaite zdorovi! (Ukrainian for Be Well / Be healthy) to each of you wonderful A to Z bloggers.

So sorry to leave you at a Time Portal with a War in Ukraine in 2022.

And so dear A to Z friends and Blogging faithfuls we are wrapping this part of “The Passage – A War Time Portal.” We (my husband who journeys with me) and myself will continue to write about people in the war and the world of the Portal. There is another element that we hinted at which is where we will go next.

“The Passage: Resistance in Time.”

“We are potentially entering a portal with a KGB operative. I need to man up.” I knew not to grab the gun from my husband, so I pleaded with my eyes.

The hour hand finally clicked to 3.

“Let’s go then.” My husband handed me the rifle.

We walked forward into 1991 uncertain of what we would face and who would greet us…

 

 

Thank you to the A to Z community and each blogger that joins in April.

This is the final letter for the A to Z challenge 2022. This fiction 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.

 

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

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

R- The Russian

S- Shots and Sirens

T- Turned Back

U – Uri

X- Xanthic

Y- Yevhen

Z- Zelensky

Vladimir #atozchallenge #ukraine #fiction

“Are you okay?” My husband shook my body. ‘Honey, are you okay?” He said louder. “Wake up!!!”

When I didn’t respond, he picked me up. For a moment he had no idea what to do. Sirens were going off and bombs were falling. “What do I do? He screamed.

He saw a dim light that was over the door of the church. He ran there praying that the bombs would fall somewhere else.

“Are there any medical people?” He said with a panic that none of our team had ever seen.

Olga grabbed his hand and without a word directed him to a quiet area where there was a cot.

“We need to set her down in quiet and not too much light.” Our friend who had medical training told me. “Her vitals are strong. I think she has a concussion and hopefully will revive.”

Unfortunately, hospitals were one of the most dangerous places to go.

“We will watch her round clock.”

Everyone took turns watching me. My husband was always there; sometimes he collapsed in absolute fatigue.

“When I spoke to your wife, she squeezed my hand. I was able to determine she has bad headache. I told her rest. I put cold cloth on head. She will recover.” Olga said with that Ukrainian confidence we both appreciated.

“I’m relieved that she will get better. But I worry.” My husband looked at me then held my hand. “Has Vlad been around?”

“He took rotation in Mariople. Should be back tomorrow.”

“As soon as he returns, I need to speak with him. It is important.”

“Yes, everything these days is.” Olga sighed.

I opened my eyes and realized the light was too bright but I could speak a little.

Since I was improving, my husband took some time to communicate with Dmitre. Dmitre knew we were out of contact with his family.

“Things hold. Zelensky continues to know when to hide when there is an assassination attempt. There have been hundreds.”

“What about you?”

“Only dozens.” Dmitre chuckled. “We need Mariople and Odessa to stay strong. the ships outside of Odessa cannot make anchor. Pray the storms continue.”

“ I will tell the team your news. We pray constantly these days,”

“The East depends on it…” My husband knew he meant all of Ukraine.

Vlad finally returned from Mariople.

“That does not sound too good.” Vlad’s frowns crinkled over weather worn wrinkles.

“Valeria sounded like you would know…”

“The fact that the Portal allowed you to speak through it means there is something not right.” He clenched his bruised and bandaged hands. “I need to remember the formula that the professor taught me. The professor assured me it was easy.”

“What is it then?” My husband was overwhelmed with worry.

“I don’t remember.” Vlad looked blankly into my husband’s eyes.

Thank you to the A to Z community and each blogger that joins in April.

This on-going story for A to Z challenge 2022 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. The story about the shot up car and the people is one of many stories we got from friends helping people escape Mariople.

 

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

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

R- The Russian

S- Shots and Sirens

T- Turned Back

U- Uri

 

Portal #atozchallenge #ukraine

My friend this is an interesting thing to have on a mirror. Vlad pointed to the lipstick heart.

My husband went in the bathroom and knew it was mine.

“You are alive.” He exhaled as if he had been holding his breath.

“Where?” Vlad looked in all directions. went to our secret cabinet and the note tumbled out.

“I know…” He looked at the envelop with the money. It was empty. “Good.” He patted his pocket grateful he had more just in case. “Let’s go find her.”

“Yes, now one suggestion. Those same people looking for her know about you. We need you to look more Ukrainian.”

Vlad always wore two pair of pants he pulled one pair off. “Put these on. Change sweaters.with me. Your beard looks good mess your hair. Take off your glasses. He pulled a wool beanie over my husband’s ears. Better.” He put my husband’s hat on.

“First, we go downstairs. Get some coffee. Watch some people then go…”

*

Olga was so glad to see me. When I told her that I would like to stay there was no argument. She needed extra hands and a nurse was a double bonus. I was glad I had left my duffle bag with supplies at the church. It would have been too obvious to have walked out of the hotel with it.

There were so many people that came through. Each night we laid out hundreds of mattresses and blankets for sleeping. Each morning we made borscht (cabbage soup) and bread. As the refugees made their way to the border, we wanted them to have strength.

I was broken hearted when one very pregnant woman made it all the way to us by walking. After she delivered her baby, she just had no more energy to live. Another family she had travelled with, took the baby willingly.

Every day there were people sick, some wounded with bullets, more with worn out shoes.

I looked up one day and there he was. I wanted to laugh and cry as I saw that silly wool cap pulled over his ears.

We just held each other no words were needed.

Ivan had a good talk with Olga and heard many things. Her sister was in Dnipro and their church was taking food into Mariople and bringing car loads of people out.

She chuckled as she told him about a car full of people with their stuff crammed to the roof. The car had been completely shot up as well as all the belongings but there was not a scratch on the driver or his 7 passengers.

“Sounds like we need to get help to Mariople, before too late.” Vlad slapped my husband on the back.

We talked quietly in a corner.

“Yes, good idea. What about the portal will it let us through?”

“Don’t know.” Vlad looked to the ceiling.

“What about the portal?” I asked

“It knew about the bomb and stopped letting people through/”

“So, you are going back today?” I looked at both men.

“We will try.” Vlad said.

My husband nodded. “Get you to safety and re-group.”

“I need to stay here and help.” I whispered really loud.

I saw the WHAT look on my husband’s face.

“We are in living in this war now.” I held his hand then let it drop.

Thanks for visiting Penned in Moondust by Moondustwriter. This month for the A to Z challenge I pulled out an archived story from 2007, dusted it off and reworked the year of entry 2022. This was originally written in Odessa, Ukraine. I hope you see the bravery and courage that I hope to convey in each episode.

Links to story in Order:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

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

What Next? #Ukraine #fiction #timeportal #atozchallenge

The Passage Hotel, Odessa Ukraine

‘It’s day ___. ‘ I wrote in my journal. ‘ February 2022. It’s frozen in Odessa. A long winter this year. I prayed for warmth for people in bombed out areas in the East and Mariople.’

We went about our normal morning routine. The Passage was full with mostly refugees. We were one of the few paying guests.

I had taken a nap but was awakened by the sound of explosions.

“Everything is secure here.” My husband mouthed. “Left our currency in the safety hold.”

I nodded knowing it was time to go.

We slowly did our routine. Trying to look non-chalant, we walked to the second floor. My husband put our room key in my pocket.

The floor rocked as we approached the design on the carpet. As we stood still, the design changed…

At that very moment, the hotel violently shook.

“Bomb,” my husband yelled as he fell forward. “Take cover.”

I felt the ceiling start falling around me.

“Honey, Honey,” I cried out. I had fallen backward.

“I’ll get you…”  I only heard the echo of his words.

I knew I had to move. But where?

I heard a cry for help so I stumbled that direction.

A man shouted for help in Ukrainian his face pale.

I could only ask, “chto ne tak?”

He pulled me toward the door. On the floor was a woman who was clearly hurt. I knelt beside her to assess her injury. Then I saw that her foot was at a weird angle. “It’s broken.” I said knowing he didn’t understand. With my pigeon Ukrainian I told him I would return.

***

“All I know is Odessa was being bombed. Then there was a direct hit to the Passage. I entered the Portal and my wife fell backward and remains in 2022.”

“Quickly,” Valeria motioned. “We must get her.” We ran to the clock, down the hall, stood at the design on the carpet. Nothing. We did that several more times.

“Try the reverse way. I must find Anatoliy he knows Portal best.”

My husband tried to reenter the Portal. He was literally banging his head against a wall.

“I’m sorry, friend. I believe the Portal was shaken. She knows when there is an attack. She stops all movement.” Anatoliy said.

“Have you seen this before?’

“Oh yes, first when I was a young man, then again in 1990 or 91 before the end of the Cold War.”

“How do I get to my wife?” My husband was between crying and screaming.

“The Portal will settle.”

“But how long professor?”

“A few days, maybe a few weeks…”

“My wife is in a war zone.”

“So are many others…” He said with little emotion.

My husband almost wore the design on the rug out trying again and again to cross the portal. Our friends tried to get across as well. To no avail.

*

I returned from my room with my first aid kit and was able to splint Daryna’s ankle. She smiled weakly after I gave her a Tylenol and left her with a small supply. With pigeon Ukrainian, I explained to keep her foot raised and if they could find ice in the hotel that would help the swelling.

As I stood waving “goodbye” at the door, I heard someone yell “Amerikanski…”

Two men started running down the hall. I knew what my value had been the last time I was in Ukraine – it was easily triple.

Daryna’s husband waved me down the back hallway.” Idti!”  His bulky frame sprinted toward the men…

“What next?” I wanted to scream.

Thanks for visiting Penned in Moondust by Moondustwriter. This month for the A to Z challenge I pulled out an archived story from 2007, dusted it off and reworked the year of entry 2022. This was originally written in Odessa, Ukraine. I hope you see the bravery and courage that I hope to convey in each episode.

Links to the story in order:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

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

Great blogs at the A to Z Challenge in April

Medical Needs #Ukraine #fiction #timeportal #atozchallenge

Though the moving is hard I like being here in 1991. My husband and I can talk freely and I can write. We have met people who are over a century old. I wish I could just sit down and write their stories. I will try to piece bits together for a novella…maybe. We have yet to meet Anatoliy the scientist who understands the portal. I finished writing in my journal.

“The ships turned back. There was nothing else to do.” My husband told Vlad.

“Those were strong Crimean sailors who stood up against Russian officers.” Vlad puffed out his chest.

“We must prepare for other things. By the sound of his voice Dmitre didn’t sound hopeful for Mariople.”

“We would be too small a force to fight them.”

“And it would be a challenge to get all of you there. We only have two cars.” My husband pointed out.

“We need tank.”

“Who would operate it?” I asked.

Vlad scratched his head. “We will find someone.”

We went back and forth across the portal and were safe each time. I kept looking for the dark eyed guy but he either was gone or was waiting…

When we were in 2022, it was ordered chaos. Many people had fled to the borders and we heard many reports that they were safe. We watched the television very little. It was too difficult to watch smalls towns being bombarded.

“Odessa is safe but not Kherson.” One of the hotels clerks told us. “My titka lives there. I wish she could come here.”

We spoke with our clerk friend. Her store was closed but she was able to sell us several more things. I had taken the t-shirts across the portal. Vlad thought it would be a good way to identify each of his guys with t-shirts from 2022.

Our housekeeper, Svetlana, came in one day with smudges on her face.

“What is wrong.” I put my arms around her.

“Many friends and family are coming. They have nothing. Some are badly hurt. My husband and I are helping our church give all we have.”

“We have a few bandages that we brought when we came and some warm blankets.” I pointed to the pile on our bed. “Can we come with you tonight?”

“Da, Da. Yes, please come.”

Our visit to Svetlana’s church showed us what the days ahead would be like.

Hundreds of people were sleeping in every square inch of the small church. Most were dirty; some had head wounds or major scrapes. Olga the pastor’s wife and I set up the kitchen as the first aid station. I got out my first aid kit and got to work cleaning wounds and bandaging them up. Svetlana and another woman tore up rags that they had boiled so we had enough bandages.

One little boy had gotten a long splinter of metal in his arm. It took some time but we got it out and cleaned it up. The boy was so brave as I worked.

“Did you notice the people had a calm about them even though they have nothing.”

“They have their lives.”

“These people need a full time medic.” I was making a list of things we needed from 1991.

“Supplies of food and water, too.” My husband said in a whisper.

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

I – Intensity

J- My Journal

K- Keep Moving

L- Cold Air Lunch

Always Great bloggers at the A to Z Challenge

My Journal #atozchallenge #Odessa #Ukraine #fiction

I hope the science guy can explain the portal cause it’s complicated. One time I can come across at the same point but now I have to go to a different clock and come thorugh the back way at 9 am. Right now I’m in 1991. I think this going back and forth is going to make my head spin. My husband is with Vlad. I’m glad we can help … I am happy to have such a well- stocked first aid storage.

I wrote a few more details in my journal before I stored it away. If I ever got back to a normal place in life, I want to remember as much about 1991 as possible. 

My husband entered the room and we knew we had to tell each other everything we had learned or seen in double time before we returned across the portal. Too soon we heard Valeria at the door.

“Ready?” She said cheerfully.

“Yes.” My husband smiled.

“No.” I grimaced.

“Okay – Pashli. We go to the ground floor for the return clock. At exactly 9 am we must go up hotel’s back stairs and enter the hall with the carpet design from the other side. The rug design changes like before. Bon chance.”

We made the transition and quietly went to our room in 2022 before we were seen.

What I had learned was there was a stockpile of guns and ammo in 1991. My husband was told also  to look for an old tunnel under Passage that had been used by the underground during World War 2 and the Cold War. This is where we hoped to make communication with Dmitre.

“Will our cells work underground?” I mouthed to my husband.

“We will see.”

“Hello,” one of the maids greeted us on the stairs as we were going out. Would you like your room…”

“No, thank you. not today. Tomorrow in the morning.” I gave her a little money.

“Spasiba…”

The tunnel had been unused for quite some time. I was glad I had worn my winter hat so that my hair wasn’t covered in webs.

“The call is going through.” My husband whispered. “Yes, Dmitre. Is this a good time? Can you hear me, ok?”

“I understand that anything I need to relay to our “force” will go through you.”

“Yes. That’s what captain said.”

“For now, this is what we have.” He spent the next several minutes giving my husband coordinates and information about tank and artillery formation. He also noted that a Russian ship was on its way from Crimea to Odessa.

“Dmitre, be careful there are several reports…”

“Yes, we know. They are being very good about moving our location. We also will be switching to communication that is difficult to pinpoint. Today, you will be sent a device by courier. He will greet you the way we greeted in Uganda. Goodbye.”

“What was that greeting?” I mouthed to my husband.

“An elbow bump because of Co-Vid.” He smiled. “Let me take you to lunch lady with the webs.” He smiled as he grabbed my hand.

Later that day the courier met up with us. He delivered the new cell phone in a pastry bag with several pastries. We passed off a picture the children had drawn for their daddy that was in a visitor guide.

I saw the man that had been watching us. This time he looked straight at us with a dark intensity.

Has someone ever looked at you with an intensity that unnerved you???

Thanks for visiting Penned in Moondust by Moondustwriter. This month for the A to Z challenge I pulled out an archived story from 2007, dusted it off and reworked the year of entry 2022. This was originally written in Odessa, Ukraine. I hope you see the bravery and courage that I hope to convey in each episode.

Links to the story in order:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

I – Intensity

Intensity #Odessa #Ukraine #atozchallenge

‘Tonight has been intense with the Family. So much for making a calm transition over to 1991 for them.’ I wrote in my small journal while the ladies were asking Valeria some last questions.

Valeria left us for the evening.

“What is happening? Luda kept asking. “Why are my friends not being protected like we are?”

“Luda, we don’t know much more than you do. You are here in safe keeping for a reason. That is really all I can guess.” My husband said with an enormous amount of patience.

We finally collapsed in the room across the hall.  I realized it was not far enough away as we heard Luda continue to stomp about.

There was a knock on the door. My husband looked at his watch. “Too early.”  A louder knock told us to get up and answer it.

I nudged my husband to the door while I grabbed a flower pot.

“Who is there?” he asked.

“It’s Vladimir. Valeria told me you might need answers.”

My husband let him in while I put down the pot.

Vladimir was a tall man with many scars. Battle worn. I thought to myself.

“We don’t know where to begin.” My husband clasped his hands in frustration.

“Then sit down and we will work it out. First please call me Vlad or chief. I understand you are ex-military.”

Yes, we both are…” my husband nodded.

“Hmm,” the man looked at us like a hawk. “That is good. I am ex-military as well and trained to fight in many ways. My last commander taught fighting in the streets.”

“My wife also has advanced first aid skills.” They both looked over at me.

“This is what you can know. This family it is important we protect. Volva the older son is Zelensky’s advisor. He is on the short list for assassination. Your friend the younger son, Dmitre, is on the longer list.  Getting this family, would make it easy to get to either of them.”

“Ahhh. I was wondering…” The eyes of the men locked.

“Valeria is responsible for them. We need you to be getting communication for us. This will not be easy. There will be people watching you. You need to go to different places and assure no one is following you. or listening. Every other day you cross the portal, you will bring valuabled information.”

“What will you do with this information here?”

“Put together a plan to defend and fight.” Vladimir sat up straight.

I wondered how old this blue-eyed greying man was. He could have been my age, but he probably was one hundred.

“We have many Ukrainian fighters even a few from 2022. Odessa is the home for most of them. We have many provisions in case there becomes shortage. Food, if necessary, can be taken across portal as well as first aid supplies. Would you like to see our first aid supply?”

“Yes, it would be good to know what we have in reserve.” I put on a sweatshirt.

Vlad took me to the first aid storage which was a suite filled with supplies. I was impressed at the ancillary. I looked down and saw a large grey duffel. I had to smile. It was a bag I had left in 2007. It was filled with donated suturing kits.

“We have a supply list in Ukrainian, but you might want to write one in English.”

While I spent time in the first aid storage, my husband and Vlad went to meet the men.

Very few spoke English but my husband knew each of them could hold his own in a battle.

“How do people move about in the Portal?” My husband asked as they walked back to our room.

“The Portal has chosen those few that can move freely. You and your wife are among those. A few people we have moved for their safety. No return. I will have Anatoliy Morozov visit you next time. He is the scientist who understands many things about the Portal. Valeria will show you how to get back to 2022.”

“We will hope for the best…” My husband waved uncertain of the path forward.

Thanks to each of you for visiting Penned in Moondust. This is my 10th year participating with the A to Z challenge and as in several years I am posting my own work and moderating for a friend – Steve Slack.

This on-going story was originally written in 2007 in Odessa, Ukraine. I’ve tweeked it quite a bit 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.

Links to the story in order:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

Wow the A to Z challenge is in full swing. Talented bloggers abound. Have a look

Hiding in 1991 #ukraine #fiction

The door opened and warmth poured out. A tea service was waiting for our guests. Luda plopped herself down on one of the couches with an “ooff”

“See now sister isn’t this better than sitting downstairs?” Malika took her winter coat off before she sat down to tea and cakes.

The children sat on the floor with their tea and were quite happy to be in the warm room.

“There are some activities in the bedroom for you children. Puzzles, crayons and some crafts are in a big box.”

“Now we must have some serious conversation.” Valeria sat down as the children shut the door to the bedroom. “This is not a vacation stop. Many in Odessa are in harm’s way. You have been brought here for your son’s sake.”

My eyes looked intently on Valeria. Ah, I thought he was a target.

“You are staying in the The Passage Hotel. Many in this hotel are from a different time. We can only keep each of you safe if you have minimum contact with the outside world.”

“What does that mean?” Luda jumped in before Valeria could finish.

“You are safely sitting in the Passage Hotel of 1991. The Communist regime has fallen and we will rebuild now. Also, if you have questions please ask them quietly, the children are just in the next room and there are guests in the room next door.”

“We are in 1991?” Malika asked quietly.

I noticed Luda getting ready to make a tirade but her sister grasped both hands, looked her in the eye and said “Shhhh.”

“There are so many questions that can be asked.” I added.

“But let me answer simply. We are each here for a certain reason at a particular time. Our working together will make this time more bearable.” Valeria nodded to me.

“Does my son know?” Malika asked.

“Yes and No. He knows you are safe because there is someone watching you. He also knows… I have said enough…”My husband’s kind face and calm voice had the necessary effect.

“You are the welcome guests of the Passage hotel. You are welcome to come and go. You can even take the children out to the park during approved times. We do not want you talking to people unless we approve this. I’m sorry if this sounds strict but it is to keep people in 1991 from having suspicions. And for protection.”

“What protection?”

“We have people who are being protected from every dictator and war since 1898. If a guest seems “old fashioned” it’s because they are. Let us introduce you before you enter into the life of another person. There are several we would love for you to meet. These are people who will never be safe in their world so this is their permanent home. We do not want the children to know. It would be a big mistake So please act normally but quietly.” Valeria was beginning .to look tired.

“We will be your friends from 2022.” I said confidently. “We are able to communicate with Dmitre and can bring news of what is happening.”

“Your friends will live in 1991 and also in 2022. Please be considerate of them.” Valeria got up to leave. “There will be some food delivered soon for your dinner. Each day you will have one meal you can eat down in the café. But I need to remind you, please eat silently, do not complain and do not talk to others. Your server will be one of us. Not everyone in the Passage knows about who you are. You must never pay. Your 2022 money will be of no use but it would make you a target. We do have enemies in 1991.”

“I think it would be a good idea to put all of our 2022 money in an envelope.” My husband reached into his wallet. Both of the women opened their purses. They gave me their wallets. “We also need your technology. It must be sent into the 21st century. “

“But how will we…?”

“There are no mobiles in Ukraine in 1991.” Valeria said with frustration.

I took the cell phones and 2 tablets and put them in my oversize purse.

“What about the children?” I asked.

“I will get their things.” Malika knocked on the door.

“Babushka needs your phone and your tablet.” The children made faces. “This will help keep your mama and papa safe.” They quickly rose to their satchels. I also need any money your papa gave you.

“Babushka.” Sasha got a grumpy look. “He said we could spend it the way we wished,”

“We will save this money for an emergency children. If there is very little food, we will each of us need to help.”

“Oh alright.” Dema gave his Babushka his wallet as did Sasha.

Valeria gave me some 1991 money and Luda as well.

“You must be the most careful.” She looked at both of us. “It would be very easy to use the wrong money.”

“We will find a way to keep it separated.” I looked at the money that looked the same as the money in my wallet.

“Tonight, you will stay in the next room. Tomorrow you will return to 2022. Every other day you will stay here. Unless it becomes unsafe for your there.”

“Then what will…”

“We will decide at that time. Remember the technology stays in hiding. If anyone asks about this family, tell them they were visitors who have moved on.”

“What about their car?”

“You had better move it to another place in town. In front of another hotel.”

Welcome to Penned in Moon Dust. This year for the A to Z challenge I chose to dust off an archived story i wrote while I was in Odessa Ukraine (2007) I’m actually glad I rewrote it to the current times. it represents what families are enduring and I hope the tenor of the story is “heartfelt.”

I appreciate your time if you are an A to Z blogger. This is an ongoing story and it is pulling from some events that have played out in Ukraine around the Southern Region of the Country. Odessa is a large city in the So. West, Mariople has been a beseiged city from very early days – she is also in the south on the coast of the Azov sea.

Links to the story in order:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Please enjoy visiting A to Z bloggers in April

Eavesdropping #Atozchallenge #Ukraine

“What is this place?” My husband asked. “And why doesn’t the hotel manager know about it?”

“It is a long story. For now, I will tell you this: You are in the year 1992. We have safety portals that we are opening for Ukrainians as we speak. When you came through the portal in 2010, we were in one of our training exercises. The portal allowed you in. We believe it’s because it knew you would be coming back. There is one of our experts who will have more time to explain how things work.  We need your help to prepare. Most of the food and supplies you have purchased, you must bring through the portal. You will use a laundry cart to move those supplies. Then you will wait for the family to come from Mariople.”

“They will be joining us?” My eyes opened wide.

“Yes. One word of caution – you must not tell anyone you know about this portal or what you have seen. There are people looking for us.”

“We understand.” My husband clasped my hand.

“What if…” I mumbled.

“Yes?”

“I have felt someone watching and listening.”

“Outside of our door?” My husband looked startled.

“I went to the door and no one was there.”

“We know there are silent watchers. It cannot be helped. BUT be careful.” Valeria’s blue eyes were intense. “You must move rooms. There is a room in 2022 where you can hide many things. You must Go Now – The portal will open for you soon.”

As we walked down the hall, Valeria quickly explained that we needed to bring everything tomorrow on her laundry cart.

“Stand before the hallway clock on the third floor at exactly 3pm. Go down stairs to the second floor. It gives the portal a signal. Then stand on that carpet with the design.”

“What if we miss the time?”

“You will not.” She said flatly. “Change rooms tomorrow. You must move to 502.”

We went back to our room in 2022 and spent our evening in another period of silence.

I heard a thud like someone had dropped something outside our door. My husband quietly walked to the door.

“No one.” My husband said silently from the doorway. “But I did find this.”

He showed me a plastic tumbler with the bottom cut off.

For listenin? I mouthed

Yes, This is surreal my husband wrote on a notepad.

I know. I wrote back

What are we doing? He scratched

His question unnerved me because he was always calm and certain of things.

We are here to help people in trouble. I wrote back.

The next day was nerve wracking. I felt like we were doing something wrong. We managed to get to the portal at the right time with the food, blankets and clothing and first aid stuff. Last minute, I ran down to check into room 502 with one small bag.

Valeria welcomed us as we entered 1992. “This is very good. It will be stored away for Emergency.”

“Now you must get back to 2022.” Valeria said. “When the family comes you bring them here directly. Do not register them in the hotel. Their name cannot be there.”

“When you come across the portal you must leave all your technology. Find the hidden wall and use it.” Valeria showed us back down the hallway.

“Live like you are in Soviet Russia – the walls have eyes and ears…”

***

Reader: Have you ever been in a place where you had to be very careful what you were saying (or doing?)

Thanks for stopping by Penned In Moondust by Moondustwriter for the A to Z Challenge. This (continuing) story was birthed at The Passage hotel in 2007 in Odessa Ukraine. I changed the time to the present rather than the Cold War. I hope you feel the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian people as this fiction unfolds.

Links to the beginning of the story:

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

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