Where is Everyone? #Ukraine #Odessa #The Passage #timeportal

The clothes we had put in the closet were dated and we both chuckled. Ukraine had become quite modernized but in 1991 there was little fashion. My skirt was grey and my blouse was yellowed from many washings. I was glad I had packed an old blond wig. The blond with my blue eyes gave me a first glance pass as Ukrainian. I looked at Don. All I could think of was to use some hair dye I had earlier mixed in a bottle.

” It will at least take away the grey.” I said as I pulled a workers cap on his head.

“Now what?” I had a blank look.

“We need to find food and answers. Food should be easy.” He pointed toward the door.

I had forgotten that we weren’t in a war zone and there would be food. We sat down at a café in the Passage and had a luxurious coffee and pastry. We ordered several more for “later.” We also stopped at a fruit stand and filled a bag with apples. My mouth watered.

“Let’s get this food to our friends.” I said casually.

We were careful as we went up the stairs to watch for anything out of the ordinary. As I turned the hallway, I thought I saw a shadow. We stopped.

“F – S- B?” I signed the letters to my husband.

He shrugged his shoulders. We listened intently – nothing.

As silently as we could we went to our room.

“Do not eat these too quickly.” I instructed the children as I gave them the pastries, fruit and some juice.

“We will eat slowly. Won’t we children?” Marina said.

“We are sorry to keep you locked away, but we need to keep you safe.” I waved toward the closet.

Each of our friends stretched their arms, legs and backs and willingly climbed back into the hideaway.

“I think we need to look for the professor.” I said to Don. “I’m worried about him.”

“He may not be in this time period.” My husband looked like he was trying to solve a puzzle.

“Hmmm. Wouldn’t they leave us a clue?”

“Only if they could.”

We carefully went down the hallway of the Passage that was set aside for guests from the past or the future. There was no evidence of anyone being there.

“Who can we ask?”

I had an idea. I grabbed my husband’s hand and ran down the old hallway. There was one more room with a hideaway.

We listened carefully at the door. No sound.

The door was unlocked. I gave him the thumbs up.

He walked around the room looking for any clues.

Just then we heard a load noise in the hallway. We froze and looked at each other…

This is a continuation of a story that I began writing in Odessa, Ukraine in 2007 at The Passage Hotel. The time period was moved to 2022 as a tribute to the heroism of the men and women who are living in Ukraine (especially Odessa) right now.

This link will take you to beginning of the story The Passage – authors

This links you to the beginning of part 2 – Passage to the Portal (During War)

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

War Torn #atozchallenge #Ukraine

“Vlad how are we going to get across if you can’t remember?”

“Anatoliy told me years ago. You forget I am old man.” Vlad’s voice cracked.

“It’s easy. Let’s think about that.” My husband knew he had to battle the worry.

“Yes, we tried many configurations to get here when my wife was on this side. Anatoliy didn’t seem to know any more than we did.”

“Or he didn’t want too many to know.”

“Yes, that could be true. Let’s go to Passage. Maybe we can find something.”

“Olga, I am not sure when I will be back…”

“Your wife is our number one concern. Go do what you must do.” Olga pushed the men out the door.

As they walked, they were both deep in thought. My husband wondered about the man who kept a close eye on them. He had always been at The Passage.

“Vlad, I think the man watching us got through the Portal. He is always at the Passage. But the last few times no one.”

“But how???”

If is the more worrisome.”

They both walked much faster to the Passage. My husband waved at the manager. He smiled back.

They went up the stairs to the third floor then ran down to the second floor and around to the short hallway. There was the diamond design on the carpeting.

“What time?”

“Too early.” Vlad grumbled.

“Let’s go back up and do it again but slow like we always do to not attract attention.”

They did the routine again with a calm they did not feel. When they stood on the pattern, Valeria came through.

“I did it. Oh, thank you Portal. Thank you. “The girl was out of breath.

She turned to the men and looked so worn as if she had been in 2022.

“There is too much to tell you. There is a man named Uri. He is ex KGB and he is trained in torture.”

“How did he get there?”

“We think when Vlad and the men passed over that he gained access before the Portal could close. There is no one there to protect us.”

“Where is the family?”

“They are in hiding in the place. He knows about them and has tried to get information from many of our guests. I pretended I was a housekeeper for The Passage so he thinks I’m a dumb girl.”

“What does he want? It can’t be the family there are too many other ways to get to our friends in 2022.”

“No, he talks about secret passageway. Something about Resistance.”

Vlad looked around like he knew something.

“We are glad you come. Can we get back?”

Vlad stuffed his Glock in his waist band and checked the knife in his boot. Then he handed Valeria his Kalashnikov. She checked the safety, slung the rifle over her shoulder and gave him a thumbs up.

“We need to go back to third floor,” she pointed. “Then back at three. Two people at three don’t you remember, Vlad? Also look at your feet. Left foot on the diamond the other has to be sideways on the circle.” She whispered to Vlad and my husband. “Now let’s go.”

They stood at the clock trying to look unnoticeable. But no one in the hotel cared.

“Vlad will go with me; you must wait two days then come with your wife. We should be safe by then. Bring your gun in case.”

“Tell men to keep rotation to Mariople. Yevhen in charge.”

I nodded Yevhen was respected by all the men and a good leader.

“Go to your room and get your things out. In case…” Valeria pointed for me to go.

“We will win…” Vlad smiled.

My husband thought about the KGB guy.

We don’t need a war on both sides of the Portal.  My husband mumbled at the clock as he walked by.

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

Please take a visit to my friend’s Blog Writer of Wrong and his A to Z

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

V- Vladimir

Questions ??? #Ukraine #atozchallenge

“We need to stay together!!!” My husband said in exasperation.

“We can use your help here.” I looked at him with gentle eyes. We didn’t need to fight when so much unknown fluttered through the room.

“Yes, friend you can. I must bring my men here. It is the only way we can help our people.” Vlad was very strong in his statement.

“Can we return to 1991 to get anything we might need?” He pleaded with his eyes.

“Yes, that makes sense. I need so many medical supplies and a change of worn out but warm clothing.” I grabbed his arm.

“We need to communicate with a friend.” Vlad motioned.

“Yes, let’s do that and then we will return here to get you before the hour on the clock.” He pointed to the 3 on his watch.

“I will wait.” I wavede goodbye and was overcome with emotion.

This was not coming out how I thought it would. But there is no one here who has an answer to the questions – Why, What, When and How.

They are getting by and I am here to help.

There was another siren and I covered my ears and then went back to work.

*

“Who will tell us what is happening?” Luda was not happy with our news.

“You will hear when someone comes back from 2022.” I said as kindly as I could. “Be grateful you are safe. So many from Mariople have been hurt and if they did not get out they are besieged.”

“Those are my friends.” She shouted.

Anatoliy came in to our room just then.

“Young woman. This is an effort to save lives and save Ukraine; you must stop thinking of yourself. The Portal saw fit to allow you here be grateful. And those children…”

“Please be careful once you go over the Portal. I can sense a danger that would bring trouble here. Do not move back and forth. Use the Portal for an emergency.”

“What about supplies?” Vlad asked.

“Take what you can and trust for the rest. The Portal must remain protected. She could refuse to let any of you re-enter here.”

We all looked at him with concern.

“My only other choice would be to close the Portal.”

“Is that possible?”

“Yes, but there is the possibility that it would never re-open.” Anatoliy looked sternly at us.

“Then we will stay in 2022, Professor.” Vlad looked at is then back at Anatoliy.

“One thing,” my husband whispred, “you need to tell the ladies and Valeria after we are gone.”

*

We had to cross to 2022 in twos and threes. We were all sober as we walked different directions from The Passage hotel.

“We cannot go back to out room.” My husband had told me. There is someone watching for you Im certain.

“What about the cars?” I mouthed.

“Vlad has the keys.”

“And money since the banks do not work?”

“I got some out our day before the bombing. It will have to do.” He patted his wallet.

We had said our goodbyes to Vlad and the men. We knew they could find us when they needed news from Dmitre.

The sirens came on which gave us the opportunity to run down the street. We went first to a coffee shop we had liked and then ducked in doorways as we worked our way to the church.

We could see the church when a large man stepped into our path…

**

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

P-Portal

Out of Sight #Ukraine #portal #fiction

I ran, hopped down the hall away from the men pursuing me. I couldn’t afford the time to look back.

“Please God help them stumble.”

I double timed it up the back stairs to my room on the fifth floor. I pulled the key that my husband always held onto out of my pocket and opened my door. I closed it quietly, locking both bolts. I slid the secret panel away knowing it would be tight but I could fit. I grabbed a large bottle of water and closed the panel behind me. I slowed my breathing and was grateful for the thick walls around me.

I didn’t know how many days I was curled up in that secret closet. Fortunately, I had packages of biscuits and almonds. I ate at night so I sounded like a mouse scratching about in the walls. Though I didn’t know if old hotel walls had mice. Twice I heard someone come in my room. It sounded like everything was overturned the first time. The second time sounded like everything was put back in its place. I hoped it was the housekeeper. The last time I heard a voice say:.

“It’s safe if you are hiding.”  It’s Sveti.

I waited til she went out then climbed out and quickly stuck my head out the door. She was right outside.

“Oh I am so glad.” She hugged me.

The woman down the stairs told me you helped then men came for you.

“Have you seen…?”

“Only that day. Mean faces. Russian with money.” She made a face.

“What should I do?” I wanted to weep at my predicament but I was safer than most people in Ukraine in 2022.

“Not stay here. Go anywhere.”

“I think I know where. But my husband, I lost him.”

“Leave note…”

“But a careful note.” I said in a whisper.

“Da..”

My dear Svetlana brought me food for several days. I gave her as much money as I could spare for her kindness.

“Go when dark.” We go together.

“Yes, I’ll be ready.”

I spent the next several hours washing up and changing into clean but shabby clothes. Everything I needed to keep secret was put back in the closet. I took money and the cell phone. My note was cryptic.

“I am fine as of ____.  The boy with the metal in his arm might use my help.”

I signed my name with my fancy initials. I then drew a heart on the mirror in lipstick. I hoped he would know I had been there.

Svetlana brought an old coat to put over my wool coat. She also gave me a worn- out hat. She knew I was going to Olga’s church but when we got close to her street she waved goodbye to me. She would watch for trouble as I continued to walk into the night.

*

*

“We have to find a way through the portal.” My husband was exasperated.

“Maybe today,” Vlad said with expectation.

“We will hope.”.

Vlad and my husband were at the clock at 1 minute before 9am.

They tried not to run but they were anxious. As they got to the carpet design, it changed.

Vlad and my husband made it.

My husband tried to remain calm but the hotel was a mess. There was much debris but minimal damage as far as he could tell.

He ran to room 502 and knocked on the door. No answer.

He got a key from the front desk and when he went back. I wasn’t there.

“How many days.” he mouthed to Vlad?

Vlad held up eight fingers.

He grabbed his head trying to think what could have happened to me. He kneeled on the floor.

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

N- What Next

This is a month of ready excellent blogs via the A to Z challenge!

Keep Moving #Odessa #Ukraine #AtoZchallenge

Im in Odessa, it’s the 12th of February 2022′ I wrote in my journal. This journal was helping me keep track of the days and the year.

It was not just the winter sky that was dark the next morning. We heard sirens going off throughout Odessa.

“The Russian Navy is there.” Someone pointed toward the port. “They will be here by nightfall.” People whispered all about the dining room of The Passage.

People we running all directions dragging bags and children into their cars. One little girl couldn’t find her mother and started screaming.

“What constitutes an emergency?”  I asked my husband.

“We will discuss it at lunch my dear.” He pointed to the number 3 on his watch.

I forgot that we were going to 1991 at 3pm.

I saw our housekeeper and gave her money. I whispered “buy some food in case…” I said as more sirens went off.

“I wonder if I made an inexcusable error all for a novel.” My husband said in his strained voice. “It was wrong of me to stay and put you in danger.”

“It is too late to wonder.” I said my eyes a little too misty.

Before we passed over the portal, we had seen people in the lobby fixated on the news. The ship had not yet reached the port, which we all knew was but a brisk walk to the Passage.

Fortunately, my husband was good with numbers so all Dmitre’s information was stored in his head.

As my husband gave Vlad all the coordinates, he felt around his pockets for the new phone.

“I took it and hid it back in 2022.” I crinkled my eyes.

“Oh, thank you. I forgot about technology here.” I could see the beads of sweat on his forehead.

“One more thing,” my husband indicated to Vlad. “The Russian Navy appeared to be readying to dock in Odessa when we were leaving.”

“Then we must be ready.  A meeting with Anatoliy must wait.”  Vlad walked off quickly to talk with his team.

“We got you some clothing that fits in a little better in this time period.” Valeria pointed to our closet.  “I worry about my sister in Odessa.”

“Everyone in Odessa is ready, Valeria. Don’t worry.” I tried not to think of the Russian Navy.

That night I made a checklist of what to keep in 1991 and stashed it into the small area with a hidden panel. We knew our room might be a place where meetings needed to occur day or night so we kept the door unlocked.

“You must find out how many and where. Our men will be ready to set charges on the ships.” Vlad turned to leave our room. “I must remind you. People are watching for you. Every time you must use your phone in a new and secret location. Move around the city carefully.

“Yes, this is a cat and mouse kind of game.” My husband waved goodnight to Vlad.

“So how will we keep moving in safety?” I looked at my husband.

“Tomorrow we will go on a picnic. Away from the city centre where the Russians will most likely be and we make a phone call.”

***

We were preparing to leave safety in 1991.

“Today we act normal.” My husband stood tall like when he was in dress uniform. “As normal as you can when the enemy is kilometers away.” He winked.

“I’m glad you have given this some thought.” I noticed a bulge in the back of his shirt. It was a Glock. “When was the last thing your fired that thing?” I pointed.

“This morning.” He patted his back then put on an overcoat.

“Well preparation is a good thing.” I held his arm.

“Training center is under the hotel. It’s open 24 hours. You should come practice.”

What are we doing? I wanted to scream as I watched the multicolored rug design in an aging hotel change.

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.

Authors

The Basics

Clearly Crazy

Discovery

E- Eavesdropping

F- Friends and Family

G- Grumbling Titka

Hiding in 1991

I – Intensity

J- My Journal

How about visiting some fantastic bloggers in the A to Z Challenge!

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

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