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Объем: 16 бумажных стр.

Формат: epub, fb2, pdfRead, mobi



Authors: Andrey Suleykov,
Anastasiya Podorozhnaya

«Kopeyka» — a story from the collection «Suzdal. It’s my land»™


I’d never seen Pashka cry. And now he was crying like a child, wiping his tears, sobbing and choking.

«I gambled my d-dad’s car away, Sanya! I lost it! What’s… what’s gonna happen n-now?»

I didn’t know how to comfort him. I felt sorry for him, and yet I didn’t. We were young, adrenaline-fueled, beardless males who lived recklessly and seemingly had it pretty good; and there was this car. Pashka’s father had been saving up for it for five years and had only just managed to get it. And now Pasha lost it? In a card game? Surely not?

The two of us went to see the uncooperative gamblers with their caps pulled down their heads, to find out what chances we had of getting the old man’s car back. That’s how we met the Numismatist.

We’d been on an archaeological expedition last summer and saved up a little something in our pockets. This ’little something’ was brought to the Numismatist for valuation. He took a few at a good price and yet it wasn’t enough to buy Kopeyka back. So Pashka figured out how to find the missing amount — get it out of the ground. Literally. Like a grave robber.

They gave us Kopeyka for the business, along with tools, shovels, maps with markings of sites and depths for the digging, scales, and a notebook sheet with numbers of how many grams we ought to have brought. We accepted the heavy load.

It got warmer. We went to Suzdal.

«You’re like a brother to me. Thanks for getting involved. It was a real risk», Pashka said and looked at his watch. «Set up a tent, make a fire, open some conserves. I’ll be right back!»

He grabbed the map, got behind the wheel, hit the gas and disappeared.


Several hours passed.

I sat there with my forehead pressed up against the small window of the tent, peering out into the darkness. It was pitch black. The night breeze rocked the tree tops somewhere near the horizon. My neck and shoulders felt stiff and my eyes watered.

«Where the hell are you?»

I didn’t notice Pashka passing by the window and only heard him when he was already in the tent. I turned to look at him. He was pale, disheveled, and grubby even in the dim of night.

«Pashka, what’s wrong?»

«Let’s go. I’ll explain later».

His Kopeyka was just as white as he was…

«What’s the matter with you?»

«I’ll tell you later».

The car rumbled and choked. Pashka raced while shifting gears nervously, clinging to the gear stick. His knuckles gleamed as if covered with phosphorus. The car veered on the corners. Finally, after a final shriek, a final gurgle, the motor died out in the wasteland. Pashka left the lights on, got out, and grabbed my sleeve roughly to make me move. The sleeve ripped.

I got out of the car, took a step or two, and saw a dim, frosted excavation pit.

«What the hell is that?»

He didn’t say a word. The map in his hands flapped about in the wind.

«Have you found anything?»

I turned to him. He got even paler in the few seconds that I wasn’t watching him.

«Don’t move».

He said in a strange manner, with elongated vowels.


«Don’t turn around. There are bees».

Naturally, I turned around, only to find a giant bee in front of my face, almost touching the tip of my nose.

It fluttered its wings so quickly and so close to me that it tickled the hairs in my nose. I thought that in a moment or so it would stick its stinger into my nose.

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