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The Thief of Souls

It caught Margaret's eye immediately. It was a blouse hanging on the plastics hangler. Green. Silk. Of English style, and irreproachable work. If only she could remember where she had already seen the blouse like that before. Where? Frowning her brows, Margaret tried to pull herself together so as to remember for sure where it had happened. Oh, certainly! At the luxurious shop, it's windows facing dirty Nevsky Prospect. Yes, they met last autumn. It was raining hard.

And now… The blouse just like that one. Margaret took the blouse off the hangler having a feeling to clasp it to her breast and being afraid that some pushful lady would see that silk wonder, would come up and take it away. She approached the cash desk in a great hurry, paid off her purchase and left the commission shop. Margaret stepped into the pungent, smoky gloaming.

In the evening, whirling in front of the mirror, Margaret tried on her new blouse. She was trying it combining it with this or that, defiling before her husband and son.

Then the blouse had found though temporary but cosy comfort in the wardrobe. The most beautiful hangler was used for it. The blouse was very fetching, very trendy this summer, so Margaret got an idea to show it to her people: Grandmother's name-day party would be held at the nearest week-end. Welcome, my village! Hungry but clean. Not stuffy but dusty.

... Margo was standing on one bank of the river and a ravishing girl on the other. The girl seemed to ask her for something from the very bottom of her heart, holding out her hands. For what? Margaret couldn't hear anything.

The stranger had a green blouse on. Her, Margo's blouse. Red-haired curls were fluttering over the green silk of the blouse.

She was shouting something but the wind carried her words away. A strong wind, it intentionally was passing round Margo, not touching her with its whirling streams. Only for a moment she managed to hear the only word which had torn itself away from that natural calamity which was raging across the river. The word was «Take vengeance!» Margo heard it and woke up.

Her joy of yesterday's purchase had gone away. Tossing in her bed, Margo was trying to convince herself that her dream was just stupid and mindless, it had nothing to do with the reality. Five minutes later however, after her husband had hurriedly moved out of their flat to his office and her son, a lazy-bone, was slowly moving along the path of knowledge, Margaret opened the wardrobe and took the blouse off the hangler. Having realized that she would never put the thing on, packed it into a package.

While she was busy with the blouse, being afraid of hooking the irreproachable silk cloth, the girl's appearance from her night dream was flashing before her eyes.

The only thought made her feel uncomfortable: the girl was very far, the wide river was flowing between them; Margo shouldn't see a birth-mark above her lip, notice a dimple, left by chicken-pox on her right cheek.

The blouse moved over the hall, into the built — in closet to keep old things and bikes.

 

Margo felt discomfort rising inside her, she abused herself for her over-anxiousness, but soon she was sure that the next morning she would be able to push it all into the past, and get on with living now.

But a new night came and she had a new dream. Margo understood that she was sleeping but it didn't make her feel easier. Her soul was in trouble, the thoughts were stressful and a single question «What does this strange dream mean?» worried her.

Seeing a beautiful girl standing on the other side of the river Margo wasn't surprised at all. The girl shouted aloud, pleaded her for something, held out her hands towards Margo. Having yielded to an instantaneous fit, Margaret gave in.

Their hands met as if there wasn't a wide river between them. Their fingers closely interlaced: warm and humid with dry and cold ones. Suddenly the river under them foamed, hysterical waves started beating the banks and the river pronounced;

«Thank you». Or perhaps these words flew down from the girl's pale lips?

«Who are you? «asked Margo. She saw a beautiful face before her; she was amazed by her emerald eyes and particularly by her green blouse.

So close! So clear! Is it worth being surprised at the things happening during one's sleep?

Is it necessary to worry about the way emerald eyes are looking into yours without blinking?

She answered «No names sound here. There are only shadows. For many of you I am only a dot of grey dust. And I'm so eager to find myself in the world where the names are more beautiful than on the Earth! But I'm not able to reach this world. You see, Margaret, I'm not able! «

„Why?“ asked Margaret.

„Let me free, Margo. Take revenge for me“.

„I can't“.

«Look into the water! Stare upon the river! And you will do it! «

The river slowed its way down and then stopped once and for all. Its waters, changing their direction, rushed back.

She was doing her red hair in front of the looking-glass. Having done her hairstyle, she passed over to her make-up. The day was peculiar. Everything must be exceptionable — the hairstyle, the make-up as well as the clothes. For that great day particularly a new blouse had appeared in her wardrobe. Very expensive.

He has to know that she is a well-to-do and fortunate woman. She will give birth to a child and will bring him up without anybody's help, without his father's help. She tried to convince her it was real. It was time for her to give birth to a baby.

Whether she had meant it or not, that was as it was. She felt fear opening the door of the large and comfortable apartment where nobody was waiting for her. It was quite drearily to embrace a hot-water bottle with your legs during the days of the cold season, and to swallow a lump of loneliness. Stupid tears.

 
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