Snow angel and Two Other Stories [UKRAINIAN AUTHOR]

Sofiia Yakymenko

Snow angel

I imagine the happiest day in my life, and it would be New Year's morning. I would wake early in the morning, open my eyes, slip on my slippers, go to the bedroom window, look out and see the snowflakes falling. The street would be empty, and the snow would be so white and untouched. Then I would feel a slight cold on my feet, soI would dress properly, and head to the living room where near the fire would wait a Christmas tree, with big Christmas balls reflecting the light from the fire.I would get on my knees, and look under the tree without any hope, because I would live alone and would not really believe in miracles, but I am lead by an old habit left from my childhood. And I would see a present! I would rub my eyes, but this present wouldn't disappear. It would be bright and colorful, and it would be in a big package wrapped in a beautiful wrapping paper. I would carefully unwrap it, and it would turn out to be a pile of books.I would take the books out of the paper and would open one of them, though I would not look at the cover. Instead, I would just open this book, sit on the carpet, smell the pages… And I would close this book and I would see its title, Misty Field, and the author would be me! And I would throw the wrapping paper in the bin, and I would see something else under the Christmas tree. It would be a usual yellow envelope. I would take my scissors and, trying not to cut the thing inside, I would open this envelope, and only a postcard would fall out of it. It would seem that nothing is written on this postcard, but then I would turn it over and find two handwritten words: we won.After that I would decide to step outside of the house into the snow. I would put my coat on, open the big heavy door and emerge out onto the cold, sleepy street. And then between the snowflakes I would see a small group of people.They would head straight toward me. I wouldn't recognize them at first becauseI have never seen these people before in real life. But as I saw their faces more clearly, I would run towards them, snow falling on my coat, hair and face, and when we reach each other we would hug, and then we would fall in the snow, and make snow angels, looking at the misty sky and laughing, and I would look aside and see the so familiar and on the other hand so different faces of people that I met online during the war, and I would just feel happy.
Raindrops were flying in the light of streetlights. Rain was hitting my leather jacket making the garment heavier. People were walking by very fast with their umbrellas opened and looking at me with a slight disgust on their faces. I was smelling not too good, I would say. You also would not smell like a rose after you'd live on a stinky street in Paris for three years. I was looking at the ground asI moved, trying to find it, but I could not. As always.
Suddenly I saw something on the ground. Bright white light from the car lights made me close my eyes for a second, but I managed to grab the coin and quickly step out of the way. I stepped aside and looked at the coin. It was a penny. It was that penny. My lucky penny. The one I was looking for months. I swiped the coin with my fingers, feeling a pleasant cold. My entire hand became cold because of the strong wind, so I put both hands in my dirty pockets, holding the coin very tight and warming it. “Now I'll be lucky again,” I thought, walking down the street.Puddles reflected light from the large neon dashboards that were looking very odd on ancient French buildings. It seemed that all the stars from the grey cloudy sky dropped under my feet.
I heard something. The melody was very familiar. I came closer and recognized “A little lunar serenade” by Mozart. I used to listen to it with my wife, when she was alive, when everything was different. The bow spattered drops on the strings as the violin player played faster. I listened and listened in a kind of trance. I saw a child dash from under its mum's umbrella to put a couple of coins in the violin case. I felt the penny with my fingers. I slowly withdrew it from my pocket, drew closer to the violin player across the puddles and dropped the coin in the violin case, where it fell with a slight clink. He suddenly stopped playing. I continued walking, but after a couple of steps, I turned my head.Maybe it was only because of the illumination cast from the streetlights, but it seemed that the violin player winked.
The world is changed by our hearts

It was a fairly windy day. We all were shaking from side to side. The wind was cold and sharp. I felt so defenseless without leaves that fell from me. One oak leaf stayed until yesterday. It was already brown and dry and was not able to protect me from the wind, but I felt more comfortable with it, and it was like an old friend of mine. By now the leaf was gone, because, like some old friends, he could not stay with me anymore.
The wind became stronger and stronger, and then I found myself falling down, and down, and down… until I had fallen in the cold water with a loud splash. At first I thought that I would sink, but I started to float. I was heading forward with enormous speed, swirling and turning around in a rangy foamy water. I witnessed other branches falling from the trees, into the water. They were gathering and floating away from each other, hitting stones and breaking. And then I heard the thunderous sounds of falling water. It was a waterfall.
                                                                                          *   *   *
“Come on, darling!” shouted John Connolly, standing near the door and slipping on his coat. John was a young guy with big blue eyes and smile, which made women all over his village faint.
“On my way, sunshine!” replied Margaret Connolly from the bedroom, putting on her makeup. Mrs. Connolly was as young as her husband, fit, and with a beautiful round face and a large ponytail. These two people were just married and knew each other since they were teenagers, having studied at the same school. John used to bring his beautiful friend flowers from in his garden.
Today was Valentine's Day, so they decided to take a romantic walk. Margaret finally completed her makeup and buttoned her coat, took John's hand in her, and off they went. They lived in a small town, and as they progressed through its tiny streets, they noticed the pink hearts and the happy couples who were visible inside their homes, tucked away inside because of the wind. They walked and walked until they reached the outskirts of the city and for some reason, entered the forest. It was just a gut feeling. Trees still didn't have leaves, but they were about to appear. After a moment they heard and saw a river with a waterfall. Dozens of branches crowded in the water. John and Margaret were sitting together looking at them.Suddenly, the wind grew bigger and it blew the dust from the emotions in their hearts, and they remembered everything about this river: when they were younger it was their-and-only-their place, and they loved to just sit and look at each other, or at the river running past. Their most beloved thing to do was to build small sail boats and launch them into the water. But when they grew up and married they absolutely forgot about that old romantic tradition and were completely in that grown up world where is no place for such dreams and acts of the heart.
But today everything was different, and so they decided to make another ship. Just in front of them, on the sand, they had spotted an old branch that was in the water a moment before.
                                                                                          *  *  *
I fell and fell…and suddenly everything stopped, and hands lifted me in the air.
                                                                                          *  *  *
“Look there is a large piece of oak bark!” said John as Margaret came closer and they noticed that something was carved on that piece of oak: their names in a heart. They made a hole in the oak bark, and John took from his coat pocket a very clean and white napkin, the one he always had with him to hand to Margaret whenever she became sad, and they tied it to the branch and put it inside the hole in the bark.
                                                                                          *  *  *
I was in the water again, but the water did not lead me­–no, it was the sailboat with a heart that I belonged to, the vessel made by a couple with wind and love in their hearts–the pair who now stood on the riverbank, hand in hand, looking at their ship as it became smaller and smaller…

Sofiia is a thirteen-year-old, from Ukraine, who fled to Italy because of the war. She started writing about 6 months ago and has never been published before. Sofiia mostly writes creative non-fiction, though sometimes she writes poetry too. Her music when she writes is silence. Although her hobbies often change, reading and listening to audiobooks always remain on her hobby list. She also started taking photos lately, which, as well as writing, helps her to express her emotions in a more beautiful way than usual.
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