COURIER

The road twisted a good deal. He had to cut the gun more often, his motorcycle had a bad list, it negotiated the corner, then, revving up, tirelessly rushed forward again. He had left away before the light failed, and now the sun only rose. It bade fair to be a fine day. And he promptly flew into that one more new day of his life. Air condensed so that he almost stopped feeling smells, and from time to time, he caught his breath. His eyes were protected reliably by the glasses, while the black leather helmet fitted conveniently his head. His heart was high and secure: drums beat, pipes ringed with their copper, fagotti wallowed up stridently, and flutes twisted with their dotted lines above all of it. He knew that he was not the only one, who rushed now on roads of the country, that tens of couriers were sent today in different directions, and that in their bags, just like in his one, there were important packages with wax seals; he also knew that today telephones would ring in many studies, that orders and bylaws would be carried by wires, that greatcoats and forage caps would be grabbed hastily from their places, cars' engines would roar with rage somewhere, and aircraft would hoot in the sky. All this unimaginable heap of engineering and people would also start moving, being submitted to the uniform will, the uniform plan. And now, at these minutes, it is he who serves as a conductor of that will

Meanwhile, fields, covered by droves, hilly coppices, and lush meadows with silent arroyos slid by; in the distance, forests blued, and snow tops shined. The sound of his motorcycle spread alarmingly and joyfully all the whole neighborhood, slithered down valleys, thundered deafly behind passovers, and then faded somewhere in the woody foothills. And all  shepherds in mountains, and tall woodcutters, who, having put aside their axes, listened now to that sound, and an early traveller on a road  all understood that a certain important decision had been passed in their mighty and tight-knit country, and that the man is rushing now to make the decision known to whom it is necessary, and that he will not feel at ease until he kills his motorcycle's engine, runs upstairs, creaking by his belts and black leather, opens the door, and delivers his important package with breakable wax seals to the aide-de-camp, jumped to his feet.

Igor Savchenko

Minsk, January 2001

Russian-English translation: Andrej Bursau