Elesey’s Page

Boys of War

“Come on, Timmy!”

“No! This is crazy! What if someone sees us this time?”

“Nobody’s going to see us ok? Quit being such a baby and get up here.”

Timmy looked around nervously and took Joey’s hand. The two boys had sneaked out of the house again hoping to catch a glimpse of the planes take off from the base. Since the War had started, everyone was on a curfew. Anyone found outside after 9:00 p.m. was subject to arrest.

“In a few years it’ll be you and me flying in those planes and killing Nazis,” Joey said after they had climbed the fence. Joey always said stuff like that after his brother died in the War. Timmy, being the more reserved of the two, just nodded in agreement. They sat in silence for a few minutes and Joey took out a cigarette and lit it.

“Joe, you know those things will kill you.” Timmy told his friend.

“Everybody smokes in the Army. When we join, I want to be able to smoke with my brothers in arms without coughing and gagging like you will.” Joey inhaled one more time, threw the cigarette on the ground and stomped it with his boot.

Suddenly they heard someone yell,” Hey!  This is a restricted area, no civilians allowed!”

“Oh crap!” Joey whispered loudly,” Let’s get outta here!” The two boys got up and ran for the fence. Timmy ran up to the fence first and turned around to give Joey a buddy boost.

“No!” Joey said, “I’ll boost you up first.” Joey stood with his back against the fence and put his hands together to give Timmy a boost over the fence. After Timmy got on top, he stayed there to help Joey over. Joey jumped as high as he could and took Timmy’s hand. Timmy pulled Joey up using both his hands, but lost his balance and fell off of the fence. He landed on the cold, hard ground and hit his head. Timmy opened his eyes and groaned; he couldn’t hear anything but muffled noises. He stood up slowly and looked around. He saw two men dressed like soldiers pulling Joey from the fence.

Joey yelled, “Run, Tim! Run!”

Timmy started to panic. He didn’t want to leave Joey, but he was afraid of the soldiers, so he ran. He must’ve run a whole mile or so it seemed, he thought. Out of breath, tired, and sore, Timmy sat down on the road, covered his face and cried. After a while he realized crying wouldn’t do much good and started walking home. As he walked in his yard, he saw the light in the living room was off. He sighed in relief.” At least Mother is still asleep,” he thought.

He climbed the tall oak tree next to the house and sneaked into his second story bedroom window. That night, Timmy couldn’t sleep. He could not stop thinking about Joey and feeling overwhelmed with guilt. Finally, completely exhausted, he fell asleep.

“Timothy!” His mother called the following morning. ”Get up for school or you’ll be late again!”

Timmy crawled out of bed. His whole body was so sore. He could barely walk, he was so sore from running.

Mother looked at him and asked, “Boy, what is wrong with you? You look more tired than those fellers at the retirement home. What’s going on, huh?”

“Nothing Mother, I just had a bad dream and couldn’t sleep much.” Timmy lied.When he arrived to school, the first person he saw was Joey. He was waiting at his usual spot by the school steps, leaning on the statue of the school’s founder.

Timmy immediately ran up to him. “What happened yesterday?” he asked.

Joey didn’t say anything and started up the steps. Timmy was dumbfounded and slowly followed his friend. During recess time, Timmy approached Joey again.

“Joe, you gotta tell me what happened! I couldn’t sleep all night I was so worried about you!”

Joey looked up at Timmy and said,” I’m fine ok? You have to stop being such a wimp and man up for once okay? The U.S. Army doesn’t tolerate wimps.”

“I’m sick of you and your Army!” Timmy yelled furiously and began to walk away. “When and if you join, you’re going on your own, with nobody to watch your back!”

“Well that’s just fine! Better nobody than a wimp! You’re a coward, Timmy! Just like your old man!” Joey yelled back. It was true. Timmy’s father was a coward. He fled to Canada just to avoid being drafted into the War. Timmy just blew up. He turned around and walked straight back to Joey. He swung his arm as hard as he could and hit Joey square in the jaw. Joey shook his head and recovered. He leaped on top of Timmy and put him in a chokehold. Timmy shook Joey off and tackled him, wrestling him to the ground.

Soon a crowd formed around the boys and began to chant, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” That got the attention of a couple of teachers, who immediately began to pry the two boys apart and dragged them to the principal’s office. After the whole fiasco, the two boys were seated side by side. The principal paced back and forth in front of his desk and shook his head.

“This is absolutely unacceptable!” he yelled at them, “You boys are going on thirteen and still fighting on school grounds! What kind of role models are you for the younger generation?” He paused for a second, took a deep breath and took a seat in his chair. Principal Welles was a short man and his chair was raised to make him appear taller, so it took him a minute to get on. Neither of the boys let a snicker pass their lips. “What do you boys have to say for yourselves?” he finally asked. The boys stayed quiet and hung their heads.

Mr. Welles covered his face with his hands and let out an exasperated sigh. Just then, his secretary walked in and whispered something into the principal’s ear. Afterwards he looked at Timmy and said, “You’re free to go.” The two boys got up to leave, but Mr. Welles spoke again. “Not you, Joseph. You stay.” The two boys exchanged looks and Timmy left.

It turned out that both the boys’ lockers had been searched. A pack of cigarettes and an Army knife, both prohibited at school, were found in Joey’s locker. Timmy was sent back to class and Joey was expelled.

Afterwards Timmy’s life changed dramatically after he started high school. First, his mother fell ill, so he dropped out of school and got a job as a bus boy at a local restaurant. After a couple years, he got promoted to manager. It seemed that life was finally looking up for Timmy. Or so he thought.

One day he came back from work and saw the doctor’s car parked beside the house. When he walked in, he saw a lot of people standing in the living room talking quietly. Timmy’s heart jumped and his legs gave out because all of this could only mean one thing.

“Her fever is extremely high,” the doctor told Timmy. “She might not survive the night.”

The doctor’s hunch was right. Timmy’s mother was buried the following morning. When Timmy thought things couldn’t get worse, a man from the bank came. Timmy was three months behind on the house payments and the bank would take the house.

That night Timmy told his boss, Mr. Martin, what was happening. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “I don’t have time to work two jobs.” Timmy put his hands on his face and shook his head.

Mr. Martin didn’t say much, he never did. He just slowly got up and said, “You can spend the night here, in the restaurant, but you’ll have to get it together, boy.” Then he set a photo on the dresser and added, “I would do anything for your youth and be among my brothers again.”

Timmy was a little confused, so after Mr. Martin left, Timmy put the picture under a light and looked at it.  It was a group of men, in military uniforms and guns in hand. He recognized the young Mr. Martin, standing among them with a gun resting on his shoulder and a cigarette in his mouth. That’s when Timmy realized what Mr. Martin was trying to say. Timmy should join the U.S. Army.

The next morning he found himself standing in line with Mr. Martin at a recruitment office. Mr. Martin came as Timmy’s guardian and would sign off on his enlistment papers because Timmy was only seventeen. The line was long, but every step Timmy took, his hands shook harder and he would sweat even more.

“Timothy White?” The recruitment officer finally asked. Timmy was so nervous that he dropped his documents. Papers flew everywhere. As Timmy and Mr. Martin struggled to pick them up, the recruitment officer came to his aid.

“Are you alright, son?” He asked. Timmy’s throat was so dry, he just nodded. As everyone took their seats, the officer looked at Timmy and said. “Judging by all these papers you brought in, I’m guessing you’re looking to join.”

Timmy nodded again. “He thinks he doesn’t have any other choice, “Mr. Martin mumbled.

“What was that?” The officer looked up, “and let the boy speak for himself.”

Timmy cleared his throat. “He said I don’t have much of a choice,” The officer just stared at Timmy like he was expecting something else. Timmy’s eyes darted from side to side and he added, “Sir.”

The recruitment officer smiled and said, “Everybody’s got a choice, son. It just depends what choice you make.” he stacked the papers neatly. “Well, everything seems to be in order,” he said. “You’ll have to take a fitness test, but other than that, welcome to the U.S. Army, soldier.’ The officer shook Timmy’s hand and Timmy asked him,

“You think I have what it takes?”

“We’ll just have to see about that,” the recruitment officer said.

After his fitness test, Timmy had to sign a couple papers and was given a date to board a train for boot camp and start basic training. He smiled proudly as he left the recruitment office, but little did he know that his whole life was about to change.

June 6 1944

0600 hrs.

Pvt. Timothy White

20 miles off Normandy beach, France

Journal Entry #1

I have passed basic training and now I’m about to face combat. Many of us have never fired a gun at another human being before and are nervous. Sergeant Johnson told us to grit our teeth and keep firing our weapon. If we didn’t, then he’d shoot us himself. I actually believe he would. All the men show great respect to the sergeant even though they’re afraid of him.

I do not know what is in store for us after we land on Omaha beach, but all we know is what Sergeant Johnson told us. He told us that there’s a bunch of pansy Nazis sitting on the beach just waiting to get shot up. I hope that this isn’t true. I don’t know if I could shoot at an unarmed man. The weather is very rough, and we were delayed for almost a day, and our landing craft rocks and shakes as it hits the waves. Some men are even seasick, but are afraid to throw up because they fear the sergeant will throw them in the sea. I hope-

“White!” Sergeant Johnson yelled. “Are you writing your obituary already? Get into formation, private!”

Timmy stuffed the piece of paper in his chest pocket and grabbed his rifle. He checked to see if his weapon was clean and loaded properly.

“Alright ladies! “Sergeant Johnson yelled again. “Check your equipment and ammo! We land in five! White, what are you doing just standing there?”

“I already checked my weapon, Sarge!” Timmy told him.

“Well, check it again!  Corporal Rogers!” Sergeant called the soldier next to Timmy.

“Yeah Sarge?”

“You and White stand in front and crack open the gate on the craft as soon as we hit ground!” Sergeant Johnson yelled above the noise of the wind.

“Yes sir, Sergeant! Come on Tim!” Rodgers and Timmy walked all the way in front and Rodgers showed him how to open the gate. “You got it?” Rodgers asked. Timmy nodded and gave him thumbs up. His hands were shaking again, or maybe it was just the landing craft, Timmy didn’t know. There were a million thoughts going through his head, but he just gripped and held the chain holding gate. As soon as they hit the beach, Timmy would jerk it as hard as he could.

Then they all heard it. Rat-a-tat-tat!! It was the sound of the German machine guns shooting down the beach.

“I thought we were gonna give em a surprise, Sarge!” One of the soldiers asked the sergeant.

The sergeant was about to say something but the whole landing craft came to a halt and knocked a couple soldiers off their feet. Timmy and Corporal Rodgers jerked the chains on both sides of the gate but the gate wouldn’t budge.

“What’s going on?” the sergeant asked.

“It’s stuck!” Rodgers and Timmy yelled in unison.

“That’s bull! Pull on it harder!” one of the soldiers yelled.

“Why don’t you come here and pull on it yourself?” Rodgers yelled back.

“Alright, don’t get your panties in a bunch!” the sergeant shouted.”White! Rodgers! Provide a step for the rest and we’ll just climb over!” They did as was ordered and the rest of the men in the craft climbed over the gate by stepping on Timmy and Rodgers. Then they climbed over the gate and jumped in the cold water. After the last man was on the gate Timmy began to climb over too. When he was standing on top of Rodgers, he saw the man climbing over the gate jerk his body back, and fell right back into the craft. He had been shot multiple times in the stomach and was spewing blood everywhere. Timmy didn’t know what to do, so he began to climb over too.

“White, stop!” he heard Sergeant Johnson shout and fell an arm pulling him back. As soon as Timmy let go of the gate, he fell backwards and landed on the dying soldier. He heard the machine gun firing at the gate. The sound echoed through the gate, intensifying the sound. Timmy strapped off his helmet, threw it away, and covered his ears. Corporal Rodgers grabbed him and brought him down. The whole craft shook as bullets ricocheted off of it.

The three of them lay there for a long time. Timmy’s whole body was numb and he was shaking uncontrollably.  His ears were ringing so hard that he couldn’t hear anything. Finally, he saw Sergeant Johnson get up and slowly got up too. His eyes were wet, but he wasn’t crying. He looked at his hands which were covered in blood because he had been lying on the bleeding soldier. His ears had stopped ringing and he felt a pat on his back.

“Alright, it’s over. Pull yourself together, son.” The sergeant said. They slowly climbed over the gate and jumped into the water. Timmy was horrified by what he saw. There were bodies floating everywhere, causing the water to turn red. There were even more bodies on the beach. Thousands of men were running back and forth as occasional artillery shelling could be heard exploding. When they reached the shore, Timmy saw men everywhere. There was a lot of wounded and men were tending to them. Others were setting up tents and bring the wounded there.

As they were walking someone cried out, “Sergeant!”

Sergeant Johnson looked around and asked, “Are you talking to me?” A young man in a lieutenant’s uniform ran up to them.

“Where are the rest of your men?”

Sergeant Johnson looked around and shrugged his shoulders, “Scattered or dead, I don’t know,” he said.

“Well, gather up some men, we have a mission for you. I have the details over there.” The lieutenant pointed to a tent.

Sergeant Johnson walked up to Timmy and Rodgers. “Gather up some men and be back here in ten-“the sergeant flinched as another artillery shell exploded nearby. Corporal Rodgers nodded and grabbed Timmy. The two of them jogged down the beach and looked for any available men. They jogged for a while until they came across a group of about five men.

“Are you boys with Company A?” Rodgers asked.

“Yeah, who are you?” one of men answered.

“Corporal Rodgers, this is Private White. We have orders to round up available men.”

“Are we gonna kill Nazis?” another soldier asked.

“We’d better. Who’s in charge here?” Rodgers asked him.

“Well, Sergeant Keller took one in the neck as soon as we landed, so nobody I guess. Where’s the rest of you?” the soldier asked Rodgers and put a cigarette in his mouth.

“I don’t know. We got hit pretty hard as soon as we hit ground, I don’t think anyone made it to the shore.”

The soldier nodded and spit the cigarette out. “Well, I guess we don’t have anything better to do.” He held out his arm. ”The name’s Joe Miller, Private First Class. This here’s Williams, Smith, Harris, and Jones.”

Timmy looked up. “I knew a Joe Miller once.  Where are you from?”

“Jersey. What about you?” Joe asked him.

“Massachusetts.” Timmy said and held out his hand. “Timothy White.”

“Timmy? Yeah I know you! We went to school together remember? It’s me Joey!”

Before Timmy had a chance to answer, Sergeant Johnson showed up. “There you are! What are you boys standing around for? Let’s go!”

“Oh, yeah,” Rodgers told the others.”He’s in charge. Where are we going, Sarge?” he asked.

The sergeant took out a map and all the men gathered around. “We’ll take the long way around the town and set up here.” Sergeant Johnson pointed on the map.”Supposedly, there’s a recon unit about 3 clicks to the northeast. We need to establish radio contact and report back before it gets too dark. Anybody got any questions? Alright let’s move.”

The group of men followed the sergeant as they headed over the hill. Gunfire became louder and louder as they left the beach.

“Alright,” Sergeant Johnson yell over all the noise.”One by one, climb over the hill! When you get over, stay down and help the others up! You and you, take point.” He pointed at Timmy and Joey. Joey went over first and Timmy followed. They crouched as low as they could and aimed their rifles in the direction of the gunfire.

“It’s clear!” Joey called. The rest of the men climbed over, one after the other as quickly as possible.

Sergeant Johnson gave the signal to move out and said.”Alright, stay frosty, boys.”  Timmy and Joey walked in front, gripping the guns and their fingers on the triggers. Timmy wasn’t that nervous anymore with Joey by his side. The two of them had played ‘war’ all the time when they were younger. They walked around the edge of the town until they came across a pile of rubble that had a good view of the area.

“Okay, let’s set up there.” Sergeant Johnson said and looked at Smith.”Give me the radio, Private.” He took the radio and called out.”Dog Patch1, this is Dog Patch2, break squelch three times if you copy.” They sat in silence for a second and listened to the static on the radio. Suddenly the static broke three times, a second apart each time. The sergeant spoke again.”Stay put, we’ll come to you. I repeat; friendlies will approach from the southwest.” He grabbed a piece of glass and sent out a signal using the glass to reflect light. A tiny light shone back from across the wide street.

Sergeant Johnson looked up at Timmy and Joey.”White, Miller, you two, get a move on. The rest of you will provide cover fire as they make their way across the street. Got it?” The sergeant gave the two of them a nod and they set out. They helped each other off of the rubble, but stayed behind cover, just in case. Timmy looked down the street and saw that it was empty. He looked up at the rubble and saw Corporal Rodgers give him thumbs up, indicating that the street was clear. Timmy held his rifle to his chest and ran as fast as he could, looking in every direction he could.

When he reached the other side, he positioned himself behind a building and waited for Joey to come across. When he saw Joey running towards him, he aimed down the street in case somebody was there, but he didn’t see anyone. Then the unexpected happened. As Joey was making his way across the street, a shot rang out and Joey cried out in pain!

“Sniper!” someone yelled from the pile of rubble.

Timmy wanted to grab Joey and get him out of the street, but as soon as he took a step, he heard Sergeant Johnson yell, “White, stay back!”  Timmy held himself back for a second then ran out anyway. Joey had begun to crawl behind a broken down car by the time Timmy got to him. Timmy hid behind the car and pulled Joey in.

“Joe, are you okay?” He asked him, panting.

“Yeah, I think so; he got me in the leg.” Joey was obviously in pain. He was sweating and breathing. Timmy pulled out a piece of fabric from his backpack and tied it around Joey’s wound. All of a sudden, he heard a bullet ricochet off the car. He stuck his head out from the car and saw soldiers running down the street. Then he heard gunfire coming from the pile of rubble. That’s when he realized that the soldiers down the street were the enemy!

“Joe we gotta get out of here!” he told Joey and looked down the street again. This time he saw even more soldiers down the street. There was gunfire coming from everywhere! More bullets were ricocheting of the car. “Joe! Put your arm around my neck and I’ll carry-“BOOM! Timmy cringed as something exploded nearby. Joey put his arm around Timmy and they both took a deep breath and ran.  They ran straight for the building that Timmy was taking cover from. Timmy could feel bullets flying all around him, but kept on running. Joey’s bad leg was slowing them both down, so Timmy just picked Joey up and carried him over the last five feet.

Then he stuck half his body out from behind the building and fired. He took deep breaths and calmed himself down. He aimed down the sight of the gun and squeezed the trigger, just like he was trained to do. After every bullet he fired, he counted it so he would know when the gun was out of ammo. When the gun ran out, Timmy would get behind cover and reload. After reloading, Timmy would repeat the process again.

“Tim, leave me and get out of here.” Joey slurred. He was losing a lot of blood, Timmy knew.

“We have to get you back to back to the beach.” Timmy told him.”You can get medical attention there.” Timmy’s shoulder was sore from the recoil of his gun, but he had so much adrenaline, that he barely noticed. Then he saw someone running towards them and aimed at him.

“J’arrete! No shoot!” the man yelled in a thick accent and raised his hands.”Friend!”

Timmy saw that the man was dressed in a French military uniform and lowered his weapon.

The man spoke again, “American?” Timmy nodded. The French soldier then saw Joey and exclaimed something in French. Three other men ran out and grabbed Joey.

Joey looked around like he had just woken up.”What’s going on?”

“We’re gonna get you some help, Joe.” Then he asked the Frenchman, “Do you have First Aid or medicine?”

The soldier looked at him,” Medecine? Qui! Pierre!” he called one the soldiers. Timmy showed them Joey’s wound. The French medic dressed it and gave Joey a shot of adrenaline.

“How far is it to the beach?” Timmy asked. The Frenchman didn’t seem to understand. Timmy tried to remember the word for sand and water, but one of the men realized what Timmy was trying to say.

The four Frenchmen spoke with each other and then the one that appeared to be in charge spoke in a thick French accent. “Ze beach uh… four kilometers zat way.” He said, pointing north.

“Merci,” Timmy said. He grabbed Joey’s arm and put it around his neck and started to help Joey walk.

The Frenchmen exchanged confused looks and one of them said in English, “too far.” Timmy didn’t say anything and kept on walking.

“Tim, he’s right.” Joey said.” It’s too far, I won’t make it and it’s getting dark already.”

“I’m not giving up on you, Joe, you’d better not give up on me either,” Timmy said. The two of them walked in silence. The sound of gun shots became less and less audible. By the time it got dark, they couldn’t hear anything at all. Timmy’s legs had become sore and his neck was killing him, but he kept on walking. Finally he got the chance to ask Joey something he was meaning to ask him for a long time.” Hey, remember that time we sneaked into that military base and you got caught?”

Joey sighed,” Yeah I remember.”

“What happened to you?”

“Psh! Those guys didn’t even do anything but ask me what I was doing there. At first they were pretty mad, but once I told them who I was, they said they knew my brother and let me go. After I got expelled from school, I came to them if they got me in the Army as soon at fifteen. That’s pretty much how I got here.” Then he thought for a moment and asked,” Hey why did I get expelled from school?” but then he remembered. They walked in silence for a few minutes then he said. “Hey, sorry about what I said about your dad. I didn’t mean it that way.”

“Nah, it’s okay. You were right anyway. I guess I just never had the guts to admit it to myself.” They walked until the sun began to rise. The roads were easier to see and the two of them didn’t trip every five feet anymore. Finally, they came to the beach.

The dead and wounded were being boarded onto small skiffs and taken to the big ships that were standing a few miles offshore.

“Come on Joe,” Timmy told his friend.” We’re almost there.”

When they reached the beach, a medic saw them.” Hey, you guys need some help?”

“Yeah, this guy’s wounded,” Timmy said.”Get him a stretcher.” After they got Joey on a stretcher and redressed his wounds, Timmy walked over the Munitions Tent and grabbed some more ammo and ate some dry bread. He brought a piece to Joey as he was being carried into a skiff. Timmy stayed behind and waved.

“Wait!” Joey said.” Tim, get over here!” Timmy walked up to Joey and saw him unstrapping his gun holster. “Here,” he said, holding out his handgun.

“I already have a sidearm.” Timmy said

“My uncle gave it to me,” Joey said.” He told me not to bring it home unless I killed a Nazi with it. Take it. It’ll be like your medal of honor.”

“But it’s yours,” Timmy said.

“Then you can give it back to me when you come back home.” Joey told him. Timmy took the gun and nodded. The two of them shook hands.”Godspeed.” Joey said. Timmy watched his friend leave on the skiff and when he was out of view, Timmy walked back up the beach.

That’s when he heard someone say.” We’re going on a search and rescue! Any volunteers are welcome.”

Timmy holstered his new pistol and called out,” I’ll go!”


Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom lived a King and a Queen and all of their loyal followers. The Queen had longed for a child so the King sent out men to search far and wide for a sorceress who could grant the Queen a child. Unfortunately, all who searched came back empty handed. After many years of searching, all hope seemed to be lost until the King heard a rumor of an old woman who lived on the edge of the Dark Woods and was known to practice magic.

So the King set out himself and rode for three days and three nights until he had reached the borders of his kingdom. His advisors begged him to not cross the border, knowing it could be seen as an act of war; the King was desperate and paid no mind. He crossed into enemy territory and entered the Dark Woods. When he arrived at a cabin standing on two large chicken legs, he knew that this was where the infamous Baba Yaga lived. When he knocked on the door a shrill voice answered,

“Who dare disturb Baba Yaga?”

“It is I, King of the Vostok Kingdom, I have traveled three days and three nights and I seek your services” the King eagerly replied.

“I know exactly what it is you seek, your Majesty,” said Baba Yaga, for she knew all and saw all. She opened the door. “Come, come, you must be weary from your journey.”

The old woman fed and bathed the King. Then told him, “when you return home, your Queen will be with child, but you must promise me that upon the infant’s birth, you will return and I will tell you exactly what you shall name it. If you fail to do so, the child will be lost.”

The King thanked the old witch and set off for home. After he came out of the Dark Woods, he saw that most of his entourage of soldiers had been killed. Those who survived immediately told the King that his neighboring kingdom, Zapad, had declared war on him for trespassing. So instead of returning home, as his heart desired, the King began to prepare for war. He would not return to his castle for sixteen years.

When he finally arrived he was greeted with heartbreaking news. Shortly after giving birth, the Queen had died, and with her, the newborn child. The King was so distraught over the tragedy; he went into his chambers and refused to leave until he saw his wife again. His most loyal servant then set out to find a woman that looked almost exactly as the late queen.

Meanwhile, in the quiet village of Lesina….


No answer.


“Mm…. What?” a sleepy voice replied.

“Girl, why is you still in bed?” Another voice responded.

“I’m sorry Lady Agripena; I was up late fetching water for the horses.” Lizaveta complained.

“Get dressed and start bringing in water for the dishes, ya hear? And don’t stray too long; breakfast will be ready in an hour. Stay on the road and don’t roam off in the woods.” Lady Agripena warned.

“Don’t worry I won’t,” Lizaveta said.

Lady Agripena put her hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow,” Mm-hmm! Move along now,” she said.

Lizaveta set out. She walked through the town, occasionally stopping to say hello to people. As she walked past families, she often wondered about her own. She had been raised in Lady Agripena’s Inn. Lady Agripena had no children and treated Lizaveta as her own. As beautiful as Lizaveta was, she had no suitors and knew that most of the boys in town were afraid of Lady Agripena, and they stayed away. She eventually reached the edge of the town and walked into the forest to fetch her water and hummed softly as she walked.

Meanwhile, not far away a prince on horseback rode along through the same forest. He had nothing but the freedom of the forest on his mind. Suddenly he came across a river that was far too deep for his horse to swim across. So he rode on downstream in search of more shallow depths. He rode until he came across a wide dam and carefully crossed it for it was poorly built. Halfway across, he heard the wails of salmon. The salmon needed to swim to the ocean to feed and spawn, he knew. The dam was obviously in their way and since Prince Peter was of a good heart, he decided to help the salmon. He drew his sword and thrust at the dam until it broke, and was almost swept into the strong current. But he had spent most of his childhood swimming rivers such as this one, and swam to dry land with ease.  The salmon rejoiced.

“Thank you,” they said, “your kindness won’t be forgotten.”

Peter rode on, until he came across a broken nest lying on the ground, and an eagle sobbing as all of her newly-born chicks squeaked.

“Help me get my nest back on that branch and you shall be rewarded,” the eagle said. Peter had no idea how an eagle could help him, but aided her anyway. As a youth, he had climbed a lot of trees and even though he had to carry a nest full of chicks, he still climbed to the top and replaced the nest.

“Thank you,” the eagle said, “your kindness won’t be forgotten.”

Peter kept on riding and thought to himself, “If anything else dares try to ask for my help, I will respectfully decline and keep on riding.” He knew that if he kept at this pace, he would never reach the town before dark. Before he could finish his thought however, he saw a wolf caught in a fox trap.

“Free me,” the wolf said,” and I will repay you.” Peter sighed. He had trapped for animals most of his life and knew that if the wolf was not freed, it would die the following morning. The prince freed the wolf from the shackles.

“Thank you,” the wolf said, “Your kindness won’t be forgotten.”

Peter shook his head and laughed at himself for being a soft hearted fool. His father would have killed the animals, like a real man. It was no surprise that Peter’s father banished him from the kingdom. Peter was next in line for the throne, but he spent most of his time in the villages, bringing beggars food, and helping villagers rebuild their homes. His father had severely disapproved.

“I was only trying to help,” Peter had said.

“We are royalty,” his father had told him, “We don’t care about them.”

Eventually things had gotten so bad between Peter and his father, Peter was banished until he found himself a wife. Peter laughed at the idea. His father was so old fashioned, he thought. Times have changed and love at first sight does not exist.

As he was pondering this, he heard a soft voice. Someone was singing. He turned his horse towards the melody. When he reached the source of the music, he thought his eyes were deceiving him. It was a girl, the most beautiful he had ever seen. Peter had grown accustomed to being chased by girls all his life, but he knew his wit and charm were no match for this one’s beauty.  He rode in circles, debating whether he should leave or go talk to her. If he talked to her, what would he say? How should he act? Should he hide his identity as a prince?

Finally the horse had enough and started running at full gallop, straight for the beautiful girl. “Look out!” Peter yelled at the top his lungs, “The horse has gone berserk,” he thought. When he saw that the horse was heading straight for a cliff he leaped off of it, almost knocking over the girl. He hit his head against a rock and was knocked out cold.

As he gradually opened his eyes his vision was blurry, but as he blinked rapidly, it slowly cleared up.

“Are you okay?” he heard a voice say.

“Ugh, where am I?”

The voice let out a soft chuckle. “You took quite a hit on your skull; it’s only natural that you’ll be a little delirious.” The prince opened his eyes; he felt a warm, soft hand on his face.

“I sure hope I’m delirious,” he said. “Because I’m looking into the eyes of an angel.” There was a moment of silence and the girl blushed and looked away. The prince stood up and said, “I’m sorry for being so forward, but I have never seen someone as beautiful as you. What’s your name?”

“Lizaveta,” she said, “and I better get going; I’m late as it is.” She stood and began to walk away.

“Lizaveta,” the prince said. “What a beautiful name. Wait!” he said when he saw that she was quickly disappearing out of view. “Don’t you want to know my name?”

“Why would I want to know that?” Lizaveta asked him.

“Well, in case you want to come to my window in the middle of the night and call my name.” Peter teased.

Lizaveta laughed, “Okay, in case I have a sudden desire to do that, what is your name?”

“Peter,” he answered,” We should meet up again sometime. Where can I find you?”

She smiled and said, “Here, tomorrow. And bring your crazy horse.” She laughed softly and disappeared in the trees. Peter’s spirits soared and he almost jumped in the air.

“Yes!” he whispered loudly and kissed his horse. “Thank you!” he told it. The horse snorted and seemed to say, “It was nothing.”

When Lizaveta came back to Lady Agripena’s, she tried to hide her smile. Even an old woman like Lady Agripena, knew what love looked like and said nothing, but smiled to herself, remembering the days when she was young girl.

That night, an important person came to Agripena’s Inn. He came directly from the King’s cabinet and asked to see Lizaveta. When he saw her, he almost had a heart attack. “This is her!” he said. “Tomorrow you will make our King the happiest man in the kingdom by being his wife.” And with that, he left.

Lizaveta was heartbroken and sneaked into the forest in the middle of the night, hoping that Peter would still be there waiting. When she saw him, she cried and told him what happened.

“I think it’s time I told you exactly who I am,” Peter said. Lizaveta looked up at him with curious eyes. “I’m a prince from the Sever Kingdom, but I’m banished until I find a wife.”

“Then let’s run away together!” Lizaveta said, but Peter was already shaking his head.

“We can’t,” he said, “I would need to ask for your hand and make it official. Plus, my father will never allow it, when he learns that you are to be the King’s wife.”

“What are we going to do?” Lizaveta asked.

Peter put his hand on Lizaveta’s face and smiled, “It’s going to be okay,” he said. They spent the whole night in each other’s arms. The next morning, the King’s courier returned and took Lizaveta with him.

When the King saw Lizaveta, he was ecstatic. Lizaveta looked exactly like his late wife, tall, slender with long dark hair. He began to kneel before her to ask for her arm, but he heard someone say, “Stop!”

He turned to see a young man, sword in hand, ready to fight. “I will best all of your men to win back the love of that woman. “Peter said.

The King laughed, but looking in the eyes of the young man and saw determination. “Very well, “he told Peter, “Complete a task for me and you shall have her.” The King knew what impossible task lay in front of the boy and knew that there was no way he would be able to complete it.

Peter’s task was to swim to the depths of the Bottomless Lake to reach the statue of the Golden Swan. Many had tried, and all failed. The task was impossible, yet the prince dove in again and again until on his 10th try he saw the salmon he saved in forest bringing up the statue and gave it to him. The prince took it with gratitude, and gave it to the King. The King was shocked, but it was not enough.

“Next, you shall scale that mountain and bring me a flower that only grows there,” the King said, pointing to a mountain that reached heights as high as the clouds and then added, “by tomorrow.” This was an even more impossible task, but the prince was still not ready to give up.

As he climbed, an eagle flew up to him, and asked, “Why do you try to scale this giant of a mountain?” Peter told the eagle what had happened and the eagle said. “Climb no further, I will pluck the flower from its roots, for I have a debt to you.” That night Peter brought the flower and placed it at the Kings feet.

The King was getting worried so he gave the prince one final task, “You convinced me that you are physically fit, but what of your wits? Find the lock that fits this key and the young woman is yours.” The King said giving him a rusty key. Peter had no idea where to begin his search. He sat and wept when a wolf, the one he had saved in the forest, approached him.

“Why weep, young man?” the wolf asked. Peter told the wolf his tale of woe. Then the wolf sniffed at the key and ran off.

“What an odd creature,” Peter thought and continued to weep.

The next day, the wolf came to the prince. “The lock and key share a similar scent, my keen nose was able to find the lock,” the wolf said.

The prince was overjoyed and brought the key to the King. The King knew that what the prince was able to achieve was impossible, but still he prevailed. The love that the Peter felt for Lizaveta was stronger than anything the King knew. How could he stand in the way of this? He looked at Lizaveta, and then at Peter, and then at Lizaveta again. He knew his wife could never be replaced and Lizaveta would be much happier with Peter. With the King’s blessing, Lizaveta and Peter rode off to Peter’s kingdom and lived happily ever after.

After the war with the neighboring kingdom, the King rode over to the Zapad Kingdom to sign a peace treaty. On his way, he saw the Dark Woods and remembered the promise he had made to Baba Yaga many years ago.

“I know I should have come to you when my child was born,” he said, “I failed, and that resulted in the death of my wife and unborn child, so now I’ve come to ask for your forgiveness.”

Baba Yaga chuckled and said, “Your child yet lives.”

The King was astounded, “What? I will seek the child out!”

“She was in front of your eyes and you didn’t recognize her,” the old witch said in a low voice.

“Her?” The king asked Baba Yaga,”I have a daughter? What is her name?”

Baba Yaga smiled, “her name,” she said, “is Lizaveta.”

8 Responses to Elesey’s Page

  1. Xander says:

    Your take of a classic Russian story, combined with Baba Yaga and the numerology of the tasks (three gifts for helping three animals), was very good indeed. Reminded me of my childhood.

  2. Arson says:

    very intense and awesome

  3. Evgeny says:

    The ending was very funny. I like how you took the details of those storys and put them together in yours.

  4. Varya(: says:

    I think you a really good job in writing the story. It made sense and was very intertaining. Also I like the way you put in like three different stories together in one, but with a new twist. Good job! 😀

  5. Mike says:

    Awesome dude!All these stories in one, i should try that. Thanks for an awesome story for me to read. 🙂

  6. Danno says:

    I loved the way you ended your story, its such a good twist. It was also cool how you put in Baba Yaga. your story was good in how you put in a step by step love story, very interesting.
    I think your story is awesome. Hey, what if you make a second story that is part 2 of the first story.It could be pretty awesome.

  7. Leedia says:

    All in all, a great story. The way you used Russian fairytales to build your story was very clever! I really liked the part where the horse practically forced Prince Peter to talk to Lizaveta. It was pretty funny!

  8. KUZ-3 says:

    Well its awesome but a weird story when the king almost married his own daughter.

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