A few of my favorite recent pictures from my walks around the pond:
WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly bloghop hosted by K.L. Schwengel. The caveat is that excerpts must be related to the date in some way. I’m sharing 23 lines, for 22+
Aleksey’s 18th birthday party has been adjourned in the wake of one of his nephews, 35-month-old Prince Savva Konstantinovich, suffering a cerebral hemorrhage after a minor fall. Some people left for the rival Vladimir Palace to continue their merrymaking, and then Aleksey himself left the party for his nephew’s sick bed, over several protests. As much as he hates having to revisit the kind of scene which is now just the stuff of nightmarish memories, it’ll be far worse to remain at the banquet.
Unhappily taking a therapeutic mud bath in the Crimea
By the time Aleksey had reached Olga and Konstantin’s room, the palace pediatrician had been summoned and Savva lay unresponsive on the bed. One of the palace chapel’s priests was also in the room. Almost more heart-stopping than the sight of Savva was Olga, who sat in a corner clutching a prayer rope. She hadn’t looked so catatonic and melancholic since captivity.
“This is very bad,” the doctor said. “The child has lost consciousness, and will probably be gone before daybreak. There are six other priests on their way here to perform Extreme Unction. He’s too far gone for mere Last Rites.”
“Are you absolutely sure he can’t make a miraculous recovery?” Konstantin asked. “My brother-in-law here was given up for dead so many times, even after Last Rites, and today he’s reasonably healthy. Don’t plan my firstborn child’s funeral while he’s still in the land of the living.”
The doctor shook his head. “I’m truly sorry, Your Highness, but this is a cerebral hemorrhage, and your son lost consciousness very quickly. As much danger as His Majesty was in all those years ago, at least that hemorrhage wasn’t in his brain. Who knows what caused that miraculous remission.”
“It sure as hell wasn’t that damned monk,” Mikhail said, facing a window. “Whatever happens, please don’t use this tragedy as an excuse to invite another person like that into our home. Once was bad enough.”
“Oh, believe me, we won’t be inviting any crazed monks into this home,” Konstantin said. “I’m sure we all remember what his influence led to, and no one wants to repeat that devastation ever again.”
Twenty minutes later, the other six priests hurried into the room, carrying seven candles, a bowl of wheat with a shrine lamp, wine, olive oil, and seven anointing brushes. Savva still hadn’t regained consciousness, nor was there there any sign he was recovering. During the entire ceremony, he lay motionless across his father’s lap.