Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I decided to continue the story of young widower Mr. Lebedev reuniting with his missing daughters, from my first Russian historical, You Cannot Kill a Swan.
It’s now May 1922, in America, and female protagonist Lyuba has fallen unconscious from a very high fever after giving birth to her first child with male protagonist Ivan, about a month premature. A young nursing student and new immigrant, Svetlana, has been coming over to help with the baby, and Kroshka always barks like crazy when she’s there.
Ivan is rocking Fedya at 5:30 when Kroshka comes running into the apartment, right to Svetlana, stirring a pot of beef stew at the coal-burning stove. This can only mean Mr. Lebedev forget to lock the door when he and his daughters left this morning, and forgot to close the door all the way.
“I’m really sorry for her behavior,” Ivan says as he gets up. “She’s normally so sweet and gentle. Maybe it’s true that lapdogs have fantasies of being as mighty and powerful as big guard dogs, and this is her way of trying to do just that. She must sense a stranger’s presence, and wants to protect her friends.”
Kroshka is now jumping at Svetlana’s feet, and won’t stop till Svetlana picks her up. Once she’s in Svetlana’s arms, she frantically starts licking her face.
The reader has already been introduced to Svetlana, who was sent to Siberia with three of her sisters after the Revolution. In Part II, she was reunited with her cousin Nadezhda, who was captured in Ivan’s place.
Nadezhda told Svetlana her father and five of her sisters escaped to America in the spring of 1921. Nadezhda and her sweetheart Pavel were with them at the port of Tallinn, but weren’t able to get on that ship due to not having tickets. When their enemies found them, Pavel managed to get away on a raft and was picked up by another ship, but it was too late for Nadezhda.
Svetlana’s nursing skills earned her rather decent treatment and an eventual early release. She was unable to obtain Nadezhda’s release along with hers.