Sviatoslav Loginov: The Wind from the Sea - a Russian science fiction short story in English translation.

Sviatoslav Loginov.

The Wind from The Sea


By the evening the Wind from the Sea has risen. It hurled waves at the shore and sprayed water, white salty dust, smells of iodium and hydrogen sulphide. Towards the wind flew the Sheets. They appeared from nowhere, right from the Wind and flew against it, gathering in flocks and scattering, but always against the wind - to the sea.

The wind was blowing all the night and subsided only in the morning. And then Karel returned. No one expected him, the search group had already been formed and his mates had honoured his memory, when he arrived at the station, put his rover into the hangar and entered as if nothing had happened. There was only something about his face - a joyfully amazed expression and something that made even Zon Snow, who grew old in space and had seen many a thing, avert hastily.

The fact of Karel returning was obscure and a bit eerie. No one had survived the Wind from the Sea as yet. The Wind did not kill bodies, but it did irrevocably quench mind, the people becoming not even animals, but rather dolls; no one knew what became of them, as well as no one knew what is The Wind from the Sea.

But now there was Karel, remaining human. He was sleeping in his room and all but the doctor were prohibited to enter. The doctor said, exiting the room, that Karel was having a dream, and that it was good, and that he was not to be awakened if he did not awaken himself, and that his sanity was not guaranteed, because if a man has such a face...

Karel awakened towards the evening and immediately, not minding his mates, started to prepare for going out.

"Where are you heading, Karik?" asked Zon, who was on duty in this shift.

"To the shore", unexpectedly answered Karel, "The Wind will begin now, I need to be at the shore."

"The Wind will not begin, it never goes on for two days, and you cannot leave the station - you are not quite well. Do you remember what happened to you?"

"I do. There was the Wind, and they told me to go out again today"

"Who? The Sheets?"

"No, not the Sheets. The inhabitants. When there is Wind from the Sea, they are intellingent. They saved me, but they have to finish the healing and arrange the meetings, because they can not create the Wind often.

"Karik, you understand you are sick, don't you? You have simply hallucinated. There are no inhabitants here. At all. Even the Sheets are not alive; the planet is dead!"

"It is now, but the Wind from the Sea will begin soon. I have to go."

Karel moved towards the exit, but the doctor rapidly stepped forward and pressed the injector to his neck. Karel swayed; the doctor dextrously catched him and dragged to the chair.

"Nevermind," he said, "It is not that bad, I feared the worst, but this can be healed. The important thing is that he remained a personality, the rest is a matter of medicine. I suppose in half a year he will be here again; of course, if he would want to return..."

"And by the evening the Wind from the Sea has risen. The Sheets flew out towards it. They gathered in flocks, circled upon the station entrance, as if awaiting someone, and then flew away to the sound of the waves. All night long the Wind cried in the entwined antennae and subsided only in the morning.

(c) Sviatoslav Loginov, 1981
(c) Translation from Russian - Denis Lianda, 2002
(c) Proofreading - Faina Khait, 2002

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(c) 1997 Sviatoslav Loginov
(c) 1999 Design Eugene Smirnoff.
() 2002 Editor Dmitriy Vatolin.
(c) 1999, 2002 Design and pictures by Aleksey Andreyev
(c) 2002 Design and pictures by Vladimir Savvateev
(c) 2002 Translation into English Denis Lianda

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The page was created in April, 2002.