Топ-100
Wild. Male hunter in the forest, lonely

Savage

My wife called me savage. Because I refused to feel art subtly. In particular, to enthusiastically perceive performances in their avant-garde theater.

In my opinion, their theater was too avant-garde, and in their performances they sometimes showed things that were very difficult to attribute to art… This, in their opinion, was called a free view of art, or modern creativity. I was annoyed by this “modern creativity”, and my wife was outraged by my insensitivity, thick-skinned.

– Well, how can you have such an amputated perception of creativity? In particular, theatrical! It’s the same – theaaaaatr! This is not some kind of movie, fi, consumer goods! It is necessary to feel it!

– Lar, it’s not that I don’t feel this sur, I don’t understand it at all, I’m sorry… This… activity, I’m sorry, I can’t call it art – beyond my perception.

– Well, well. That’s what I’m saying, savage. You are not amenable to training! Bear! Larisa snorted with displeasure.

At that time, I was working as a director of one of the departments at a pharmaceutical factory, in a laboratory for quality control of biological preparations.

Our laboratory was large, it was located not just on several floors, but occupied four buildings. Our factory was not poor, the laboratories were equipped, as in NASA, with the latest technology. And I was in charge of this whole household, and I looked like it: a solid man in an expensive suit, in a tie that once cost my entire monthly salary, with official transport, and, as expected, with a driver. Although, of course, I myself preferred to drive around the city.

I started, of course, from the bottom at the dawn of my career. Although I already had a higher education by that time, but I had to, without going over it, even agree to become a laboratory assistant – there were no other vacancies. Start from scratch, in a word. Just to strengthen, to catch on, at least with one claw. I had no connections, no patronage. Then he slowly rose, step by step. I had to work hard, and at the same time continue to study: I entered graduate school, wrote a dissertation. I climbed as best I could. I was constantly going to various advanced training courses – certificates could soon be pasted over an entire wall, instead of wallpaper. I often had to go to seminars, symposiums, participate in conferences – otherwise what kind of career growth? Just because I worked in a lab for a few years? The bosses should have been provided with real achievements, implementations, patents, publications, except for the desire for promotion in the future.

Larochka still shone in her favorite avant-garde theater, and oddly enough, she was a success. The press wrote about her, she even appeared on some programs several times: she gave interviews there. On the topic: a new word in contemporary art.

When I bought my first car, I decided to show off: I took a cool Jeep. Black, big, sparkling – a toy for big boys, my long-standing dream! I was happy as a kid! A balloon was swelling in his chest with joy. When I arrived in my sparkling jeep in the village to my mother, and drove into our yard, my sister Vera was standing on the porch, and holding a pot of green borscht. The table was set, as usual, for lunch under a pear tree. Nearby, the rooster cut circles, squinted with a round red eye, trying on how to better jump on the table and peck something there. It’s strange – he should have been driven away a long time ago, and the owners froze like idols. Vera stared in amazement, forgetting to close her mouth. After that, the mother went out on the porch, peering and squinting: who is this who came to them, what kind of rich gentleman in an expensive car. Then Vaska leaned out, and hiccuped from confusion. And then I got out of the jeep like this…

– hello! I am this! Didn’t wait?

So that pot rolled off the porch, generously splashing hot borscht on the porch. Our Bobik was barking hysterically, already hoarse. The rooster changed his mind to jump on the table, ran away behind the barn and began to indignantly explain something to the laying hens there. The relatives were stunned. Do you think someone from the family was happy about my appearance in the box? As if not so! My sister came out of her stupor, and even looked at me with hatred.

– Look, you! Look at the people who have come to us! Have you come here to show off your wealth to the poor? Well, yes, where can we go, golytba!

Vera turned around abruptly and left, slamming the door loudly, almost the glass flew out onto the porch. The mother shook her head, mournfully pressing her palm to her mouth. I froze in amazement. I vaguely suspected that my sister would not be happy about my well-being. But I didn’t realize then that while she herself was living in the wilderness from penny to penny, I shouldn’t have teased the geese. But I didn’t expect such outright, undisguised hatred…

Mother, of course, did not hate, but scolded:

– Oh, my son, it’s not so good to show off in front of your family. Not everyone can afford it, like some…

– I didn’t think, Mom. Sorry. I thought I was going to brag about it, but it turned out that way.

–My son grew up, got rich, became a boss, but he never got smart…” she sighed.

My mother hugged me, I snuggled up to her. I noticed that she became so small – even smaller than she was. Somehow now it especially caught my eye with my height. Mom, Mom…

Already in the evening Vera thawed a little, began to talk almost as before. And then suddenly she started sucking up, she started asking me for money.

– Our new house will not be completed in any way. But with my Vaska, can you save up for a house? And so for the third year there are only walls, not from a place. I somehow saved up for the roof, I hide it from Vaska, and also windows, doors… flooring… We need to hire a team, but build it… Give us money for construction, eh? And we’ll give it away one day on the sly. Not immediately, of course, but slowly…

Oh, Faith-Faith. A fox is a fox! I knew that almost all the money that I sent to my mother, she gave to Vera. But I sent a lot! And everything was like water in the sand – disappeared without a trace. Then I revised the limits of my generosity, began to send moderate amounts to my mother. I reviewed the shopping list – for coal, for firewood, for flour with sugar, for poultry feed…

He brought his mother’s clothes and shoes himself, knowing that he would not buy them for himself, he would regret every penny, wearing a patched one. But the mother still managed to make do with a minimum, cutting out from the sent, continuing to give every “extra” penny to her sister and her husband, her wayward. And it remains a mystery to me, where did she put the money, my sister, that she did not collect anything from the allocated?

Vaska, her drunkard, probably pulled everything out. Giving money to the two of them is like throwing it into an abandoned well behind the yard, to no avail and without a trace. No result, no benefit for themselves.

At first, I called Vera to the city when I went there myself and enrolled to study. I was already in my second year at two jobs, and I followed the grades so as not to lose the rating and not to fly off the scholarship. And he sent money to his mother–not God knows how much, but he helped as much as he could! I also called Vera’s hubby, promised to take care of him, help him get into a hostel so that he could get a job at our factory. And then everything would depend on him, on Vasily!

I somehow got a job in the city! And I was going to get a job at the factory after receiving my diploma, of course, to dig in, climb, as I already said, from the bottom, higher, as soon as I can. But he didn’t want to. And Vera didn’t go either, she said she didn’t want to leave her husband alone – they would take her away! Hunting women for someone else’s man – only to drive away with a stick! So they circle! Well, why. Of course, sitting without much worries, not taking responsibility – it’s much more convenient! To look into someone else’s generous hands, from which they will be poured out, and they will just take it without making an effort…

And drink! That’s the stupidest thing about their situation, the stupidest thing.

In general, my sister and I talked. I explained the party’s policy as best I could. And I refused. I said, as before, that I would help earn money, but I would not put their family on my neck. Thank God, they are strong and healthy themselves, let them work!

– Vera, you understand! It doesn’t fall from the sky to me! I have a family too, as you remember! Lara doesn’t even come to you here anymore, she’s afraid of you – immediately you start asking her for money… I’m already used to it, and she still can’t get used to it.

– So I asked for it! Vera snapped. – So he did!

I sighed.

– Yes, and I don’t have anything to give right now, especially for a construction site. I’m paying for our apartment. And now also for the car.

Remembering my new car, my sister snorted like a cat. She jumped up from the table, knocking the plate to the floor on the way, and flew out of the house like a fury, slamming the door again, already the windows rang plaintively. And before that, she finally shouted out evil, already stamped her foot:

– Well, choke on your wealth! The miser! Greedy bastard!

That’s how it turned out…

I’ve been helping for years, and still not enough – I’m still a goon and a greedy man.

And the next day, the villagers went to their mother’s yard. At first, it seems like empty conversations, about nothing: like, how are you, how are you living, Kuzminichna, how are you coping… How is your rich son doing in the city? And then and – give, Kuzminichna…

Give me, your son is a rich gentleman, he rolls out on what rich cars, so there is extra money! Since it’s not a pity for your son, Kuzminichna, to beat such a cool car off–road to get to our village … One, another, third … and all with the same request – to “borrow” money…

Who needs firewood for the winter, who needs to cover the roof, who needs to put a fence…

And they promised to give everything “if possible”. My mother only looked back at me helplessly – I had already forgotten that in their village it is not customary to refuse neighbors a request, even such a blatantly extortionate one. I asked directly: why should I give them? The logic is iron in response, you can’t even argue:

– Well, you’re ours! We used to know you like this! And now you have it! And there is mnoooo, you’re out there, what a rich gentleman! Look at what kind of car you’re rolling out! You probably carry money home in bags!

That’s the trouble! And you all got this car like a bone across your throat…

I tried to explain that I was in debt, as in silks – but where is there who listened to me! They did not understand the refusal, and everyone was offended as one. At the same time, and on my mother, too. I regretted that I came to the village by jeep – it was not worth shining my new car in our old village. It would have been better if I had come by train, as before, and from the station – on foot, on a dirt track, the old-fashioned way. And then he quarreled with his relatives, and with his fellow villagers at the same time…

He boasted, they say, of a new thing.

My wife, as before, played in plays. And as before, she reproached me that I was a savage and a cracker who did not have a sense of beauty. And she kept tugging at me and pushing me towards material acquisitions, it was not enough for her to achieve. By that time we had a new spacious apartment in the center, cars – both she and I, of course. We flew on vacation every summer to Greece or Italy. Lara loved to buy new fur coats, which she brought from Greece, or bought in our fashionable salon “Lux–furs” in the center. Of course, she wore jewelry with pleasure…

We didn’t need to save up for an apartment – ours suited us: spacious, comfortable, and the location is great! And the furniture is new, excellent… but…

But we need to look after the house, it’s enough for us to huddle in an anthill!!! And you also need to buy a blue mink fur coat by winter, shorn, the softest, like fluff – fashionable, beautiful and elegant…

And also – why on earth should I fly to the sea only in summer? After all, the most squeak is to fly there for the New Year – from the cold of a dank metropolis, from the snows, to the exotic, where fruits, the sun! Lara got fed up with ordinary gold, began to buy white, and diamonds. And the fact that she is like a plebeian, in rubies, how hello…

And try to object!

The only thing Lara objected to was the children.

– Well, where do we have children now? Not in the next five years for sure! I’ll ruin the figure! What about the stage? What about fame?

And I remembered with longing that I once loved the expanse, animals, the river, the forest…

A bonfire, fragrant fish soup over a campfire in a pot, the singing of crickets and scattering of stars in the black velvet sky. My wife loved only the city, civilization, the active movement of the bustling metropolis. And she hated the village, suffered at the slightest restrictions of amenities. I’ve always loved silence. Even my office was additionally equipped with double–glazed windows, because my windows faced a noisy six-lane road – at my own expense. And at the department, too. By that time I was teaching at the university, having defended my PhD after my PhD, it seemed to me that science and pedagogy were not enough. My mother was secretly proud of me, and my sister and her husband just snorted and twisted at my temple, calling me malacholny. That’s what they said:

– What else does this malacholic need? Wants to grab all the money in the world? It would be better if he gave us money to finally make a roof!

My Lara – she adored noise, fuss, theater! Performances, press attention, fame, popularity, armfuls of flowers, crowds of fans, noisily begging for autographs from her…

– Lar, well, let’s go to the forest for once all the time? Even for a week? I want to be quiet, I’m tired of these endless streams of cars, and this eternal smog and soot of the city! I just want to catch fish, cook fish soup, and sit by a crackling fire, listen to a cricket song in the dark … Idyll…

– Well, that’s it. I’m telling you, savage! Fie! These mosquitoes, these tents – what a horror… no way!!!

And then one day I went crazy.

I quit everything, quit, packed a backpack and… went to work in the taiga. I became a gamekeeper! I changed everything I had achieved to the wilderness and a tiny wooden hut with one window – no one understood me. Neither at the factory, nor at the university, nor in the village. And no one supported. Not a single living soul. Even mom, as usual, shook her head, sadly pressing her dry hand to her mouth…

Lara requested a divorce. Despite the fact that Lara got absolutely everything, even my expensive suits in the dressing room and expensive English shoes, among other things, which I did not take with me to the taiga, she showered me with curses.

– The scoundrel!!! The scoundrel! Forty-year-old banged on the head, and the last mind was knocked off!!! Huntsman, damn you! May the tigers bite you there! So that you disappear there in your taiga!

And everything like that. Well, what could I do? I was able to come to terms with that. I gave her a divorce – anyway, we no longer had a future with her.

Once a group of tourists was resting in the taiga. With them was, among others, one silent woman, strange, thoughtful. Somehow she has sunk into thoughts, and what – try to understand…

Things happen.

I didn’t even recognize her name then. I promised them information support, all kinds of assistance, but warned them – hunting is prohibited. They agreed: they’re not in that line, they’re just travelers.

And this traveler managed to get lost, lag behind the group, and got lost in the taiga. And the case is almost at night…

She wandered, wandered alone, and even fell off a cliff into the river. Then she would have died, the current carried her, but somehow managed to cling to a thick snag. The would-be traveler could no longer get out of the river. And she couldn’t call for help either – she screamed so much that her voice was completely hoarse. She just hissed, without hope that she would be heard. My dog, the Boatswain, found her, how such a flair is also a mystery. They somehow feel something that a person does not know. I just jumped out of the hut and ran into the taiga. I saw the loss at the river, and then I brought the owner, that is, me. Silently. He didn’t make any noise unnecessarily–he’s silent, just like me. Our silent procession went back to the hut: the Boatswain in front, followed by me with a woman in my arms. And all three of them – in silence. The boatswain had a job – he led us forward, what’s the use of barking. I also had a job: I silently carried a wet woman in my arms, and this is not so easy even for my considerable build under two meters. And the woman, who was almost in shock, and even chilled to the bone, and chattered her teeth, was also silent.

I brought my soaked find to the hut, pulled off her wet clothes, and carefully rubbed her red with alcohol to warm her up and not to get sick. Then he changed her into his huge spiky sweater.

– It’s pricking! the stranger hissed.

– That’s the way it should be! Let it prick – it’s like a treatment! A rush of blood. I explained.

– Doctor? she hissed again.

– Not really. I am a huntsman. But I have an idea about the treatment of colds. I kept silent about my pharmaceutical past. What’s the point of spreading about it – it’s in the past anyway…

Meanwhile, I handed her a mug of hot tea made from boiling water with honey, where I also added a spoonful of pine cone jam, for efficiency.

“Delicious…” the woman hissed and cleared her throat.

– Don’t tear your ligaments in vain! The voice won’t be there for a few days. You tore it off,” I warned her further attempts to clear her throat. – Drink your tea and be silent!

Maybe not very politely, but she understood me and obediently continued to sip tea. Silently.

The woman still got sick, even though I rubbed her. She lay with a fever for four days in a semi–delirium – in such a state it was extremely unwise to lead her through the taiga on foot. We didn’t have a connection there. Like two Robinsons, and the third – the Boatswain as Friday, one for two: cut off from civilization.

She needed another couple of days to get stronger and not stagger like a drunk, clinging to the log walls. But we met. I told her about myself – that I was a respected person in the past, with a position… even two… And now here – here, either a goblin, or a forester… And all my regalia and achievements in the scientific world have turned into a puff, there is nothing to remember…

But I don’t need anything else! Real life is here! And there is only one fuss. And the woman, it turns out, was in the recent past – a businesswoman. She had a chain of coffee shops and her own small confectionery factory. Her name was Nadezhda. –

Hmm, sweet woman? I chuckled.

– Yes, I am a bitter woman. And not sweet,” Nadezhda answered gloomily without a shadow of a smile.

Nadezhda had been married for fourteen years to a man whom she had not seen point-blank for all fourteen years. Well, about as I Larisa. I looked and did not see at point blank range…

As if through a cloudy glass, or a fogged mirror – when you see one thing, but you see something completely different…

Nadezhda had a business and had a passionate dream: to give birth to a child. But she and her husband did not succeed, although she was treated using the most modern methods of recovery, and spent a lot of money on all kinds of treatments and specific gynecological resorts…

Pregnancy did not occur in any way. Nadezhda and her husband tried to go to reproductive doctors, to a clinic called – ironically – “Nadezhda”…

They did IVF, even four times. But no attempt yielded results – she had rejection all four times, the embryo did not take root. It was as if her feminine nature forbade an alien organism to invade her body without accepting a new life from this man. He said he was giving up. She tried to persuade them that they should try again! He said that he felt sorry for the money: a lot of money – down the drain! She said: to hell with them, with money! She’s got a hell of a lot of money! And there is not a single child. Croaked…

While she was doing gynecology, her husband thoroughly learned that she had a fig of money, and what the hell with them, with money…

And he cleaned her to the skin, transferring all her funds to hidden accounts. And then he filed for divorce. Nadezhda barely had enough to pay off her debts, and her business was ordered to live for a long time. Her coffee shops were bought out by her partner, who had been licking his lips at them for a long time. And Nadezhda received a good sum to start … in another place. Well, considering that this time it’s not in the city, and not with a chain of coffee shops and a factory, of course. And just to buy yourself a good solid house, and live quietly and peacefully in relatively remote places, without traitors and disappointments…

And she went all the way to the taiga – away from civilization, and if possible from people, too. I joined a group of tourists in order to take a closer look at where to settle here, which village to choose for life – I always wanted to live in the edge among the pines…

And then I got into a river in the taiga, and almost drowned. And then she almost died of pneumonia, since she didn’t have a chance to drown…

One luck, in a word, wherever you spit!

– So I’m a bitter woman. And not sweet,” Nadezhda answered gloomily, repeating her words to me.

– Well, what… for example, I like bitter… if it’s, for example, bitter chocolate … – I said seriously without a shadow of a smile.

And she silently looked at me strangely, and said nothing. The main thing is not to say “no”!…

The weather got better, and everything got better with health, but Hope did not return to the group. I just told them that she was fine, so they wouldn’t worry, and later I took my backpack from them. And she stayed in the huntsman’s hut.

Strangely enough, neither she nor I, who have been used to living in comfort and coziness for years, were bothered by a cramped hut without amenities. We began to live together, as if we were used to each other for a long time. More precisely, the three of us are still the Boatswain, as a member of our small family. After a while, one conversation took place between the two of us…

The boatswain was present at the conversation with the third, but, as usual, did not make any sounds, carefully shifting his gaze from one to the other.

“I’m thirty–five!” As they say, “tea, not shesheen!” Nothing?

– Well, so what! I’m forty. And I’m a starving bastard in general… no stake, no yard, just this one-room jaeger hut. And from the whole farm – only the Boatswain, and many hectares of taiga around…

– You’re just… a passerby! So am I, though. We met by chance, and we will separate by chance… We probably won’t succeed. Unless…” she stopped in mid–sentence, not finishing, and I didn’t notice the hitch.

– I will not back down for anything! I’m a savage, remember? Although I’m even ready to return to civilization if you’re better there than here… if you want, of course! I was getting hot.

– Oh, moms, well, how caring, just look! I’m going to faint from emotion.

– Yes, I’m caring, by the way! And also – responsible.

– Responsible? And what… Your responsibility is just right! Because… I’m pregnant! Your savage.

I picked her up in my arms and spun her around, and she screamed and kicked:

– Let go, bear! You’ll remember us! With a bear cub…

– I won’t let you go for anything! No way!!! – I kept laughing and circling her.

She closed her eyes happily. Well, there is a savage. Is not it so?

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