A spray of reddish-orange color filled the atmosphere and as the sun slowly immersed into the lavish blue sea, the people watched with cheerful eyes at the mesmerizing view as the auspicious spring festival of Maslenitza came to an end. It was also an auspicious day for the Aliaksei family as two sons had just been born. Their father Ivan Aliaksei had just returned from a long day at work to be greeted by two baby guests. The smile on his face said everything, their family had been waiting for a son to be born for many years now but instead got two twin sons. Ivan with his eyes filled with joyful tears looked over to his wife Alena who was panting selflessly in pain after giving birth to two baby boys replied to him with a small grin on her face. Ivan then placed his hand on his elder son’s head and named him Vaughn and then went on to do the same with his younger son which he named Victor.
As the years went by Victor and Vaughn were now almost 5 years old and in their first form in their new school. These 5 years seemed and felt like 5 hours to the twin brothers who had spent all those years merrily playing around with each other. Whereas it had a big impact on their father Ivan Aliaksei who in these 5 years had developed a drinking habit. He used to come back home very late, drunk, tottering on his feet and bruises all over his face from a bar fight he had gotten into earlier that night. His entrance filled up the air with the smell of vodka and blood and the two twin brothers who were sleeping were now awake and they slowly crawled towards their bedroom door which was slightly open and peeked through the gap to view the commotion that had been going on since their father had arrived. Ivan raised his hand high in the air and ‘thud’ it came down on their mother, the two brothers watched with dismay as they were not entirely certain of what had been going around as of why their father had been
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doing this to their mother. They watched as their mother submitted on the floor crying with a large bluish-purple bruise on her left cheek and then quickly slipped inside their beds a few minutes later as their mother came around to check on them. They wondered as they lay awake on their beds of what was going to happen to their defenseless mother if this ruckus continued for a few more nights and slowly dozed off into the night, but one thing was for certain they needed help, fast.
A swarm of kids of different ages rushed out of the school as the school bell rang, Victor gripped his brother’s hand firmly hoping to not get lost in the crowd as they ran to their house. While on their way to their house the brothers always used to stop by the riverbank for some stone skipping. They usually were all alone while skipping stones but this time Vladislav and his gang who had annoyed the brothers for quite a bit now inside and outside the school started repeatedly calling their father ‘Drunkard’ but this did not anger the brothers. Vaughn got angry when Vladislav started throwing stones at Victor and to protect his brother Vaughn unleashed all his rage in a brutal clash against Vladislav and his gang. It was a 5 on 1 matchup, Vaughn didn’t stand chance, he was being thrashed and beaten up by Vladislav and his gang. His brother Victor was frozen with fear as Vaughn cried out to him to help him fight Vladislav but for the life of him, Victor couldn’t move. After everyone in the gang had their equal share, Vladislav and his gang marched on their way back to their homes. Vaughn slowly lurched towards Victor and shook him mercilessly to get him out of his trance state. Victor was distraught after looking at his brother, all the bruises he had on his face, as he was incognizant of what had been happening around him a few minutes earlier.
“What happened to you Victor?” asked Vaughn panting
“I’m not sure brother” replied Victor
“What are all the bruises you have on your face?” asked Vaughn completely unaware of what had been going on around him.
“Well, that’s nothing, just a few little bruises given to me by Vladislav and his gang but, from now on let’s promise that we’ll always be together no matter what happens, Alright?” asked Vaughn
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“I’ll always be with you till the end brother, I promise” replied Victor instantly and they both headed back home without the slightest dissatisfaction of defeat. On the way back to their house, both the brothers were stopped in their tracks after hearing several sirens go off simultaneously throughout the entire city and immediately remembered the time when their mother taught them that the sirens meant that the entire city was being evacuated.
As they neared their house both the brothers saw a mysterious rectangular metal object with wheels similar to the one which they had seen once on their way to school. “Mother what is it that you are sitting in?” asked Vaughn.
“It’s your father’s friend Andrei’s car my dear, the city’s being evacuated and we have to leave now, to be just in time before the train starts to move. So, hurry up and go help your father, children” instructed Alena to her children while hastily loading all of their clothes into the car. After Victor and Vaughn helped their father load everything into the car they sat alongside their mother while their father drove the car.
“Father where are we headed?” asked Vaughn while firmly holding his brother’s hand.
“We’re headed to the Minsk railway station Vaughn” said Ivan.
“Will we be there in time before the train leaves?” asked Vaughn fretfully.
“Yes Vaughn, the train station’s only five miles from here so we’ll be there in time, now stop asking me questions and let me drive okay!!” answered Ivan furiously.
After a 30 minute drive, the Aliaksei family finally reached the station, where they just bolted towards the railway tracks to catch the train but to their surprise, there was no one at the railway station except them. Ivan went back to the ticket counter to ask about what had happened where he found out that the air raid had been called off by the Nazis so they needn’t evacuate the city. Meanwhile, the
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train had begun to leave the station while Ivan was delivering the news of the air raid to his wife Alena who was somehow dissatisfied by the news, as she had planned all along to escape from the city with her children leaving only her husband behind to die in the raid after all the bruises and pain she had endured from him, but now all her plans have just gone down the drain. Right at that moment, Alena had an idea that came out of nowhere, she engrossed around the thought that she could still escape her faith before the train left the station by carrying her youngest Victor in her arms and asking Vaughn to follow. With seconds left to spare before the train left the station, Alena told Vaughn to run and board the train while she carried Victor in her arms behind him, Ivan on the other hand chased behind her in confusion yelling at her to stop but before she could board the train Ivan grabbed one of Victor’s foot while Alena boarded the train. It was now a tug of war between them both and Victor was the rope while Vaughn who had climbed aboard the train had to just watch behind his mother while she tried to pull Victor in but as the train gained more and more momentum she slowly started to lose her grip and finally had to let go for she could have fallen off the train. Vaughn called at his brother as loud as his voice could reach but grew fainter and fainter as they moved farther and farther away.