Morning for Sokroshera Chapter Seven

By Timothy Smith, 2020

Morning for Sokroshera Chapter 7

Tim’s novel of Russian America (Kodiak Island area)

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Friday, August 30, 1963: Author’s note – without spoiling the plot, this sample describes a bright spot in an otherwise very distressing series of events.

When Judson climbed the slightly odd-sized stairs, he knocked on a plywood door, which was promptly opened by Mrs. Carla Bazaroff. She was wearing a plain cotton dress that looked homemade, but had a cheery butterfly and leaf pattern which merely emphasized Carla’s sunny disposition. Mrs. Bazaroff’s medium-brown hair was cut in a pageboy style, the product of her own mirror and scissors, Judson guessed. The hairdo framed a round face that was cheerful and eyes that were a clear light brown. When she smiled at him, “You could have toasted marshmallows from the warmth,” he later told Sandy Ann, who agreed wholeheartedly with his assessment. Most people on the planet would like Carla Bazaroff.

Judson told Carla his errand and stepped into the room, thereby discovering that she was only barely taller than him. ‘Lil’ Carla,’ thought Judson, remembering their boat, and recognizing in its name both an apt description and a husband’s warm affection. Carla took the bag, and carried it to a homemade table under the new picture window. The window revealed a stunning view of the southeastern edge of Mount Sokroshera and the whole village beyond the creek. The window was also the only illumination in the room, although on the far wall, two mirrors gave a good illusion of more windows.

The little ones, who had been eating some cold cereal at the far end of the table, squealed and clapped as the various items appeared from the bag. Carla correctly guessed their purpose. “We’ll save these to play with when it’s raining outside!” She let little Maria have a go at a wooden animal puzzle anyway. “Is it my buifday?” asked a slightly grubby Jimmy, clutching his mom’s dress and peering shyly at Judson from a vantage point slightly behind her. Maria squealed and clapped as a bright blue elephant slipped neatly into its slot in the puzzle. “No, it’s not your birthday. Mrs. Smith just wanted you to have some toys for the rainy days.” “Is it wayning tomowwow?” It was a completely logical question for Jimmy to ask. His mother rumpled his hair and gave him a sideways hug. “Oh, I’m sure it probably will be,” she said, as though that would be the greatest thing ever. (Skip 3 paragraphs)

Judson could have bet any amount of money that the occupants of that home were simply not in the habit of complaining about their lot in life. And they were richer than Midas compared to any number of Hollywood celebrities working through their latest divorces in empty mansions. Judson prepared to leave, but not before he complimented Carla on the house being built behind their shack. “Oh, that’s all Windy’s work,” she said proudly. “We hope he can finish it if he gets a good job at the cannery. He’s on the list for several jobs.” This was a hopeful place, an optimistic place. One could see why Windy hadn’t taken to drink. Tarpaper shack or no, this little home was an oasis, and this lil’ Carla was, besides being a doll, Wendell’s own personal angel. The fact that Wendell Bazaroff was actually Anya’s younger brother was almost beyond imagining.



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